"At Diane Rosenstein in Hollywood, Ilona Szwarc’s “Virgin Soap” is a mixed media exhibition that aestheticizes and sensualizes the artist’s process while blurring the boundaries between maker, model, object, and subject. The show includes photographs that picture the artist in a stylized blue space making a lifecast of a female model’s torso and mouth. Yet beyond simple documentation of the process, the pictures are aestheticized and almost advertorial. In a series of photos that feel both instructional and kinky, the topless model is dressed in slime-green bottoms to match the wet silicone casting material that Szwarc slathers over her exposed breasts and over her mouth. Once removed from the model, the mold itself becomes fodder for a set of photographs wherein the mold feels oddly lifelike.[...]"
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September 22, 2021