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Indepth Arts News:

"5 Visions: 2 Painters, 1 Photographer, 1 Sculptor, 1 Installation Artist"
2002-12-13 until 2002-12-21
Inshallah Gallery
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

5 Visions is a showcase of five emerging Los Angeles artists of disparate styles and media. Forced as many artists are to commit to advertising as a day job, what joins this group is a desire to create emotionally charged and serious work as a reaction to the often shallow drain of selling products. Holly Wilder's gorgeous landscape photography reflects a world we can only dream of and piece together from everyday decaying flowers and trees. Kevin McHugh's sculptures (also inspired by found objects) at first glimpse might be seen as whimsical and fun, but grouped together take on a sad, almost militaristic quality. The two painters (Susanne Longo and Mila Sterling) both utilize the tradition of oil on canvas (and wood) to express different themes in stylistically variant ways. Ms. Longo's mostly figurative work shows us an interior world of solitude and introspection with shadows of decadence. Ms. Sterling's dark, abstract paintings romanticize and bring movement to the urban landscapes they reflect. And finally, Jeff Kessinger's installation work takes its power from the process and spontaneity of its evolution.

A native to New York City, Mila Sterling moved to California in 1975, where she has lived ever since. By her junior year at UC Berkeley art, and painting in particular, had evolved from a serious interest into a professional career. Following graduation, she exhibited in several Bay Area venues, including Enrico's in San Francisco and the Art Collective Gallery in Berkeley. Since her relocation to Los Angeles in 1999, Mila has shown at Sushi Performance in San Diego; this is her debut L.A. exhibit. In January, she is moving to Spain for a year, where she hopes to continue to exhibit her work and gain new insight by living in a foreign environment. This series at Inshallah consists of a group of paintings that reflect a year of rapid change and development in the artist's life. The paintings originate as urban landscapes, yet as the work evolves these inanimate structures become more lifelike and evocative of conception, growth, and decay. The rough, expressionistically painted constructions are meant to be seen not as still lifes, but as portraits with movement and rhythm.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Susanne Longo wanted to be an artist since kindergarten, when her first painting "MY HOUSE WITH A RAINBOW AND A DOG" was shown at a county art exhibit. Susanne went on to major in art at Kenyon College where she concentrated in painting, drawing, photography and welding. After graduating, she moved to New York City where she managed an art gallery in Soho, quit in disgust then spent 6 months roaming the city with a sketchbook. Ever since, her portraits have explored the idea that despite our desires to feel wanted, fulfilled and loved by others, we live in a state of collective solitude.

Holly Wilder has been a working artist/photographer since 1987. Born in Los Angeles, Holly studied art at a variety of colleges on the east and west coasts, including the graduate program at Yale University School of Art. Holly received her BFA and MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Her art background have involves drawing, painting, photography and film. Today, her art mainly comprises of color photography concerning quiet, imaginary landscapes found in the real world. The underlying theme about "Life as an illusion" and "Broken dreams" continues in this new body of work about "Home".

Kevin McHugh:

"As long as I can remember, I've always been drawn to objects that I found on the ground. Lately, I have put them into two categories; 'Head's' and 'Torso's.' These objects, that are overlooked by most, are mainly metallic and rusted, and might have been run over by a car or truck. The first pieces I did, were made to be photographed and displayed behind glass. My new work will displayed as sculptures, in one long row." - A Non Human Person On Leave From The Clubhouse

Jeff Kessinger is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. His work proceeds from the language or material of its own production and exhibition. His media have ranged from extremely spare uses of materials to photography, video and architectural installation. In a collaborative work with Dee Williams for Galerie fur Gegenwartskunst Barbara Claasen-Schmal, 2001 the material conditions of the postal service in the context of mail art was considered. For the work two identical letters were mailed to the gallery. The only difference between them being one was folded twice and the other folded three times. One letter qualified for high-speed automated sorting while the other carried the risk it would require additional handling. In an installation for Rocket Shop, Berlin, 2002 a one-to-one scale reproduction of the 76 square meter floor of the multi-room exhibition space was constructed using red postcards. The floor shaped reproduction was exhibited by "folding" it into the front room of the space. The accurately reproduced dimensions and configuration of the entire space were made visible from a single room. The overall view, however set up a mode of reception requiring switching alternately between perceiving the work and reading the work.

Jeff Kessinger
photo installation

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