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Lauren Satlowski at Bel Ami


Lauren Satlowski’s solo show of new paintings at Bel Ami titled “Watch the Bouncing Ball,” captures some of the deeply felt resonances of 2020. Even the title of the show elicits an idea of being stuck — watching the world bounce by while waiting for what will come next. Leering shadows appear across the paintings, which are rendered in Satlowski’s photo-realistic yet imaginative style, capturing the pandemic’s overall feeling of isolation. In one work, a small sticker with the word “Help” is sandwiched between two thick panes of glass — as condensation forms across their surface, dappled shadows drape the arrangement in an uneasy mood.

“Desert Landscape” is a bit more apocalyptic — or futuristic — and shows a skeleton-turned-cyborg woman who is composed of various limbs cribbed from Satlowski’s vast collection of porcelain and plastic trinkets and figurines. The figure seems both dead and alive; one arm bounces a ball in mid-motion as the other claws into the desert sand. The show oscillates between hope and dread, and much like this rollercoaster-of-a-year, the paintings are moody, psychological, hopeful, and filled with isolation.

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Image courtesy Lauren Satlowski and Bel Ami, Los Angeles. Photo by Paul Salveson.