the hills have starry eyes

Heidi Pratt and Lauren Conrad, 2009.

Karin Bubas has proven she has an eye for moody scenery in her single-subject landscape photography, but for her solo exhibition in her hometown of Vancouver, Bubas encountered her most emotionally volatile landscape yet: MTV reality show The Hills. Bubas has put down the camera and picked up the soft chalk pastels to draw realistic, emotive depictions of the show’s stars, on view in With Friends Like These… until September 13. Bubas’ portraits seem to have smeared Vaseline on the lens of the high definition reality surveillance cameras, capturing moments of trivial TV drama in satirical soap opera lighting as schmaltzy as the cover of a young adult novel. To exaggerate their already histrionic expressions Bubas simply placed each character on a simplified beige background, combining Toulouse-Lautrec aesthetics with Andy Warhol iconography.

Justin Bobby and Spencer Pratt, chalk pastel, 2009.

Whitney Port and Audrina Patridge, chalk pastel, 2009.

Primarily a photographer, much of Karin Bubas's past work has focused on every day life, often with sprawling rural vistas, faceless women and scenes of interior architecture as her subjects.

"Monarch" from Studies in Landscape and Wardrobe. 40" x 114", Digital C-Print, 2008.

"Pink Dress and Cherry Blossoms" from Studies in Landscape and Wardrobe. 60" x 60" digital C-print, 2006.

The 33-year-old Vancouver artist is known to play with themes of voyeurism, nostalgia and the grandeur of nature and has exhibited her work at numerous galleries in Canada. This is not her first series of celebrity caricatures.

"Krystle Carrington (in fur)", from the Dynasty series. Watercolor on paper, 2007.

Karin Bubas
With Friends Like These…
Charles H. Scott Gallery
Emily Carr University
Granville Island
1399 Johnston Street
Vancouver BC V6H 3R9

On view until September 13
Monday to Friday 12pm to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm

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