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Vielmetter Los Angeles

Paul Sepuya at Vielmetter

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Paul Sepuya’s solo exhibition at Vielmetter, “a conversation about around pictures,” opened on March 14 alongside the gallery shutdowns. It’s been extended through July 18.

From Lindsay Preston Zappas, KCRW’s Art Insider:

“Sepuya’s work centers around portraits that are taken in his studio, and are made by pointing a camera directly at a mirror. The portraits include his own body and often another, posed in delicate yet casual interactions. The photos also include the camera that is used.

In this current show, we also come across other lenses in the frame. Sepuya’s collaborators often hold iPhones that take photographs alongside the ones that he is painstakingly staging. When viewing this show in person, these iPhones add context to the scene, often picturing surroundings beyond what is captured in Sepuya’s framing.

As I was walking through Sepuya’s stunning show, I was struck with my own body in relation to those being pictured. As I held up my phone to take a photo of the work, I became reflected in the glass and began to mirror the screens and cameras pointing back at me from Sepuya’s prints. The hazy space of Sepuya’s studio, reflected in the smudgy mirror he photographs with, became doubled by my own space within the gallery, reflecting back at the subjects represented.

The experience of viewing Sepuya’s work seemed to parallel the shared isolation of COVID. It’s a shared experience reflected together from different sides of the glass.”