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Young Art’s Hollywood storefront is blushing with florescent pink light: a jarring experience for those more accustomed to the pristine white-on-white-concrete-minimalism of most gallery experiences. Jessica Williams uses this unnatural lighting to illuminate her newest solo show Only Girl in the World, a room full of paintings that feels more secret club (of the after dark variety) than exhibition.
Imagery of flowers and fountains float around abstracted females, wallowing in their impressionistic, watery worlds on canvas. The works’ titles label the women depicted—Strip Mall Girls or Mirage Girls—without definitively describing them, adding an ambiguous mystique to the paintings. In the thick of it, one can’t help but think of Ophelia, the poster child for romantic female hysteria draped in blooms and tragically floating. However, in Williams’ hands these images also come with a Weetzie Bat taste of post-punk west coast fantasy. This sharpness along with Williams’ loose painterly technique keep the works from becoming too adolescent or melancholy, and instead leave the viewer with pictures rich with depth, feeling, and a bit of nightlife flair.
Only Girl In The World runs from May 9–June 6, 2015 at Young Art (5658 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028).