Pat Perry "Which World" @ Hashimoto Contemporary, Los Angeles
Used objects for sale, at-home firework displays, and moments of midwestern American life form the scenes depicted by Detroit-based artist Pat Perry in Which World, his second solo show at Hashimoto Contemporary. Culling images from memory and crowd-sourced archives like Craigslist or YouTube, Perry’s visual anthology prompts us to consider which world we choose to live in based on which images we acknowledge and which we ignore. Red and yellow life jackets stacked against a white garage door in the high afternoon sun; a pink explosion on suburban asphalt after sundown; a fast food gas station sign as the light at the end of the tunnel. These new paintings highlight understated quotidian moments, refracting ordinary details into uncanny or magical subjects.
Perry’s Craiglist series features clusters of ritualistic objects made kitschy or eerie through their earnest portrayal: scenes of religious lawn ornaments in the yellowing grass; a cemetery with two grave plots for sale, marked by floating neon green squares. His renderings of amateur firework spectacles show warm- toned blazes on concrete sidewalks or in front of picturesque family houses. The images are imperfect: their subjects are cropped, and the angles are askew. But for Perry, their brevity and functionality offer moments of humanity. There is no posturing or grandstanding in these fleeting images; their originators’ actions are honest, earnestly depicting how life actually is.
Scenes from every day in middle America punctuate these digital images of life, imbuing conventions of “ordinary” with peculiar or otherworldly sights. Two identical houses with gable roofs sit sedentary in the snow, miniaturizing a teenage girl preparing to hang a blue banner and her younger brother kneeling towards her, a crossbow in hand from earlier activities. Or, outside a brick red church, three Amish women in blue dresses slip into their rollerblades. These small, precarious narratives throughout the exhibition open windows of sensitivity or empathy while making everyday moments into mythos. Together, the paintings in Which World offer space for reflection: to take stock of which worlds are personally familiar and which are unknown.
Which World opens with a reception on Saturday, October 14th, from 6 pm - 8 pm and will be on view through November 4th.