Christina West, installation view of “intimate strangers,” 2015.

Christina West


Mindy Solomon Gallery

Christina West’s recent exhibition “Intimate Strangers” highlighted the importance of seeing three-dimensional work in person. Photographs of her human figures, such as Stranger #3 and Stranger #4, give the impression that their rendering of flesh is cold and austere and that they loom large in the gallery space, but visiting this show of six sculptures uncovered an entirely different reality. West used painted resin in these works; in person, the “skin” of the figures appears soft, as though one’s fingers might squish into their shoulders or forearms. Rather than appearing cold, the white surfaces emit an ethereal, almost warm glow. West worked from live models, and each “person” seems to have been caught in mid-motion. The overall effect is quite dynamic. With few lines or creases, these human representations look life-like and realistic—except for two elements. First, none of the figures stands at a realistic adult height: they are either much shorter or much taller. Secondly, their feet are painted a vivid, neon red-orange, as though they were wearing socks. Stranger #1 depicts a balding man in his early 60s, in the process of removing his shirt. He appears nude from the waist down, except for the sock-like paint covering his ankles and feet. At 44 inches tall, Stranger #1 is noticeably smaller than most (or all) viewers. …see the entire review in the print version of November’s Sculpture magazine.