White Columns

White Columns Online ‘Private Behavior' curated by Lauren Marinaro

I remember when I first learned about the idea of private behaviors.  I was youngish and the realization that not everyone acts the same or performs the same at home rituals became a fascination for me.  It continues to this day.  How do other people pluck their eye brows?  Do they sing to themselves?  How do they lay on the couch and flip through program options?  What do they do with their time when they’re not required to be anywhere?  Generally I categorize private behaviors as anything you would be uncomfortable doing while someone else is watching.  But being in the art world you understand that this boundary can be pushed and flipped.  Artists are often the great provocateur, pushing what is hidden to the forefront through music, literature and visual arts.  
 
During the pandemic, spending more time at home has become the usual for the majority of the world.  I envision people creating new private behaviors and rituals and becoming both protective and exhausted of these moments that are their own.  The artists grouped here create works connected to the personal and private.  They evoke a certain uncomfortableness through their images and sculpture as the viewer is confronted with shared intimacy and an invitation into private moments. 
 
Karen Asher’s photographs reference a long lineage of voyeuristic photographers looking at the lives of the everyday man, but Asher pushes her images to highlight the surreal oddities of everyday life.  A couple embrace, as if to become one, on a dining table; a pair of arms reach into the shot to aid in dyeing a woman’s hair blue; a screaming child sits a top a sleeping man hooked up to a CPAP machine.  Asher brings us in the the subject’s homes and reveals what happens behind closed doors.  The very nature of photography provokes us to ask what is authentic, but the movement and action in Asher’s images makes us feel as we’ve peeked into a fleeting moment.  
 
Erica Eyres appropriates imagery from 1970s and 1980s text books and manuals in her drawings.  The voyeuristic results are uncomfortable and feel like the viewer is intruding.  When the subjects are looking at the viewer, it feels like we have interrupted them mid-action, when they are looking away, it feels like we are spying on their private moments from applying lipstick to taking part in a sexual escapade.   
 
Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli  Personal events shape the direction of the series of theater paintings by Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, as she uses the framework of the stage as a mechanism that holds up a mirror to our behaviors and lets us analyze them more clearly.  A glass of wine takes center stage, a baguette floats in the sea under stage curtains and a feather and quill loom prominently in front of a spotlight and brick stage wall.  Objects stand in for actions—drinking, eating, writing—and give a moment of reflection for our relationship to these behaviors, our consumption, and our output. 
 
Aaron Krach finds, rearranges and combines objects that fill the world and our lives.  Using these objects as materials for his art, he isolates objects, remixes and reframes them and forces us to re-examine the everyday and banal.  A possibly found frisbee that encourages “Act like you’re 5 years old”  and a give-away calendar that states “Imagining how you feel” become existential questions for the viewer.  Two well worn stuffed panda heads mounted to the wall seem like they have been sadly separated from their owner emote a sadness of this loneliness stuck in time.  Objects that normally live in ones home are put on display and in the context of exhibition force us to re-evaluate our relationships with our possessions.  
 
Erin Leland uses her own face and body and diaristic writings in her work.  As the subject of portraits in the space of her home, Leland documents what she refers to as a backstage—the daily grooming germane to the creation of a public appearance.  Other images appear to catch the artist in sexual situations that aren’t completely clear. The angle and intimacy of the photographs make the viewer feel as if they are in the room quietly observing as Leland performs her private behaviors, but tight cropping of the photographs prevents us from fully entering the artists world. 

Scott Northrup is interested in the feelings that we secretly harbor for one another — love, lust, loss, desire. In his assemblage shrines we are given glimpses into personas, feelings and conflicts.  A work titled “The Prettier Sister Blues” puts out in public a sentiment that is usually only shared in whispers and “Perfect Pervert” beckons the viewer to come closer and examine each object, themselves becoming the voyeur.  Northrup also writes what he classifiers as “queer smut and sad boy poems” because “they feel honest, even when they’re not”.  Putting these words in the world makes public what the reader takes as private thought, even if it’s inauthentic.  

Lauren Marinaro is the owner and director of Marinaro, a contemporary art gallery in Chinatown in Manhattan.

For more information visit https://www.marinaro.biz/

This exhibition is the thirteenth in a series of online exhibitions; this exhibition was curated from White Columns’ Artist Registry.

Karen Asher
Erica Eyres
Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli
Aaron Krach
Erin Leland
Scott Northrup

For more information: registry.whitecolumns.org

Karen Asher
Wallpaper, 2016
C-Print
25 x 25 in.
Courtesy of the artist.

Karen Asher
Dye Job, 2015
C-Print
25 x 25 in.
Courtesy of the artist.

Karen Asher
Crying Baby, 2014
C-Print
25 x 25 in.
Courtesy of the artist.

Erica Eyres
Ursula, 2019
Pencil on paper
78 x 67 cm.
Courtesy of the artist.

Erica Eyres
Untitled, 2019
Courtesy of the artist.
 

Erica Eyres
Lucy, 2019
Pencil on paper
83 x 62 cm.
Courtesy of the artist.

Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli
Mind the Edge, 2020
Oil on canvas with shade pull
20 x 20 in.
Courtesy of the artist.

Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli
The Pen and The Wall, 2019
Oil on canvas
20 x 20 in.
Courtesy of the artist.

Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli
For an Old Soul, 2018
Oil on canvas with beads
20 x 20 in.
Courtesy of the artist.

Aaron Krach
Indestructible Artifact # 30: Play, 2019
Screen print on frisbee
7 x 7 in., Edition of 100
Courtesy of the artist.

Aaron Krach
Pair
Panda Bear Heads
17 x 35 x 17 in., Unique
Courtesy of the artist.

Aaron Krach
Calendar, 2019
Screenprint on vinyl sticker, 13 page-calendar
3 x 4 in.
Courtesy of the artist.

Erin Leland
Book of Correspondences, 2007 - Ongoing
Archive of digital files, pigment prints, autobiographical writings and letters
Courtesy of the artist.

Erin Leland
Book of Correspondences, 2007 - Ongoing
Archive of digital files, pigment prints, autobiographical writings and letters
Courtesy of the artist.

Erin Leland
Book of Correspondences, 2007 - Ongoing
Archive of digital files, pigment prints, autobiographical writings and letters
Courtesy of the artist.

Scott Northrup
The Prettier Sister Blues, 2017
Polaroids, found objects, tape, text projection
30 x 54 x 6 in.
Courtesy of the artist

Scott Northrup
Zines, 2015-2019
Collage, poetry, prose, photocopies/prints
Dimensions vary
Courtesy of the artist.

Scott Northrup
Perfect Pervert, 2018
Polaroids, found objects, latex rubber, tape
40 x 36 x 4 in.
Courtesy of the artist.