Region: Pacific Coast
Holly Topping's paintings display a fast and loose blending of personal, art historical, and natural histories reconstructed within the optic blind spot of perception. The figures are infused with a baroque light, clear emanations casting reason into the dark and teeming chaos. Toppings first solo show was filled with humor and poignancy. Animals looked sadly out from burdened brows, birds eyed viewers acidulously, and nubile youth, in all its effort, pouted forth. Recently, Topping has taken on the theme of the western film. The new work has the trappings of the iconic film still: cut and cropped. In the painting "knockout" only a sexily clad woman's legs are shown lying flat out in the desert, a visual one-two pun. "Sidewinder" reveals the head and torso crawling back into frame as if to recapture her place among the exotic panoply of the previous work. Body twisted, she is caught pulling herself towards a trepidacious chicken. The two paintings form a very rich and funny commentary on desperation. The magician has sawn the artist in half and exited the stage. Welcome to the desert of the reel.