When we visited Karen Hsiao and Dan Quintana in their Los Angeles studio last month, they were hard at work on their collaborative show, “Perverse Foil”. It is a project that have been brainstorming about since 2009. On Saturday, they finally celebrated the opening at Marcas Contemporary Art in Santa Ana.
Left to right: Karen Hsiao, artist and model Stephanie Inagaki, and Dan Quintana on opening night.
At the event, attendees were treated to a live reenactment of their collaboration through a photoshoot by Hsiao in front of a backdrop by Quintana. She compliments Quintana’s surreal world with new black and white photographs and notably, her first figurative oil paintings and graphite. “The theme is based on the idea that my models are specters and the charcoal backgrounds are the reality in which they exist in,” Hsiao shares. Quintana chose to pair these with five large charcoal on photographs on printmaking paper. We were allowed to watch as he drew these in their combined studio. As he drew, Quintana let the flow of Hsiao’s subject to dictate the ghostly, strange creatures that clutch and surround her. The effect is romantic in an unconventional way. It is also suggestive of the close relationship between these two artists who share a dark symbolism in their works. Despite the realistic style they have achieved, they are guided by their own imaginary world than anything set in reality.
“Perverse Foil” exhibits at Marcas Contemporary Art through August 31, 2014.