What we take as concrete reality often seems as changeable as a hologram: a door appearing orange in the morning looks yellow in afternoon light; former familiars refashion their characters beyond recognition. Inklings of such slipperiness with regard to perception and identity pervade German-born painter Katja Seib‘s shadowy, dreamlike scenes. Suffused with enigmatic symbolism and misgiving, the paintings in her current show, “chasing rabbits,” suggest second selves, mutable personalities, and decision-making dilemmas. Forms evoking mirrors or trees hang overhead a sleeping couple in he is the sweetest peach to fall but I don’t like peaches at all (pictured above, all works 2019); the woman improbably wears black evening gloves, and her pillow bears a makeup print of her face as though it were developing a countenance of its own; while another woman, perhaps the female sleeper’s doppelganger, looms beside the bed with hand to her head in a theatrical expression of despair. Mystery is compounded by the repetition of the title on a small chalkboard within the painting, one of many instances where a poetic phrase reinforces intrigue or humor in Seib’s work. In 7 lives (I been different people many times), a ginger-and-white tabby lounges near a pile of cushions adorned with different women’s portraits. Were the “7 lives” lived by the cat, or by its absent mistress?
1206 South Maple Ave., Suite 1030
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Show runs through Nov. 23