Brigitte Bardot and Vogue Models Get Cut Up in James Verbicky and Robert Mars’s Latest Show
Inspired by print ads, fashion magazines, movies, and tabloids, the works of Joanne Artman Gallery, they are presented together in “The Boys Are Back in Town”—appropriately titled after the Thin Lizzy song of the same name.
In Mars’s Femme Fatale, actress and sex bomb Brigitte Bardot stares provocatively from the collaged surface. Printed in a black-and-white halftone, her likeness is surrounded by a pattern of circular, cropped print advertisements. A large blue neon sign, reading “Femme Fatale” in cursive script, is affixed to the surface, pointing to Bardot’s role as a symbol of erotic desire and consumer culture. Similarly, Revives Hearts Blondie sets Debbie Harry against a patchwork of hot pink and black squares built from collaged advertisements. A VIP drink ticket from the infamous Studio 54 disco, where Harry was a regular during the 1970s and ’80s, is silkscreened over the background to indicate the passage of time and shifting trends in music and club culture. Here, Mars both memorializes the past and also catalogues how we respond to it.
Verbicky uses thin strips of paper says Verbicky. “I’m saving them [these books and magazines], sealing them in time.” In Divisionaire 4, Verbicky combines a photograph of a woman in a space-age get-up with an
In Force Bloom 21 and Citta Samtana Diptych 119, Verbicky uses a recurring circular motif that resembles a portal, target, or glowing orb. Here, circles represent the nucleus of the each composition, where Verbicky’s fusion of
“The Boys Are Back in Town” is on view at Joanne Artman, Laguna Beach, July 1–Sept. 30, 2015.
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