An exhibition of new work by Diana Kingsley. The New York-based artist is known for her still photos consisting of crisp, highly composed images where the subjects are undone by subtle flaws or a sense of impending doom: branches poke into hairdos, flowers threaten to upend cocktails, ceiling fans hover like black hawk helicopters. The images have a spare elegance and a sly, almost aberrant wit, recalling both the deadpan humor of Bruce Nauman’s early work and the formal rigor and sensuality of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs.
The process of constructing these photographs, which are all carefully staged in her studio, involves a tireless hunt for materials that have the ideal capacity to contribute to the scene’s denouement. When figures appear they are anonymous: their faces are never revealed, thus withholding any clues to the emotional state of the subject. The viewer is left to dwell on the particulars of circumstance. The subject’s fate is potentially anyone’s. Kingsley has said that she sees these everyday discomforts as portals through which life’s bigger frustrations, disappointments and fears flood through. Her work has the blunt and unadorned ambience of a one-act comedy, where psychological tension and pratfalls set a mood rather than force any particular narrative.
Diana Kingsley was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1964 and educated at Colgate University (B.A.) and The School of Visual Arts (M.F.A.). She currently lives and works in New York City.