Marilyn Minter Splashes Los Angeles

Marilyn Minter, Installation shot of Green Pink Caviar, 2009, Times Square, New York

Luscious. Naughty. Saturated. Decadent.
Such is the moment we are immersed in when we stand in front of the art of Marilyn Minter. Los Angelenos can be in that moment when her show opens at the Regen Projects Gallery this Saturday night. Just like the oozing green je ne sais quoi that spills out of a mouth and gets tongued against a pane of glass in “Green Pink Caviar,” this art show also leaks out of the gallery onto Sunset Blvd., just like it did in New York’s Time Square, and as the video backdrop for Madonna’s latest tour.Marilyn’s images capture singular micro gestures in great detail — a tongue swirling teasingly on pink and green colored caviar, Pamela Anderson soaked and rapturous. Detail often defines the entire character and story itself. And that story is usually a party and that party is well underway when the viewer arrives, suddenly undressed and feeling kinky. But don’t be satisfied with just seeing the billboards. The paintings are awesomely large, glittering enamel extravaganzas. They envelope and probe the viewer just as the tongue probes that caviar. It’s shocking to be naked at a party, isn’t it? Welcome to the Marilyn Minter Show — which runs from Oct 24th to Dec 5th at Regen Projects in Los Angeles.

Chewing Pink 2008, c print. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Marilyn Minter.

Kimberly Brooks: How do you come up with the images that comprise your work?

Marilyn Minter: I don’t think I can illustrate it, as it’s a conflation of a lot of events, it’s what I had for breakfast that morning! My creative process is just getting into the zone and letting the moment of discovery happen. I take pictures that I don’t even remember taking until I get the film back — I’m in the zone when I take those kinds of pictures.

KB: Your images and video capture deliciously — even psychedelically — parts of people in their most uninhibited state. What inspired you to use the tongue and lips against glass which has become so iconic in your work.

MM: I wanted to make enamel paintings along the idea of ‘painting with my tongue’. So I organized a shoot to get the reference material for the painting “Pop Rocks”. I was shooting stills of models with long tongues swirling and sucking bakery products from under a pane of glass. My makeup artist shot some short videos during the shoot just to see how it would look. The low definition videos looked so good that we made plans to do a professional high definition video. This made sense to me as I have made both billboards and produced a commercial advertising a painting show in 1989. You can see a trailer of the video “Green Pink Caviar” at

Marilyn Minter, Strut, 2005, Enamel on metal, Image courtesy of Salon 94, New York & RIGHT: Detail of Strut

KB: How do you make those magnificent paintings? Why enamel?

MM: I invented this way of painting a long time ago, I use layers and layers of translucent enamel paint on metal to produce a luminous, almost hallucinatory finish. I soften all the hard edges with my finger tips. This is why my paintings look so different than oil and acrylic paintings, they’re actually layers of enamel paint. In the detail of “Strut” above, you can see the fingerprints on the surface of the painting.

KB: What is one of your favorite works of art?

MM: I saw Charles Ray’s Ink Line back in the late eighties in an art magazine, then later in his catalogue and I was lucky enough to finally get to see it in person this year at Matthew Marks Gallery. It’s the best piece of art I’ve seen all year — it’s one of the best pieces of art ever made, and it made me glad to be an artist.

Charles Ray, Ink Line, Moving Wire, Spinning Spot, Installation View, 2009. Courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery.

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Minter has been the subject of numerous museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide. She was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and featured on a series of billboards throughout New York City in conjunction with the exhibition. Her work is the subject of current solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio and The Cannery in Murcia, Spain. Minter is represented by Salon 94 in New York,Gavlak Gallery in Palm Beach, Andrehn-Schiptjenko Gallery in Spain and Regen Projects in Los Angeles. Green Pink Caviar will be gracing the digital billboards on Sunset Boulevard in LA, a public art project happening concurrently with Marilyn’s first exhibition at Regen Projects, opening October 24th and running through December 5th.

Artist Marilyn Minter. Photo by Johan Olander

First Person Artist is a weekly column by artist Kimberly Brooks in which she provides commentary on the creative processtechnology and showcases artists‘ work from around the world.

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First Person Artist/ Huffington Post Luncheon

The Huffington Post and Kimberly Brooks will be hosting a lunch for Featured Artists Oct 15 in New York City. Invitation forthcoming.

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What Climate Change Might Look Like: Chris Larson’s Deep North

Every now and then an artist so vividly articulates a quiet fear that it takes my breath away. Fresh from the celebration of Earth Day, a year long celebration, I wanted to share with you “Deep North” by artist Chris Larson.

Chris Larson, Deep North, 2008, C-Print mounted on aludibond, 35 x 35 inches, Edition of 5 + 2 AP’s, Courtesy of magnus muller, Berlin

As an artist, I do not profess any deep knowledge about the science of climate change, but I do have specific images that come to mind when I think about it. There is a moment in “The Inconvenient Truth”, for example, when Al Gore explains how the Gulf Stream– the conveyor belt of ocean currents that guides warm water around what would otherwise be a much colder climate, might break and could theoretically plunge Europe into a rather a rather sudden ice age.

Chris Larson, Deep North, 2008, C-Print, 35 x 35 inches, Edition of 5 + 2 AP’s,
Courtesy of magnus muller, Berlin

I too was flummoxed by the idea that “Global Warming” could really cause extreme cold. Isn’t the concept of rising sea levels from melting ice sheets and glaciers, destroying island nations and flooding millions of coastal residents by the end of the century enough and quite the opposite? But sudden severe changes in temperature in both directions is the potential result of the monster we’ve created through years of carbon emissions and environmental neglect.

Victim of Pompeii, A Time-Lapse Metaphor for Man’s reaction to Global Warming

Whatever the effect, I anticipate being wholly caught off guard by the kind of earth that awaits us in the future, like a victim of Pompeii. Through his stills and films, Larson taps into the fears of man’s impact on the earth while also creating a strange and haunting beauty found in this isolation.

Chris Larson, Deep North, 2008, C-Print mounted on aludibond, 35 x 35 inches, Edition of 5 + 2 AP’s, Courtesy of magnus muller, Berlin

I asked Chris what inspired this vision and he told me that while vacationing in Versiox Switzerland, an intense ice storm moved in the night before covering everything. He said it was “gorgeous and apocalyptic.” This inspired him to recreate the moment in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. In the fall of 2008, he built a house, and then in February, the coldest month of the year in Minnesota, he sprayed hundreds of gallons of water on the house to recreate what he witnessed in Versiox. He then shot a short film inside of the house called “Deep North”.

Chris Larson, Deep North, 2008, C-Print mounted on aludibond, 35 x 35 inches, Edition of 5 + 2 AP’s, Courtesy of magnus muller, Berlin

Larson’s prints in Deep North capture human naiveté and the wrath of mother nature all at once. It provides a space as quiet as a pin drop– the kind of quiet that only happens in winter– where we can hear ourselves think. And unlike the other messy apocolyptic visions of say, a nuclear winter or a war torn city, the destruction evokes a much larger force than man at work.



About the Artist
Chris Larson was born in 1966 in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he still lives and works as an artist and Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota. In 1990, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Bethel College, St. Paul, MN, and in 1992, a Master of Fine Arts at the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. His latest work “Deep North” was presented at the magnus muller Gallery in Berlin and at the Rochester Art Center in the winter 2008/09. His next solo show will be at the Burnet Art Gallery at Chambers at the Luxury Art Hotel in Minneapolis, MN. Chris Larson is represented by magnus muller, Berlin (

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