I’ve been quite the Shark Toof fan as of late. When my love for street art grew, he was naturally an important name to know, and now with the release of his new book and the opening of a new show at C.A.V.E. Gallery, it’s great to see this artist continue to grow.
Some of the best and most interesting street art shows I’ve seen happen when the street artist takes a new approach to his gallery show. And while it’s a trite subject in the art world by now, the move from exterior to interior in a street artist’s career never gets old. For “Ping Pong Show,” Shark Toof did not disappoint. He put serious thought not only into the complex works but into the overall experience. When you first walk into C.A.V.E. Gallery, you notice bright, colorful lines running all over the walls and floor of the space. I chatted with the artist and asked him about the eye-catching lines, and he explained that you could see a lot of the shapes inside the works. The lines symbolized a trap that humans are caught in, repeating the same behaviors that land us in some of the tricky situations his works display.
That idea made sense as gallery–goers walked over the lines, caught in the traps themselves. Works like Five Boys and Five Girls Show allude to the complicated nature of the romantic relationship in a mesh of vignettes Shark Toof creates to talk about human interaction. Among the many scenes, he pointed out the story of a man putting a ring of a woman’s finger while the lover he left behind stands to side.
From the smallest to the largest, the pieces in the show made the viewer look closely in order to pick up details they might otherwise miss. Pieces like “Girl and Wolf show” juxtapose furry, fierce creatures with stereotypical 50s-like women in a way that makes us look more closely at identity and romantic relationships. If “Ping Pong Show” is any indication, Shark Toof will only continue to bring engaging, thought-provoking pieces – inside and outside of the gallery space.
Ping Pong Show
Runs through November 11th
1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Wednesday through Sunday noon – 6pm, or by appointment