In a world where tabloids trump real news, artist Rachel Kaye embraces celebrity culture through the reappropriation of paparazzi images into her own medium. She creates paintings, drawings, and sculpture that mimic a world washed by fame, excess, and money. Exhibiting at Triple Base Gallery in San Francisco, Kaye’s solo show, The Colony, draws its name and concept from the early-twentieth century Colony Clubs created for New York socialite women. Her work moves amongst the social circles of the fictional Blair Waldorf from the television series Gossip Girl, to a portrait of Wyntoon, William Randolph Hearst’s secret Northern California hamlet, complete with colorful gestures alluding to the famous murals of Willy Pogany, that are painted on the cottage’s exterior. Kaye’s painting technique is reminiscent of her famous contemporaries Elizabeth Peyton and Hernan Bas–figurative, representational, and, as described by Triple Base, “loose and whimsical”. For The Colony, Kaye has curated the arrangement of her works in a salon-style display akin to a way that they might have been seen at the real Colony Club. She has also made sculptures of paper mache–almost mockeries of the sculptural ornamentation of the wealthy–and a bubble-gum pink ottoman invites guest to lounge and enjoy the glitz of the fabulous world of the rich and famous.
Rachel Kaye received her BFA from California College of the Arts in 2004 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. The Colony will be on view at Triple Base until March 22, 2009.