La Jolla, California
Lee Materazzi makes photographs that mirror her state of mind, the circumstances of her life, and her views about illusion and reality in art. As a working premise, this may sound a little grandiose, but her self-deprecating wit makes the enterprise unpretentious, droll, and slyly philosophical.
The title of this recent solo exhibition, “DIY,” perfectly suits the ingenious, do-it-yourself setups (all temporary, and all installed in the artist’s San Francisco garage) that become Materazzi’s photographs (even if she enlists her young daughter as occasional subject and gets an assist from her husband on some images).
Materazzi has a flair for the eye-grabbing gesture. In Screwed to the Wall (2014), she really is attached to the wall about halfway up it by screws run through her sweater. In Negative Space (2014) she appears to be trying to climb out of a rectangular void in the garage’s floor. For Lazy Girl (2014), she constructed a tower of Lay-Z-Boy chairs; the photograph shows her sitting on top of the pile while drawing on the garage’s ceiling.
Materazzi trained as a sculptor and obviously enjoys the process of orchestrating space. The title Lazy Girl is surely ironic, given the labor that goes into making her images. Here, she offered light-handed allegories of the toils (as well as the pleasures) of being an artist.
A version of this story originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of ARTnews on page 89.