Preview: Laurie Lipton

by Annie OwensPosted on

Day of the Dead, Laurie Lipton’s solo show at CoproNason gallery, opens October 11th at 8p.m. The show will feature Laurie’s meticulously drawn large scale scenes of the dead caught in various activities, usually reserved for the living. (Also opening at CoproNason that night in galleries 2 and 3 are Immaculate Deception, by Jimmy Pickering and Fun Size Frights, by Dave Burke.)

American culture shrinks from the concept of death, but taking ques from Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations, Laurie’s paintings celebrate death with a lively sense of humor and practical acceptance of our imminent demise.


Haunted Dollhouse (room details below)

“I became fascinated by the contrast between the DAY OF THE DEAD festival in Mexico and my experience after my mother died. My parents were atheists. We had no ceremony, no goodbyes, no ‘closure’. My father instructed the hospital to cremate my mother and dispose of her ashes. She was gone, disappeared, zapped out of existence like an extra on “Star Trek” by a laser gun. I was left with Nothingness… literally and metaphysically.

The people around me treated my mother’s death like an embarrassment. They were awkward and murmured polite platitudes before slinking uneasily away. It was as if death were contagious, or that they’d be forced to experience uncomfortable knowledge of their own mortality if they stayed in death’s vicinity.

When I visited Mexico in order to see THE DAY OF THE DEAD festivities some years later, I couldn’t help feeling envious of their approach to their demise. Families gathered on graves and picnicked, whole villages turned up with food for households in mourning. Death was treated as normal, even ludicrous. In the words of a TV commercial: death was made into a ‘totally organic experience.’
My culture runs from death, screaming. We worship youth, beauty and the illusion that we have all the time in the world. We frantically face-lift and botox and throw pills,creams and money at death. Death only happens to other people. Only losers die. Skulls always look like they’re laughing. Maybe the joke is on us?”
-Laurie Lipton

The large scale drawings, some as tall as 4.5′, are rendered in graphite and charcoal on paper. Their detail and size are incredible to take in and are a ‘must-see’.


Haunted Dollhouse (room details below)


A Reunion


Midnight Commuters


O Sweet Seller


Last Dance


Detail of Haunted Doll’s House


Detail of Haunted Doll’s House


Detail of Haunted Doll’s House


Detail of Haunted Doll’s House


Detail of Haunted Doll’s House


Detail of Haunted Doll’s House


Detail of Haunted Doll’s House

Shows run through November 1st.
CoproNason
2525 Michigan Ave., T5
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310-829-2156

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