If artist Cindy Sherman were to morph with director Todd Haynes, and then re-morph into the heady combo of Mike Nichols and Lady Gaga, you’d probably get LA photographer Monica Orozco. And if that’s too involved an explanation, Monica’s probably not the artist for you.
But, she sure is for us. Ted Casablanca Gallery is extremely proud to mark the debut of Monica and her gamely glorious, mid-century themed works, “Mid-Monica: Photographer Monica Orozco Takes a Whack at Modernism.”
For this show, much of which originated at Monica’s 2015 one-woman show for the Palos Verde Art Center (and to whom TCG is most grateful for alerting us to this gutsy artist), Monica wears many hats, wigs, but most importantly, faces.
Orozco is a consummate actor. She is a performer, par excellence, of the various women she’s channeling, whether they be international superstars, bitter divorcees or just lonely housewives with a hoe, or worse, a suicidal pair of hedge clippers.
These intricately woven scenes of often over-indulged, bourgeois domesticity are usually just the starting points for Monica, who then catapults these women, via iconic architecture and design, to a plateau of theatrical delight.
You can’t help but enjoy the show. Sometimes it’s almost as if Edward Albee wrote a George-less sequel to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, with only Martha (played, of course, by Monica), set in a gated community somewhere deep in the Coachella Valley.
Monica tells us, “I use my environment to push the boundaries of self-portraiture, allowing myself to be creative, hone my craft and have fun with the photographic process.”
Also showing with Monica Orozco for this show are TCG artists Johnny Nicoloro, Gilles Compain and Zanne Hochberg.
Johnny and Gilles draw on exquisite mid-century design for their works. Zanne didn’t have to.
She was actually part of the Modernist movement.
Hochberg, an feminist abstract-expresionist painter, began her career in the 50s; she passed away in 2001.
We miss her greatly here at TCG.