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The record store occupies a special place in the psychic space of those who revere physical media. In the age of e-everything, it is one of the few places (including art galleries) where the in-person experience still reigns supreme. Upon entering Julie Beaufil’s new solo show at Overduin and Co. you’ll notice that the paintings are hung unusually high. Below are a series of black wooden boxes filled with dozens of individually wrapped drawings displayed like LPs for the viewer’s perusal. Executed in a breezily simple linear style, these drawings depict witty, succinct one-liners about love, sex, and music.
In the second gallery a series of larger paintings whir with the velocity of a turntable’s centrifugal motion, or the brisk wind of a car on the freeway. Beaufil’s hazy brushstrokes and muted palette court a sense of nostalgia heightened by her depictions of ‘80s-specific hairstyles and an oversize cell phone. There is a feeling of zooming forward while simultaneously looking back, viewing the world through its reflection in a rearview mirror.
This concentration on an idealized past is a particularly Los Angeles state of mind. The stuff dreams are made of—sex, cars, and rock and roll—are mass-produced on backlots and studios from Hollywood to the Valley and peddled across the land in theaters and tabloids alike. In some ways this subject matter is low-hanging fruit, engineered to play to the emotion of longing for a halcyon time that likely never truly existed. As such Beaufils less-is-more sensibility can come off thin in her new paintings, especially when juxtaposed with the tight, self-contained packages of her drawings.
Julie Beaufils: In Tongues runs from May 15–June 11, 2016 at Overduin & Co. (6693 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028).