Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Gallery Watch: 'Dress Up My Lindsay' at Public Access on St. Mark's Place

Text and photos by Clare Gemima

Dress Up My Lindsay 
Public Access, 8 Saint Mark's Place 

Public Access is a cute space tucked away on a lower-level storefront on Saint Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue that has been exhibiting an eclectic and impressive mix of artists since opening this past September

For the gallery's latest show, Marika Thunder has painted 10 large-scale oil paintings in her solo show, Dress Up My Lindsay. While slightly disconcerting in some painted moments, the show presents autobiographically intriguing and nostalgic plays on pain and heartbreak that we find within celebrity culture. 

Dress Up My Lindsay showcases a bittersweetness of what adolescence promises versus what it actually provides. The recurring motif used in Thunder's body of work is the child star turned troublemaker Lindsay Lohan, famous for her roles in "Freaky Friday," "Parent Trap" and "Mean Girls." 

The power and influence that Lohan had on her community were at an all-time high in the 1990s. It is no surprise that young girls all over the country idolized her, and for Thunder's case, started to religiously follow her tabloid headlines and celebrity behaviors by collaging magazine clippings into notebook pages for fun. 

The compositions of her paintings in Dress Up My Lindsay are reminiscent of her collaging days, bringing life to scribbled pages and dirty marks now with oil paint and a bolder delivery. The smudginess and lack of realism make these paintings unique and stand out amongst each other distinctly. Most paintings don't necessarily consider the precise rendering of Lindsay Lohan, positioning Thunder's subject more as a projected catalyst or representation of the artist's own childhood. 

This is an exciting space that pushes the boundaries of contemporary art and culture. I am grateful to have been greeted and shown around by a lovely man named Diego. He outlined to me how Public Access aimed to be a hospitable and inclusive art gallery that maintained a welcoming attitude regardless of who walked through the door. 

The experience he facilitated was very down-to-earth and inquisitive. I find it to be such a nice rarity when people working in an exhibition context wish to engage in dialogue with their viewers. It's also gratifying to see and feel so much passion in a newer space.

Dress Up My Lindsay at Public Access will be showing until April 12. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 2-7 p.m. You may schedule an appointment for viewing here
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Clare Gemima is a visual artist from New Zealand. New-ish to the East Village, she spends her time as an artist assistant and gallery go-er, hungry to explore what's happening in her local art world. You can find her work here: 

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