We Alter and Repair
May 4 - June 15, 2014
Becky Kolsrud’s Los Angeles studio resides in Historic Filipinotown, the southwest portion of Echo Park bordering Angelino Heights and Downtown LA. On her daily trips to and from her studio Kolsrud passes innumerable storefronts for various businesses––liquor stores, barber shops, junk shops, Mexican bakeries, and dry cleaners. These are not particularly busy streets, rather they sit somewhere between commercial and residential businesses in the urban landscape.
Using the frame of the window or the metal security gate Kolsrud’s second solo exhibition at JTT Gallery features the dry cleaner-cum-tailor’s shop as social space. Through the windows that are covered with posters, graffiti, hand-painted signage, and scratched-in tags, Kolsrud captures an imagined world behind the glass. Either obscured or framed within the folding security gate, these intimate scenes of tailors are altogether familiar and non-specific––veiled by the gate or straight-forward. Just as the tailor transforms clothing from old to new so too do these paintings revivify otherwise ordinary tableaus of women in painting.The nonverbal emphatic communication between customer and tailor is made manifest as trust is placed within the hand of a stranger when a leg lifts and a bustline is fitted. Measurements are done using the most intimate of metrics. Fit is felt and found through touch and texture. We see women and androgyne taking measurement of one another or posing with the tools of their trade. Strangers poke and prod while mumbling through a mouth full of pushpins as the customer awaits their alteration. In The Fitting, Kolsrud reconstructs the image in front of a mirror where the customer can observe their own body being fussed over by hands and poured over by eyes. Visual alterations. These are awkward and strange experiences, but also banal and uncharged––simply the daily routine of a tailor.