Pratt Institute, Steuben West Gallery
200 Willoughby Avenue, 718-636-3715
December 7 - December 11, 2009
Reception: Monday, December 7, 5 - 8 PM
Painting dollhouse miniatures from life, Tara Kopp creates an imaginary world. Yet with the dollhouse miniatures imitating human life, the lines between real and fiction become blurred. “I strive for this finesse, where the dolls are simultaneously so real and so fake, or so apart of both worlds, that we soon forget that they are imitating our existence; they are able to convey something that humans cannot” (Kopp 2009).
While the artist refers to Sickamour as like a neighborhood sign, it does place the paintings on a map. Most of the scenes depict a series of the artist, or the miniatures, playing house. There is an odd sense of power, as the miniatures become very humanlike.
In Never-Ending, a couple stands upon a podium in an environment resembling a wedding-cake topper. This diptych splits down the center, creating a division between the man and woman. The overhead bow symbolizes tying the knot, while their vows remain questionable. In Lullaby, a girl lies on a bed that could also be a coffin.
“Our imagination is grossly dictated and influenced by empirical evidence from our daily lives. Juxtaposing the imagination and real life creates a place where nonsense is able to make sense,” says Kopp. What is not imaginative is the social institution that the dolls represent. The dolls become symbols of people, and as humans reality can be unsettling.