Gina Beavers at MoMA PS1

Artist: Gina Beavers

Exhibition title: The Life I Deserve

Organized by: Oliver Shultz

Venue: MoMA PS1, New York, US

Date: March 31 – September 2, 2019

Photography: All images copyright and courtesy of the artist and MoMA PS1, New York

LONG ISLAND CITY, New York, March 27, 2018—MoMA PS1 presents the first solo museum exhibition of New York-based painter Gina Beavers (American, b. 1974), who transforms digital images appropriated from social media and the Internet into thickly layered compositions that border on sculpture. Across a recurring repertoire of subject matter―from photos hashtagged “#FoodPorn” to step-by-step cosmetics tutorials―Beavers’s work offers uncanny and often unsettling visions of our digitally mediated lives. On view from March 31 through September 2, 2019, Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve surveys the artist’s recent work through more than forty paintings made over the past decade.

Built up through dense accumulations of acrylic medium or foam and imbued with almost cinematic color, Beavers’s works are at once repulsive and alluring, highlighting the gap between our digital and physical lives and how we consume, desire, and fashion ourselves to reflect contemporary culture. Deriving their titles from the captions or comments that originally accompanied her source imagery, Beavers actively anticipates that her works will be posted, shared, and re-shared across online platforms. Although composed from social media streams and destined to be reabsorbed by them, the stubborn materiality of Beavers’s paintings resists the logic of digital reproduction.

The Life I Deserve opens with aselection of “food porn” paintings, from slabs of raw meat to a rainbow-colored soft serve cone, which allude both directly and indirectly to the body, pointing both to literal and virtual modes of consumption and desire. A small central gallery grapples with consumer culture in a different way: each of the works exhibit the artist’s interest in the history of painting as filtered through mashups of art and kitsch: fingernails painted with reproductions of art-historical masterworks like the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night rendered in bacon. The exhibition concludes with a gallery focused on Beavers’s representation of the human body, pointing to the often troubling politics of selfhood in the emotional and social spaces of the Internet.

Gina Beavers lives and works in New York City. Her work was featured in Greater New York at MoMA PS1 in 2015, and she has participated in group exhibitions at institutions including Kentucky Museum of Contemporary Art, Louisville; Nassau County Museum of Art, New York; Flag Art Foundation, New York; William Benton Museum of Art, Connecticut; and Abrons Art Center, New York. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at galleries including Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; GNYP Gallery, Berlin; Carl Kostyal, London; James Fuentes, New York; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; Cheim and Read, New York; and CANADA, New York, among others.

Installation view of Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve, on view at MoMA PS1, New York from March 31–September 2, 2019. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Matthew Septimus

Installation view of Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve, on view at MoMA PS1, New York from March 31–September 2, 2019. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Matthew Septimus

Installation view of Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve, on view at MoMA PS1, New York from March 31–September 2, 2019. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk

Installation view of Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve, on view at MoMA PS1, New York from March 31–September 2, 2019. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk

Gina Beavers. Smoky Eye Tutorial. 2014. Acrylic and wood on canvas panel. Courtesy the artist

Gina Beavers. Mona Lisa Nail. 2015. Acrylic on linen panel. Courtesy the artist.

Gina Beavers. Cake. 2015. Acrylic on canvas panel. Courtesy the artist

Gina Beavers. Who Has Braces? 2014. Acrylic and wood on canvas panel with wood frame. Courtesy the artist

Gina Beavers. Tag Yourself. 2016.  Acrylic on canvas panel. Courtesy the artist

Gina Beavers. Kimchi Hot Dogs. 2014. Acrylic and wood strips on canvas panel. Courtesy the artist

Gina Beavers. Dice Nails. 2014. Acrylic on canvas panel with wood frame. Courtesy the artist

Gina Beavers. The Life I Deserve. 2016. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist

Gina Beavers. Local Pasteurized Beef. 2014. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist

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