So Many Stars

July 28–September 5, 2021

with works by Shuriya Davis, Jim De France, Jacci Den Hartog, Violet Dennison, Ron Griffin, Clifford Prince King, Dominique Knowles, Beaux Mendes, Diane Severin Nguyen, Mathias Poledna, and Eric-Paul Riege

Opening reception Saturday, July 31, 6–8 p.m.

“Last night, I saw Julia Roberts at dinner. Her mouth gave her away. It’s her signature quality; it’s what made her a star. America’s Sweetheart would have a big mouth. It’s iconic, always grinning or ready and willing for something to make it grin. It’s so wide it can contain everything. It’s a million dollars. It’s infinite. 

I googled pictures of it later finding multiple articles surrounding its impossible wideness. Her smile is described as “megawatt.” “Her grin couldn’t be contained…” reads another tabloid. Hugh Grant said she was a bad kisser because her mouth is too big. It was there, at the restaurant, I saw it and it’s real.

But last night it was not smiling, Julia Roberts was shielding her eyes from the three older women standing on the other side of the patio taking a photo of her back. She raised her arms up into an aggressive wave, “here I am!” she exclaimed with this motion. Her arms went rigid and pointy, her elbows stiff and sharp, the form her arms made in that moment was angular. There was nothing open about it, nothing like the infinity of her mouth. The women didn’t seem to take the harsh flail as a deterrent to their amateur paparazzi. I had wandered out to the patio to see if the mouth was really hers but when I saw this gesture I pretended that’s not what I was looking for, that this gesture was not also for me. She shook her head with her hands shielding her eyes. Must be hard. 

The abstraction of a star becomes five points, five triangles fastened together. Why do we turn these balls of fire into the rigidity of a lines? We love to put things in containers, we like lines, we like corners because they have an end. We like things that can make a mark, be stamped, repeated and printed. A constellation of gas and fire cannot be stamped and repeated. We don’t even really know what it is, if it really has an end.”

– Gracie Hadland, Los Angeles