“Modernism Mayhem,” a two-artist show of new works, celebrates established painter Roger Groth and burgeoning self-portrait photographer Monica Orozco’s gifted and highly dichotomous visions of Modernist art, Palm-Springs style. Are you ready?
Whereas Groth’s show, “Modernology,” studiously, deliciously, pieces together a semi-collaged re-invention of a worshipful and lush desert escape, Orozco’s portion is more persnickety. Her “Mid-Century Crisis” photos confront that notoriously indulgent lifestyle, wads it up all in a self-realized pathos, then spits it back out in highly stylized settings.
Groth is a mature artist, highly successful for decades as a chronicler of elegant whimsy who remains consistent in his delight. Orozco, in her Cindy-Sherman-esque delving, is admittedly immature and sage both; she revels in pushing, probing, pulling off the covers, most especially her own. She detests aging, Donald Trump, sexism, racism and any conversation that doesn’t eventually get around to her, like most good artists.
Roger’s skill and manners are impeccable. You would never see that he has that same knack for a vexed opinion—until he opens his mouth and skewers something that makes you double over in laughter. His subtle mirth is one thing that makes Roger’s art so appealing, it’s not stupid-nicy, it’s lovingly, uninhibitedly self-aware and proud to be ensconced in a Palms Springs state of mind.
Monica Orozco simply is a state of mind.