“Perverse Foil”: Studio Visit with Karen Hsiao and Dan Quintana

by CaroPosted on

Los Angeles based artists Karen Hsiao and Dan Quintana each evoke complex life themes in their figurative work. They will combine subject matter with “Perverse Foil”, opening August 2nd at Marcas Contemporary Art in Santa Ana. Hsiao, who is also a professional photographer, will be exhibiting original paintings and drawings in collaboration with Quintana, who has created surrealistic works based on her photos. A live demonstration at the opening will give attendees a look of their collaborative process.

Karen Hsiao and Dan Quintana at work in their studio.

Even in their process stage, Hsiao and Quintana seamlessly merge styles through carefully chosen medium and color palette. In part, their collaboration is a happy accident as they are longtime fans of each other. “I was inspired by Dan Quintana’s oil and charcoal works and wanted to somehow incorporate my models with his world. We’ve been talking about maybe doing a collaboration since 2009, and now finally we are doing it at Marcas Gallery.” For Hsiao, it is not only her first collaboration with a painter, it is also her first time exhibiting black and white photography.

At their makeshift studio, Hsiao shared with us her tiny, delicately rendered drawings of masked figures. Their toothy grins through leathery masks recall visions of the famed movie serial killer, Hannibal Lecter. Quintana compliments these with new charcoal works- where he surrounds Hsiao’s model with skulls, birds, and other strange creatures in trippy environments. These beauties are the ‘foil’ to Hsiao’s eerie phantoms. They create a back-and-forth thematic juxtaposition in ways that are intriguing and terrifying. Take a look as we go behind the scenes below.

“Perverse Foil” exhibits at Marcas Contemporary Art from August 2 to August 31, 2014.