Poser Tube Dolls

Flannery Silva

November 1–December 15, 2019

Poser Tube Dolls takes its title from an online illustrator named ElisaDesign. Using the Tubes tool on PaintShop Pro and sourcing from various Poser image-rendering databases, Elisa creates surreal vignettes featuring baby-faced women surrounded by haunting props that suggest a sense of innocence lost.

In her first Los Angeles solo exhibition, Silva recreates sculptural mise-en-scène renditions of Elisa’s online purgatory. Three large, elaborate platforms are used as stages to display these uncanny sculptures that merge interpretations of Elisa’s designs with Silva’s own cartoon infatuations: a jumbo half egg covered in the Chevrolet logo; an auto suspension coil dressed in Laura Ashley pleather; a curvy, begging rat girl; and a mash-up scorpion-cornucopia-bouquet.

Adorning each platform are photographs of realistic life-size dolls superimposed onto picturesque settings both urban and rural. The dolls’ choreography references the viral images of Lolita Richi, a Ukrainian model known online as the ‘Real Life Teenage Barbie,’ who often posts pictures of herself in city parks or nature scenes, almost as if the pastoral settings lend a desired authenticity to her plastic look.

Behind the gallery’s large curtain wall hangs a pair of oversized ballet slippers pierced with giant fishing hooks. Their shape resembles novelty fishing lures, bright and phallic devices meant to attract prey. A song titled “Poser Tube Doll Anthem,” written by Silva and composed by Chase Ceglie, plays on loop near these deadly slippers. The song is intentionally fragmented, opening with a suspenseful piano riff that then melts into a country ballad. The yearning, timeless sounds echo throughout the space. Sheet music is available to sing along to the instrumental, as if the room is a karaoke booth: Young, pretty, insatiable. God put me here to accomplish certain things…I’m so far behind. I’ll never die…

Poser Tube Doll t-shirt text designed by Ray Younghans.