Lora Reynolds is pleased to announce The Sexual Bronze Show, an exhibition of sculptures, photographs, and collages by Bettina Hubby—her first show at the gallery.
The sculptures are enigmatic pairs of items one might find at a grocery store—a fresh kiwi and a disposable BIC razor, a yam and a dispenser of dental floss. But each object has been cast in bronze and precisely patinated (permanently colored with chemicals and heat) to appear nearly identical to its referent.
Hubby also depicts each pair of objects in a pair of photographs. One picture shows the two objects as individuals, like lovers on opposite sides of a king-size bed. The second photograph shows the objects interacting with each other, revealing how they might behave behind closed doors. The razor shaves the fuzzy kiwi. The dental floss wraps tightly around a bulging, veiny yam. Hubby’s objects suggest body parts, kinky fantasies, adventurous sex, and gentle lovemaking.
“I take my humor seriously,” Hubby said about this body of work. “I plunged deeply and engrossed myself into the grocery store aisles to find these pairings and made monuments to my match-made couples’ various proclivities. I honor their diversity and freedom of expression…they gleam with a confident, appreciative, post-coital sigh.”
Only occasionally—the donut and the plantain, for example—do the pairings suggest coitus. And rightly so: the most conventional, heteronormative act is not on the menu for many people. Pleasure is infinitely variable; some people’s practices might be unrecognizable as sex to some others. The imaginary relationships between Hubby’s pairs are often rather mysterious. What intimacies might a gourd and a ravioli share?
Hanging on the gallery walls are authentic grocery coupon advertisements into which Hubby has snuck her own collaged images and text. An ad for fresh food and low prices at Ralphs Grocery presents a pork roast (50% off!) with a bubble caption that reads “Put the yum into the Extra Soft Trimmed Loin.”
Clever, provocative, and often hilarious, The Sexual Bronze Show is a celebration of the diversity of bodies and their preferences. Sex can be many things, but it should be pleasurable and fun and inventive and plentiful, as it is here.
Hubby's practice is wide-ranging, encompassing curatorial and project-based work as well as more traditional media such as collage, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and photography. Hubby’s projects engage diverse communities and often exist in settings that challenge the conventions of exhibition spaces. Her practice prizes collaboration, defies easy categorization, and often investigates the power structures at play in our daily lives.
Born in 1968 in New York, Bettina Hubby lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work and projects have been featured at the California Arts Forum (Santa Barbara), Eagle Rock Arts Center (Los Angeles), ForYourArt (Los Angeles), Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Side Street Projects (Los Angeles). Her artist books are available at Arcana: Books on the Arts (Culver City), ARTBOOK @ Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel (Los Angeles), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), and Printed Matter (New York). Her work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and on National Public Radio.