Los Angeles based artist Jesse Mockrin (featured here) will debut a new body of work at her upcoming show opening on Saturday at Night Gallery. “The Progress of Love” is her second solo show, following “Midnight Sun” in 2014 with a series of oil paintings that revisit the French Rococo era. Mockrin reimagines source material such as Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun’s “Portrait of Madame du Barry” to construct an ethereal world of transgression, luminescence and beauty. The fluid curvature of limbs and fingers, softness of facial features, and emphasis on portions of each scene by isolating them into standalone pieces themselves, are all characteristic of her work.
In “Comes in Colours Everywhere”, her variation in technique juxtaposes seamless gradations in the face, reminiscent of sfumato, allowing tones and colors to shade gradually, with rough impasto used to create flowers in the background. The male subject is given an air of sophistication and androgyny, class and composure, as he looks directly at the viewer. Two hands slip past each other in “Moonage Daydream” with near-palpable motion, while feet dangle delicately in “Bloom” above flowers. By closing in on these elements of her sources, Mockrin pays particular homage to the romanticism of the era, giving the viewer a glimpse at each fleeting moment while it lasts.
Mockrin’s paintings are heavily textural, comprised through close attention to detail, from rippling fabrics that flow and pool with the illusion of a satin sheen, to an abundance of flower petals dotted across each piece of work. The color palette stays consistent throughout, built with layers of atmospheric blues, browns and gentle shades of pink that rest against the beige skin of the young men and women portrayed. Each choice of hue and tone lends itself to mood, establishing an aura of mystery within the frame.