New feature on Artsy!
For a 2016 photography series entitled “I am a woman and I cast no shadow,” Los Angeles–based artist Ilona Szwarc cast a silicone mask from the contours of her body double’s head. The artist regularly employs women who look like her to participate in her projects; she takes on the role of “casting” director, in two senses of the term. Szwarc often paints her doppelgangers’ faces in grotesque new ways for the sake of compelling pictures. A Hollywood element prevails throughout her oeuvre—where else but a Tinseltown stage can we adopt new identities and personas so quickly?“To make this work in Los Angeles is to dissect the everyday work of makeup artists working on film sets,” said Szwarc. “It’s to slow down and really look at every step of the processes that so many women and actresses go through daily, quickly, fully normalizing the experience.”The artist is interested in what happens when she photographs the silicone molds themselves, while experimenting with lighting. According to her, “there is a moment of optical illusion in which the mold, although protruding away from the camera, registers in a photograph as if it were facing the lens.” Szwarc’s photographs are haunting intermediaries between fact and fiction, self and other, natural and contrived. They evoke that famous Andy Warhol adage—“I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”
Jenny Lewis for Pitchfork.
I photographed Jenny Lewis for Pitchfork!
“Sconce burned bodies 24 hours a day, churning out so much black smoke that neighbors routinely called the fire department, thinking the mortuary was on fire. [..] ‘The Cremation King of California’ displayed his sick sense of humor with a vanity plate on his Corvette that read “I BRN 4 U”. Link in bio for the full story via @topicstories @heyangella (at Los Angeles, California)
“At the Lamb Family Funeral Home, Laurieanne was the kindly, motherly face of David’s morbid scheme. Skilled in consoling the grief-stricken, she had customers sign complicated and sometimes forged documents which enabled her son to mine the bodies of their recently deceased for organs.” Link in bio for the full story via @topicstories @heyangella (at Los Angeles, California)
Proud to announce the release of “The Mortician and the Murderer,” in collaboration with the talented @heyangella. Portraying the story of the Lamb Family Funeral Home was a creative challenge, and was brought to life by incredible props and prosthetics. I’m very thankful to @carolineleighsmith for the opportunity to take on this ambitious shoot. Link in bio for the full article.
story: @heyangella via @topicstories
Prosthetics: Lancel Reyes
Assistants: @katebiel, Jamie Feiler
Colorist: @wenjunliang (at Los Angeles, California)
“Out of Character: Self-Imaging Through Narrative” opens tonight in LA! 5-8pm 📸 @incakolamami (at IFT Graduate Fine Arts, University of Southern California)
I’m so excited to have my work included in “Out of Character: Self-Imaging through Narrative”, a group exhibition brilliantly curated by @emilyyinla and @incakolamami 💥Please join us for the opening reception this Thursday, Nov 1st, 5-8pm.🥂 (at IFT Graduate Fine Arts, University of Southern California)
Tonight! Please join me, @taliwoodforever and @alexyahn to celebrate the opening of “Some women can take their eyes out”, my first LA solo show with @aalagallery 🥂 (at AALA Gallery)
Honored to have my work included in an auction for such a great cause! Get your tickets now @marcianoartfoundation @sexybeastla (at Marciano Art Foundation)