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Timothy Pershing at Galerie Lakaye, a Magical House in Hollywood


Sometimes a gallery and an artist are a perfect match. In this case, Galerie Lakaye is the gallery, one situated improbably on a quiet Hollywood side street in an old Craftsman house. Walking through its gate and up the path I found myself surrounded by plants and sculptures in profusion, the furthest thing from the order and sterility of a white wall gallery. It is a small place, a garden, a space to take a breath and let go of the world before stepping inside.

Inside are rooms filled with Timothy Pershing’s photographic mixed media assemblages, but that description is nowhere near a strong enough for all the thoughts and emotions these pieces evoke. Timothy has taken photographs made during his years as a photojournalist and filmmaker and transformed them into…other things, a broad variety of imaginings, there are pictures on giant warped cement board surfaces, tiny pictures inside of glass bottles that come with magnifying glasses, pictures on stones and stamps and playing cards, metal, and glass, Tim loves to juxtapose image and surface, finding new meanings in their combinations.

And because his work is layered and painterly, at first glance it’s was the surfaces that enticed me. But then I looked a second time and saw these works were a lot deeper than they first appeared. They are serious depictions of life in Haiti, Uganda, Cuba, and Bosnia, the richness and the poverty of these places waiting for you when you look past the surface to the scene below.

I wandered through rooms filled with art, some pieces new, some having slowly come into being over thirty years. The pictures from the 70s and 80s that Tim shot then now transformed into something more akin to sculpture, but not exactly sculpture, maybe more like bas reliefs under layers of surface…I’m struggling to explain here and that’s exactly why this is work you should see for yourself – it’s good and it’s special and it evokes feelings when you are standing in front of it.

The delights of the gallery continue. At the back of the house there is a deck and a sculpture garden with an artist’s workshop off to one side and with places to sit while gazing out at the hundred-year-old backyard perhaps thinking about all this rich juxtaposition. What’s the last time you found places to sit down in a gallery?

Let me get back to Timothy’s art now. It’s too easy to fall prey to the idea that seeing something on a screen is equivalent to seeing it in person. It’s not. To experience a picture in a gallery is to come to it with all your senses, not just your eyes. The screen is a procrustean device, reducing everything to one size and shape, but the body is not fooled. When I look through the little porthole of the phone I see a peepshow in a carnival, all the complexity and wonder of life reduced to a tiny simulacrum. The pictures I’m talking about here range in size from tiny things held in one hand to large and heavy images I stood in front of gazing — feeling the weight of the medium and experiencing their warped shapes as part of the pleasure. Why would you miss that if you can experience it in person?

Andy Romanoff


Intersected: Image, Object, Print and Time, a solo exhibition of photographic mixed media works by Los Angeles artist Timothy Pershing. The exhibition runs from August 13 through October 3, 2022.

Galerie Lakaye has been Los Angeles’ premiere gallery of contemporary Haitian and ethnic art for 32 years. The gallery lives in Hollywood in a 1913 Craftsman house with two sculpture gardens. For more information about the exhibition and the gallery, please contact gallery director Carine Fabius at [email protected] or 323-528-4076. Galerie Lakaye is located at 1550 N. Curson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046. It is open by appointment. FB: galerielakaye; IG: @galerielakaye


Story and gallery photos by Andy Romanoff

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