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JD Raenbeau at Lauren Powell
July 22, 2022 - August 27, 2022
At Lauren Powell in East Hollywood, artist JD Raenbeau has created a garden of delights. His paintings — some on wood panels, others on paper — portray lush and whimsical foliage, in which he and his partner engage in tender intimacy. The compositions privilege neither the flora nor the lovers, instead swirling them together into ecstatic and fluid forms — a black-eyed Susan may creep into frame from the left, and bare flesh in turn from the right.
The rendering oscillates between delicately painted, photo-realistic skin to swaths of quickly-applied color that impart a blurred lens or an out-of-focus blade of grass. In a handful of works, Raenbeau layers multiple images on top of eachother, using garden paintings by Rococo artist Jean Honoré Fragonard as the background image, only visible at the painting’s edges frame. In referencing an artist who reveled in lush excess, Raenbeau positions queer love within a pleasure-filled lineage that spans history.
On view: July 22 – August 27, 2022
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Photo: JD Raenbeau, See-Saw, 2022. Oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches. Photo: Ian Byers-Gamber.