WATCH OUT #5: Nele Kaczmarek on Jeamin Cha
Victim of Cosmetics
Claire Barrow is pleased to present Victim of Cosmetics, a solo exhibition showcasing her new body of works presented in a repurposed office space in London Fields. Open for two days only, the exhibition comprises a series of multi-media paintings and sculptures which assemble into a zombie-commercial shop display of textiles, metal, pigment, and sand. Concealing, blending and building up on her past in the fashion industry, Barrow guts the materiality of commercial beauty to explore the patterns of its entrenchment in our needs and identities. The pursuit of perfection, and, even moreso, augmentation, haunts the mirroring halls with its many paranoid martyrs of self-actualisation. Like a map of the world on the wall, the cosmetic bag folds out into an abstracted blueprint of desire. Barrow stretched its skin – a cosmetic bag’s layout and the fabric of its lining – into a type of shrine, the offering of a holy garment flipped inside out. Barrow’s paintings are coated in resin, plastered with pigment and spray, framed with metal zips and mounted on metal shop display units and ring lights like reflective obstructions. The dirty tactile life of a bag’s innards – grease, pigment, residue – piles into the paintings underpinned with the commercial innocence of princess-print cloth. Mirrors reflect the sloganeering online language of self-realisation gleaned from the Kardashians and Pinterest. In their mischief, one built of the same denial that allows internet culture to turn anything into a joke, Barrow’s works are, as if, sad to mock the power of sanctity.