4/17/10 6:01 PM
The magic of the miniature has much to do with the strange ability of very small things to represent the very large. The same can be said for the gargantuan. It is the average-sized which so often fails to convey enough. No wonder, then, that Kendra Bulgrin has chosen a miniature plastic female figurine, along with an equally small and fake coyote and cow, to tell a story about loneliness and longing, dislocation and searching. The story is not really so clear as all that, told as it is through a series of deftly painted oils that place these characters in landscapes of odd objects—tires, wiring, makeup compact—and picturesque vistas. The effect is deeply Surrealist and, as with most Surrealist paintings, the works’ titles can have a potent impact. Not a Surrealist one, mind you—their themes of the erotic, the unconscious and the marvelous do not really belong here (well, perhaps the marvelous)—but one in keeping with the above narratives evoked by Bulgrin. “The morning light made anything seem possible” is one such phrase; “You may no longer go anywhere anymore” is another. All that’s missing is for all of the paintings to be so graced, and for the titles to find a more permanent place in the works themselves, rather than on temporary wall labels.