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The title of Vickie Pierre's "If You Win Me, I'm Forever," now in the Project Room at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, rings an ever-so-slightly ominous note as if to say, "Be careful what you wish for. You might get it." The installation itself is a fairly innocuous affair, consisting mostly of nearly a dozen acrylic paintings. The canvases are more or less interchangeable, with each featuring a series of delicate, organic-looking... things, for lack of a better word, painted on a pale background. These intricately rendered objects look almost as if they might have been plucked from a living, breathing entity, and they're simultaneously fascinating and repellent. They also have evocative yet disturbing titles such as The Elements Do Conspire, Tendrillic Tension, and Little Girls Tear So Easily, Like Pink Paper. Thanks to their sameness, however, they ultimately seem like so much filler. The installation's centerpiece, on the other hand, is an ambitious work called Enchanted Darlings (Snow White Queens and Ladies in Waiting), and it's nothing if not compelling. It consists of a suite of 16 vintage Syroco-brand wall sconces, and on each ornately fashioned sconce sits a vintage Avon perfume bottle from the 1970s, displayed without its cap. Silky white mohair spills out of the tops of some of the larger bottles, trailing off to connect with smaller bottles nearby (and thus summoning up the queens and ladies in waiting of the title). Pierre, to judge from this magical piece, is a connoisseur of found objects, which she imbues with mystery and exoticism. If only the remaining works in this little solo show would cast a similarly talismanic spell.
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Michael Mills

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