Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles
March 15 - May 24, 2014
Reception: March 15, 7 - 10 PM
Look Up, Los Angeles-based artist Valerie Green’s solo gallery debut, unites three bodies of work in an investigation of sight, touch, the elements and their relationship to the digital. Green has explored digital technology and its impact on the physical world in her work since her time in graduate school at CalArts. In Look Up, Green employs everyday digital tools to examine the elemental (sky, rain, dust), and then inverts the paradigm, using elements (liquid) to magnify the digital. All of the photographic work in the show was captured on Green’s smart phone.
The Look Up series is a collection of nine unique photographic objects, each piece a photograph of the sky shot through the moon-roof of Green’s car at various points around LA. The images are mediated further by the presence of a phone’s plastic screen protector, which Green adhered to the inside of the roof glass. The outline of the phone is unmistakable and is central to each composition. The screen protector has a spectral presence and a monolithic quality, like a watermark on the sky. The mobile, elemental nature of the project playfully conjures a 21st century, digital-photographic take on Yves Klein’s Cosmogenies work from 1960, wherein Klein drove across France with a blue painted canvas secured to the roof of his Citroen, exposing the surface to the elements, the painting completed at the end of the drive. Each of the Look Up pieces rest within in wood frames that Green has meticulously painted with an airbrush, extending the tonalities of the sky to the entire object. While the Look Up series employs the digital to examine the elemental, the Screen Cleaner series uses liquid elements to examine the nature of the digital. In this series Green utilizes her phone again to capture macro photographs of computer screens dappled with screen cleaner. The results are vibrantly colored kaleidoscopic abstractions, the drops serving to amplify and distort the pixilated surface of each screen. In the rear gallery, Green’s Pink Noise piece shares visual qualities with the Screen Cleaner series. Drawing inspiration from the Glow Slate toys of Green’s youth, Pink Noise, a large, neon pink vinyl panel, is an interactive object that invites viewers to activate it through touch, adding temporal marks and then peeling them away.
Valerie Green (b.1981 in Los Angeles, CA) received her BA from University of California Los Angeles in 2006 and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2011.Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles and nationally in Houston, TX and Birmingham, AL. She was included in GLAMFA (2010), Passionista (2011) ACME Gallery, Seven Minutes in Heaven (2011) Control Room, Los Angeles, CA and Re:Cut at the Torrance Art Museum (2012). She lives and works in Los Angeles.