Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present ‘Make it Dark’, the latest solo-exhibition by Mercedes Helnwein. With this evocative collection of works Helnwein presents us with a bizarre Film Noir inspired world of midnight creeping, invisible pain and loss of love.
Lovesickness, although one of the most mundane afflictions of the human race, quickly becomes disentangled from any norm when examined through Helnwein’s filter. Reminiscent of pulp fiction heroines, her predominately young female subjects are frozen mid-action into disarmingly quiet surroundings. Holding dollar-store dinosaurs or simple wooden blocks with incongruous gravity, they fight their melodramatic battles in the small moments before and after whatever actually happened. Helnwein’s scenes are addictive in that there are never too many clues to anything. “Whatever actually happened” seems secondary to the aftermath, the threat of explosion/implosion or the questionable solutions offered by the protagonists.
From the extremities of light and shadow to the subdued palette, all aspects of Helnwein’s work are infused with the invisible experiences of her subjects. Though the majority of this series is rendered in her characteristic void-black pencil, there are inclusions of color pencil, pastels, and oil paintings, giving evidence of the fast-paced evolution of her style. Accompanying the exhibition is a short film that offers glimpses into the world depicted in the still works.
Following are a few images from the opening reception.
Make It Dark
Merry Karnowsky Gallery
Through December 29, 2012