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LUN*NA MENOH: A RING AROUND THE COLLAR, MUSICIANS    Jun 3 - Jul 10, 2010

David Bowie
Lun*na Menoh
David Bowie, 2010
 
  
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OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY, JUNE 5, FROM 5 - 7PM
“Left to its own devices, a headless body will occupy space indefinitely, making new acquaintances, re-inventing itself and generally stirring up trouble.”

(May 2010 – Santa Monica CA) Visual and performance artist, fashion designer, musician and provocateur Lun*na Menoh debuts fifteen acrylic on canvas works in “a Ring Around the Collar, Musicians”, June 3 through July 1, 2010, at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station. An opening reception takes place on June 5, 2010 from 5 to 7pm.

Best classified as an exhibition of non-portraits, “a Ring Around the Collar, Musicians” is a collection of artfully re-interpreted, iconic images from popular music, featuring such famous artists as Johnny Rotten, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, James Brown, and David Bowie. But something is amiss. In each painting, the artist has removed the subject, leaving only the white collar where a famous neck and head once stood.

Central to the impact of the work is the white collar itself, a highly charged cultural, social, economic and political signifier which Lun*na dismembers, neuters, and consequentially decontextualizes. By covering the canvases primarily in muted black and white paint, Lun*na pulls focus on the colored stains – the earthen toned ‘rings’ – lining each empty neck space. The implications are manifold in these depictions of grease and grime. The soiled collar and the void the neck once occupied invoke both power and potential, simultaneously virile and vulnerable.

Analysis aside, the effect is also one of simple wonderment—viewers are left guessing to which famous artist does each blighted neckline belong? Also with each painting there exists purely aesthetic accomplishment in Lun*na’s ability to frame a body that’s no longer there, the artist’s intimacy with form no doubt springing from her dual-occupation as artist and avant-garde fashion designer.

“A Ring Around the Collar, Musicians” is the most recent happening in ongoing investigation of the white collar in which Lun*na has been engaged since 1999. She has exhibited fashion and visual art work at the Laguna Art Museum, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, and her work was included in the 1998 exhibition “Addressing the Century: 100 Years of Art and Fashion” at the Hayward Gallery in London; Lun*na has a dress in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. As a musician she has performed and released albums with the groups Seksu Roba and Jean Paul Yamamoto. Lun*na last showed in 2006 at Track 16 Gallery. This upcoming exhibition is a profile of the artist as cultural documentarian, critic and fan.

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