In “A Swollen Light Behind the Eye” Megan Smythe’s life-sized glazed sculptural forms take the tropes of the genre — the reclining nude, the portrait bust, entwined figures — and put them through the ringer. In “Sardoni” she drips vividly colored plasticine over a sculpted head, gleefully obfuscating facial features. “A Light Culture” features a nude figure casually sitting atop a colorful glazed table; one arm rests on a knee, another arm is cut off at the shoulder, and extra hands and arms grip a large phallus or are jumbled at the figure’s side. Similarly, “Young Unbecoming” is all messy orgiastic drama, with mutilated and half-formed heads and body parts emerging from raw material. These grotesque but compelling works reveal an artist not only interested in universal themes of sex, violence, and creation, but also reveling in the sheer physicality of art-making. Body parts come in varying textures, sometimes smooth, rough, or cracked. The painted flesh is subtly multihued, with soft pink mottling the natural tones. Small ceramic objects are scattered next to the larger works, their lovingly handmade appearance rejecting labels of detritus. Smythe’s work equates the stimulating and visceral processes of art-making with those of the human body (Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City).
We congratulate Meghan on this lovely second review, and encourage you to see the show before it closes next month! For information about the artist or available works, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.