Keelin Montzingo: Cosmic Latte Nostalgia 👀

1515 North Gardner Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Sep 09, 5 PM - 8 PM — ends Oct 10, 2021
Cosmic Latte Nostalgia - Keelin Montzingo

Gruin x Show Gallery
1515 N Gardner Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90046
September 9 - October 10 2021

“We are homesick most for the places we have never known.” Carson McCullers

Yearning for a time that never was and a place that is accessible only within the imagination, Keelin Montzingo presents a collection of new works which navigate the space between notions of home and the projected world we occupy online. Here, home refers not to where we live, but how we exist within our bodies and how this has changed over time as technology has developed and our sense of self has become increasingly warped and abstracted.

Cosmic Latte is known to be the average colour of the universe, the compression of all we know to exist, a milky beige which is found in all of Montzingo’s new paintings. Referencing the mirroring of the cosmos within the internet, these works explore the dichotomy between self expression and entrapment within simulation. The search for authenticity in the contemporary world is inextricably linked to public displays of fictionalised behaviour, as we seek to find ourselves we develop increasingly more sophisticated ways to invent who we are for others.

The mirror and the real meet at a threshold where we can either try to untangle the facade or find ways of working with where we have arrived, understanding that we cannot revert back from the myths we have cultivated. This journey of controlling representation is nothing new, the internet is simply a contemporary vehicle for a process we have been undergoing for centuries, the difference is that now we are accelerating at a pace we cannot keep up with.

Montzingo does not seek to judge those who cultivate personas, she does not perceive this behaviour as duplicitous but rather as an act of creativity. Our ability to imagine is what has led us to turn the camera on ourselves and use the body as a platform for storytelling. Ironically the most extraordinary aspect of humanity, our ability to envision, is also what leads us to invent ever more creative ways to attack the psyche and enact destructive behaviours. Whenever something verges towards a deeper truth, a deeper facade comes with it. Reflected in the cosmos we cannot escape the laws of attraction and opposition.

Montzingo longs to escape the complexity of the now, to dwell in the pastel landscapes of a 1970s Palm Springs utopia where all is simplified and we are distilled to archetypes, the female body a symbol of the mother, the creator, the lover, the seer. But this is impossible, so instead she affords her subjects the freedom of time travellers, moving back and forth through data, creating a link between an imagined past, the contemporary world and projections of the future. For this reason, instead of painting women she knows, Montzingo paints models who are anonymous to her, employing the silhouette of the conventionally celebrated body to free this stereotype and speak of all female identity.

Keelin Montzingo (b.1992) is New York based painter. She studied Communications at the University of Massachusetts and Modern and Contemporary Art at Christies. Montzingo’s paintings are housed in collections in USA, UK, Singapore, Switzerland, Lebanon, Italy and Thailand.