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

  • February 23, 2018
  • February 23 - March 11, 2018
  • New York, New York
  • February 23 - March 11, 2018
  • New York, New York
Lady of the Labyrinth, 2017 © Stephen Chambers, photography by SCS.  Images courtesy The Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge.
  • February 24 - May 20, 2018
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
LCAD students will sell art, clothing and more at a pop up market in Downtown Laguna Beach
  • February 24-25, 2018
  • Laguna Beach, California

LCAD Art Market

Laguna College of Art and Design

LCAD Art Market Pop Up
370 Ocean Ave
Laguna Beach, California

https://www.facebook.com/events/1336032379834468/

Event Information
Daum Nancy French cameo art glass vase, 4.75 inches tall, signed, with gorgeous colors and a fall season decor, one of many Daum Nancy pieces in the auction.
  • February 24, 2018
  • Douglass, Kansas
  • March 9 - February 9, 2018
  • New York, New York

Featured Event

ANSEL ADAMS, Richard Kobayashi, farmer with cabbages Manzanar Relocation Center, 19.  Courtesy of Library of Congress
Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank
Crocker Art Museum exhibition looks at Japanese internment and incarceration in the early 1940s
February 19 - May 14, 2017
Event Information
 
Capital Collections Estate Auction - Weschler's

ArtfixDaily Artwire