[July 26 2023]
Natural Causes, an Exhibition by Chloe Wise at The Ranch
The exhibition Natural Causes presents a new painting series by the multi-media artist Chloe Wise. Reappropriating stock images of children wearing animal masks sourced from Halloween costume websites and rendering intimate portraits of her friends, Wise delves into the psychology and intricacies of make-believe rituals. By examining childhood dress-up and roleplaying, which continue on into adulthood, the artist reminds us that our primal urges are only skin deep.
In portraits of parodic and tawdry play, these seemingly flimsy attempts at self-transformation create another occasion for acting out fantasy. Presented as floating heads, the subjects in the paintings parade in thinly veiled disguises, some sporting plastered grins, while others contort their faces to intensify their animal masquerades. With undone expressions––slightly crossed eyes, agape mouths, tongues pressed against teeth––the portraits tetter towards the absurd.
On view from July 22nd until August 10th, 2023 at The Ranch.
8 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, New York.
Text by Megan Kincaid, Images by Oliver Campbell