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Alex Israel | Bret Easton Ellis

February 25–April 23, 2016
Beverly Hills

Installation view © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view

© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view

© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view

© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view

© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view

© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view

© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Installation view

© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Works Exhibited

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis PCH, 2016 Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 72 × 144 inches (182.9 × 365.8 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis PCH, 2016

Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 72 × 144 inches (182.9 × 365.8 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis Different Kind of Star, 2016 Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 168 inches (213.4 × 426.7 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis Different Kind of Star, 2016

Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 168 inches (213.4 × 426.7 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis The Uber Driver, 2016 Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 108 inches (213.4 × 274.3 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis The Uber Driver, 2016

Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 108 inches (213.4 × 274.3 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis Born and Not Made, 2016 Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 120 inches (213.4 × 304.8 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis Born and Not Made, 2016

Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 120 inches (213.4 × 304.8 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis Hotel California, 2016 Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 168 inches (213.4 × 426.7 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis Hotel California, 2016

Acrylic and UV ink on canvas 84 × 168 inches (213.4 × 426.7 cm) © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; image(s) courtesy iStock, photo by Jeff McLane

About

Gagosian Beverly Hills is pleased to present new collaborative paintings by Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis.

The city of Los Angeles is both background and subject in the respective oeuvres of Israel and Ellis. For Israel, the American dream, as embodied by the Los Angeles mythos, remains affecting and potent. Channeling celebrity culture as well as the slick appearance and aspirations of the entertainment capital, Israel approaches his hometown with an uncanny coupling of local familiarity and anthropological curiosity. His work alludes to both California cool and calculated brand creation, embracing cliches and styles that exude the hygienic optimism endemic to the local scene.

Ellis, a renowned Generation X author, became famous while still a college student for his first novel Less Than Zero (1985), a portrait of amoral, decadent LA in the 1980s. Over the next decade, he elaborated his jaundiced vision of a superficial youth society with a cast of toxic recurring characters in The Rules of Attraction (1987), the highly controversial American Psycho (1991), and the satirically humorous Glamorama (1998). Lunar Park (2005) provided a new twist where Ellis himself became the central character of his own plot. (Interestingly, Israel has described Less than Zero as “a readymade,” its text seemingly plucked straight out of life.)

Recently, Israel made his first foray into movie-making with Baywatch cocreator Michael Berk as screenwriter, resulting in a feature-length film, SPF 18, which will premiere later this year. Inspired and emboldened by the experience, he then approached Ellis to collaborate. The friendship between them spawned a lively ongoing discourse on their city of fantasy and possibility, leading to the current body of work. At Israel’s provocation, Ellis wrote short texts. Israel then converted the selected texts into various fonts, resourced directly from the local landscape, and combined them with commercial stock images—sunsets, rolling surf, aerial views of the city, and close-up details of its vernacular architecture—the rights to which he purchased online. The hyperfilmic results were adapted to the scale and medium of monumental paintings.

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