September 23 – October 22, 2022
Opening Reception: September 23, 2022, 6-8pm
UTA Artist Space, Beverly Hills
(Beverly Hills, CA – September 13, 2022) UTA Artist Space is pleased to present Bird on a Wire, Chloe Chiasson’s first solo exhibition on the West Coast. Featuring multidimensional paintings and sculpture, the exhibition offers an autobiographical take on queer Southern adolescence. Also on view is an Artist Project and poetry by musician BANKS.
Born in a conservative small town in Southeast Texas, Chiasson’s practice explores self-expression and queer identity through a personal, and at times rose-colored, religious lens. This new body of work brings a fresh yet familiar perspective to the coming-of-age narrative with sculptural paintings that range in scale as well as relativity. When asked the question: what does claiming space as queer space look like for Chloe Chiasson, the answer takes us outdoors.
For the exhibition, Chiasson creates a world of separate, harmonious moments, reminding us that resistance exists in small details. The largest painting in the exhibition, Red Rover, Red Rover (2022) presents a barricade of figures standing together individually yet collectively behind a white fence—the central figure staring out with an omniscient gaze and a lit match in hand. Surrounded by a mass of interlocking, sometimes conflicting, layered motifs of domestic beer, cigarette butts, moonshine, cross earrings and lollipops – the ensemble suggests a musing on Catholicism, religion and spirituality in relation to queer adolescence. Within this grouping, Chiasson offers a statement on community and an invitation for transformation and reflection all at once. Chiasson manages to masterfully present us with imagery that flips moral panic on its head and asks us to reevaluate our understanding of charged symbology, questioning how far love can extend beyond conditionality.
The artist’s disorienting variation of scale also takes place throughout the entirety of the show and comes to a peak in Highway to Hell (2022). Revisiting the subject of a queer and religious adolescence, Chiasson creates a rosary hanging from a rearview mirror aside a locket containing queer love and a temperature reading of 211 degrees Fahrenheit displayed on the rearview mirror, just one degree before boiling point. Addressing how it feels to come of age within a restrictive environment, Chiasson explores an explicit coexistence of what is usually contradictory, or forbidden, within a safe, personal interior space of a vehicle. She includes additional objects such as an air freshener and a homemade cowboy hat pendant, perhaps gifted to her by her grandmother, as a means to reflect on and embrace this overwhelming sense of comfort within discomfort. The rearview mirror gives the audience permission to reflect upon themselves, to take the driver’s seat and perhaps be a judge of their own.
Chiasson’s works are alive with symbology, autobiography, dissonances and resonances, allowing space for larger themes that reflect the varied theatre of queer life. In Bird on a Wire, she has reimagined a suburban, country-side oasis that begs us to speed down the hot pavement of the open roads and taste the fallen fruit, asking the question we’ve all at one time asked ourselves: “how much can I really get away with?”
As part of UTA’s cross-disciplinary approach and unique ability to draw talent across the different industries, BANKS, the American singer, songwriter, producer, poet, director and artist, is also presenting several drawings and poetry from her book Generations of Women from the Moon (2019) in the exhibition alongside Chiasson. BANKS initially began drawing to stay present and cope with depression during quarantine. Inspired by Surrealism, the works on paper create metaphoric worlds to help viewers connect with their authentic selves. This project has evolved into her SERPENTINA album artwork and exhibition, Generations Of Women From The Moon, at UTA Artist Space.
UTA Artist Space Director Zuzanna Ciolek states, “I first discovered Chloe’s work on Instagram in early 2021 and I was immediately drawn into her world. After our first studio visit, I knew I had never seen anything like it before. Chloe is in a lane all her own, creating three dimensional, sculptural paintings that stun with both their story and execution. I am so thrilled that after a year and a half of getting to know Chloe and seeing her work evolve and develop, we are able to present this incredible show in Los Angeles. BANKS is an artist whose music and poetry I have admired for many years and her multifaceted practice aligns with our mission at UTA Artist Space. We are thrilled to present her drawings and paintings in this very special Artist Project and share her visual practice with the world.”
ABOUT CHLOE CHIASSON
Chloe Chiasson (b. 1993 in Port Neches, Texas; currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin and completed her MFA at the New York Academy of Art, where she concentrated in painting and was awarded the Belle Artes Residency and the Chubb Post-Graduate Fellowship. Chiasson has exhibited internationally in London, New York and Hong Kong.
BANKS is an American singer, songwriter, producer, poet, director and artist. Her highly anticipated fourth album, SERPENTINA, was released earlier this year. This album saw the musician enter previously uncharted territory in every sense – from sound to lyrics to visuals and everything in between. During this journey, BANKS also rediscovered her love and passion for drawing and painting. Though she initially began drawing during quarantine, this project has evolved into various spaces. Part of BANKS’ inspiration came from her fascination with Surrealism and Carl Jung, particularly his studies on how dreams connect our subconscious and conscious to show our inner truths. Using her preferred medium of pen and paper, which allow her to create from anywhere – on a tour bus, on a plane, in a hotel room – BANKS’ pieces have become a form of diary entries for her. Initially inspired by the eyes and veins she drew in school growing up, each piece hides secret messages and lyrics within the spidery lines.
ABOUT UTA ARTIST SPACE
Since the establishment of its flagship Beverly Hills location in 2018, UTA Artist Space has been committed to showcasing art by globally recognized talent. With the announcement of a second Atlanta location, to open in 2023, UTA Artist Space will bring its impressive vision and reach across the United States. The original location has presented notable exhibitions with interdisciplinary artists and creatives, including Enrique Martinez Celaya, Mandy El-Sayegh, Conrad Egyir, The Estate of Ernie Barnes, Essence Harden, Larry Clark, Ferrari Sheppard, Amanda Hunt, Mariane Ibrahim, Arcmanoro Niles, The Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, The Haas Brothers, and Ai Weiwei, among others.
UTA (United Talent Agency) unites ideas, opportunities and talent. The company represents some of the world’s most iconic, barrier-breaking artists, creators and changemakers—from actors, athletes and musicians to writers, gamers and digital influencers. One of the most influential companies in global entertainment, UTA’s business spans talent representation, content production, as well as strategic advisory and marketing work with some of the world’s biggest brands. UTA is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, New York and London. More information can be found at unitedtalent.com
All visitors will have to acknowledge both the health and safety guidelines and their health status before they visit. All visitors must wear a mask at all times. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available on site for guest usage. Guests must practice social distancing. There is ample signage throughout the space including arrows on the floor that tell guests which way foot traffic is flowing. Restrooms will be closed to guests and the Artist Space will be deep cleaned on a regular schedule following the close of business each day.
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