I Left My Heart in Detroit

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Details from "The Martyrdom of Saint Kymberly Jane", 2010 Oil On Distressed Panel 3ft X 4ft © William Zdan
I Left My Heart in Detroit
Curated by: Landon Lewis, William Zdan

223 W. Santa Fe Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
February 4th, 2011 - February 27th, 2011
Opening: February 4th, 2011 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM

orange county
Thursday-Sunday and by appointment
Niagara painting, William Zdan, outsider pop, pop-surrealism, lowbrow surrealism, modern


Hibbleton Gallery announces “I Left My Heart in Detroit”, featuring the highly recognizable artist Niagara Detroit. Along with works by William Zdan, Matt Gordon and SLAW, the event will feature an all-Detroit lineup of artists. The opening reception is to be held on Friday, February 4, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm at the gallery. The opening reception and ongoing admission to the gallery is free.

“I Left My Heart in Detroit” refers not only to a passionate affinity that these artists have for their beloved Motor City, but also to the dual interpretation of the term alluding to the “heartless” and rough image that tales of Detroit conjure. As varied as this collective of Detroit artists hosting this show is, a lifeline of gritty similarity joins their artwork. Geography and genre marry the artists, as each has had a presence in the Lowbrow art scene. 

Perhaps no other Detroit artist has had a greater affect on this nebulous art genre than Niagara.Aptly referred to as the “Queen of Detroit”, this moniker does not fall short of her history in Detroit culture and artistic contributions. Before and during her rise to fame for her signature faux off-set paintings, Niagara was head-woman of the Detroit-style proto punk band Destroy all Monsters featuring former members of the Stooges, Ron and Scott Ashton.  Art galleries across the world have successfully featured her rugged, female-power art, including those in Sydney, Tokyo and London. Her regal nature and no-nonsense femme fatal royalty extends far beyond the boundaries of Detroit metro…they ripple across the entire underground art kingdom.

William Zdan is a Detroit expatriate and Southern California resident whose heart and art will never quite escape the dirty draw of his Motown background. With a recent host of shows in and around Los Angeles and Orange County, Zdan is quickly becoming no stranger to the outsider art scene. His work mixes political and religious satire with a classical, trained style to create stirring and provocative works of beauty and contemplation. Zdan’s vision for this show was the catalyst for the collective, as he and Hibbleton Gallery co-owner, Landon Lewis, curate this show specifically to honor and celebrate the art of Detroiters.

Like Niagara, Matt Gordon is revered in the lowbrow scene. His work has graced Juxtapoz Magazine on several occasions, has been featured on Album covers (including Modest Mouse) and is a fixture of the design company RVCA. His works collects a Bosch-like assembly of characters, ranging from the whimsical to the absurd, for a surreal (and often comical) visual experience.

 For fans of the Southern California artist SHAG, the work of Detroit artist SLAW will soon make them realize that midcentury cool and kitschy martini culture actually derive from a home much further east than Palm Springs. Slaw’s hep-cat creations stroll through a Motor City landscape decorated with muscle cars, seedy lounges complete with toony pin-up-worthy ladies. His shaken-not-stirred approach perfectly complements this cocktail of accomplished artists.

“I Left My Heart in Detroit” will show through February 26th.