In a world where every image is distorted, manipulated, aspirational and dysmorphic, what is to become of painting's history of generating interpretive, fantastical pictures? Beauty is both longed-for and suspect, female power is both lauded and feared. What is a self-assured paint warrior with an operatic talent and a love of disruptive art history supposed to do?

Within the hierarchy of desires, what place is there for images further viewed through the mediation of technology โ€” especially when that tech isn't working right? And what does “right” even mean when we're having a subjective and subversive discussion on patriarchal, racial and colonialist paradigms of beauty in the first place?

Caitlin Cherry, Morphogenic Engine, 2018; Credit: Courtesy of Luis De Jesus Gallery

Caitlin Cherry, Morphogenic Engine, 2018; Credit: Courtesy of Luis De Jesus Gallery

In the paintings of Caitlin Cherry, black female bodies and sexually confident women in general are portrayed as self-possessed in the face of oppression and outmoded, moralizing aesthetics. Her topsy-turvy palette riots topple expectations and reveal an emboldened generation of women ready to rule this jacked-up kingdom. Sheโ€™s also a formal wizard and a beast with the brushes.

Luis De Jesus Gallery, 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; opening reception: Sat., Jan. 12, 6-8 p.m.; on view Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., thru Feb. 9; free. (310) 838-6000, luisdejesus.com.

Caitlin Cherry in her studio via Instagram; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Caitlin Cherry in her studio via Instagram; Credit: Courtesy of the artist