Artist: Bailey Scieszka
Venue: Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Soul Dolphin
Organized by: What Pipeline
Date: May 19 – June 23, 2018
Full gallery of images and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles
“There are moments in American history where the dream is so big and this is one of those times. The man-made world is rich with allegories of profound spiritual truth.” (Bailey Scieszka The Soft Side of Hardcore, unpublished script, 2016.)
“An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.”
(Bailey Scieszka, Heritage Bloodbath, unpublished script, 2016.)
What Pipeline is happy to present Bailey Scieszka Soul Dolphin, an exhibition of new paintings shown in collaboration with Park View/Paul Soto at his gallery’s Los Angeles location. Soul Dolphin marks Scieszka’s first West Coast solo exhibition.
Scieszka’s prolific practice vividly targets the vulgar yet seductive elements of American media-saturated culture using drawing, sculpture, playwriting and multimedia puppet performances starring her alter ego Old Put the Clown. She recently expanded into paintings that explore early American portrait vernacular through a lens tainted by occultism and conspiracy theories. Her revered symbols–corn, dolphins, aliens, brown butterflies, and daggers dripping in blood–reappear, now haunting dauphins and their Colonial-era mothers. 18th century baby faces are clown-painted with layered masks of international flag motifs and Bratz-doll eyes, giving them the enlarged-eye strangeness of a kitsch Keane child or a bobble-headed “grey” (a conspiracy theory term for a certain type of extraterrestrial alien tied to the infamous Area 51 site). Their white skin is revealed to be painted on as well and underneath lay the scales of “lizard people” that have donned human pelts to infiltrate governments and dictate global policy, apparently since this country’s origins. The works are finished with gold leaf gilt on red backgrounds reflecting the current ethos of America.