Artist: John Boskovich
Venue: O-Town House, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Psycho Salon
Selected By: Tenzing Barshee
Date: September 27 – January 4, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the John Boskovich Estate and O-Town House, Los Angeles. Photos by Riccardo Banfi.
Artist, filmmaker, and writer, John Boskovich (1956-2006) has been greatly mythologized over the last two decades, but his staggering body of work has rarely been seen since his passing. With the exhibition, Psycho Salon, O-Town House is excited to inaugurate a longer process of rediscovering the remarkable work Boskovich left behind. This exhibition is an interpretation of a room from the Boskostudio, his studio and residence in Los Angeles, a place where – in his own words – “drama flourished abundantly.”
The Psycho Salon (in both the Boskostudio and in the exhibition at O-Town House) includes a variety of work made between 1987 and 1999. His ability to translate the visual into the verbal and back again was uncanny. Many of Boskovich’s works are, in some way (or in ALL the ways), self-portraits in that they reflect upon various aspects and visions of the self. Language, image, pop-culture, death, love, religion, the even the AIDS crisis were all rhetorical devises in his work. Matters of surveillance and social paranoia were recurring themes for Boskovich. In fact, his work often functions very similarly to the convex mirror that hung above his mantel: returning a distorted glimpse of ourselves and our surroundings. In his IT– and Rude Awakening-Series, for example, Boskovich twists the tone of the “affirmation” and throws it back in our face by coupling these ‘catch-phrases’ with polaroid photos (the pre-selfie, pre-digital, pre-iphone / instagram photo feed one-offs that where as instantaneous as they were unpredictable – of which he had thousands).
John Boskovich grew up in the San Fernando Valley, studied at USC and earned a MFA at CalArts in 1985. He showed with Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Los Angeles since his first show in 1988. His artistic career was bookended by two major film projects: In the late 1980s Boskovich co-wrote and directed Without You I’m Nothing, a one-woman off-Broadway show starring actress and comedian Sandra Bernhard. He also directed the subsequent 1990 film version. He later went on to direct North, a 2001 film which featured artist and writer Gary Indiana reading from Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s novel of the same name.