Galleries offer eccentric works this season
Posted February 2, 2012 at 10:15 pm in Lifestyle
Even when itâs not an Art Walk night, L.A. art galleries are playgrounds worth exploring.
The art scene is ever changing, but quite a few galleries are leaning toward the fun and fantastical. For these galleries, art doesnât need to be so serious.
For starters, how about art with robots and donuts? Eric Joynerâs âItâs a Jungle Out There,â featuring guest artist Pure Evil, is available for viewing at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City until Feb. 8.
Pure Evilâs spray-paint-on-canvas works feature close-ups of faces with paint dripping from their eyes, and Joynerâs oil-on-panel creations are unabashedly whimsical. In âTiger Mountain,â for instance, robots are depicted walking alongside an elephant carrying a load of three giant donuts.
In âAll Wrapped Up,â a red robot holds a donut in one hand while battling a snake coiled around it with its free hand. Every painting has intriguing details that show Joynerâs knack for keeping his art interesting and elusive.
âI kind of keep things a little complex, so if youâre looking at something and you think possibly it could have two or three different meanings, I think thatâs good,â Joyner said. âSome people think itâs funny, and some people think itâs sad. I think itâs more subtle â youâre not hit over the head with it.â
Beyond the aesthetic complexities, Joynerâs style contains a playful nature, especially through the incorporation of donuts.
âIt could be because my mom tried to bribe me to go to Sunday school with donuts, or it could be that I just like them and itâs an interesting shape, the circle,â Joyner said.
But Joyner also remembers a more specific moment. His paintings started out with robots based on Japanese tin toys from the â50s and â60s until he saw a scene in the film Pleasantville that inspired him to add the donuts.
The taste for the whimsical continues at Thinkspace Art Gallery on Washington Boulevard. On Saturday, Liz Brizzi and Ana Bagayan will present their fascinating work. The latterâs exhibition title, There is Time to Kill Today, is already enough indication that this wonât be an ordinary art show.
Bagayanâs subjects are humans with big eyes and dead looks that give them a disturbing demeanor, no matter the setting. Other subjects of Bagayanâs works are based on people under hypnosis who believe they have been abducted by aliens.
Liz Brizziâs New Works show stays a little closer to reality. Her pieces take inspiration from urban scenes. This city setting is especially enhanced by a gritty, almost ephemeral quality because of the use of mixed media.
Together, the artistâs tastes create a show that puts together two different aesthetics unified by the artistsâ penchant for giving normal images their own twists.
The explosion of creativity continues at Crewest Gallery, which will present its new show Blow Up L.A.: The Art of Blowing Up Your City on Feb. 4 on Winston Street. The show centers on a variety of artists tackling the same canvas â vinyl toy dolls. The dolls are custom made by a company called Jamungo, which will bring its dolls called BUDs and NADEs.
But the dolls arenât your typical kidsâ toys. The BUDsâ heads are in the shapes of bombs, and the NADEsâ heads resemble grenades â hence the name of the exhibition. Crewest is just another stop on the route of Aerosol Warfareâs Blow Up (Your City!) traveling exhibition, which will feature artists Pyro, Bezerk ONE and Justin Garcia. Owner of Aerosol Warfare and curator of the Crewest Show, GONZO247 adds that it was initially challenging to work with so many artists, but that it ultimately creates an intriguing, diverse show.
âWe have a wide variety of styles of art on the dolls so I think what the viewer will see is how many different directions the shape can take,â GONZO247 said. âWe have some urban artists but also people that work with oils and do fine art, and then people who do crazy design work. So itâs what the artist does best â with an urban edge.â
Vinyl doll decorating isnât new; there are other similar figures out there for artists.
âThere are a lot of designers and creative people starting to design toys that arenât like your average Barbie doll but have more of an urban feel,â GONZO247 said.
Accordingly, galleries are offering plenty of exciting shows this season. The beauty of the current art scene lies in the fact that on any given gallery row, you never quite know what youâll stumble upon.