at  Galleri Urbane through March 24
by Todd Camplin

Forrest Solis’ show, titled “Self and Sex Series: What a Young Woman Ought to Know,” is focus
on the girl to woman relationship and the contrast of images makes for a little bit of dark humor.
When visiting Galleri Urbane’s presentation of Solis’ work, you will find yourself laughing and
then thinking.
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I remember fondly running across a publication titled “How to Become a Man,” a late 40’s publication
which provided hours of entertainment. Forrest Solis references these Victorian throwbacks through
the illustration style side of her paintings. The words provide boys and girls advice on “living well,”
but the information is so dated that the misogyny or false science comes across loud and clear.
Victorian ethics stress women as domestic and pure, Solis contrasts this sometimes with luscious
images of her female model. Ironically, her model is mirroring the same roles that the illustration depicts.
As things change, some things just stay the same.
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I see Forrest Solis continuing the conversation of the Feminist artists of the 1960’s, but with the benefit
or tragedy in knowing there is no real utopia. Solis is aware that we can’t escape the past, but we
can reshape the present to fit new norms. I see a lot of John Baldessari’s early work influencing Solis.
Both artists use text and images to draw the view into a deeper conceptual experience. Thou, I
would argue that Solis is unafraid to have you see beautiful painting technique. Her realistic
portrayal of her model is painted with great care, kind of reminds me a little of Philip Pearlstein.
The paintings are with her own two hands, like Pearlstein, which adds to the works soulful
exploration. As much as I enjoy the conceptual artists, there is something to say about an
artist that makes her own paintings. Just by spending time making the work, Solis can’t help
but contemplate on the idea of the work.
Washing The Dishes
Forrest Solis’ exhibition of paintings is very engaging and it would seem she is now being represented
by the gallery, so we should be able to see where this body of work leads. Galleri Urbane will have