Exhibition: #selflove Installation

Posted on 20 May 2014

Here’s pix and my Artist’s Statement for the #selflove installation piece, currently on display at i am 8 bit Gallery in Los Angeles. The Grace & Ritual : Hidden art show has been extended to May 25th! I’m in town until the 22nd if you would like to personally experience the piece with me. Just reach out and holler.

Art is not to show people who you are; it is to show people who they are.” ~ Brian McDonald

Everyday Objects Installation
Love Ablan


This bathroom medicine cabinet installation explores the modern phenomenon of the “selfie,” a self-portrait shared on social networking services such as Facebook and Instagram. These photos are most often taken in front of a bathroom mirror, which is also the place where we typically have the most intimate of conversations with ourselves — where we confront our flaws and our mortality, and make the daily choice to accept or despise ourselves. (Or on some days, avoid ourselves completely.) The bathroom mirror is the everyday object that can serve as a sacred safe-space. It is literally the reflection that we face daily, the place where we confess our darkest secrets, the place where we act out our fantasies, the place where we pretend, and the place where we might discover our authenticity. Sometimes it’s a place we prop ourselves up; other times, it’s a place we tear ourselves down.

Surrounding the medicine cabinet are electric orange and hot pink flyers reminiscent of those wheat-pasted by punk and indie bands all over the East Village in New York City in the 80s and 90s. These kinds of flyers were a very familiar part of my adolescent landscape, and it was the easiest way which any band could clearly send their message across: “We exist. See us. Hear us.

The flyer’s text, “But What Matters Is Invisible” is straightforward, but with a hidden homage — it is one of the original phrases written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry for his classic children’s book, The Little Prince, before it was refined to what is now one of the most memorable literary passages, the grand secret that is revealed by the fox to the prince: “…it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

My hope is to create a relationship between myself and the viewer, where through shared experience, the viewer can focus on that which is truly essential. By witnessing themselves in the familiar setting of a bathroom mirror, but surrounded with the clear message “But What Matters Is Invisible“, I wish to evoke an emotional response — perhaps the realization that for all of our nitpicking at our human flaws in front of mirrors, in the end, our looks don’t really matter that much. In the end, people remember how we made them feel. We see truth with our hearts, not with our eyes.

That is reiterated upon opening the cabinet, where the viewer is greeted with the simple words, “You are loved.” Whether it be by your friends, your family, yourself (ideally), the higher powers that you believe in, or maybe even me (as a friend, or as a stranger), it matters to someone in this Universe that you exist.

'So what matters is that there's a vampire behind me?' ~author Nick Hurtwitch

My actual toothbrush and toothpaste

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So much gratitude and love to gallery curator, Amanda White, and all the rad folks at i am 8 bit (Jon, Noah, Billie, Lydia and Matt), all of the participating artists, and everyone that came out to the show. I’ve said it before, but it really is such an honor to be a part of this show this year, thank you!

Love and thanks to my homegirl, artist Megan Hutchison for driving me to Home Depot and helping me schlep a wall-mounted sink and medicine cabinet to the gallery, and introducing me to the joys of dark-chocolate covered acai berries. And finally, thanks and love to gifted writer Theresa Donaghy for helping me refine my artist’s statement. Though I tend to be very blunt in person, I have a difficult time being succinct in the art of letters. Your advice is most appreciated.

Thank you everyone for your friendship, love and support.


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