The Furthest Distance Between Two Points
In 1984, Skip Arnold entered an 8 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft. white room dressed only in jeans, combat boots, and an Evil Knievel-inspired helmet. He bound his hands with tape “like they did to patients when I worked at the insane asylum.” As an audience watched in real time on closed circuit TV, three surveillance cameras captured the artist incessantly propelling himself violently into the room’s white walls. Each masochistic crashing thud and scrape leaving a trace, mapping Arnold’s eventual descent into unconsciousness.
Los Angeles based artist, Skip Arnold (b. Binghamton, NY) received a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA in 1984. His works have been featured in numerous group exhibitions at venues including the J. Paul Getty Museum (LA); the Los Angeles Museum of Art; the Louisiana Museum of Art (Denmark); the Museum of Contemporary Art (Rio do Sul, Brazil); the Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach); PS1 (NY); Kustmuseum Wolfsburd (Germany); the Armand Hammer Museum (LA); and the New Museum of Contemporary Art (NY). Solo presentations of his works include the Newport Harbor Museum and the Laguna Art Museum. Most recently he was chosen to curate a series of videos for MOCA-TV and has a forthcoming solo show at Christine König Galerie in Vienna, also opening on May 16.
Skip Arnold has been the recipient of numerous awards including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant. Texts about his work have been published in a number of exhibition catalogs and books on video and performance, and his work has been reviewed extensively, including Modern Painters, Art in America, Tribune de Geneve, Die Woche, Village Voice, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. Skip Arnold is an adjunct professor at Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, CA.
Part impulsive, part compulsive, Langer’s vast array of “five color pen drawings” captures a rapid hand-eye-cognitive triangulation depicting everything from birds to facial distortions to glory hole encounters. In this series of drawings, Langer’s contorted grip wrangles multiple pens at once to create a disorienting linear and prismatic effect. In this series of hundreds of works on paper, the depicted image multiplies and separates; causing a distorted slippage of information something akin to photographic motion blurs or unaided raw 3D imagery.
Eli Langer (b. 1967, Montreal) lives and works in Los Angeles and Toronto. Langer has been exhibiting his work extensively for over 20 years including multiple solo exhibitions at Daniel Hug (LA) and Paul Petro (Toronto). Langer has also presented solo projects with Night Gallery (LA), Mercer Union (Toronto), Platform (London); and Hallwalls (Buffalo, NY). In September 2012, Eli Langer had his first one-person exhibition at Wharton + Espinosa.
Langer’s works have also been included in exhibitions at Cardi Black Box (Milan); Jack Hanley Gallery (LA); Ben Kaufman (Berlin); Public Fiction (Los Angeles); and the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art. He has been the recipient of numerous Canadian Council Grants (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998). Most recently Eli Langer’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, Artillery Magazine, ArtSlant and the Los Angeles Times.
Nicolas Lobo’s Grape Syrup Action for Paul Octavian Nazca’s “U Smile 800% Slower” cross-contaminates ascending mega-trends in a deadpan video documenting an enigmatic mark-making activity. The imagery captures a person, covered head to toe in protective painting gear, spraying purple fluid onto the large interior walls of a warehouse. This ambiguous action is set to the sounds of hypnotic distant howls surging in wavelike rhythms. The purple fluid sprayed from a hacked fire extinguisher is grape cough syrup, Screw music’s drug of choice. Lobo’s weaving line of oozy, evaporating purple syrup embodies a drawing practice he refers to as Palsy Drawing, which he explains as a technique derived from non-representational early childhood mark making that is directly tied to developing neurological patterns.
Meanwhile, echoing inside the industrial space, the soundtrack for Lobo’s narco-action painting is the semi-authorless viral phenomenon “Justin Bieberʼs U Smile 800% slower”. This track is part of a surging trend of extremely slowed pop songs that carry DJ Screw’s eponymous Hip-Hop genre a step further into total hallucinatory disfigurement. Lobo’s video functions as a kind of multi-sensorial echo chamber for pop culture and its endless zombielike permutations.
Nicolas Lobo (born 1979, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in Miami, FL. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Cooper Union in 2004. His work has been exhibited at international venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art (North Miami); Miami Art Museum; Marlborough Chelsea (NY); the de la Cruz Collection (Miami); and Lisa Cooley Gallery (NY). In addition, Lobo has recently published an artist book through [Name] publications and released an audiocassette through Augurari.
Jeff Ostergren treats painting as a thoroughfare for its history in relation to chemicals, and more precisely, pharmaceuticals. Using a variety of chemicals with paints, including pharmaceuticals, corn oil, salt, energy drinks, and “bath salts” in the work entitled Molecular Terrorism, he considers the act of painting as a sculptural act, one that understands the application of paint as a kind of dosage that leaves traces and residues of its process.
In his sculpture Ardent Fervor, arrangements of found and constructed objects create distorted, vaguely figurative elements that suggest a defeated and distended body. These works are surrogates for bodies themselves; surfaces and depths which absorb, reject, and excrete chemicals, experiences, and concepts; bodies which change over time. Exposing the violence of consumption and production – the ways in which materials are manipulated for our optimum biological response and the ways they affect our culture. — viewers are implicated in their own bodily urges (binging, exercising, addiction) as well as the forces that impose options upon them (the food industry, politics of labor, technology).
Jeff Ostergren (b. 1976 in Schenectady, NY) received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 2006. He has exhibited in West Cove Studios (New Haven, CT), Soi Fischer (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Glendale College Art Gallery (Glendale, CA), François Ghebaly Gallery (Los Angeles), Schneider Museum of Art (Ashland, OR), Outpost for Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA), Daniel Hug Gallery (Los Angeles), Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena, CA), Galerie Califia (Horazdovice, Czech Republic), California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach, CA), and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA). Most recently he was included in the exhibition “Your Content Will Return Shortly” at Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT. Jeff Ostergren lives and works in New Haven, CT, and is an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven.
DANIEL R. SMALL
Daniel R. Small’s Excavation II (After the Future) is the video component to a larger project centered around the speculative proposal for an archaeological excavation of Cecil B Demille’s 1923 film set for The Ten Commandments. The set, constructed to simulate Pharaonic-era Egypt, now lies buried in the white sands of the California desert. Small’s larger project connects this accelerated ruin with its glistening futuristic counterpart located four hundred miles away – Las Vegas’ black glass pyramid, The Luxor.
His video, Excavation II (After the Future) begins with an image of pitch-black sky pierced by a speckled white light, The Luxor’s beacon beaming into the darkness of the Nevadan desert. The moving spots are bats drawn in from the desert to feast on insects swarming in the white light. Tracing the same narrative camera movements of The Ten Commandments, Small’s camera moves from that desert darkness to the blue clarity of California light and the burial site of Cecil B. Demille’s set.
Excavation II (After the Future) functions as the point of entry into Small’s larger (in-production) Excavation II project. That project rapidly unpacks into a complex web of seemingly improbable relationships, intertwined narratives, and a circulation of artifacts. Daniel R. Small’s forensic-like investigative approach constructs a triangulated maze of tangents that weave together Demille’s mysterious buried set in the California desert, Las Vegas’ monolithic Luxor hotel and his own artistic process.
Daniel R. Small (b. 1984 in Centralia, IL.) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA from the New Genres program at the San Francisco Art Institute. Prior to that, Daniel R. Small attended Brown University with an emphasis in Psychology and Philosophy and culminated his undergraduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography in 2006. His work has been included in exhibitions at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa, Japan); the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (Salt Lake City); Public Fiction (LA); The Center Gallery at Fordham University (NY); Michael Strogoff Gallery (Marfa) and Samuel Freeman Gallery (LA). In the fall of 2013, Small will be part of Los Angeles Nomadic Division’s Manifest Destiny Billboard Project.