Uncle Lenny: Right As Wrong/Wrong As Right. Seven layered drawings and three complex paintings comprise a body of work based on the artistry of comedian and enfant terrible, Lenny Bruce.
Western Project is proud to be a participating gallery in Pacific Standard Time: L.A. Art 1945-1980 with an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles artist Carole Caroompas.
Four years in the making, seven layered drawings and three complex paintings comprise a body of work based on the artistry of comedian and enfant terrible, Lenny Bruce. Entitled, Uncle Lenny: Right As Wrong/ Wrong As Right, Caroompas uses a cosmology of Pop culture figures in her non narrative, operatic images - a kind of psychedelic film noir. The work explores the role of the artist in society and the exposure of truth and deception. Using characters from contemporary and classic television, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and The Lone Ranger (and Tonto), along with John Waters, Divine, Gorgeous George the wrestler, and a cast of others, the works address the outrageous, the stereotype, the forbidden and the unspoken. Caroompas uses quotes by Lenny Bruce as the primary 'voice' in the work; his stinging language ignites her compositions and is furthered by the use of lace veiling in the works alluding to the covering of something hidden or untoward. Bruce is the perfect character for Caroompas' themes of verity and paradox; the outlaw artist, unedited and aggressively frontal:
"The only honest form of art is laughter, comedy. You can't fake it..."
"All my humor is based upon destruction and despair."
"The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it.
There is no 'what should be', there is only what is."
It is the desire for a better world, justice and equanimity which fuels Caroompas' paintings and drawings. Her populated universe is of actors playing roles, artists playing themselves, and other roles; as in the writings of William Burroughs or Hunter S. Thompson: what is real is a shift of perception. Her storied canvases provoke alternate views; from the perimeter, from inside multiple perspectives, from another chair; a slippery and grinding poetry in the tradition of Frida Kahlo and Gabriel Marquez.
Carole Caroompas is currently participating in the exhibitions "Under The Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981" at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, curated by Paul Schimmel and "Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983" Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.
Carole's work will also be included in the upcoming exhibition: "L.A. RAW: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy" January 22 - May 20, 2012, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena California, curated by Michael Duncan.
Carole has exhibited widely in the US including the Whitney Museum of American Art, LACMA, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C. She has also been the recipient of numerous artist grants such as, National Endowment for the Arts (twice), The Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.
Los Angeles USA
2762 S. La Cienega Blvd
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM