Libby Black is a Berkeley-based artist who first became known for her DIY renditions of luxury products and brands. Kate Spade and caviar were her subjects, but the empty objects of desires became personal through Black's brushstrokes. While these themes are evident in the artist's upcoming exhibition, don't expect her to rehash them. As she told the SF Gate: "I'm not one of those artists who makes the same painting over and over again. I get bored."
Her newest exhibition "Nothing Lasts Forever" focuses on subtler objects and their effect on personal memory and identity. Mundane relics and arbitrary trinkets bridge the gap between still-life and self portrait as Black's objects come to represent her.
Her work immortalizes the fleeting instants that do not define our lives but shade it subtly. As Black expresses in her artist statement: "Our lives are also filled with mundane moments, small pleasures, and frivolous distractions." Her still lifes of picnic baskets and floral bouquets show the little choices that ultimately determine who we are.
Black also refers to the wider collective memory with cultural spectacles including the Occupy movement and Whitney Houston's death. Finally the collection contains a wink of cheeky sexuality. Her piece "Pantyhose," for example, turns a banal pair of tights into a bizarre and kinky accessory. Through her drawings, paintings and hot-glued sculptures, random objects gain character and a new purpose.
"Nothing Lasts Forever" will show at Marx & Zavattero in San Francisco until May 26.
Do you like the direction Black's work is going? Are you a bigger fan of her subtlety or her boldness?
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