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Alannah Farrell at Anat Ebgi
Alannah Farrell’s portraiture draws on both art historical traditions and the intimate, charged connections between the artist and sitters, who are often Farrell’s queer friends, lovers, and neighbors.
Farrell renders this deeply personal subject matter surrounding identity, gender dysphoria, and selfhood from a protective vantage point — a kind of buffer between the sitter and the sometimes violent societal gaze. Casual poses, various states of vulnerable undress, and a romantic, smoggy sunset palette capture introspection caught in a tender, hazy light.
Place is also present in Farrell’s work. Many of their paintings are titled with the name of the subject, followed by a location in parentheticals. In X (Pearl Street) (2022), a subject in a gray, loose-fitting suit stands just outside of Pearl Diner in New York City. The subject’s relaxed reaction to being perceived makes the painting feel like a photograph taken by a close friend. The mutual understanding of community is the thread that binds in Farrell’s latest exhibition.
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Photo: Installation shot, courtesy the artist and Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles