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May 20, 2005

AROUND THE GALLERIES
By Holly Myers, Special to The Times

The joys of going beyond kitsch

Digital art is often touted as a sort of promised land: a limitless realm where the laws of matter recede and just about anything you can possibly imagine doing to an image can be done in the blink of an eye, without paint spills or paper cuts. In practice, at least on the two-dimension level, it's more often than not flat, lackluster and dull.

However sophisticated the equipment, there seems always to be something missing from a digital print: richness, depth, warmth � some element of humanity. In her recent work at Patricia Correia Gallery, Patti Heid has found an ingenious way around the problem, with good, old-fashioned couture handiwork.

At their foundation, the nine mostly midscale pieces in this thoroughly enjoyable exhibition seem to be digital photographs. The images � most depict young girls in whimsical hats � are fanciful almost to the point of silliness. Across the surface of these images, however, Heid has inscribed a layer of embellishment that sweeps them clear beyond silliness, through kitsch and into the realm of magnificently extravagant fantasy.

There are sequins, beads, Austrian crystals, pearls, feathers, cloth flowers, silk embroidery and gold and silver bullion, all sewn in dense, colorful patterns onto the canvas. The loveliest is "Briar Rose," a charming, slightly melancholy Rapunzel, profiled against a swirl of glittering flowers, ladybugs and hummingbirds.

Patricia Correia Gallery , 2525 Michigan Ave., E-2, Santa Monica, (310) 264-1760

 

The article:

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Introduction by Ed Paschke

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Eleanor Heartney, a writer and critic for Art and America and other publications, and the author of 'Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads'.

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Art in America
A review of Patti's work...

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