Guerrero Gallery is pleased to present Summer Slam, an exhibition of new works by Thom Lessner and William Emmert. The unique works on display include paintings, painted paper sculptures, and hand sewn felt signs. Lessner’s work draws a good deal of influence from 1980s popular culture and rock bands, while Emmert’s work does so from 1990s pop culture and professional wrestling. Whether it’s references to caricatured rock gods, teenage collections, the artist studio, or hand made fan signs, the works serve as stand-ins holding the place for a desired myth while also paying homage to personal heroes.
Thom Lessner is a native Ohioan currently living in Philadelphia. Thom’s parodied renditions of 80s pop culture figures have become his signature style. Thom is an ardent skateboarder and rock n’ roll star in the costume-clad band Sweetheart. Thom has done work for and with POKETO, Shepherd Fairey, and a multitude of magazines including Thrasher, Vice, Swindle, and Spin. Thom’s works have traveled to Los Angeles, New York, and internationally. Summer Slam will be Thom’s first show in San Francisco since 2005.
William Emmert was born in 1984 and is originally from Seattle. William’s work lives in a space between the escalating expectations of the viewer and the ever decreasing plausibility those expectations will be met. What is one really looking for and why? Emmert is locked into a method of making which continues to unpack and reveal the complex relationship between the imaginary and the real. Memories serve as a gateway to create objects that function as props for a posthumous retelling of an average history made extraordinary. Emmert’s work shows the role of the fantastic in our obsession with individuality and our confusion with identity. He creates epically beautiful failures, which admittedly can’t live up to their image. William received his MFA from California College of the Arts
The Project Room in July will feature Zones, an exhibition of works by Jon Bocksel. In this series of works the artist implements hand painted typography and language-based narratives on paper, some created in response to his experiences in the Tenderloin District in June 2012. This show will run as an extension of his performance during the Luggage Store Galleryʼs Streetopia Exhibition, for which Jon took a pushcart to the streets of the Tenderloin to conduct a social communication experiment that played with concepts of the dissemination of information through personalized, hand painted signs or “Broadcasts.” This show will contain ephemera from his pushcart travels, and recent studio work that both investigate language.
Jon Bocksel was born in 1983 in Queens, New York. His works are inspired by words encountered in daily life, ranging from newspaper headlines to graffiti. His works provoke viewers to both read and look at the deeper social issues connected within the words. His work has been reviewed by Color Magazine, Jettison Quarterly, Williamsburg/Greenpoint Art News, Juxtapoz, and the New York Times. Jon received his BFA from Pratt Institute in 2005 and calls Brooklyn home.