There are plenty of ways to say “pretty” in Spanish: linda, guapa, hermosa.
But for Lorenzo Masnah, the easiest way is to just mine retro pin-up pictures and call it "bonita". The artist, born in Mexico but based in New York, takes old magazines from the ‘60s and dresses them up in his own unique tags. The resulting pictures make up Bonita
, Masnah’s solo show for Line Gallery (the online arm of Manhattan’s Fuse Gallery), which just launched.
From a grinning bikini clad woman turned yellow to a photo of Joan Collins covered in war paint, the point of Masnah’s work is as much about embracing these images of summertime fun as desecrating them; once the target of objectification in the pages of these old magazines, Masnah mutates them and reminds us of the layers of artifice covering each and every smiling face.
It’s not just these multiple eras that go head-to-head in Bonita
, but cities as well; the materials in the show are sourced from both Mexico and New York. “I believe that trash is the carcass of the city,” explains Masnah. “By taking these magazines out of the Mexican streets and using found wood from the streets of New York, I recycle these items and give them new life by turning them into art beyond a specific city.”
Or, put another way, it finds the beauty in a heap of pop culture trash.
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
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