tropicalia

Roebling Hall, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, 2001

This series of enamel on padded vinyl paintings blurs the boundaries between the local and the global, the natural and the artificial, the real and the imaginary. Taking as a starting point a set of snap shots I took of an empty theme park outside of Madras, India, I recreated the theme park (a Western transplant to the East) inside the art gallery rearranging the visual “facts” of this slightly unreal, domesticated tropical environment into a new, still fragmented, painted whole.

Imagine white vinyl cushions for lawn furniture, covered with faux-Impressionist landscape paintings, and you have a sense of Ms. Giersbach’s new work. The scenes are taken from photographs of a Disneyesque theme park near Madras, India, though for many Westerners a visit to the city is a fantastic, head-spinning experience in itself. To complete this witty exercise in cross-cultural exoticisms, the gallery walls are painted with palm trees in feverish tropical green. 

Holland Cotter, May 4, 2001, The New York Times