Works Gallery
Artist Information

Joey Enos

2062

 

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 8th, 2017, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Exhibition Dates: July 8th – July 29th, 2017

 

** (Cue mysterious fog in a not-so-distant future/past.)

The year: 1962, and the animation studio Hanna-Barbera birthed two primetime cartoons that reflected the seemingly sweet nuttiness of American society through situational comedy. One was set in a distant prehistoric past (The Flintstones) and the other in the far flung future of 2062 (The Jetsons). Setting these wacky families in two very different time periods deflected the anxiety of the present in 1962, and with good reason. The year saw the height of the Cold War manifesting in the Cuban Missile Crisis – mere shadows of the political turmoil that the 1960s were to bring. This was also the beginning of the end for mainstream American Utopianism and those prosperous ideas of the future promised to us by motion pictures, Disney theme parks, and presidential speeches.

As an exhibition, 2062 creates a place both familiar and strange: a light and whimsical romp through both pre-historic and post-apocalyptic environments, comprised of materials derived from theme park construction–dense foams and glues invented less than 80 years ago. Meditating and playing with weighty constructs of pre-history such as the monolith, Enos ruminates on the mysterious intentionality of ancient forms through short-lived and flawed contemporary materials, exploring the tensions between past, present and future. And within these overlapping temporal themes, the combination and humor in Enos’ work contests the historical notions that building large art is serious, hyper-masculine and important.

The bright future that was promised in mid-century American rhetoric is drastically different from the global turmoil in which we currently find ourselves embroiled. Despite progressive movements, we struggle to elevate the human condition, and thus we turn to our various forms of escape. 2062 as an exhibition presents both as a commingling imagination of past and future projections, as well as an exploration of escapism itself–an immersive cartoon landscape underpin by the very real fears, aspirations, anxieties and desires that function as the motivators for these unrealities.

 

East bay native and surreal sculptural visionary, Joey Enos has the uncanny ability of conjuring a particular light hearted gravitas from even the humblest of materials – insulation foam and paint being the artist’s primary materials.  His work functions as immersive byproducts of a childhood raised on gag-filled Looney Tunes “Acme” products and hot rod car culture.  In addition to his sculpture practice, Enos has taken up a research role in digging up, archiving and writing about the iconic DIY Emeryville Mudflat sculptures that dotted the shore along the freeways 80 freeway, providing indelible memories for any longtime bay area resident.  With the deeply populist and carefree ethos of the Mudflat sculptors taken to heart, Enos will partake on his most expansive sculpture project to date, using the expansive warehouse space of Guerrero Gallery to create his uniquely disorienting environments.  

 

Tim Diet

Time Bomb

Much as Joey Enos’ 2062 transforms cartoon languages into a bodily experience as an exploration of escapism; Tim Diet’s exhibition, Time Bomb, functions as a meditation on the ways in which these same languages have been recontextualized and reperformed throughout the populist history of graffiti. Diet’s collages of melted vintage toys presents this process of cultural transformation both literally and metaphorically, as the edges of pop icons begin to liquefy into one another, creating a new lattice of references and woven meaning. As graffiti developed within inner city America through the 60s and 70s, an early innovation alongside bubble letters and shadowing was the inclusion of the “character”–figures pulled from cartoons and comic strips, advertisements and pop culture detritus, interjected next to letters thereby creating an entirely new symbolic meaning and providing an entry point for the lay graffiti consumer. Through Time Bomb, Diet, both pays homage to the tradition of the character while simultaneously reperforming this rite–like the many graffiti writers and artists before him, radically reorienting the roles of cultural production: from mere consumer to omnipotent producer.