Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Valerie Piriano - Photo Play

Lower East Side gallery Cindy Rucker perhaps felt short of photography and play by showing Valerie Piriano, a young emerging artist (MFA from Columbia 2009). Her multi-media installation dealing with nostalgia, memory and domesticity was delicately placed within the gallery walls, and yet one felt as if you have seen this work before.The trend for depilated, abandoned, disarrayed domestic spaces are everywhere,  and Valerie is just one of the many.  For her to stand out from the current trend there must be something new she is bringing to the table or perhaps the usage of materials could bring into light other wise over used content. Her usage of material felt romantic as if it were all more part of decorating the gallery. At first glance her “drawn sculptures” seemed to be charcoal rubbings of some abandon house. However, with further investigation they were photographic transfers placed unto a drywall. By her actions of photographing, digitally changing and then making these reliefs, distance the viewer.  Her theatricality within the room however was impressive. The usage of the columns and the “idea” of domestic space was felt within the gallery. Yet again the artist felt short when she chose the usage of a slide projector with multiple slides within the canister that didn’t move.  The question was what was the purpose of that slide projector? Why did it not project the various slides?  Perhaps the artist wanted us to have those questions but the way it was delivered it felt short. Perhaps not obvious enough. Her touch within each piece was felt and there is a sense of attention to detail that is predominant and that is why one would question these choices. Maybe the gallery didn’t give her the proper projector for these slides or perhaps those “drawn sculptures” were just a new technic she was trying out, yet again she is an emerging artist and hopefully some of these issues will be worked out in the end. Still a great show to look at for creative usage of image and great sense of usage of space and installation.


  1. (Raquel: PirAIno)!
    I think interesting, strong, and valid points are made in this review, but I think it would be strengthened by more structuring and organizing. Some sentences are a little confusing and thoughts not fully flushed out, but I appreciate being given details (like about the relief 'drawings'). I think if you organized this point by point and backed it up with those detailed examples it would be much clearer and stronger. I agree that there is a lot of content going on with Piraino and her themes and what was going on with the show could really be brought into a contemporary conversation.

  2. I enjoyed your review because you illustrated the conflicting elements of the show well: on the one hand, it was an arresting piece, and on the other hand, it felt unresolved. Although I understand the question with the projector, I don’t think that there was a mistake on the gallery’s behalf – I think we should see everything in the show as completely intentional. I would also like a bit more analysis about the content in the show: what do you think she is trying to say with these materials? And on a nit-picky note, please proof-read for spelling and sentence structure.

  3. I see that you have provided the artist’s intention well enough so a reader who has not seen the show could still get the idea of the overall atmosphere of the show. However, agreeing with other’s comments, I find there is lack of visual information on what is actually put on view. Review seems to have gone too far mentioning about the mistakenly used projector, which I don’t agree on happening by accident. Due to some vague expressions and also with very little description about other work, I am not able to grasp the scene as a whole. Perhaps you could specify what made the exhibit feel ’romantic”, by providing visual details of other work. :)