These are the last few days of a killer solo exhibition at Soze Gallery, by female artist Erin M. Riley. Her new fabric based work called "Something Precious" is her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, but Riley has been making work and exhibiting since 2007, where she finished her education at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Just a few years later she received her MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She continued to explore her work through various residencies and exhibited in many group shows that received exposure from Juxtapoz, Beautiful/Decay and Arrested Motion, to name a few. "Something Precious" is another example of the gallery's appreciation of artists who work and experiment outside the “normal scope” of things and use their space to show Los Angles what the other part of the country has to offer. Riley has a dedicated connection with all of her work, it starts with finding and buying cast off yarn and dying it by hand to create the soft color pallet she utilizes. Then she spends, sometimes 18 hours a day working on a piece that isn’t looked over until a month after a piece is completed. Allowing her to keep working and not over analyze the piece as she continues to work.
With practice and skill set aside, and her voice and expression put forward, the viewer is able to see and feel a connection with the work immediately, as almost everyone has taken a self-portrait, ie. selfie by this moment in time. Now a personal moment can be shot, shared and deleted within a matter of seconds, which creates a culture that is in constant need of more images at a faster rate. Yet, Riley manages to take these ethereal moments of rapid intimate exchange and slows them down with her thoughtful attention that reconnects them with reality. The artist recognizes that “consuming and sending images is a daily practice in most of our lives. We see, narrate, and covet. Our relationship to our image is that of impermanence, constantly changing, constantly new. Many people document every aspect of their lives to the point that images become noise, their longevity online ignored or unknown”. By understanding the context and reconnecting it with her work one can see how she is speaking to everyone by keeping the faces blank and without any definite identity. Creating this air of exposure that celebration of the sexualized white woman.
If you don’t get a chance to see the work on display, you should really take time and visit the artist's website because her work is worth the time.
Written by Jaklin Romine and Images provided by Soze Gallery.
Artist Erin M. Riley and Gallerist Toowee Kao