los-angeles

View of “Dan Finsel,” 2013.

Dan Finsel

Richard Telles Fine Art

View of “Dan Finsel,” 2013.

Art therapy may be good therapy; it may or may not be good art. “E-thay Inward-yay Ourney-jay,” Los Angeles artist Dan Finsel’s recent solo show at Richard Telles, was a perverse gray mix of both. Extruding himself through exercises in Margaret Frings Keyes’s 1974 The Inward Journey: Art as Therapy for You, a self-help book he found at his parents’ house, the artist produced intestinal mandalas and absurd furniture, photocollages and mannerist self-portraits, all purporting to externalize an interior life. But rather than earnest psychoanalysis, this show was more accurately a backdoor act of seduction, via which the artist charmed the viewer into caring for Finsel—both the artist and the character featured in his work.

At Telles, sitting on the floor was a kind of shoe box with a coffin’s proportions—Self Box #2 (all works 2013, unless otherwise noted)—covered with

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.