Gina Beavers at Michael Benevento

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Artist: Gina Beavers

Exhibition title: Popography

Venue: Michael Benevento, Los Angeles, US

Date: November 21, 2015 – January 9, 2016

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Michael Benevento, Los Angeles

Michael Benevento is pleased to present Popography, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Gina Beavers. In her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles the artist will fill the gallery space with a collection of works from her ongoing investigations into makeup tutorial didactic imagery.

Very aware of the thin line between “high” and “low” aesthetic forms, Beavers consistently indexes Pop Art’s use of graphic and advertising-based iconic imagery. However, Beavers rejects the flat, slick and mechanical aspects of Pop and Ad imagery in favor of a nearly grotesque buildup of hand-applied acrylic paint. Beavers’ unique aesthetic is commonly characterized by this production methodology. The resulting paintings are at once in conversation with photography, design, and “bad painting” as one might discuss in relation to, say, Kippenberger or even Paul McCarthy.

In this latest body of paintings the artist appropriates photographs of makeup tutorials pulled from Instagram, e.g. step-by-step eye-shadow applications that might also be printed in a magazine or printed large for advertising purposes in a makeup sales environment. The “girliness” of the subject matter is subverted by the caked-on paint layers, perhaps suggesting that the entire practice of makeup application is to be considered a bit grotesque. The dialogue between “good” and “bad” taste is already imbedded within her chosen appropriated imagery in that these tutorials range from silly Cleopatra eyes, all the way to very tacky pop makeup ideas like eye shadow and fingernail painting rendered to appear like representational imagery (cheeseburgers, mermaids, skulls, jack-o-lanterns,etc.). It is common for Beavers to reference image-construction produced by others. In previous bodies of work she has used other types of Instagram photos. Like social media presence, the makeup tutorials mine our obsessive need to identify ourselves stylistically to the public by articulating a personal “style” or other outward-projection of personal identity.

The buildup of paint in Beavers’ work produces objects rather than images, pushing past the typical depth of a relief and into a nearly cartoon bulging of material as if photos were injected with cheap collagen. That aesthetic continues through this new body of work but there are some new display strategies at play including a massive scale shift on one new large painting and the intentional clustering of several smaller works into a grid that resembles the step-by-step grid design of the appropriated tutorials.

Gina Beavers (b. Athens, Greece, 1974) is an artist based in New York, NY. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from the University of Virginia (1996), an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2000) and an MS in Education from Brooklyn College (2005). Recent solo exhibitions include Retrospective (Hudson, 2014) and Fourteen30 Contemporary (Portland, 2013). Recent group exhibitions include Food, Shelter, Clothing, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, KY, How To Tell If Your Krill Oil Supplements Are Ripping You Off, Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY, and Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY.

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Gina Beavers, Silver eye, 2015

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Gina BeaversPictorial loves, 2015

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Gina BeaversCut crease, 2015

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Gina BeaversNeo glamor Gary, 2015

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Gina BeaversBefore and after, 2015

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Gina BeaversMaquillaje, 2015

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Gina BeaversDay look, 2015

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Gina Beavers1-2-3 palette, 2015

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Gina BeaversDe noche, 2015

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Gina BeaversStep to step Egyptian, 2015

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Gina BeaversSkull how to, 2015

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Gina BeaversFour hands nail art, 2015

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Gina BeaversMona Lisa nail, 2015

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Gina BeaversBurger eye, 2015

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Gina BeaversAriel inspired, 2015

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Gina BeaversHalloween eyes, 2015

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Gina Beavers, Skull face, 2015

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Gina BeaversHippie chic, nude, pale pink, butter linha matte, 2015