C.A.V.E. Group Show- Art Ltd (November 2010)
This September, the Center for Audio and Visual Expression, more popularly known as C.A.V.E. Gallery presented "Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame," a three-person exhibition embracing the zeitgeist of lowbrow art in the metropolitan landscape, inviting street art inside the gallery and thus making would-be ephemeral works more permanent. The works of street artist who goes by the name Euth, and artists Jason Hernandez and Tom Haubrick are not typically displayed inside gallery spaces; rather they exist in the fabric of the city in the domains of street art, illustrations that adorn that pages of LA Weekly, Rolling Stone, and Hi-Fructose magazine, and tattoo art. While each artist works in different mediums, their pieces collectively speak to the anxieties of establishing an identity in an urban environ that is wrought with change. Making his debut at C.A.V.E. gallery, Euth's six panel series The Golden Age of Neglect presents an amalgamated landscape of Los Angeles where images of the Santa Monica Pier, the Capitol Records Building, the Watts Towers, and the Eastern Building collide as if they were literally compressed. Euth's examination of an ever-expanding city space imagines not what Los Angeles would look like if the city continued to develop, but rather wherein the city grows on top of itself. While Euth adopts a lens of examining the terrestrial world, Jason Hernandez's illustrations explore the age-old fascination of the cosmos and humorously explore the possibilities of life on other planets. His characters peer through large telescopes and onto mechanically engineered stars that stare back with unflinching eyes. Perhaps the most poignant of his works are three panels displayed separately from the illustrations. Housed in frames that hark back to religious paintings, these works, rendered in gold leaf, present the debate between science and religion through the image of Jesus being "summoned" by a divine light from a UFO. Illustrator and owner of Nice Guy Tattoos, Tom Haubrick's watercolor portraits depict gaunt figures with fixed yellow lights in lieu of eyes and swirling blue nebulae in place of their heads. The muted palette makes the portraits feel like family photographs that have been neglected, but the bright colors within their eyes and minds suggests that from the darkness there is a light waiting to be awakened.