Tami Demaree 11.16.06
AUTHOR: MICOL HEBRON 11.04.06-12.23.06 Angstrom Gallery
Tami Demaree’s first solo show in Los Angeles is a polychrome installation of sculpture, drawings, painting, and a video. Walking into the gallery one feels like Alice in Wonderland, suddenly miniaturized and introduced not to the White Rabbit’s tunnel, but to the psyche of a lovelorn young woman. The environs assimilate a graffiti-covered Pee-chee folder, the inside of a high school locker, and an adolescent girl’s bedroom walls. Demaree’s intimate and youthfully earnest apothegms about love and longing are inscribed on the surfaces of thrift-store paintings, nature photos, felt banners, and John Hughes movie posters. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Sigmund Freud postulates that a person is more fulfilled and productive when in a state of psychic agitation or displeasure. Demaree’s unabashed and prolific exploration of the pains of love-gone-wrong certainly explores Freud's point. I shouldn’t have texted you back, it made me look desperate, 2006, features neon tears dripping from an eye painted on the wall. In another work, HURT is inscribed, like Indiana’s iconic LOVE, on the leaves of a cactus. On the surface of a framed, ‘60s-era wedding photo, Demaree has painted I’M JUST TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING. I’M SORRY IF IT HURTS. By presenting these sentiments with earnestness, courage, and self-awareness, Demaree suggests that their force can transcend the embarrassment of revealing too much: She proudly advocates honesty. Despite layers and layers of simulacra and disillusionment—a Styrofoam iceberg, wallpaper made from nature photographs, wood-patterned vinyl signage, statements of dismay—the work is a celebration of sincerity and love, affirming that it is in fact better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.