Commonwealth & Council continues its season of G.L.O.W. exhibitions with Match Two. This series of artist match-ups pays homage to GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling while expanding on the trademarked acronym with possibilities for other meanings in the midst of our shifting realities and narratives of difference. As a code of conduct, our G.L.O.W. encourages teamwork and positions its participants as co-conspirators rather than adversaries.
Match Two teams up Laurel Frank and Tala Mateo in the exhibition, Great Lovers of Women. This permutation of the acronym proclaims with unflinching candor our love of and solidarity with women. Through the fabrication of props imbued with magical chance and use of gender enhancing prosthetics as art materials, Frank and Tala script narratives of difference more nuanced than the sum of their parts.
Laurel Frank’s sculptures speak to the process by which ordinary film set decoration can be elevated to Prop status by magical chance in the ritual choreography of narrative. Beginning with the materials that are used in a prop shop - clay, cardboard, glue - she creates the basic forms of the objects, taking care to leave handprints, exposed edges, and other clues to the physical process by which the objects come into being. It is in the embellishment, however, that the prop is transformed into a talisman, using wigs, glitter, sparkle foil, ribbon, and other humble, “fake” materials that are associated with props, but also are the historical adornments of queerness. By injecting humor and lyricism into her materials and their synthesis, Frank creates objects that are, in fact, no longer props but beings unto themselves.
In the body of work, Twilight, Tala Mateo shares her personal beauty secrets. Tala chronicles her love of and solidarity with women by customizing and repurposing gender enhancing prosthetics as art materials. Each and every makeup traces on sheets, peeled masks, and sutured nylons, claim time and space in a sequence of events that constantly negotiates gender and vulnerability more impending than the sum of their parts.
Laurel Frank lives and works in Los Angeles and tries not to work in Hollywood.
Tala Mateo lives, works, and commutes between Los Angeles and Orange County in twilight.