Koplin Del Rio Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming group show Fever Dreams, featuring recent works by Amir H. Fallah, Mark Licari, Stas Orlovski, and of course Robbie Conal.
By Robbie Conal
80% of the information we humans receive from the world—aka ”reality” as we know it—is visual. And thereʼs more of it than ever before. If you live in LA, thereʼs even more than that. The LA paradigm is, of course, that everythingʼs all brand new, bright and shiny—sun-shiny!—and blue sky-like. One form or another of ecstatic decoration. Which brings us to: Retinal stimulation overload. Poor little rods and cones. They could be in danger of getting all jiggy with it.
The Rest of the World
just naturally assumes that Angelenos surf, skate, drive (especially), shake, rattle and roll through earthquakes, mud slides, seasonal brush fires, spray-on suntans and death-ray sunburns. Literally peering out at “reality” through—and ingesting—what everyone else but us calls “smog.” In perpetuity. We know it, our local atmosphere, that is, to be something else entirely: A narcotic effluvia. In large part made up of waste products of the popular culture production capital of the world. All in iMAX 3D!—Cinemascope!—Technicolor!—Dolby-Sense- Surround Sound! CGI—Special FX!--HD-TV!
We happen to be surrounded by—are, arguably, living within—an ever expanding, rainbow-colored, pixillated, totally cosmic, dust CLOUD of digital images, jpegs, you tube vids, vimeos and instagrams. Massive earfuls of all world, eclectic digi- music. (Say, “Amen,” somebody!) Blizzards of linguistic bleeps: texts and tweets (and re-tweets), facebooking, myspacing, blogging and all that. Including, lest we forget, a bizillion scams. Advertisements for everything, everybody, and nothing. Perhaps a tad euphemistically, Angelenos call all this, “I.T.”*
BIG BANG! Indeed.
Not that it's a bad thing. But it does all build up, doesnʼt it? Somewhere inside us. Whether we know it or not . . . lurking behind our blind spot(s). Millions of bits and pieces of stuff—that we take personally. Wildly different shards of “information” vibrating at wildly different frequencies and amplitudes inside our bodies. Banging into each other, jumping each otherʼs bones. Spinning the electric life eclectic. Lighting up new neural connections—and associations. Getting all up in our business. Becoming our business. And, especially, heating up our dreams . . . Oh yes, theyʼre hot . . . How hot are they?
For the LA artists in this exhibit, they're FEVER DREAMS! Boiling...bubbling over...into our art (you could fry an egg on it)— in the Southern California sun. And inspired by the light of the silvery moon. Which we invite you to jump over—with us:
“Planned obsolescence,”* our retail economyʼs perpetual motion machine and its overwhelming rush of “New! Improved!” products, have nothing on Mark Licari. In the feverish vortex of his imagination, obsolete appliances donʼt die. They get raptured! Ecstatically reanimated, even. Whirled up by his very nervous system (see: “Nervous Man”) into their very own Heaven. Likewise, furniture—cast aside or, literally, overboard—has settled perkily into its own ”Golden Oldies” retirement village: Atlantis a la Licari. Old oak desks are repurposed—reborn!—as charming safe houses for his jiggly metaphors. Appliance Heaven and the hyperactive interior decorator of Atlantis happen to be located in the same place: Mark Licariʼs Fever Dream. Oh, by the way . . . heʼs contagious. And thatʼs the good news.
As far as Amir H. Fallah is concerned, the little personal fort you built in your childhood bedroom/living room, wherever, and that somewhat larger, new one youʼve fabricated recently—in LA —ARE you. And weʼre all better for it. Because theyʼre veritably effulgent! Beautiful bits and pieces of stuff youʼve chosen to wear and/or surround yourself with—oscillating in the interzone (your personality) between ecstatic decoration and character armor. Collaged by his all-world, stylistically eclectic—have you ever been seduced by gem-like Persian miniatures? WOW!* Amir was born in Tehran—pixillated imagination into a delirious FEVER DREAM of...his idea of you. Thatʼs so LA!
Weʼre all immigrants. If not, then weʼve immigrated from immigrants. Especially to LA . . . On my Google Maps “directions” app, Stas Orlovski is a veritable TRIP! Bits and pieces of everywhere heʼs been: Moldova,*** Tel Aviv, Paris, Toronto, (heʼs Canadian!), USC, Culver City and, appropriately, remnants of every piece of art heʼs ever seen that matters to him, are planted in his paintings. Including plants. Which also seem to be refugees —from our great, baffling, desert by the sea. Their direction: home. Stasʼs home. Like moving right into his clean, mid-century modern sensibility. And why not? Thereʼs that bright full moon inside his mind. And a thirst quenching, Pacific Rim weather system in there as well. (Speaking of which, have you noticed the fine selection of Asian artifacts washed ashore by Stasʼs internal tsunami?) How about that mysteriously fecund, Constructivist cum Cyrillic soil below? So cool—itʼs hot. All making for a gorgeous, mind bending, “LA is the World,” mash-up.
My multi-talented wife, Deb Ross, has taken 237 iphotos of ecstatic Culver City sunsets. I see owls in every one of them. Owls at twilight. At midnight. In the clouds. Over the moon (with pussycats). Fructifying and multiplying. When they have a moment, they will occasionally deign to address me directly (itʼs an honor), “Hey you—we got a beautiful thing here: The PLANET, yo!Donʼtfuckitup,you...you...human!” Andsoforthandso on . . . til morning.
*Technically, the application of computers and telecommunications
equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data.
**Like, Apple coming out with a new iteration of its iPhone every 6 months.
*** “The unhappiest country in the world.” This according to data from the World Values Survey, whose researchers interviewed tens of thousands of people in over 60 countries during the last decade. Only 44% of people in Moldova said they were happy, the lowest proportion of all the countries surveyed. Source: Wikipedia.
Robbie Conal is a long time friend of Koplin Del Rio, who over the years has had solo shows, participated in group shows and curated exhibitions at the gallery. Robbie grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan and later received his BFA at San Francisco State University (1969), and his Masters of Fine Arts from Stanford University (1978). His work has been featured on “CBS This Morning”, “Charlie Rose” and in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, the LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, People Magazine,Interview, and the Washington Post—which dubbed him, “America’s foremost street artist”.He’s received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant, a Getty Individual Artist Grant and a Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Individual Artist’s Grant (COLA). Most recently, his work has been collected by–and featured in exhibitions at–LACMA and MOCA in Los Angeles, the San Jose Museum of Art, and his beloved hometown favorite, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. He has authored three books: Art Attack: The Midnight Politics of a Guerrilla Poster Artist, 1992 (HarperCollins); Artburn, 2003 (Akashic Books), and, with wife Deborah Ross, 2009 (Art Attack Press). He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.