Karen Hochman Brown
June 11 – July 6, 2019
Opening Reception — June 15 • 5 – 8 pm
Artist Walkthrough — June 29 • 11 am
5458 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Gallery Hours:Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm
“I grew up in Santa Barbara and have long had an obsession with people-watching at the beach. Of course I, too, am exposing myself to those who might want to ogle me, yet I do not feel as though I am being observed. I am just one of many enjoying private moments in a very public place. At the shore, I am able to escape the many social norms that confine my behavior. It is the water and the salt air and the sand between my toes that allow me to literally and figuratively strip away my bonds and be free of the mask of daily life. I return to a mental space closer to my natural inclinations. In Anonymous@theBeach, I explore the paradox of seeing and being seen by the multitudes, while still maintaining a sense of privacy.”
Karen Hochman Brown is a photography-based digital artist living in Los Angeles. She uses a graphic synthesizer software program to create custom virtual-paintbrushes, changing settings of endless parameters that react to a visual reference. The brushstrokes are applied one by one based on information such as shape, color, orientation and luminance. In this process, she is not limited to using photographs for reference and can venture into a world of totally algorithmic creations. Results can mimic natural painting styles or come off as purely graphic. In addition to 2-D works, the artist processes images over time to develop animations.
In her solo show Anonymous@theBeach, Karen Hochman Brown features digitally synthesized artworks and animations that show a world where the seen and unseen collide. Figures are perforated allowing the background to show through. Background and foreground interplay as the subjects melt into nothingness.
Anonymous@theBeach will also feature an interactive installation made for the social media age that speaks to the paradox of staying private while presenting publicly, extending the concept of exposure beyond the graphic work.
With an abstract representation of a crowded day at the shore as a backdrop, a variety of playful props will give patrons the ability to create and post selfies that insure anonymity.
In this age of social media, we grapple with versions of ourselves that we put out into the world. Fear of missing out tugs at our egos as we tell the world stories that exaggerate and glamorize us above the mundane. We present ourselves in a highly curated manner.
It may be the time has come for pushback against these fabrications, forwarding a desire to show ourselves more realistically. However, doing so leaves us in a vulnerable place, open to trolls eager to subvert even the most benign postings. Yet we are drawn to the brief burst of fame that comes with a flurry of likes and thumbs-up reactions. Our whole self-worth can be propelled or defeated by feedback to a single exposure, but we still strive for that recognition.
At Anonymous@theBeach, patrons will have the unique opportunity to satisfy both the desire for recognition and anonymity at the same time, existing simultaneously as the observed and the observer.