Another artist and friend from Compound 21 is Laurel Roth
, who is generously allowing me to share her space. Her work is beautiful, fascinating and so intricate you can't even believe it. Her recent body of work is about nature in urban environments; nature, and people. She takes things like bits of plants from the street, cigarette butts, layers of paint from old buildings and fake fingernails from the dollar store and makes them in to these incredible things.
She carves old billiard balls into realistic bird skulls and fashions little bodies and wings for the birds and...well, you just have to see it.This piece is called "peeps" and it's from last year. It's one of my favorites.and this one is unbelievable. the skull is hand carved and the body is made up of fake fingernails and barrettes that she painted, oh and fake eyelashes. this bird took many many hours of delicate work.
Another body of work she's got going on is in collaboration with her boyfriend, Andy Diaz Hope
, and it's mainly installation work. They've done installations at galleries all over the place, New York
, Chicago I think, and probably other places. This week, on Thursday, they are doing one at Frey Norris
, here in San Francisco as part of the "Who's Afraid of San Francisco"
show. I will be attending, and I'm super excited.
I saw one of their installations at the Marin Headlands open studios and it was brilliant. I really covet the little pill people and pill angels and pill devils. They are so tiny and cool.
Here is what Frey Norris has to say about Laurel and Andy's work:
Laurel Roth and Andy Diaz Hope will collaborate on two projects for this exhibition. The first relates to intravenous drug culture and the second to California's history of "Sundown Towns," communities that posted warnings to minorities, most often African Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, Chinese and Jews, that they were expected to vacate the town by sundown. Laurel Roth's work is about finding patterns of adaptation, ecology and anthropology in an urban environment. Her sculptures are made from leftovers of city life – second-hand billiard balls and salvaged acrylic block, pharmaceuticals, 99 cent store beauty products, and fragments of street plants - deconstructed, carved, polished, and reassembled. Andy Diaz Hope's two most recent series are "Everybody is Somebody's Terrorist" focusing on hand knit balaclavas that transform their wearers into terrorists, documented in photos and films, and "The Morning After Portraits," portraits of strangers and friends using rows of custom manufactured colored capsules glued to a white foundation.
And then I could say a lot of stuff about how incredible I think Laurel is as a person, and how glad I am to know her but she might get embarrassed and scowl at me.