GILLIAN WEARING: Pin-Ups
At Regen Projects
633 North Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069
GILLIAN WEARING: Family History
At Regen Projects II
9016 Santa Monica Blvd (at Almont)
Regen Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of two bodies of work by British artist Gillian Wearing. Pin-Ups focuses on the issue of identity and representation in portraiture and will feature pin-up style paintings made in collaboration with science fiction illustrator and fantasy artist, Jim Burns. Concurrently, the video installation Family History will be on view at Regen Projects II. This seminal work re-examines the 1974 BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary series, The Family (an off-shoot of An American Family, 1973 which was the first cinéma-vérité reality show) and examines the influence of the media on popular culture and the question of what is real. This will be Wearing's third solo exhibition at Regen Projects.
Pin-Ups continues Wearing's exploration of self-identity and public perception through reality and artifice. Wearing advertised on the Internet for non-professional models who wanted to be pin-ups. Both women and men responded to the ad and provided images and a brief explanation of their aspiration to be depicted in this idealized form. Select respondents were made-over with the help of hair stylists and make-up artists, and photographed in a glamour-style photo shoot. The resulting photos were also digitally retouched to help achieve the desired visual effect. Wearing then had the manipulated photographs transformed into unique—almost nostalgic—painted portraits. The original snapshots and statements from the models can be found behind the paintings to reveal not only the visual transformation, but also the psychology behind the desire to be transformed.
Family History consists of a large video installation that mixes documentary portraiture and personal biography. On the large screen, Heather Wilkins, the youngest daughter on the 1974 British TV series, The Family, who was fifteen at the time and a "surrogate sister" for the artist, is interviewed by the present day British talk show host Trisha Goddard. Their discussion—intercut with scenes from The Family—examines the personal and cultural influence of the 1970s British television show. In contrast, the second video features a young actress portraying Gillian Wearing as a child watching and commenting on The Family in a re-creation of the artist's circa 1979 family home. Together the two videos offer an examination of the media's influence on society, and a partial auto-biographical portrait of the artist.
Gillian Wearing lives and works in London. She was the 1997 recipient of the Turner Prize and her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Upcoming solo exhibitions include K21 Kunstsammlung in Düsseldorf and Whitechapel Gallery in London.
An opening reception will take place at the gallery on Saturday, July 12th from 6-8 pm. For further information please contact Jennifer Loh or Stacy Bengtson at 310-276-5424.