Floria González: Mixtape

September 5 - November 25, 2023
121 Watts Street

JO-HS New York is pleased to present Floria González: Mixtape at 121 Watts Street from September 5th to November 15th. Featuring a new series of paintings, Mixtape is Floria González’s first solo show in New York and with JO-HS.

The exhibition will be on view from September 5th to November 25th by appointment only. Email info@jo-hs.com or anna@jo-hs.com to schedule your viewing.

Music is a time transporter, an enhancer of the senses and has the ability to move energy and to transform it. - Floria González, 2023

Music provides a throughline for Floria’s wide-ranging practice, which spans performance, photography, video, and painting. For the artist, music elicits movements, feelings, memories, and especially images. Originating in the 1980s, mixtapes offered an unprecedented means of personalizing and sharing soundscapes. Fragmentary recordings of songs on the radio, albums, and other cassettes circulated among friends, families, and strangers, reconfiguring to forge new meanings across time and space. The paintings in Mixtape are inspired by Floria’s holistic, synesthetic experiences of specific songs made from 1960 through 2023.

Floria made each painting while listening to one song on repeat. Some songs generated mental images the artist then materialized in oil and acrylic paint on canvas; alternatively, gestating images called for specific musical partners. As she painted, Floria listened to mixtapes featuring the titular song repeating in iterations of three interspersed with a track of meditative chants. These harmonized intonations provided a baseline against which the artist examined the affect of each titular track. Accompanying each painting, Floria’s mixtapes will play on a rotating basis throughout the show.

The paintings in Mixtape explore the atmospheric and lyrical valences of each song in ethereal scenes that transcend time and place. Working with a refined palette of blues, pinks, yellows and grays, Floria’s painterly brushwork enhances her works’ dreamlike qualities. A painting after Patsy Cline’s 1961 song “Crazy” shows a robot and mechanical dog standing listlessly in front of a gray castle in a blue forest. Cline’s plaintive refrain, “I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying,“ seems to echo eerily in the background, suturing together elements from the distant past and near future with strands of connection and isolation, love and loneliness.

Named after Jake Thackray’s tongue-in-cheek 1967 lovesong “Lah-di-dah,” a painting awash in dystopic orange light shows two girls in Victorian bonnets and bathing suits standing in shallow water while sharing an iPod. The iconic white wired headphones connect the two figures. While one girl looks directly out at the viewer, the other looks past her companion, inserting one headphone into her ear. A tool for both fragmenting and sharing experience, the headphones carve out an enclave of comfortable connection within an otherwise apocalyptic, menacing scene. At once charming and haunting, the scene exemplifies Floria’s exceptional ability to integrate musical, visual, and historical elements into evocative paintings that catch you off guard and open up the longer you look.

 More about Floria ︎︎︎