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Rachel Simon Marino’s paintings and works on paper engage the tactics and visual strategies of carnival funhouses. Typically staged in a manner that incorporates lurid colors and arresting patterns, funhouses harness the properties of distorting mirrors, false walls, optical illusions, and forced perspective to achieve their desired effects. Many of Marino’s works arrange depictions of these features into dizzying compositions that replicate these disorienting environments. By rendering on canvas these three- dimensional spaces, Marino exploits the conventions of illusionistic space to create impossible scenarios, like spacious rooms inside that yawn behind flat surfaces, and staircases to nowhere. In Marino’s work, the funhouse is both an armature for her compositions, and a metaphor for painting more generally, wherein a set of illusions conspire to create a totalizing experience. Marino’s work draws upon other cultural references and art historical precedents to establish these scenes, particularly vintage comics, and animated television shows.

Rachel Simon Marino was born in San Francisco, in 1989. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her BFA in 2011. In 2019, her work was the subject of a solo exhibition at Hit Gallery in San Francisco. Her work is frequently featured in group presentations in the United States, including recent exhibitions at the De Young Museum (San Francisco), Evergold Projects (San Francisco); Guerrero Gallery (Oakland); and Rena Bransten Projects (Chicago). Foul Play is her first solo exhibition in New York. In addition to her studio practice, Marino has a significant history in illustration and prop design. Marino lives and works in San Francisco, California.


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