Sabina Lee Gallery is pleased to present recent works by Los Angeles based Artist, John Weston. Weston’s work is informed by a variety of pop cultural detritus including films, comics, and experimental music. After several exhibitions focusing on multi-media installations, his new exhibition, entitled “Pleasure Paintings,” focuses primarily on paintings.
The “Pleasure Paintings” put a perverse spin on the theme of decoration. While borrowing liberally from patterns found in decorative textiles, the paintings also feature stylized figures on top of patterned backgrounds creating a hybrid image. The figures are erotically charged, and allude to the iconic images of underground comics and psychedelic posters. The densely packed compositions are visual orgies of intense colors and meticulous line work.
The vernacular qualities evident visually in the paintings are also evident verbally in their idiomatic titles. The playful titles act as double entendres, revealing the artist’s interest in the slippage of meaning(s). Most of the libidinal imagery retains a sexual ambiguity, a single sign vacillating between variable meanings. This vacillation between, often incongruous, meanings becomes a recurring theme throughout this body of work. There is an ongoing displacement of how the paintings read: beauty becomes ugliness, abstraction becomes representation, male becomes female, and pleasure becomes pain.