AARON YOUNG: No Fucking Way May 11 – June 30, 2012 Opening reception, Friday May 11, 6-8PM

The Company is pleased to announce Aaron Young’s Los Angeles exhibition, No Fucking Way, on view from May 11 – June 23.

Aaron Young’s work can be described in extremes. He appropriates symbols associated with American freedom in the form of motorcycles, muscle cars, and the Flag, as well as its dark underbelly – barricades, barbed wire, and xenophobia (Locals Only!). His most noted work of the performative motorcycle burnouts, are spectacles that serve to reveal what lies beneath the surface while simultaneously erasing the evidence. The grandiose gestures are then reduced to minimal, abstract, sometimes monochromatic results. Although spectacle surrounds Young, most of his performances are completed with very few witnesses.

In the current exhibition, No Fucking Way, six new paintings depicting Internet and magazine sourced portraits of tabloid sensations Casey Anthony, Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Knox, Jessica Simpson, Heidi Montag, and the skating rivals Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan will be on view. The women obligingly pose with the American flag in some form — either wrapped in it, dangling from their mouth, or worn as a bikini.

The linen canvases are shaped to resemble large three-pointed folded flags, painted in saccharine pink, and flecked with textured circles that reveal the entirety of the image when standing at a distance. These portraits are an amalgamation of previous works of flags from his 2011 New York exhibition, BUILT TOUGH and Young’s “Jesus” paintings (Focus On The Four Dots In The Middle Of The Painting For Thirty Seconds, Close Your Eyes And Tilt Your Head Back). But these works are a departure from the male-centric iconography of these previous works, as well as a major shift into celebrity psyche and pathology.

By placing infamous Court TV hotties along side troubled Hollywood starlets, Young has managed to collapse what constitutes an “actress” – those who choose to perform for a living and those who must perform to save their lives. In the most extreme case, the portrait of Casey Anthony called 30 Days, the mother of a missing 2-year-old, poses for a snapshot as she dances at a party, seemingly carefree. In another portrait of Heidi Montag in a bikini, a snapshot taken soon after undergoing 10 plastic surgeries in one day. The halftoning effect Young implements, evokes mass media and over-saturation, which has become the vernacular in which we absorb these images. This blurring of real and constructed, only existing in the realm of performance, speculation and judgment, implicates the viewer in its consumption, since our observation of these celebrities will always be mediated.

Young will also be participating in the MoCA organized Rebel show, on view from May 15-June 23 on Highland Avenue in West Hollywood.

Aaron Young was born in 1972 in San Francisco California. He graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001, and received his Masters of Fine Art from Yale University in 2004. His work has since been exhibited internationally at Macro (Museo di Arte Contemporanea) in Rome, Italy; Teatro di Marcello, in Rome, Italy; as well as performances in Moscow, Naples and New York City. His work has been included in the “Greater New York,” MoMA/PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; “Uncertain States of America” Astrup Fearnley Museum of Art, Oslo (traveled to Bard’s Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, and Serpentine Gallery, London); The 2006 Whitney Biennial “Day for Night”, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and The 2nd Moscow Biennial for Contemporary Art, Moscow; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, PA. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Kunst and the Jumex Collection. He lives and works in New York City.

For more information, high-resolution images please contact Anat Ebgi, Director, anat@thecompanyart.com or call 213-290-0122.

Last Laugh Curated by Summer Guthery September 15 – October 27, 2012

Lucas Blalock
Paul Branca
Devon Costello
Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter
Sanya Kantarovsky
David Robbins

Last Laugh. A joke is all about the timing.
Carol Burnett described comedy as Tragedy plus Time.
Simon Critchley traced humor out to the tune of melancholia with dark results.

They turned it into an equation, middle larded with silence.
I am interested in comic timing and gestures stretched out like taffy. a flabby, bulbous pause.

William Carlos Williams called it the variable foot.
Victor Borge called this simply the extended beat.
Mary Douglas thought the joke played on form, bringing together disparate elements as a way to reveal anew.
Henri Bergson thought that humor was the mechanical encrusted on something living – slowly pulling it down and a laugh was horror at this incongruity – a last ditch effort to distance ourself.
Bertolt Brecht thought you had not yet heard the bad news.

Over-theorizing humor threatens to squash what it can do and a nice long gulp of air may help. I am interested in how stopping just short and stretching out the delay can be a strategy for a visual artist. The group of works in Last Laugh are not exactly funny, except in the most awkward sense. The works you see in the room do a lot of things, one of which is to get at that ‘wait, wait’ via gestures, theatrical tropes and a bit of dry camp.