Paris

Harley Valentine


Our romanticized view of Paris comes to us through novels, movies, and photographs. But this Paris does not exist—not the way it does in the mind—and it probably never did.

Confronting the Paris of our romantic imaginations, Harley Valentine's photoworks The Parisian Mirrored Gateways reclaim and re-imagine a world that has become something of a fairy tale. Printed on mirror, these large-scale black-and-white works cut up, reflect, and layer iconic images of the city’s historic monuments and architecture. The phantasmal works that result overturn one dream for another—a city of the past becomes a city of the future, one that is less defined and more open to possibility. By employing an artistic method that fragments visual stereotypes to break them down, the artist, not unsuitably, fulfils a Surrealist ambition: "The greatest age-old attempt to render the interpenetration of the physical world and the world of the mind, to go beyond appearances and to reach the heart of things." – André Breton

The exhibition presents Valentine's Parisian Mirrored Gateway series in its entirety for the first time. Also on exhibit: The Women Paintings (2012) and highlights from The Minotaur Series (2011 – 2012).