Dan McCleary brings the formal sensibilities of Piero della Francesca to the everyday moments of life in Los Angeles. A native of Southern California, McCleary notes that L.A. “feels weightless and devoid of formal rituals. It has no center. Its inhabitants find their own center through daily rituals like driving shopping, eating out and seeing movies.” Although his paintings depict people in seemingly mundane situations, these moments are constructed with the care and grace of an artist with keen observation skills and an awareness of the subtle interaction of form and color. All of the work in this exhibition was painted from life, using sets built in his studio. The new work includes a painting entitled Manicure, which preserves a fleeting moment of quiet intimacy between two women that would otherwise go unnoticed.
In addition to his artistic practice, Dan McCleary is the founder of Art Division, an after school arts program for young adults in the Rampart District of L.A. Among the several talented artists involved in this program, Craig Krull Gallery is pleased to present the work of Javier Carrillo and Emmanuel Galvez.
A former student, Javier Carrillo now runs the printmaking program at Art Division. He notes that his paintings depict close friends, family members and his own life experiences. The images take the form of the playing cards used in a Latin American game of chance that is similar to Bingo, entitled La Lotería. As Carrillo states, “I grew up with the game and loved playing it. Each painting has its own story based on struggles encountered when crossing the border.”
Like his mentor Dan McCleary, Emmanuel Galvez paints his subjects from life. His small still-lifes entitled Pan Dulce, depict the unique color, textures and shapes of traditional Mexican bakery goods. As Galvez recalls, “I grew up eating them…each bread has a different story…I also discovered that the baking techniques were originally learned from the French.” Galvez’s cookies, breads and cakes sit on solid colored backgrounds complete with delicately painted crumbs. He is now an instructor at Heart of Los Angeles, an after-school program for underserved and at-risk youth.