7/11/09 3:16 PM
Ashley Love has created an animé character for today, one who can knock out every lame little Powder Puff girl or Sailor Moon character of yesterday, with their pastel get-ups, pathetic politeness, and unabashed white-girlness (never mind that Sailor Moon was Japanese, she never looked it). Love’s “Apprentice” is all urban force, with all the hard-to-place ethnicity and toughness that that implies, not to mention a penchant for abstract graffiti-style backgrounds. You wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley, unless you needed help and she was offering.
Jessica Tinoco’s work offers an update of another kind entirely, harkening back to the idiom of fragmented space invented by the Cubists in the early twentieth century, but making it resolutely of today by filtering it through digital technology. Cubism, rendered by hand, as Tinoco has done in one untitled work, functions by taking a subject (here, a woman’s head and face) and fragmenting it into its various parts and planes, rearranging them not according to reality as it is usually perceived but as it might be otherwise be. Where Tinoco’s practice gets new is when she does the cubistic through a computer, using pixels instead of handwork to break up the image into new levels of representation. This, in a way, is how we see today, just as planar fragmentation was true, in a way, of how science was rethinking vision circa 1910.