Trulee Hall

b. 1976 Georgia, USA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, USA

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Trulee Hall, Two Heads, Two Ways, 2018. Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection in collaboration with Tamares Real Estate Holdings, Inc. and Maccarone, Los Angeles. Photo: Tim Bowditch
Trulee Hall, Two Heads, Two Ways, 2018. Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection in collaboration with Tamares Real Estate Holdings, Inc. and Maccarone, Los Angeles. Photo: Tim Bowditch

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Trulee Hall deals in sensual titillation, but what unfolds does not lead to an orgasmic thrust but is a winding yellow brick road of innuendo and analogy. She flirts with illicit subjects, makes jokes and lures us in with glitter, intrigue, and colour. Moving between digital, clay animation, live action, paint, soft sculpture, and set building, Hall creates a world where darkness is as accepted as light, where characters swap medium and gender as easily as they swap dresses — a cohesive and understandable whole where anything can happen comes into being.

Painting, Hall says, is the start of it all. The place where the idea coalesces; the colour, the character, their action and the scene all are initiated on the flat plane of a painted surface. Her paintings, like all her work, are a mash up of styles and processes; they are part sketch and collage, at once surreal, naïve, abstract and photorealist.

Hall’s work is informed by her childhood growing up in the Southern state of Georgia, her current home of Los Angeles, and a background working on film sets, in artist studios and as a tech for major theme parks. This informs the alchemy of her practice, fuelling her embrace of lavish simulacra; her objects and characters are stand-ins for larger propositions or archetypes. The worlds Hall creates are enchanting and enticing, yet retain an underlying uneasy seediness that permeates their experience – inviting the viewer to question if the discomfort they feel is warranted or is a result of their own internalised prudishness.

In Two Heads, Two Ways (2018) body parts separate and multiply as her other self, her alter ego, becomes her lover. She is at once monstrous, sexy and utterly wonderful. Hall’s particular brand of erotic grotesque is underpinned by an absurd humour, a clunky gothic tactility and sexy abjection.