It’s a can’t lose proposition really. “Eye Candy,” that’s the title of the latest group exhibition at WWA Gallery. It’s a wide open theme, leaving an infinite panorama of options for the eleven artists featured to throw themselves into.
Some of the artists, like Gabe Larson and Aaron Jasinski, clearly reveled in the opportunity to stray from their typical oeuvre toward literal interpretations. Others, such as Edith Lebeau and Gustavo Rimada, kept to their easily recognizable motifs. However, Lebeau’s paintings here, the mystical offspring of seasonal havoc, are more elegantly nebulous than anything I’ve seen from her before. They are quite striking visual treats, and beg to be seen in person (my photos don’t do them justice). While Rimada has several of his signature flower-adorned, glam, candy-skull lovelies included, his Dark Side of the Moon is a clever, and somewhat atypical aside.
Other artists in the show include Charlie Immer, Audrey Pongracz, Robert Bowen, Brandi Read, Ken Keirns, and Arabella Proffer. There is an amusing little note next to Proffer’s Nayanna of Alia, which offers some background on the impertinent Countess of Luc. I can’t tell you if there’s any truth to it though. Bowen’s Jellybean Viper is a garish wonder. Brandi Read breathes life into the ancient Greek caryatids, imbuing the columns with feminine strength and, in one instance, a bit of Manic Panic.
Yet it’s Jason John who utterly chews the scenery here. His classical realist style is staggering enough, but the chaotic scenes of seemingly disaffected youth awash in a maelstrom of purloined carnal fruit and disembodied fowl are just drop-you-where-you-stand body blows. I’m told that before every imminent battle, Vikings would fashion new helmets, festooning them with symbols of the culture they had last decimated. This, apparently, is the inspiration for the tattered cardboard headgear on the subjects in John’s aching, dystopian scenes. Believe me, you have never seen cardboard rendered so exquisitely. I’m placing Jason John alongside Nicola Verlato, and Kent Williams on the short list of contemporary artists pushing classicism in bold new directions. The guy is amazing.
WWA is one of the most consistently solid galleries in all of Los Angeles. They believe in their stable artists, they champion new ones, they keep their prices affordable, they aren’t elitists, and they put on damn fine shows. “Eye Candy” is no exception. Go.
“Eye Candy” runs through April 27th, 2013
9517 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11-5 pm or by appointment