Alison Byrnes, “Mors Voluntaria and Other Misfortunes”

Alison Byrnes, “Mors Voluntaria and Other Misfortunes”
February 28 – March 28, 2009
Reception: Saturday, February 28, 6pm – 9pm

Tinlark Gallery
Crossroads of the World - 6671 Sunset Blvd., #1512, Hollywood, CA 90028
Hours - by appointment
Contact: Cris McCall - 323.463.0039 /

Opening February 28, 2009 Tinlark Gallery is elated to present Alison Byrnes, “Mors Voluntaria and Other Misfortunes” in its project space.

Byrnes’ offbeat paintings record scenes the artist associates with fateful episodes – the suicides of famous historical and pop culture icons. Disparate figures such as Attila the Hun and “Fantasy Island”’s Hervé “Tattoo” Villechaiz, Sigmund Freud and Dana “Different Strokes” Plato, are the subjects of her momento mori micro-dramas of people whose fate is forever conjoined by their having taken their own lives. Her illustrated memorial tableaux are rendered in a child-like narrative fashion, which underscores the dark humor and de-emphasizes the morbidity, much like the rhetoric of history itself which tends to flatten the story-line.

The series depicting suicides was unearthed from her fascination with history – how it seems to inevitably repeat itself and in the end, so to speak, everyone is equal in death. After series that explored Roman then European and American history, she moved into depicting "universal themes" based on the overlaps and seeming cyclical continuum that emerged in international annals.

“Mors Voluntaria…” (Latin for "voluntary death") is an outgrowth of this theme of commonality across geography, culture, and time. Within her grouping are women and men, the notorious and revered, and all professions - from warriors, writers, actors, to cult leaders. And as with history, sub-themes and side-stories emerged from their troubled and/or notable personal tales and are portrayed by the artist, without insinuation or judgment, as glimpses and guesses into their unique stories.
Alison holds an MFA in from the University of Michigan. This is her second solo-show at Tinlark Gallery.

Image information: Left to Right – “Sigmund Freud”, “Dana Plato”, both 2008, 12" x 9", egg tempera on Arches paper