VONN SUMNER: THE OTHER SIDE OF HERE
Bobbie Powell Gallery
Vonn Sumner is a painter and a founding member of the artist group Pharmaka that runs a non-profit exhibition space in downtown Los Angeles devoted to the advancement of contemporary painting. He coordinated several shows at Pharmaka and is a regular contributor of criticism and reviews to Artillery Magazine. He attended the University of California at Davis, earning both a bachelor's degree in art and an MFA in painting. Upon graduating, Vonn moved to New York where he painted and worked for galleries and museums, including the Guggenheim Museum. He uses a highly idiosyncratic style of painting that is both recognizable and enigmatic. Handmade props, hats, and original characters populate his canvases creating a theater of the absurd, all juxtaposed with the cool emotional distance of the subject pressed into the forefront of the painting. When presented with the choice of how to react in their absurd and strange world, they choose madness, weirdness, freedom. While the final products are oil paintings, there is an element of performance in his process: dressing up in costumes, staging photo shoots, using images of actors and performers. Vonn has exhibited regularly since 1997 and shown his work internationally. In 2003 he was a featured solo artist at the Scope Art Fair in Los Angeles.