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

Tintype, Essex Road 5
  • December 13, 2018 - January 19, 2019
  • London, United Kingdom
FAPG 20618D/2.1 Attributed to John (1777–1851) and Hugh (1781–1831) Finlay, Baltimore (active about 1800/01–30) Painted Black and Gilded “Fancy” Side Chair, about 1830 Poplar, painted and gilded, with die-stamped gilt-brass rosettes, caning, and original red moreen fabric [beneath replacement fabric on rondel] 33 3/4 in.  high, 18 5/8 in.  wide, 23 3/4 in.  deep overall
  • December 13, 2018 - February 6, 2019
  • New York, New York

Augmenting the Canon: Recent Acquisitions of American Neo-Classical Decorative Arts

Hirschl & Adler Galleries

The Fuller Building
41 East 57th Street, 9th Floor
New York, New York

http://www.hirschlandadler.com/

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Photo credit: Photo by Bob Leitch
  • December 15-23, 2018
  • Wilmington, Delaware

Yuletide Breakfast with Santa

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, Delaware

https://www.winterthur.org/visit/dining/monthly-specials-2/

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Photo credit: Alessandra Nicole and Kevin McCabe
  • December 19, 2018
  • Wilmington, Delaware

Yuletide Jazz & Wine

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, Delaware

http://www.winterthur.org/exhibitions-events/yuletide/yuletide-jazz-wine/

Event Information
  • December 26-28, 2018
  • Katonah, New York

School's Out/Art's In

Katonah Museum of Art

The Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, New York

http://www.katonahmuseum.org/programs-and-events/schooloutartin2018/

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The We In You Is The Nation Calling, Nelson Stevens, Poster, ASC82.001.078
  • January 12 - August 31, 2019
  • Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Era of Activism

Art & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas
701 South Main Street
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

https://www.asc701.org/upcoming/2019/1/1/era-of-activism

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Chinese Export Porcelain Large Punch Bowl, Circa 1780.
  • January 16-20, 2019
  • New York, New York

The New York Antique Ceramics Fair is Back in January 2019

The Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street
New York, New York

https://nyceramicsfair.com/

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Dustyn Bork, shaped 1
  • January 24 - April 13, 2019
  • Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Dustyn Bork: Complex Shapes and Empty Space

Art & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas
701 South Main Street
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

https://www.asc701.org/upcoming/2019/1/24/dustyn-bork-complex-shapes

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Wattam, 2018, Publisher: Annapurna Interactive, Developer: Funomena
  • January 24 - July 14, 2019
  • Savannah, Georgia

Featured Event

Mary Stevens Fish’s 1879 painting, “Yosemite,” will be on exhibit in “Something Revealed: California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960” at the Pasadena Museum of History Sept.  29-March 31.  (Photo courtesy of Maurine St.  Gaudens and Joseph Morsman).
Something Revealed; California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960
Pasadena History Museum
September 29, 2018 - March 31, 2019
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