KCRW ART INSIDER: Caitlin Cherry at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Aug 19, 2020 7:52PM

By Lindsay Preston Zappas

Caitlin Cherry, “Domain Vague (Art McGee),” 2020. Oil on canvas, 59 x 101 inches. Image courtesy of Luis De Jesus Gallery.

For her new online exhibition, “Corps Sonore,” artist Caitlin Cherry sources her subjects through social media. They include “Instagram influencers, glamour models, rappers, and exotic dancers — Black American femmes who play a dominant role in shaping popular culture without due credit.”

Cherry paints these women draped in colorful rainbow-hued patterns, pulling them into a new psychedelic context. In an essay accompanying the online show, writer Marisa Olsen describes this as “the alchemical ability to mix the colors of the digital realm.” Cherry superimposes numerical codes onto her paintings (often pulled from web security stamps or captcha codes), creating a layered reference to digital space and the encoded complexities of online reality.

Alongside her large-scale paintings, Cherry creates digital photographic collages that feel more situated within the real world, yet still play with futuristic fantasy. Set within club-like environments, her characters dance, pose, or pour drinks, while the artist superimposes her own paintings into the backgrounds. Stacks of books collaged into the scene locate the nexus of Cherry’s interests — books on cyberfeminism, gamer theory, and bitcoins. As Olson describes in her essay, Cherry’s online exhibition is “a high-speed connection to a private room within the Viewing Room, a kind of VIP lounge-cum-metaverse manifest for coded looking."

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles