press release

It is a great pleasure to present an exhibition with new paintings and drawings by Mari Eastman.

Los Angeles-based artist Mari Eastman presents a strangely seductive world inhabited by soldiers, hunting dogs, and Native Americans. A unifying theme is perhaps a common preoccupation with nature as a stage for contest and battle.

Though sometimes created from artistic fantasy, the source material is mostly photographic. Eastman explores contemporary picture making and draws our attention to how the world is represented. A portrait of a child soldier thus becomes equivalent in one sense to an image pulled from an old book on dogs, both paintings also referring to traditional bourgeois art.

Eastman plays a sophisticated game of high and low art genres utilising a certain offhand beauty. She moves from painting to drawings to illustration and beyond, working on canvas, on paper and on the wall. Her compositions spread out from the actual works and transforms into black marker wall drawings. She draws on canvas and paints on paper, at the same time working with the texture of both surfaces.

The use of glitter is one of Eastman's signatures. For Eastman, the glitter is part of a self-conscious but nevertheless sincere exploration of girlishness and glam embracing the varied motives but also underscoring poignant areas in the compositions.

The nonchalance and spontaneity with which she appears to work is in the end belied by the elegance of the results. Apparently childish images rendered with all the skills of an experienced painter. She manages to make every mark count while appearing to do anything she pleases as soon as it occurs to her, no hesitation.


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Mari Eastman