“Do Not Go Gentle”
Da Vinci Gallery at Los Angeles City College is proud to announce a group show of Los Angeles based artists: Kristin Calabrese, Phung Hungh, Laura Krifka, Naida Osline, Max Presneill, Sergio Teran, and Marnie Weber.
Dylan Thomas admonished us in his famous poem “Do not go gentle into that good night “ to “rage” against impending death. How are we to face the forces that wear away at our youthful Sturm and Drang? We are to face that final challenge by being “…wise, good, wild and grave men”. Ever since the Baroque, painters offered up good and wild men in a valid show of courage against the transitoriness of life. With pathos and swagger alike, they posed as ambassadors for universal humanity with all it’s sensual rewards and pitfalls. Frozen were our struggles, as they were carried out with earnestness and protective gear of all kind.
The artists in this show continue the tradition of using the 2D surface as a stage for emotional spectacle. At heart of these beautifully crafted images lies the artist’s ruse, that feeds on our desire to perform, to watch and be seen. The protagonists--however willing--are no longer the heroes of the past, with clearly defined fates and pathos, but fitting to their postmodern status, filled with ambiguity. Aware that the frozen spectacle we view is already a thing of the past, our protagonists are desperately trying to hold time by drawing us into pondering them, as they stand guard and join Dylan Thomas in his battle cry to fight death, failure and oblivion .
"Calabrese's subjects emerge from personal narratives and clever observations from the life of the artist. Her paintings investigate ideas and personal struggles through a metaphorical visual language... and become (s) a poetic and humorous investigation of the human psyche. Her paintings are conscious of their existence as paintings, which is exactly what a painting needs to do today."
In Teran’s work the subject of Mexican masked wrestlers is taken out of the context of the wrestling ring. The use of the mask is meant to evoke the spiritual being from within the subject while yet retaining their ordinary, human identities, similar to what would happen in cultural ceremonies that involve spirit masks or puppetry. By wearing the sacred wrestling mask, the participants (his friends, family) transcend themselves. The spirit of this work comes from a cultural belief in the metaphysical, and its parallels to reality, i.e. good and evil, temptation, righteousness etc. Human beings struggle to comprehend these parallels but the “masked man” poses a spiritual power that may fend-off transgression in both a physical and a bodiless world.
Marnie Weber creates works of fantasy and fiction utilizing collage, installation, film, performance, and music. By combining her own mythology of creatures, monsters, animals and female characters with costuming on stage sets, she creates narratives of passion, transformation, and discovery.
makes paintings, sculptures and videos that dissect common fantasies of power and identity dealing with fantasies of beauty and nobility, myth, power, identity, seduction and the American dream. Her work explores the relationship of light and dark through a range of influences from art history to fairyland all with a post-modernist twist. Her investigations reveal a landscape where fantasies and clichés of the western world can combine and breed, creating a sublime and sinister world that reflects the oddity of our own.
Naida Osline is a photo-based artist living in Southern California who has had an abiding interest in the transformative, mythical and ethereal nature of existence. Using digital photography as her primary medium, she combines and manipulates images to explore a number of themes related to biological processes, documentary photography, cultural anthropology, and the natural world in tension with the synthetic or human-engineered. More recently the mystical, social anthropology and personal identity. Each series evoke ideas about identity, power, representation, gender, fame, beauty, aging and fashion.
Within reconstructed histories and mythologized experiences, the forged connections that play between remembering and invention act as considerations of the nature of reality, power and identity. In the end the paintings are the remnants and evidence of the cognitive, problem-solving nature of painting and the human experience, or at least mine…
Hungh’s paintings fluctuate between the sweet and the grotesque, as she takes auspicious imagery out of traditional context into perverse landscapes where naughty children assume adult behavior, and where objects have a life of their own. There is a tension being played out of when visual metaphors and symbols perform an allegory that can become meaningful omens, or can become cute commodified objects purchased in Chinatown.
Reception: October 11th; 4-6:30
Da Vinci Gallery hours: M-Th 12:00-3:00
Please contact Alexandra Wiesenfeld with questions firstname.lastname@example.org