Mary Waters’ portraits of Renaissance identical twins are intriguing, almost haunting. It is said that during the Renaissance, twins were thought to be the product of sexual promiscuity and therefore evil (The Shining anyone?). Most likely, we don’t see portraits of twins because they could not survive rudimentary birth. Waters clearly prefers working in Romanticism and Renaissance styles and mediums; acrylic, tempera, alkyd, and oil painted with a satiny sheen. However, she is set apart from the masters who inspire her.
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. 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.