PAPER ROUTE: Three views of works on paper

April 26 – June 1, 2014

Aaron Farley   |   Ashley Macomber   |   Jane Peterson

Opening Reception with Artists, April 26th, 5-7pm

“Paper Route” examines how three different artists work on paper: photography, pen and ink and watercolor and transform the medium beyond its original form. Aaron Farley’s subtle color block photographs become three-dimensional images with finely placed paper folds and some eventually stand on their own as sculptures. Ashley Macomber’s finely detailed and erotic watercolors morph into bold and arresting digital images. And Jane Peterson’s intimate and precisely crafted pen and ink drawings take on new meaning and presence as large-scale print works.

Originally from Spokane, Washington Aaron Farley is a busy Los Angeles commercial photographer as well as a burgeoning fine-art photographer. His large color block photos are created without a lens or with a crude handmade version of a lens. The camera takes in light, unfocused into an image, distorted and bounced around by the mirrors and gears inside the camera, showing inconsistencies and beautiful shade gradients. He then creates fold patterns on the final image giving each print a one of a kind quality. “Folds take the preciousness from the print and allow the work to be its own piece,” he says. “A photograph is usually about the subject matter of the image. But when you bend the photograph, the crease becomes part of the conversation and that changes the feeling of the image.”

Farley received his BFA with an emphasis in photography and printmaking from Washington State University. He was gallery partner in the popular Los Angeles gallery THIS. His work has been exhibited at THIS, Space 1026, Space 1520 in Los Angeles, Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco and at the Ace Hotel in New York City. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Delicately feminine in a subtle color palette, almost Victorian with touches of lace and roses, one would hardly know that Ashley Macomber’s provocative watercolors began life on the pages of Hustler Taboo Magazine. “I had this idea of taking pornographic images of women and manipulating them into a beautiful image – reclaiming and somehow obliterating the original violent image,” she says. The abstraction of the photo gets rid of all the signifiers of porn: the body positions, genitalia and submission. There’s an essence of what is happening but the image is being completely redefined. Macomber uses the original photo as a starting point and through digital manipulation intersects tiny moments from the photo with a collage of images and patterns. A garter belt attaches to a softly tinted turquoise thigh, a naked torso roped in bondage is caressed by gently tinted flower petals, a woman squats in fishnets, breasts bare and an image of a whale’s spine is enlarged over her chest. Macomber paints the final version in layers of watercolor often adding small glimmers of color in acrylic paint. The finished work resembles a softly erotic Daguerreotype – celebrating feminine sexuality and power through beauty and touches of the natural world.

Macomber, originally from Massachusetts, has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 2002. She received her BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 2000. Macomber has exhibited her work at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City, the Kavi Gupta Gallery, Illinois, the Marianne Boesky Gallery, NYC, the Deste Foundation Center for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, Creative Time, NYC, the Elizabeth Dee Gallery, NYC, New Image Art, LA, the Clementine Gallery and White Box Gallery, NYC. She has also been included in several publications including Milk and Honey; Contemporary Art in California, Tokion book, Revisionaries, and Juztapoz magazine, February 2013.

Jane Peterson gives her own humorous and humane spin to the small and often over-looked aspects of our natural world. Insects blown-up to large-scale dimension show emotion and passion. In Peterson’s work, all beings are capable of feeling emotion. “I find particular beauty in the exoskeleton of some insects,” she says “I imagine that hard shell form of protection working very well for other animals, including humans.” Expressions such as “thick skin”, or “iron will,” when applied to humans, describe a metaphorical armor. In her Stomach Man series, the figure’s solar plexus protrudes outside the body, becoming an appendage like an arm or a leg; an extreme body language about powerful emotions of insecurity, fear of exposure, failure, success. Her small-scale drawings start in pen and ink and then become a printmaking process on the computer as layers upon layers of additional color and drawing are added. She also works as a painter and sculptor.

Peterson earned her M.F.A. from The University of Iowa. She has had solo shows at TAG Gallery in Santa Monica, CA and has shown extensively in galleries in New York City, as well as Northern and Southern California. Her work is in private collections in New York, NY, Honolulu, HI, Oakland and Davis, CA.