Paul Paiement: Hybrids 1.0 – 3.5 was a five-year mini-survey of this Los Angeles-based painter. Acting at once as a painter, scientist, and entomologist, Paul Paiement created a unique wonderland by combining common everyday consumer objects into an über-species of colorful bugs, butterflies, praying mantises, and more.
Employing the age-old technique of egg tempera, Paiement skillfully played with ideas of manipulation and mass production, whereby his subjects are split evenly in two—one side insect, the other a man-made gadget. Playful, yet thought-provoking, in a time when the science of cloning and the constant desire to make people, animals, and goods faster and better reached a fever pitch, these paintings may also have read as subversive.
Along with the paintings, Paiement created his second site-specific installation, Hybrids I-Pyractomena flashlightis. This work enhances the themes of Paiement’s watercolor and panel paintings. An installation of human proportion, its backdrop was a landscape painting infused into a Pirates of the Caribbean-like setting. Paiement’s use of manufactured materials and theatrical lighting reiterate the hybrid concept, fusing synthetic with organic and seducing viewers into believing their artificial experience is natural.
Accompanied by a color catalog that includes an interview with curator Tyler Stallings, and essays by Christopher Miles and Rebecca Niederlander. Organized by former Laguna Art Museum chief curator Tyler Stallings.
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