SDSU Downtown Gallery, San Diego
On View Through April 8, 2018
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Article by Cathy Breslaw
Transforming Existence is an exhibition of forty-five artists from San Diego State University including both faculty and students from the School of Art and Design. Focused on the early 20th-century art and literature movement of Surrealism, these works examine the magical, the strange, the uncanny and the unexpected.
Through the language of painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, photography, graphic design, digital art, and video, these art pieces marry and mix both reality and fantasy, and the conscious/ unconscious of human experience. Paintings The Vows by Marie Bravo and The Feast by Tyler Young resemble the style of the Surrealists of the early 1900’s. Blow You Away by Stewart Parker creates a contemporary version of an expansive abstract painting combining acrylic paint and foam that spill onto the wall in repetitive grid-like charcoal drawings on the wall while paint spills onto a comfortable white chair. Epitomizing the feel of the surreal is a digital print Dreaming by Hina Kimura, a combination of painting and photography of a man with a distorted face, with flowers surrounding his neck and head, while floating/falling backward in space.
A copper sculpture WWASD Unmoored by Julian Adams questions our notion of gravity with its anchor attached to a chain upside down from what we would expect. An interactive installation piece Revere by Max Lofano asks viewers to step on a pedal emitting drum-like sound from an old-school speaker. A contemporary interactive work, Soundscape, by Matthew Higgins and Chris Warren using an HD video game-playing device that when manipulated by the viewer, creates sounds as you plot around the yellow-green decorative checkerboard grid projected on a screen. Carved out into the gallery is a blackened space where viewers can experience David Fobes’s Psycho dos us, an HD video projected on canvas, a piece layered with psychedelic moving patterns, sound and a background of people performing various activities. Jewelry created with brass, copper, silver, shells and other accessible materials are displayed as are quirky and mysterious small wall sculptures by Richard Keely made of cement, glue, and resin. Surprising and often hilarious, explained as “weird tools” based upon Japanese Chindogu objects were “tools” created by artists Tim Demuth, Liz Koerner, and Aleya Lanteigne – Bust Cover, Emotion Helmet, Soap Scuzz Cleaner and a Potpourri Bowl which fits over the nose.