All the world may once have been a stage, but it is certainly now a screen. In her solo gallery debut at Charlie James, L.A. artist Valerie Green gives us a smartphone eye's view of the sublime: the sky above our heads.
The nine images in the series "Look Up" were taken through the moon roof of the artist's car, adorned with the phone's screen protector, a slip of plastic that would be transparent were it not for the marks and scratches of restless fingers.
The skies range from gray and rain-spotted to blissfully blue, but the screen protector creates a ghostly image of the phone itself, something like a self-portrait. What's more, Green has painted the prints' frames to extend the edges of the image. We are increasingly aware of how what we see is filtered through multiple frames.
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In the back room are three cellphone images of a computer monitor sprayed with screen cleaning solution. Like the raindrops on the moon roof, they are physical, not virtual phenomena, here lighted not by the sun but by the inner glow of pixels. It's one computer literally "face-to-face" with another.
Then there is a large sheet of neon pink plastic that visitors can touch and "draw" upon. Like the screen protector and cleaner, the piece reminds us that no matter how absorbing our virtual worlds, we are still resolutely earthbound.
Charlie James Gallery, 969 Chung King Road, (213) 687-0844, through April 26. Closed Sunday through Tuesday. www.cjamesgallery.com