Many of the photographers represented by Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles are defining photographyâ€™s emergent stylistic tendencies. In two years, magazines will be filled with celebrity portraits aping Jill Greenbergâ€™s techniques. It will take two years to purge the photos of screaming children from her upcoming exhibition, End Times, from your head.
The artist uses the wailing distress of the children as an allegory for the deepest fears of the human species as a whole and draws on the vocabulary of Christian millennialism, conspiracy theory culture and doomsday environmentalism to title the work. A redhead boy looking heavenward, his neck in a St. Sebastian pose is titled "nucular (sic)." (Pictured above.) A girl emerging from her weeping looks to heaven for either hope or retribution in "Unless." (Pictured after the jump.) Sometimes titles synch with the pose, other times meaning is more oblique. Not only are the images compelling but Greenberg burrows deep to extract difficult conversation about the current American moment.
Greenberg, a native of suburban Detroit, graduated from RISD in 1989 and called New York home until moving to Los Angeles in 2000. In 1995 she became known as The Manipulator for early adaptation of digital techniques in the world of art photography and was featured on RSUB's Blue Dot. Her work in "End Times" reflects the mood and style of her 2005 monkey portraits. In both series, the artist gives a plastic satin finish to subjects typically given naturalistic characterizations. Instead of the subject becoming more distant through this manner of representation, they are ultra-emotional and too close for comfort.
by Kris Irizarry
End Times at Paul Kopeikin Gallery
22 April – 8 July 2006
6150 Wilshire Blvd and Fairfax
Los Angeles, CA