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Danielle Orchard in Juxtapoz Magazine

All of us have peculiar habits that exist solely at home, the things only maybe our partners or very close friends have witnessed. For me, some of those things include : not wearing pants (practically ever), smoking cigarettes out the window and drinking milk directly from the carton. These little quirks feel so intimate, so personal that in order to reveal them, it feels like you’re telling a secret, giving away apart of yourself that has remained strictly indoors. This month, Brooklyn based artist Danielle Orchard reveals her own unique proclivities in her debut solo exhibition “A Little Louder, Love” at Jack Hanley Gallery.

In “A Little Louder, Love” , Orchard’s paintings showcase women in a variety of domestic settings. We, as the viewer get a pinhole-sized view into some of her own experiences as a artist working and living in Brooklyn. Elegantly rendered, the works invite the viewer into Orchard’s life, one painting at a time. In one piece, we see a woman smoking a cigarette from her bathtub as she drops her head back in satisfaction and in another we see a group of close friends sharing a glass of wine around a table. These intimate portraits reflect universal habits and subsequently, have an alluring and striking effect on the viewer.

Noticeably inspired by western art history and the great painters of the modern era, Orchard’s works take cues from the past while also steadfastly looking to contemporary painting. According to the gallery - “Fragmented bodies, compositions and coloration reference a modern painting language. Opaque application of paint and fauvist levels of saturation are combined with poses and gestures used in Analytical Cubism, Italian Renaissance or Chicago Imaginists. Orchard revisits a time in art history in which the female figure was used to indicate hidden psychological positions among their mainly male painters. As Danielle Orchard is placing these characters in her own contemporary surroundings, she gives voice to their largely omitted narratives. In multi-faceted perspectives and broken up bodies she bridges the gaps of their pasts with her own memories.”

Living and working in New York is hard work (speaking from personal experience) and when you finally get off the subway, weave through hundreds of people on the streets and climb your stairs to your apartment; opening the door to your home can feel like you’ve just crossed a finish line. The kind of wind-down routine becomes a personal ceremony and through “A Little Louder, Love” , I feel as though I’m getting a glimpse into Orchard’s own traditions and methods. Beautifully presented and thoughtfully created, “A Little Louder, Love” is an affecting exhibition worth seeing. 

Catch it before it closes on March 11 at Jack Hanley Gallery in the Lower East Side.

Photos and article by Jessica Ross