GROWING BEAMS: photography & sculpture, 2006-08
Bari Ziperstein’s artistic practice is engaged with the architectural history of Los Angeles and can be read as an investigation of how urban landscapes are defined by consumerism. In 2006, she created a series of intimate collages that deconstruct idealized domestic scenes selected from home décor magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens and Architectural Digest. Within these scenes she transforms posh interiors into quirky environments by adding stark white architectural beams protruding, twisting and bending out of chairs, tables, chandeliers and the like. For her solo debut at Bank in 2007, Ziperstein realized the collages in three-dimensional space within an actual domestic setting: her Los Angeles 1920’s Spanish style apartment. Over fifty site-specific sculptures, made of foam core and plaster, mutate out of decorative and functional objects, rendering an environment that is overgrown, monumental, illusionary and artificial. Ziperstein lived within this environment for three months while completing this ambitious project often having to physically negotiate the space in odd and precarious ways. The photographs illustrate decoration consumed by architectural outgrowths—an interior design gone very much awry.
NEA photography fellow Grant Mudford took the documentation of Ziperstein’s site-specific sculptures. As a regular contributor to Home and Garden, Architectural Digest, and Architectural Record, Mudford applies his commercial and aesthetic sensibility in creating convincing interior photographs of Ziperstein’s sculptural interventions. Furthermore, he is intimately familiar with Southern California architecture, having been commissioned by MOCA LA to extensively photograph Louis I. Kahn and R.M. Schindler architecture, and by the Getty Trust to photograph Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.