Kristin Reger's Latest Exhibit Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Kristin Reger's Latest Exhibit Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Story by Kenna McCafferty / Photography by Maya Fuhr

Kristin Reger wants you to escape your flesh prison.

Her latest exhibition at Aparador LA is a psychedelic illustration of the human body. Building tension between disintegration and integration, the exhibition suspends fragmented “body parts” allowing viewers to become pieces of a whole.

Like the human body, there are layers to Reger’s display. Suspended mid-air, her web of porcelain bisque ceramics build a sense of tension and connectivity. Below, six-feet-tall (and six-feet-under) abstract paintings splatter human matter across the canvas.

“These objects signal fantasy and fact — the looming ghost, shell of a being, possibility of a being, idea of a spirit,” Reger shares.

Reger’s own DNA is woven into the exhibition, featuring a collection of over 80 lipsticks that once belonged to her grandmother. Reger reminds viewers of the way we alter and re-imagine our own bodies. Pressed against butcher paper, she renders oil imprints of her own body. Whether viewed as disfigured or enhanced, the artist’s body becomes malleable to those who pass through it.

Nabelschau as an object is so fragile and impossible physically,” Reger says of the suspended porcelain works. “That’s what I’m going for with these sculptures. They're dry, chalky mummies, but also somehow larval skeletons suspended in goo. Suspension is key. It’s a metaphor for fragility and balance, but also of the tension in relationships, and the floating is something about the representation of ghosts. These pieces are only fired to the bisque stage which is more porous and fragile. This adds to the imminent threat that they’ll come crashing down any time, but also that they are in a balanced, symbiotic harmony — for now. We don’t know what they are exactly. They’re primordial.”

WETWARP sources materials on the periphery of the body – lipstick smears across the canvas, butcher paper wraps disembodied flesh as if to keep it "fresh," porcelain hangs from piercing hooks.

Walking through the space, viewers almost feel sinews stretch through the air and hear the phantom patters of draining blood. If Reger is successful, they’ll feel their own blood rise to the surface, flushing their cheeks, drawing goosebumps to the skin.

“I want the viewer to feel like they can ruin them,” Reger taunts. “There is a constant threat of oblivion.”

The exhibition is Reger’s first in LA, introducing her as a powerful and provocative force in an art scene that has grown all too sterile. In her debut at Aparador LA, run by Aldo Chaparro and associate Bryan Munguia, she executes the gallery’s mission to experiment, pushing the boundaries beyond traditional American contemporary art.

WETWARP, which has been making skin crawl since LA’s Gallery weekend in July, will stretch its stay to September 23.

Photography: Maya Fuhr (courtesy of Aparador LA)