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2D work should be exhibited as a kind of installation,” Christina Howland declares. “One that pro-
vides the feeling of walking into someone’s brain or underwear drawer. I think of a ten-year-old girl
in a trailer park, drawing pictures of beautiful houses and happy families, turning her trailer park into
a place she really wants to be, see, feel, experience.” Accordingly, Howland’s disorienting installa-
tions of paintings and drawings - replete with sex, drugs, and a fantasy world steeped in their attendant
addictions - depict a troubled, ambivalent relationship with the Pleasure Principle and the idea of a per-
fect life, positing her comforts as both beautiful and self-destructive. Her exhibit explores dependence
as a multifaceted lifestyle: emaciated, Schiele-like figures fight and have sex with alien carnality, styl-
ized icons of pills and hearts clutter picture planes, female forms are collapsed into muscular collec-
tions of holes and legs, and dead-eyed self-portraits convey a complicated sense of peace. The result
is an ecstatic purgatory - a gorgeous and garish No Man’s Land with its own intuitive moral compass.
“Both the negative and the positive are balanced in such a way that you cannot point out the pretty or
the ugly,” Howland says. “[They are composed] in a dreamy kind of way that causes confusion within,
but wakes you in a half sweat with complete clarity.