Tami Bahat "Revisiting Humanity: Secrets and Lifetimes"

Building Bridges Art Exchange
2525 Michigan Ave
Santa Monica, California

Los Angeles photographer Tami Bahat will present her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles at Building Bridges Art Exchange in Bergamot Station opening on Saturday, January 6, 2018. The show will feature new work from her ongoing series Dramatis Personae.
“I feel like I’m channeling another lifetime,” says photographer Tami Bahat, speaking about her moody, lush, eccentrically witty Renaissance-inspired portraits. “It’s not studying, it’s more like remembering.” Her Dramatis Personae tableaux depict people interacting with a few carefully-chosen props or set pieces, and sometimes a live animal co-star. Her palette is warm and full, yet the air is slate-stone cold; a world conjured from fully-modeled, high-res chiaroscuro. Her stylized costuming and quirky poses have a cinematic sense of accuracy that matches our expectations of 16th-century lifestyle aesthetics. Combined with the radiant crispness of her focal plane treatment and the bold antique frames, she achieves an effect that is both modern and historical, hybridized and authentic.
Bahat’s style and spirit guides -- Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Vermeer, perhaps Whistler, and a hint of Bill Viola -- are Old Masters who when not on commission but rather on their own time painted the regular people known to them, the household staff, the maids, guards, and farmers. In Bahat’s quest to prove that beauty is for everyone, her work has become increasingly exotic and ambitious, diverse and inclusive. “Working with animals, children, and untrained actors,” she laughs. “It’s alive, unpredictable. One time, a baboon grabbed the paintbrush and went for the easel -- and it was all her own idea!” She is committed to using people from her own life as her models rather than professionals. (The animals handlers are pros.) “As I transform them into art, I bring them into my world. The photographs are our relationships.” Believing that art lives in the humanity of everyday people, she creates her work by measuring this magnanimity against art history, concluding that prettiness doesn’t leave a lot of room for imagination.
In some ways her works are open-ended stories, with social-code and gender ambiguity, presenting seductive, emblematic mysteries along with clues that there is more than meets the eye. “I want you to wonder, who is this person? What is their story?” Bahat looks to the Renaissance and Neoclassical conventions of still-life and chromatic symbolism, adding fine telling details to animate her compositions and hint at the contours of her models’ inner lives. A woman with her nose in a red leather-bound book, the wry and wistful tilt of a letter-writer’s head, the crisp fold of a domestic uniform’s kerchief, the scorpion nestled in a nun’s bosom, the snake curling over the shoulder of a reading maid, the perfect rushing of a lady’s fainting couch. Bahat’s gift for the details of Art History access it as international language of emotion. But at the same time, she is careful to leave room for the audience to bring something of their own to experience, as we all bring our own lives to everything we look at.

Upcoming Events

  • September 20 - October 21, 2018
  • Shanghai, China
Townlets, Installation detail, The Art House Wakefield, May 2018
  • September 21 - November 3, 2018
  • London, United Kingdom
  • September 21 - October 11, 2018
  • NYC, New York
  • September 22-28, 2018
  • Beachwood, Ohio
Tiffany Studios cast bronze crab inkwell with an oyster shell lid, stamped and numbered and showing an early Tiffany company logo (est.  $5,000-$10,000).
  • September 25, 2018
  • Bloomfield, New Jersey

Nye & Company Auctioneers, Sept. 25th

Nye & Company Auctioneers
20 Beach Street
Bloomfield, New Jersey

http://www.nyeandcompany.com

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  • September 27, 2018
  • New York , New York
Faith Ringgold, "Wedding on the Seine," 1991, acrylic on canvas, tie-dyed, pieced fabric border, 74 x 89 inches
  • September 27-30, 2018
  • Chicago, New York
  • September 27, 2018
  • New York, New York

"Super Bodies" Opening

Anita Shapolsky Gallery
152 East 65th Street (patio)
New York, New York

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Sean Connery by Jim Evans/Richard Duardo (1986)
  • September 27-30, 2018
  • Santa Monica, California

Pop Art Photo Show debuts in LA

Barker Hangar
3021 Airport Avenue
Santa Monica, California

http://www.popartphotoshow.com/

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Featured Event

Ernest Briggs, Untitled, 1958, oil on canvas, 94" x 69.5"
Ernest Briggs | "Four Decades of Abstract Expressionism"
Anita Shapolsky Gallery
April 19 - June 15, 2018
New York, New York
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