A simple drop of clear liquid can act as a lens, magnifying what the naked eye cannot otherwise detect. Valerie Green reveals this lenticular phenomenon in “Left to My Own Devices,” her first exhibition with Moskowitz Bayse. In the gallery’s front room, seven photographs, printed on aluminum, appear like fogged widows, speckled with raindrops. Upon close inspection, the complexity of Green’s work materializes as do her fascination with the nature of the screen and its capacity to alter the way we interpret the ubiquity of content on our iPads and smartphones.
The seven works on view in the front gallery are photographs Green captured off her computer monitor, tablet or phone. Each depicts a collection of images that Green photographed previously, then edited and altered before uploading them to her devices. With an ethereal elegance, they blend undefined geometric shapes into abstract formations.
Green’s engagement with her work is most evident in the small circular spheres that dot these works. While photographing her screens, Green intermittently sprayed them with lens cleaner. Each droplet, acting as a tiny lens, not only enlarges a small circle of pixilated imagery, but they collectively call attention to the screen itself as a tangible entity.
This distinction is evident in IMG6359 (all works 2016). Green’s sprayed drops of cleaner convey pixels of varying sizes, both magnified and refracted. Like kaleidoscopic orbs, the drops appear to float in space, detached from the images over which they hover.
The three remaining photographs on view occupy the gallery’s back room. They also comprise vibrant abstractions yet are reminiscent of op art. Instead of focusing her lens at the screen for these pieces, Green perforated, pinned, and even tossed cut outs of colored prints into the air before photographing them. In perforations (tossed), for example, various sized circles appear like microscopic screens, captured midflight, each revealing of its own unique image.
In the aggregate, Green’s images force us to realize how our smart devices, cameras and the Internet are gradually changing our worldview into a distorted and manipulated facsimile of the original—a facsimile that we are coming to accept as the real thing.
Valerie Green, “Left to My Own Devices,” May 7 – June 25 at Moskowitz Bayse, 743 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 0038, www.moskowitzbayse.com