As the carnal focal point of Hollywood’s mid century obsession with an explosive, effervescent, and ultimately tragic eidolon of cinematic beauty (the “blonde bombshell”), It is precisely this perfectly transgressive mode of embodiment—at once adult and adolescent, promiscuous and innocent, monumental and momentary—through which Marilyn inspires, even anticipates, Marilyn as an envoy to the afterlife of a vibrant—but violated—body of feminine expression and material femininity.
Cuba Ness, 2017 [Lenticular (3D) Collage] Lenticular Assemblage 40 x 29 inches
A bricolage of the modern nostalgia for palatial spaces (being abandoned) and the contemporary eroticism of solitary bodies (being watched), Cuba Ness plays on contradictory sensations in the discordance between the sensual, lively body in the foreground and the desolate isolation of the run-down building in which she appears. The tense, voyeuristic atmosphere that emerges through the affective dissonance between the supple carnality of a feminine figure and the austere architectonics of abandonment sustains the frenetic energy of the lenticular collage.
Ness Playing Card, 2018 [Lenticular (3D) Collage] Lenticular Assemblage 40 x 28 inches
Synchronizing the temporally and materially discontinuous techniques of film photography and digital collage, Ness Playing Card is a study of the body’s viscosity—its frictional axes and aesthetic dimensions—across the fragmented media that assemble to form the corporeality of the lenticular collage. The three-dimensional gestalt interpolation of a feminine figure emerges through the body’s winking, flirtatious tergiversation between the compressed multi-dimensions of the double-sided-single-faced playing card.
Any gesture toward the Star Wars galaxy necessarily becomes a gesture toward the collectivity of shared (cinematic) spectatorship, and the iconic figure of Leia only amplifies the force of this spectacular collectivity. Leia’s iconography as feminist symbol and archetypal heroine exceed even the limits of the fantastical world from which she is rendered, hypnotizing the public with an idol who exists only as a simulacrum of idolatry. An image of an image (of an image)
Aspen Grove, 2015 [Lenticular (3D) Photography] Lenticular Assemblage 40 x 30.5
Shot in Boulder, Colorado and created in-camera, Aspen Grove examines the quivering, hyperrealistic materiality of the lenticular photograph through an intoxicating vision of a splintered arboreal ensemble. Modeling the posture of the grove, the single photographic event is captured in multiple shots.
With her exuberant taste for luxury, and her erratic, illness-ridden lifestyle being characterized by the antagonistic play between the extreme hedonism and the radical philanthropy of her persona, Elizabeth—vis-à-vis Elizabeth—is a prototype of Hollywood’s schizoid modernism(s): her (split) image is projected as a diagram of ruptures between tradition and transgression, scandal and class. The filmic glow of Elizabeth Taylor’s celebrity skin, the cinematic flicker of the work’s fluted lens, illuminates the lenticular as a biopic aperture in a dual correspondence—a love letter to classical Hollywood cinema.