This month’s LA Art Feature runs through July 30th at the Pleasure Garden at the Laurie Shapiro Studio Gallery.
Away from the “boys club” mentality and into a space of reclaimed and redefined power, “Pleasure Garden” brings us female archetypes into a time when immense pain and heaviness weighs on current narratives. Curated by Olivia Mia Orozco and starring Ann Weber, Caitlin Fowler, Lauren Desberg, Alexandra Carter, Meg Lion Murphy, Laurie Shapiro, “pleasure garden” guides you through an inclusive and just space in the Laurie Shapiro Studio Gallery from April 22 to July 30, 2022.
Laurie Shapiro opens her studio to the audience and wraps you in a kaleidoscope of warmth and comfort. Massive artwork covers the live work studio, transporting you to a safe haven. The name of the pleasure garden refers to historical purposes of pleasure gardens; Pleasure Garden will continually host performances, talks, meals and even events. This was evident upon entering the studio – a table set with wines and cheeses in front of artists and gallery-goers who sat on sofas and mingled.
In aesthetics, in storytelling, and in love poetry, the female body has always been portrayed as depressed – or beneath – male bodies. An interplay of weight and lightness leads the viewer to wonder if the weight (imaginary or real) on our bodies traps us (or binds us to what is fundamental to human experience (what grounds us).
With depictions and games of traditional anaphora, artworks such as the Stigmama (play with stigmata) enable a safe space often inhabited by women: the interiors as a communal meeting place in traditional societies. The duality of “Pleasure Garden” is that pleasure gardens are usually inhabited and ruled by all public visitors. In a cleverly orchestrated manner, Shapiro brings all beings into an intimate space that viewers can clearly feel even after the journey home.
Alone, Shapiro’s studio is a treat; Combined with the other artists exhibiting, this is a must-see in East Los Angeles.
“Garden of Desire”
Laurie Shapiro Studio Gallery
Ann Weber, Caitlin Fowler, Lauren Desberg, Alexandra Carter, Meg Lion Murphy, Laurie Shapiro.
April 22 – July 30, 2022