Works Gallery
Artist Information

Pluto

John De Fazio, Josh Reames and Kara Joslyn

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 5th, 2018, 6:00pm – 9:00pm Exhibition Dates: May 5th – June 2nd, 2018

Two earthy-red speckled granite moons are set within the gallery space, in their sedentary orbit carrying six John De Fazio ceramic works apiece. In orbit around them are a series of paintings by New York-based Josh Reames and LA-based Kara Joslyn, which touch on everything from weighted political symbology to Greek mythology and the gothic mysticism of folded paper. Taking inspiration from the Greek god Pluto: the lord of the underworld and a subject of one of Reames’ paintings, as well as the celestial body and demi-planet which lies a mere 4.67 billion miles from Earth, Pluto sees these three artists creating works both metaphysical and mythological, while retaining a deep resonance within our planetary day to day and all the madness that comes with it.

Boldly emblazoned with singe marks and warping imagery that seems to stretch the limits of the iconography employed, New York-based artist Josh Reames’ paintings have a way of consistently speaking to the insanity and deeply divisive nature of our present day. The degradations that form and intersperse Reames’ paintings don’t compromise the works physically but are instead deeply researched and thoughtful experiments carried out by the artist, faithfully recreating the visage of disintegration and instrumentalizing this effect as a new kind of symbol. Reames’ recent works collide such disparate imagery as figures from Greek mythology, Police training manuals, STOP signs and “Don’t Tread on Me” snakes; all languages and symbols of power, which Reames effectively augments, desecrates and ultimately dethrones through his wildly inventive painting processes.

John De Fazio creates effigies embroiled in layers of kitsch americana, sarcastic humor and political protest. These potent objects function as meditations on the odd collisions of culture that shape the American experience, with De Fazio’s technical wizardry and cutting wit guiding the artist’s iconic works. With an extensive background that includes working as a teenager slipcasting Bicentennial Liberty Bells, studying under the great Richard Shaw, working on the team of artists creating Pee Wee’s Playhouse, fashioning props for such iconic music videos as Guns n’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” and creating visual assets for MTV during their rise to power in the early 90s–the vast world that De Fazio calls forth through his ceramics should come as no surprise. From funerary urns to bongs and beer steins, De Fazio focuses on ceramic forms that are both utilitarian and transcendental, with these forms providing both a conceptual weight and a firm ground upon which the artist constructs his layered works.

Often stark, brooding and mysterious in nature, Los Angeles-based painter Kara Joslyn creates meticulously sculpted forms through the sprayed application of a variety of materials, including metallic flakes and color-shifting pigments found most often within car and motorcycle culture. Joslyn’s subjects are largely comprised of folded paper designs–a tradition that has had deep resonances throughout a variety of cultures, as shadowy and deeply chiaroscuro figures floating upon dark expansive backgrounds. There’s an austere subtlety in Joslyn’s works which boldly defy the origins of their materiality, and the illusive nature of the pigments used, the artist’s style of painting and the source material used all hint at a collective lingering desire in creating depth from flatness. Standing in front of one of Joslyn’s works, the sumptuous depth of the background imbues any foreground figures with an inherent sense of power and mysticism, as they protrude from the impending darkness–in their own way finding illumination from the underworld that lies behind.

 

Brion Nuda Rosch

A painting of a clock and four sculptures and lightbulbs arranged with popular houseplants

A solo exhibit upstairs at Guerrero Gallery.

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 5th, 2018, 6:00pm – 9:00pm Exhibition Dates: May 5th –June 2nd, 2018

The artist presents a single painting hung above the main gallery floor, viewable from the plants that have been arranged in conversation with four sculptures…

Ooh in time it could have been so much more
The time is precious I know
In time it could have been so much more
The time has nothing to show because
Time won’t give me time and
Time makes lovers feel like they’ve got something real
But you and me we know they’ve got nothing but time
And time won’t give me time, won’t give me time (time, time, time)

– Boy George

Clumsily camouflaged within the architecture of the gallery space, the looming presence of one of Brion Nuda Rosch’s most recent paintings suspended twenty feet in the air from the gallery’s lofty crossbeams cannot be overstated. As we climb the staircase to the gallery’s second floor, we’re glimpsed by the painting’s front face, scraggly layers of textural paint with diverging markings in Navy blue intersecting at the center of the canvas with a series of fourteen head sized dots orchestrated around the painting’s edge forming the visage of a rudimentary clock. The San Francisco-based artist and curator once described his work as “big, awkward paintings that look like they should have been made in a cave a long time ago”, a gleeful concept given their production in one of the most technologically rooted cities in the world. Upon landing on the second floor of the gallery, we’re met with a gathering of human size plants, sculptures by the artist and lightbulbs–an impromptu audience focused in silence on the painting hanging ominously in the distance. The peculiarity of the whole scene has an almost science-fiction element, reminiscent of the swarming masses of apes writhing about a mysterious monolith in 2001: A Space Oddysey, or the mortal’s worship of the stone flying head in Zardoz. In joining this odd grouping of onlookers and partaking in their gaze at this misshapen clock bathed in sunlight hanging high above the gallery floor, we’re left with a litany of questions … Do we belong amongst this assembled audience? Does this ragtag audience worship the concept of time just as we do? Are there truly universal concepts of intrigue and beauty shared by humans, houseplants and inanimate objects alike?

BIO

Brion Nuda Rosch lives and works in San Francisco
Rosch has exhibited his work at Et al., San Francisco; Halsey McKay, New York; DCKT Contemporary, New York; ACME., Los Angeles; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Recent curatorial efforts include OK GREAT THANKS THIS IS SO RIDICULOUS, at ACME. and DCKT. He has also organized exhibitions and projects for SFMOMA’s Open Space, Adobe Books, as well as his residential gallery, Hallway Projects and One-Day Residency Program. Rosch was recently an artist-in-residence at UC Berkeley’s Ceramics Department. SFMOMA SECA Finalist in 2011, he was the recipient of the Artadia Award in 2009.