Los Angeles

Shagha Ariannia, there is a room and a window and a window and a box, 2020, acrylic and Flashe paint on canvas, 48 × 72".

Shagha Ariannia, there is a room and a window and a window and a box, 2020, acrylic and Flashe paint on canvas, 48 × 72".

Shagha Ariannia

Meliksetian | Briggs

On the cover of the first edition of Kathy Acker’s 1978 novel, Blood and Guts in High School, is an image by Sue Coe: a gleaming scene of nighttime danger wherein sentient, money-hungry tenements spit out ghostlike apparitions. They are in turn inhaled by the painting’s central figure, a lanky gang member whose chest tattoo indicates that he’s affiliated with the Scorpions. Sitting on his knee is a cat that opens its mouth in a furious and frightening yowl. Hard glints of light—like sparks struck off a dense flint—provide only the barest of illumination. It is not the kind of image one might expect to illustrate a book about the life of a ten-year-old girl. But Acker’s protagonist, Janey Smith, is imperiled and ravaged by the sexual violence that suffuses her life; her episodic adventures lead ultimately to her death before her fifteenth birthday. Acker traces Janey’s existence over the

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