Melody Tuttle: Complicated Animals

11 November - 10 December 2022
Thierry Goldberg is pleased to present Complicated Animals, an online exhibition of works by Melody Tuttle. The exhibition runs from November 11 - December 10, 2022.

Encased in layers of consensual voyeurism, Melody Tuttle’s works are steeped in the possibility of perception. Tuttle’s subjects engage in intimate acts of privacy that ebb between instances of withdrawal and engagement, concealment and observance, censorship and ownership. Exploring tropes of femininity the works in Complicated Animals bring into question the act of spectatorship. If no one is looking, can anyone be watching?

Utilizing the recurring elements of brightly-hued skin tones and blanketed tresseld locks, Tuttle displaces attributes of identity. In The Peacock Room, 2021, a woman perches lackadaisically on her dressing table, her hands aglow with a freshly lit cigarette. The red tip of the cigarette compliments the deep red outline of her languid orange figure, radiating a certain sense of heat. The woman gazes down as sheaths of jet-black hair billow forward concealing her face from the viewer. The figure's hair acts as a cloak of anonymity, one that shields her from the external world allowing her space for self captivation.

Operating under aesthetic considerations of how one is pictured with and by the world that surrounds them, Tuttle re-constructs her subject's identity through aspects of placemaking. Her faceless figures become products of their environment, their actions and surroundings serving as the markers of their disparate personalities. Ablaze crimson red, the figure in NY Bathroom, 2021, stretches the length of the canvas. Geometric patterns of white and black frame the figure as a bottle of Bubblegum pink nail polish dictates her action. The painting unfolds as a snippet of a scene, one bottle of nail polish, ten toes, five of which exhibit the end result. As one moves through the narrative, the bathroom becomes the character's world and the act of adorning her identifying feature.

Tuttle's figures appear solitary with the ever so slight hint of an audience. Teetering between concealment and transparency, her figures come across comfortable and natural in their state of exposure. In The View, 2021, a woman dressed solely in black boots and gloves angles her body towards an expansive window. Golden hues pour through the window complimenting the woman's voluptuous warm toned figure. The anonymity of the subject is heightened by the anonymity of the viewer, infusing a sense of waiting, wanting, and longing into the work.

There is a certain freedom Tuttle’s figures hold, a power held in the confidence of their self presentations. Her figures are subversive in that they reveal their bodies but not their entire entity. They solicit the voyeur but are indifferent to aspects of connection or engagement. They are nude but not entirely for the predisposed male gaze. Her figures are complicated animals in themselves, lost in their own internal worlds, heavily coated in obscurity.

Melody Tuttle (b. 1985 Des Moines, IA) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles, CA, and has had a previous solo exhibition at Great State Gallery, Chicago, IL. Tuttle has participated in group exhibitions at Hashimoto Contemporary, New York, NY, and Hyacinth Gallery, New York, NY. This is Tuttle’s first show with Thierry Goldberg Gallery.