Meaning in Moments: Lola Gil at KP Projects
By Evan Senn
Through May 6th
We all have those moments of blissful contemplation. In the middle of something, we catch ourselves wandering deep inside our own subconscious, where we can get cozy with our memories and take out all of the items that give us grief or comfort or both and stew in their power. L.A.-based artist Lola Gil has found a talent for representing those moments with pristine accuracy in paint.
Her newest exploration into these quiet and intimate moments is her solo exhibition at KP Projects “Outside In Doors.” This new iteration of Gil’s painterly adventures has many faces and many different ways of expressing a kind of journey to self-discovery and enlightenment. As if a product of a love affair between Wes Anderson and Rene Magritte, Gil’s creations for “Outside In Doors” range the gamut of curiosities, with a push and pull of reality and dreams that is unique and evocative.
Although the characters are different in each piece, they feel connected and perhaps related. Gil stated that this project was two years coming, and was inspired by a journey into the subconscious and chronicle her metaphysical voyage through her narrative painting style, she said she wanted to “chase the wilder imagination that resides inside of me . . . and unlock these doors we all tend to be stuck behind.” The end result is a varied and detailed documentation of a dream world and the poetic interactions that took place in them.
It is difficult to determine what aspects of these scenes are real and what are imagined; the rendering quality is exquisite and realistic in many ways, but playful and surrealistic in other ways. The stories and ideas and emotions that are represented are so valuable and treasured that determining what is real or a dream is not even important. The decorative paintings in the rooms that she creates in her scenes almost act as windows—everything is rendered thoughtfully and in great detail—simultaneously, the windows look like decorative paintings.
Each piece has a whole world inside of it; they each carry an overwhelming power of significance and an intimate comforting feeling. Even as surreal as and strange as they seem, some carry strong and easy-to-understand messages like The True Self and Where You’ll Find Me, both fairly clear in their universal symbolism. Others, like Tonight You Shall Only Have These Eyes, Smile and Somewhere Between Here or There tackle more complex and deeper conceptual explorations, finding the subtle nuances of human emotion and interaction as the bases for her visual narration.
The emotive power of The Simple Song is nearly overwhelming. The Alice in Wonderland-esque proportions of the giant young girl and the tiny piano-playing man is a visual stimulant. The gorgeous matching forest greens she uses further perpetuate the notion of a dream, while the sleeping giant with eyes closed—perfectly poised in her shining green ribbon and her green satin blanket—listens to her tiny man playing the song she so longs to hear regularly, she even rests her head on the piano to feel the vibrations through her whole being. Like many of us, one song can spawn a multitude of experiential memories, caught in the web of a melody, forever encapsulated in our minds and hearts. This eternal quality that memory and images carry with them is the power that Gil has tapped into early on her career, and continues to use to her advantage. Her colors, her rendering, her unique modern surrealistic style and her emotive faces are what makes people hypnotized when walk past one of her masterful artworks, but her narrative exploration, and her use of details and meaning are so poignant, intimate and simultaneously cinematic, her art has become timeless and more meaningful than almost all of the other paintings created in today’s climate.
“Outside In Doors” is on view until May 6, 2017 at KP Projects, 170 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90036.