Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Exit133 Tacoma Arts in Review: "Emulate" at the TRG

Erin Bailey visited us for our Party Line with Lauren Faulkner on March 18, and gave us a nice write-up on Exit133 this week:

Tacoma Arts in Review: "Emulate" at the Telephone Room Gallery
(March 27, 2011 by Exit133 Tacoma Arts in Review)
by Erin Bailey
The Telephone Room Gallery is an alternative art space located in the North Tacoma home of Heide Fernandez-Llamazares. This pint-sized gallery operates under the mission “to house artist-driven exhibits and programming. Big ideas in an intimate space.” Named for the working rotary telephone mounted inside, the Telephone Room offers uniquely personal opportunities to experience art up close and to interact with artists over a welcoming kitchen table.

Emulate: A Visual Interpretation of Schiele’s Nudes features three nude portraits by emerging artist Lauren Walker inspired by iconic artist Egon Schiele. Faulkner’s work takes the viewer along on an artistic journey as Faulkner captures Schiele’s style while displaying her own progression and inspiration, and challenging her abilities. Egon Schiele was an Austrian artist during the turn of the 20th century who studied under Gustav Klimt, drawing inspiration from artists such as Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh. Early in his career Schiele gained fame for his pornographic style, depicting women in erotic positions. Schiele defended the legality of distributing his work in public against many who argued it was pornography which resulted in the destruction of his work and three days in prison.

This is Faulkner’s first showing in a gallery since she graduated from University of Puget Sound with a concentration in painting, and her commitment to learning from process and exploration is clear. Says Faulkner: “In this series, I examine Schiele in terms of style. I combine some of Schiele’s most revered nudes with my own palette imbuing in the paintings a synthesis of Schiele’s and my own vision of the body. By emulating his style, I hope to gain further insight into his creative process, and to create work that reflects his artistic mastery.” While her work is as stylistically her own, traces of Schiele are evident in the exposure of the human body and poses that emulate loss, discovery and sexuality. In confronting eroticism, sexuality and Schiele, Faulkner sidesteps Schiele’s trademark eroticism, and instead imbues her subjects with serenity and modesty. In explicitly addressing and exploring female sexuality, the artist acknowledges her connection with the women she depicts.

The first nude you encounter is a woman praying with her back to the world. In hiding her face and layering blues and purples Faulkner imbues the work with a sorrowful ambiance; yet despite the sadness portrayed, the subject does not appear defeated. Faulkner uses her affinity for Schiele’s style to utilize color as an emotional language, layering shades to create an aesthetic rendering of what many see as Schiele’s grotesque style in a modern and feminine interpretation. Faulkner stated that she excluded the face to leave interpretation open, to allow for an individual emotional reaction from each viewer. The exclusion of the subjects’ face and their cultural ambiguity allow for the viewer to relate easily.

The Telephone Room activates the local art community, offering both established and emerging artists a venue to share their work and interact through “Party Line” artist talks and activities. Opening homes for the arts sustains the community in times when art support suffers from budget cuts and dwindling interest. Imagine if we all were art activists, offering our homes to local artist…what would the art community in Tacoma look like? Emulate: A Visual Interpretation of Schiele’s Nudes is on view through March 28, stop in before it closes!

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