Lola Gil's paintings occupy an interesting intersection of hyperrealism and the surreal, at once cartoonish and also deadly serious. The Los Angeles-based painter works in a style she dubs "narrative escapism," whose surreality lets the viewer create their own story and meaning from her work. Sometimes this escape isn't to a more beautiful, fantastical place, but to one that's dreamlike in all the good and bad ways that dreams can be.
Her latest exhibition Thirsty, which you can catch at Capitol Hill gallery Roq La Rue today, explores what "thirst" really means with "narratives of drought and climate change, but also the more ambiguous slang term meaning an insatiable lust for life and creation." Though, Gil's idea of thirsty is much more beautiful than my own. My "thirst" consists of me scrolling through Kelela's Instagram account and rewatching clips of Catastrophe on YouTube just so I can get a glimpse of Rob Delaney's forearms (he's objectively hot—this is a hill I will die on).
I'm particularly interested in Gil's use of mediums that distort images—like water and glass—that pop up in nearly every painting of hers. They sometimes adhere to reality, but often do something unexpected. She even references that famous Salvador Dalí photograph that fucks with gravity and perception. Gil also sneaks in some anamorphic heads and ceramic dogs—all reinforce her own visual language.
Roq La Rue will be open from 6-8pm today. Come through.