Tim Ebner, "Paintings," Feb. 15-Mar. 15, 2003, at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Tim Ebner's exquisite paintings of big cats are assaultingly gorgeous, and act on the senses from every possible angle all at once, engaging humor and false pathos at the intersection of our imaginations.
Ebner's cats pose at high tide on sultry afternoons, and may seem even to rival the famous image of Burt Lancaster in From Here To Eternity, though unlike Lancaster's excessive seduction in the grips of white tide, Ebner's cats seem to know the limits of their own desire, distinctly aware of their prowess and strength. In Untitled (Lioness), a young lioness extends the full length of her body in repose across a frothy shore. One paw extended, she knows exactly how to win our hearts.
The show is divided into two bodies of work that are obviously connected. While the lions and tigers in the first room frolic in white water, the tigers in the second room are more deliberately painted and hold the empty spaces around their bodies with the sheer force of presence and expression. In Untitled (Two Tigers On Cerulean Field), two cats gaze out at us, one seemingly caught mid-sneeze or mid-yawn, while the other stands statuesque above. The effect is like that of family portrait where the patriarch doesn't know his son stands behind him making bunny ears, proving that even the majestic fall temporarily away from themselves.
Ebner's paintings range in price from $3,500-$8,000.