This Friday we'll also be giving some feature wall (and pedestal) space to eight standouts from our massive, annual Laluzapalooza group show. Regular patrons will recognize the remixed "Non-stalgia" of Click Mort, who showed last August (and steadily sold out all the pieces from that show), too, but the rest of the roster are receiving their first feature exhibitions at La Luz de Jesus Gallery.
Christopher Bales' three-dimensional collages recalls the fantastic private office of Indiana Jones. D.W. Marino bombards the zeitgeist with hand-carved, anti-propaganda shadow boxes.Richard Meyers' pet portraiture is both endearing and disturbing, while Byung's militaristic animals teach us more about ourselves than many will be comfortable knowing. Heather O'Shaughnessy's beeswax castings put a wicked, ribald spin on a classic, Victorian motif as Ave Rose's multiple, miniatureMetropolises add a hand-cranked, industrial edge to good, old-fashioned, Edwardian entomology. Anthony Purcell brings Vonnegut's levity to Edison's era with lifelike portraits that reveal an inside joke just as you walk past them.
All in all, I'm amazed that 26 years into this endeavor, we're still able to discover talent of this calibre and quantity. Each of these artists experienced sell-outs of the pieces we displayed this past March, so here's your chance to pick-up what you missed last time -before they outprice your ability to buy-in.
"Arc of Time"
The process involved in assemblage art forces Christopher Bales to make unexpected connections between objects and images, helping to root out what seems to be hidden in the undisclosed corners of his subconscious mind. There is always a mystery to be discovered as he finds the meaning while the art work is being constructed. The pieces he has created for "Arc of Time" seem to be reaching across time and space, as well as touching on more earthbound and personal issues. The artist hopes that the viewer will be moved, intrigued, or at least curious about what his process yields and make some sort of individual connection to the art.
D. W. Marino
D.W. Marino has elaborated on the theme he tackled earlier this year in Laluzapalooza via his ongoing series titled Bombardment which uses bombs to deliver messages about culture, theology, consumerism and the military industrial complex. These are mounted in display boxes which give further context to the themes of the bombs. Derek spares no venom for gross polluters, global warming naysayers, and future Super Fund alumni who put profit over environmental catastrophe then try to explain it all away as their legal obligation to the company, either. It sounds bleak and sullen but the end results tend to look light-hearted and comical –especially considering issues that are no laughing matter at all.
While the animal portrait has a time-honored, symbolic resonance, Richard Meyer conceives each dog, cat, and monkey as a fully articulated individual. Under the fur, idiosyncraciess are drawn from found and life models. The image of the anomalous critter presents a sympathetic identification both fearful and compassionate.
Byung is a retired officer who served over twenty years in the U.S. Army. He creates art based on his military experiences. Rather than produce a show statement, Byung has produced statements for the individual piece, which (where available) can be accessed by clicking the image in each box.
Nostalgia is little more than confabulation pasted into a scrapbook. Our attraction to the past rests primarily on inaccurate memories and near-total fabrications: more accurate but less appealing recollections are either buffed to an unnaturally high gloss or discarded in favor of some more appealing fiction.
Click Mort's current show, Nonstalgia, reflects his fascination with creating the material equivalents to these reconstructed memories. His pieces combine elements of authentic vintage porcelain figurines, painstakingly disassembled and reassembled to produce an artifice where incoherent objectivities are made to appear not only coherent, but familiar. They are souvenirs of a time and place that never existed and nothing more than nonstalgia.
Mr. Mort is a Los Angeles native with a lifelong enthusiasm for things that delight the senses and scramble the brain. His formal training consists of a high school ceramics class during which his pieces had a tendency to explode in the kiln. Given this unfortunate history with raw clay, he has since opted to work only with pre-fired materials.
Heather O'Shaughnessy's new collection "Oh Sorrows" is inspired by fables and cautionary folk tales that speak of vigilance, atonement and vengeance. The wax vignettes could be considered labor intensive. Drawing upon techniques used by 18th century Italian anatomical sculptors, her pieces are first rendered in clay, a plaster mold is made and then a casting in beeswax. Each piece is then re-carved, painted in oils, gold leaf and Mop & Glo.
In The Sepia Show, the collected works of Anthony Purcell (hereby presented for your visual pleasure) are the culmination of an enduring artistic exploit into an industrial yesteryear. This series of portraits endeavors in the glamour of old, informed by the appearance of aged photography prints. The subjects of the paintings, whether infamous or anonymous in their time, are portrayed amidst a suspension of surreal, absurd, and realistic elements whilst symbolic motifs recur throughout series. As per Victorian decree that one "leave no space unfilled," the crisply detailed wallpaper patterns which adorn each painted room, embody the lauded virtue of a life which is busied, yet orderly. In ornate and formal couture, these figures pose for their moment of preservation, staring eternally through yellowing years to a mechanized modernity. These pieces, the words for which are a lesser currency than the visual delights to be obtained from their viewing, await you!
"Watchbot City 2"
Only a few years ago, Ave Rose was known mainly for her horror persona. As an author, actress, and vocalist, this scream queen represented all that was dark and macabre. In the Fall of 2010 against a backdrop of traumatizing events, she distracted herself by making clockwork miniature robots (called watchbots) and produced a series of mechanical environments to house them as well. The amount of concentration and patience required to create these exquisite, delicate pieces became a form of meditation and therapy. Creating her first watchbot collections helped Ave to cope with the chaos of her situation that year, bur now that the storm has passed, Miss Rose continues in her artistic endeavors, honing her craftsmanship and skill to create fantastical, miniature worlds of order and peace. Watchbot World is the physical representation of Ave's fast-paced, mind-reaching moments of stability and harmony among the decay and disarray.
With her multiple career tracks, and with so much time spent in the company of other creative people, this former muse has developed an inspiration of her own with an attention to detail that is both impressive and enduring. She recently produced a custom Watchbot Metropolis for Israeli jewelry designer Maor Cohen, and her list of important patrons grows further with her first feature exhibition at La Luz de Jesus Gallery.