FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ingrid Boberg: Home Beautiful
Lee Jaffe: Reggae Rising
December 3, 2005 January 11, 2006
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3, 6 9 pm
MB FINE ART
612 North Almont Dr., West Hollywood, CA 90069
Contact, Shannon Richardson
Tel, 310.550.0050, fax, 310.550.0605
Web site, <http://www.mbfala.com>
Gallery Hours: Tuesday Saturday, 10am-5pm and by appointment
Ingrid Boberg, “Swan”, 2005, pigment print with sandex laminate mounted on dibond, 32 x 46 inches.
MB Fine Art Los Angeles is pleased to present Home Beautiful, an exhibition of photographs by New Zealand artist Ingrid Boberg. In Home Beautiful, Boberg seduces the viewer into a fantastical representation of domestic design.
The decorating of one’s home to reflect personal style and taste is nothing new. The collection and display of objects create a space and ambience completely reflective of the owner’s personality. However, in the last few decades, this passionate and personal pastime has grown into a full-blown industry of third party advisors. While we still strive for our environment to reflect our individuality, we ironically turn to magazines filled with pages of perfectly designed rooms and impeccably coordinated furniture for inspiration. We hire interior designers to make these personal decisions for us, and in the midst of it all, a piece of ourselves is lost.
In Home Beautiful, Boberg comments on this peculiar, yet accepted phenomena. Playing on our make-over culture, Boberg creates her own domestic interiors, intentionally exaggerating the arrangements we would likely find in a magazine. The retro furniture and cute porcelain animals decorating her environment nod to the pristine era of the 1950’s housewife. Everything is perfectly placed, spaced and coordinated. Studio lights perfectly and evenly illuminate every object. Nothing is what we would expect to find in a normal home, as Boberg intentionally places these elements in relationships to each other, quietly mocking the formal, contrived spaces we aim to imitate.
Like Gregory Crewdsen’s theatrically staged scenes, Boberg’s seemingly familiar environments become overwhelmingly disquieting. However, unlike the overtly foreboding Crewdsen environment, Boberg camouflages her interiors with what the artist calls the “cute factor,” which takes the viewer outside of reality and into the fantastical. We are quietly seduced by her selection and arrangement of the objects. These interiors are what we desire and wish to mimic in our own homes, but ironically, they are settings of conformity and lack individuality. They seem warm, yet stifled. They seem familiar, yet distant. They seem pleasant, yet disconcerting. But in the end, the beauty of it all is that we still love them.
For the last ten years, Ingrid Boberg has held the position of Head of Photography on the Bachelor of Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology. She has twice been accepted as a finalist for the Salon de la Researche Photographique in Royan France. In 2005, Boberg was a finalist in the New Zealand Vodafone Digital Art Awards and a finalist at the Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award, the most distinguished contemporary art award in New Zealand. Boberg is represented by Whitespace Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand and has exhibited around Australia and Europe. This will be her first solo exhibition in the United States.
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Lee Jaffe, “Bob Marley at Little Bay, Westmoreland, Jamaica”, 1974, pigment ink print, 30 x 20 inches.
MB Fine Art Los Angeles is pleased to present Reggae Rising, an exhibition of photographs by multimedia artist Lee Jaffe. In Reggae Rising, Jaffe poignantly captures the spirit of the reggae movement in Jamaica with compelling photographs of legendary artist Bob Marley and the Wailers before and during their rise to international acclaim.
In 1973, a chance meeting in a New York City hotel between a twenty-three year-old rising star in the conceptual art movement named Lee Jaffe and the soon-to-be reggae icon Bob Marley would lead to a friendship and collaboration that would change both of their lives. Marley gave Jaffe a copy of his soon to be released album Catch a Fire. For Jaffe, having just seen The Harder They Come (the first movie to bring reggae to a global audience starring reggae icon Jimmy Cliff), “it was like the movie had just walked off the screen. And [he] was now face to face with the voice of a group whose music was the most revolutionary [he] had ever heard.”
The message of the music moved Jaffe so much that he put his art career on hold and followed his new friend to Jamaica and became an official member of the Wailers, jamming everyday with Marley, organizing the Wailers’ first American tour, playing harmonica on the Natty Dread album, producing Peter Tosh’s Legalize It album and, essentially, adopting the Rastafarian lifestyle that was heralded by this new music. Despite the fact that the music occupied so much of his time, Jaffe quickly realized he could no longer suppress his fine art production. Understanding that he was witnessing a cultural revolution before his very eyes, Jaffe picked up his camera and began documenting the rise of reggae.
Just as William Claxton’s unique and sensual renderings of the early California jazz scene capture the essence of the first truly American musical form, so does Jaffe bring to life Jamaica’s most important art form that continues to have an enormous impact on people of all races throughout the world. Jaffe’s evocative imageslike the music itselftranscends all genres, classes and creeds through a combination of inherent humility and profound wisdom. According to Billboard Magazine, “particularly pleasing are the black and white shots of Marley reading the Bible and Tosh sound checking for a University of Miami gig. But Jaffe’s many portraits of lesser-known, but nonetheless key figures add invaluable detail to the story behind reggae’s greatest music.” No other photographer was around to capture these timeless moments of such important cultural significance. And considering Jaffe’s fine art background and close friendship with the group, no one else could have captured Marley in the way that Jaffe himself described as a man with a “certain aura, a certain calmness, a certain stoicism amid all the rock and roll hubris. In it, but not of it. And certainly not of this place.”
Lee Jaffe is an artist, photographer and record producer. He has produced recordings for his longtime friends Joe Higgs and Barrington Levy. As a multimedia artist, Jaffe has had major exhibitions of his work, including solo shows at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin; and the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England, among many others. Currently, Jaffe’s photographs of Jean-Michel Basquiat are included in the traveling museum exhibition BASQUIAT. In 2003, Norton & Company published a monograph on the artist entitled One Love, which features Jaffe’s photographs included in this exhibition. Lee Jaffe lives in Los Angeles, CA and continues to divide his time between successful careers in the fine arts and music.
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About MB Fine Art Los Angeles
MB Fine Art specializes in 20th century American art and contemporary photography. The gallery opened its Los Angeles location in Summer 2004 and is committed to exhibiting original works by modern masters, as well as established and emerging photographers.
Images and Media Information
A selection of high-resolution images and further information is available by contacting Shannon Richardson at 310 550-0050 or via email at <Shannon@mbfala.com>. Preview the shows online at <http://www.mbfala.com/Boberg/BobergIGHB.html> and <http://www.mbfala.com/Jaffe/Jaffe.html>.