Annie Heisey’s current show at Side Show Gallery (625 NW Everett St. #106, Portland) features a collection of paintings all depicting characters in various states of undress. Though the protagonist changes from painting to painting, the setting remains similar: a nondescript white bathroom. Though upon closure inspection it becomes apparent that these are not in fact the same room, for all practical purposes they could be. Devoid of of personal affects, the bathrooms in question have the studied sterility seen mostly in hotel rooms but rarely in actual homes. Much like the unspecific nature of the spaces in which they reside, the people within Heisey’s painting also appear to exist in a a state of limbo: their expressions falling somewhere between somber and bored, as if in a moment of emotional hibernation.
Frequently in art water is used as a symbolic vehicle for cleansing and rebirth. In Heisey’s work though, it takes on a slightly more sinister tone. These people don’t seem to be renewed or changed by the water. Instead, it appears as something encasing and weighing them down.
Clutch (20″X30″. 2009)
For more of her work from the show and much more, check out Annie Heisey’s shutterfly site. Hopefully she’ll include a bio soon as well.