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Metropolis / So SoCal

Art That Hangs Well

June 09, 2002|LESLEE KOMAIKO

"One day I had this vision of doing things with underwear," says Los Angeles-based artist Caz Love. "It's one of those things that made no sense." No matter. It was 1998 and she had previously been painting large canvases, but the muse would not be denied, and Love's oeuvre has become underwear, slips, corsets, bras and dresses.

Love, 30, whose work will appear in the group show "All That Glitters" at the Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro (opening June 29), uses text in many of the works. They incorporate conceptual, craft-based and mixed-media elements, and range from about $1,000 to $1,800. A soft pink dress recounts "a long, complicated dream about falling in love and all these mystical things that are happening," says Love, who studied at CalArts and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A little black dress bears a vertical neck-to-hem list of women's names. Other recurring motifs include roses and women's lips clipped from magazines. A group of panties, strung horizontally on a pink ribbon, feature all three. "If there's any message," she says, "it's about my personal experience, and that I happen to be a woman."

Love purchases many of her raw materials at area thrift shops (panties, however, she buys new). "Sometimes," she says, "because I'm buying, like, 15 dresses, they ask if I have a store. Then I tell them I'm an artist." Although her pieces aren't meant to be worn, Love has had inquiries. "My intention is three-dimensional art, whether it's sculpture or whatever you want to call it."

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"All That Glitters," June 29 to Aug. 11, Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro; (310) 519-0936.

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