Artist: Oren Pinhassi
Venue: Skibum MacArthur, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: One in the mouth and one in the heart
Date: April 7 – May 19, 2018
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Skibum MacArthur, Los Angeles
Peer through the window, frosted with vaseline, into the palm pavilion sprung in the middle of the gallery. Peep the anthropomorphic figure standing erect behind the shower curtains. It is difficult to ascertain whether we are standing in a public space or intruding upon an intimate moment. If the affect is discomfiting, it is what the sculptor Oren Pinhassi intended. In One in the mouth and one in the heart, his solo show at Skibum MacArthur, Pinhassi prods us to confront our notions of the salacious and taboo, the social mores and religious dogma that shape our reactions, and the pavilions we architect to house and hide our wants and, at times, shame.
In the new sculptural installations, Pinhassi continues his abstracted renditions of gay cruising spots, from bathhouse to parks. These sexually charged, communal spaces where hidden desires are exchanged are rendered in handsy buildup of plaster and mediated with blurred boundaries of glass and shower curtains. Pinhassi’s humanized minimalism transgresses categories. The abstract turns figurative. Industrially manufactured readymades are transmogrified in nature drag—umbrellas becoming palm fronds, burlap hanging supine and languid on a towel rack like human fruit. The orifices on the figure gape at us, overt yet communicating in code.
Redolent of baths, the installations tap into our anxiety over bodily excretions and evoke our ritualistic absolution of filth. Ultimately, these architectural spaces, both physical and psychological, created by Pinhassi make us face our trouble with honesty, vis-a-vis ourselves, our sexuality, those we love most. Desire and shame. Truth and guilt. One in the mouth and one in the heart.