Visual Arts, City Picks

Now Showing: Works by Charlie Bidwell and Samantha Magowan

When: Sat., July 17 2010

Samantha Magowan photographs herself tattooed up, wearing big, wide fishnet stockings and an Indian headdress, lying on a blanket surrounded by Prada bags. Charlie Bidwell pulls the veil off of Hollywood landmarks, like the Chateau Marmont, using negative space to turn monuments into something else. In their own right, the two are completely different artists with little in common, except they live in Los Angeles. “We enjoy product worship. We make a fortune off of it. Everybody wants to pretend that they’re not influenced by that stuff, and Samantha’s just kind of like, ‘What? I love Prada bags. I love big-ass shoes and bling,’ and all that girly stuff that a lot of girls try to pretend that they don’t like,” Christopher Davis, one of the show’s curators, says. Davis splits his time between Charleston (he was born and raised on James Island) and L.A. and asked City Gallery Coordinator Erin Glaze if he could showcase his two California-based friends. Glaze, who walked Davis through the exhibition process, describes Magowan’s work as bright, colorful, and edgy; the artist will put herself inside of her installations and than photograph the work. While Glaze describes Magowan’s pieces as “hyper-sensory,” she says Bidwell’s stuff is more subdued. “He does a lot of large-scale photography that focuses on the negative space around these monumental buildings or billboards and other things that usually we’re focusing on when we’re driving around in that environment.” Glaze says the City Gallery loves bringing artists to Charleston that will inspire our community to keep pushing itself and to keep up the creative process. “As different as [the artists] are, both of them still have these icons, that somehow, once Hollywood gets hold of them, they become this myth of what they’re actually not,” Davis says. —Susan Cohen

Price: Free


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