Jan. 4 – Jan. 27, 2008
Reception for the artists: Friday, Jan. 4, 8 - 11 pm
La Luz de Jesus Gallery: www.laluzdejesus.com
Online press release with images: http://www.leejosephpublicity.com/show/david_sandlin_and_martha_rich
David Sandlin’s first major exhibition on the West Coast in
15 years at not one, but two galleries!
In 2006, Sandlin had his first major show, a mini-retrospective, in his native Ireland, at the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny. Major works from that show as well as several new large paintings and two books come to Los Angeles in January, showing at Billy Shire Fine Arts, and La Luz de Jesus Gallery.
At Billy Shire Fine Arts, Sandlin presents “Wonderfool World.” Sandlin has completed a series of giant-size paintings; several seven by twelve feet which compose the core of the series. Working in what critic Nancy Princenthal calls “the cartoony style he has perfected over the past 20 years, something of a cross between Thomas Hart Benton and Mad Magazine…” Wonderfool World, (2006, softcover, 189 pages, published by Butler Gallery, ISBN ISBN-10: 0954863526) in its turn, is part of A Sinner’s Progress, an epic cycle of paintings, artist’s books, prints, and installations that has consumed Sandlin’s attention for a decade.
Sandlin’s series of paintings updates the 19th-century Romantic painter Thomas Cole’s “Voyage of Life,” creating a postmodern morality tale “bursting at the seams with drama and allegory, visual detail, and theatrical elaboration” (Princenthal). A close look reveals that Sandlin also draws inspiration from works of the 17th and 18th centuries such as John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and William Hogarth’s Rake’s Progress. “But it’s actually all about me, my family, and the predicaments of postmodern life—the joys and sorrows that are everybody’s lot, and the overload of cultural baggage we all pass on from generation to generation,” says Sandlin.
Additionally, in the Billy Shire Fine Arts project room, Sandlin presents the drawings he made for An Alphabetical Ballad of Carnality (2006, hardcover, 32 pages, published by Blab/Fantagraphics, ISBN 10: 1560977310), and volume VI of his seven-volume series of books. Steven Heller, in the New York Times, called the book a “comically grotesque series of disturbingly funny tableaus about the upside of eternal damnation, filthy lucre, and masochistic mendacity.”
At La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Sandlin presents the "Swamp Preacher" exhibition in the form of four oil on panel pieces and approximately 40 original black/white and color drawings from the 2006 Fantagraphics comic of the same name. Swamp Preacher is Sandlin's first classic-format comic book, a loving homage to the EC and Marvel comics he grew up with in Ireland. Drawn in the tradition of the classic pulp comic "origin" tales of super heroes and villains, Swamp Preacher tells the surreal backstory of Carl Bob deVille, an enigmatic, morally ambiguous character in Sandlin's sprawling epic series A Sinner's Progress (this is volume 6). Picking up the tale of Carl Bob's life where his confessional Alphabetical Ballad of Carnality leaves off, Swamp Preacher is a twisted bildungsroman related by the ultimate unreliable narrator.
Martha Rich – “Imitation Snakeskin Superstore”
When Martha Rich was very young, she was a model for television and print commercials. Rediscovering one of her old J.C. Penney shoots lead to her obsession with vintage department store catalogs from the 60s and 70s. Working with mixed media; acrylic, pencil, ink and collage, Rich's style, which she calls "imperfect", is heavily
influenced by the stiff model poses, undergarments and beauty products found in the pages of these consumer-culture wishbooks.
At the age of 16, Rich's mother was diagnosed with cancer, forcing Rich to deal with issues much heavier than flirting, dating, using make-up, being stylish and girly. "After my mother died, I had to learn the girly stuff on my own. I did this by looking at magazines, TV and mimicking other girls. That is what this show is about; trying on and shedding identities until it feels right, trying to be normal and to fit in by buying the 'right' products or being the 'right' type of person and then finding out how unsatisfying and ridiculous it all is." states Rich. "Imitation Snakeskin Superstore" will feature paintings exploring these same issues. In addition, a year-long project started in 2006 called "Freedomwig: One Painting A Day by Martha Rich" (http://freedomwig.com ) which would have ended on October 31, has been extended exclusively for the La Luz de Jesus exhibit.
Her "imperfect" style has given her the opportunity to work on diverse projects such as Beck's music video for "Girl ," packaging for Blue Q and Camel, print work for Lady Footlocker, Country Music Television and for many publications including CosmoGirl, Jane, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, the Village Voice, Bust Magazine and others. Her work has also been featured in Graphic 10 Magazine, Communication Arts, Step Inside Design Magazine and American Illustration. Rich’s first book, " Freedom Wigs: Sketchbook Expressionism and Other Personal Things" (Hardcover, 72 pages, published by Mark Murphy/Murphy Design, http://www.murphydesign.com ISBN 0-9748032-5-1) was released in 2006.
La Luz de Jesus is located at the Soap Plant/Wacko building, in Los Feliz at 4633 Hollywood Blvd, 90027. Gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday: 11am – 7pm, Thursday – Saturday: 11am – 9pm and Sunday 12-6pm.
Official Website: http://www.laluzdejesus.com
Added by LeeJP on December 26, 2007