NOVEMBER 3- DECEMBER 16, 2018
"We're All Counting On You, Mike." - Ben D
SEPTEMBER 15TH - OCTOBER 21ST 2018
Over the past decade, Michael Decker has collected thousands of bendable figurines commonly known as bendies, produced for their malleable play. Although they rarely vary in their construction of pliable wire covered in rubber, the figures range from generic animals and characters of pop-culture to the emblemized promotional material as well as sought-after rare collectibles. 'Ben D' is a human-sized figure compiled by Decker from these differing personalities and archetypes. His composite form features a head of hair made from Kushball bendies and Gumbys for toes, a studded belt made of 'Jack In The Box' Jack hats and a leopard-print jacket with contrasting anarchist symbol. His dress seems eerily informed. Leaning languidly against the gallery wall, 'Ben D' evokes a casual, disarming poise, trying to blend in amongst a more rigid human crowd.
Accompanying this figure are three large illustrations showing a hedonistic micro-verse of sensual exploration amongst a multi-perspective landscape. Dwellers of this patchwork environment engage with each other in a variance of congenial and sexual poses, suggesting cooperative marketplace harmony or consensual unbridled orgiastic pleasure.
In both 'Ben D' and the accompanying illustrations, the sum of the parts are indeed greater than the whole. Decker has made an intricate process of contextualizing relationships amongst bendies and free-form nudists, each a statement of making peace with chaos, complexity, multiplicity, and possibility. Each form's unbridled ecstasy and peaceful context in relationship to each other acts as if to campaign for unity, saying, "We're All Counting On You, Mike."
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MAY 12TH - JUNE 24TH 2018
Odd Ark • LA is pleased to announce Buoy, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Alika Cooper. For Buoy, Alika Cooper constructs enigmatic compositions by cropping, flattening, and zooming in on collected photographs of women in bathing suits. Swatches of painted and dyed fabric are precisely cut, inlayed and collaged into a "reassembled" version of the photograph in which the figures are equated with their backgrounds. Cooper's paintings maintain a buoyancy between figuration and abstraction. In the original photographs, women sat basking in the sun, posed. In Cooper’s translation, they barely reveal themselves. They arrive floating, partially submerged in space, yet insistent.
Cooper’s paintings reflect her Southern Californian upbringing and an emphasis on swimming in suburban pools. The works externalize complex interior layers of female identity. They take form in a realm of simultaneity. Hair bleeds into skin, while clothing fades into the background.
A buoy is an anchored float that serves many purposes. It marks safe zones through which ships can pass, protecting them from collisions. As Cooper’s figures float, they signal the weight that women carry within a culture that objectifies them. Their floral fashions are warning signs and markers of survival; their zippers and knots bind, cover, and have the potential to expose. Initially masked as style and play, the invisibilized exertion of women’s work bobs to the surface.
ALIKA COOPER (b. 1979, Guam) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received both her MFA and BFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA. Solo and two person exhibitions include Madeline Cake SITUATIONS, New York; Wet Suits Good Weather Gallery, Little Rock; Have A Sex Fort Gondo, Saint Louis; The Disguised Edge MULHERIN, Toronto; UPBRAID Night Gallery, Los Angeles; and GLASS Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco. She was the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant, the MagicTrillium Press Yesland Prize, and the Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fellowship. She has participated in The Viewing Program at The Drawing Center, New York; MOTION PICTURE at The Saint Louis Art Museum; and was Artist in Residence at Galleria Studio Legale in Marzano Appio, Italy and at Marble House Project, Dorset, Vermont.
THE SYMMETRY OF SEPARATION
MARCH 17TH - APRIL 29TH 2018
SKUNKS AND FLOWERS
JAN 13TH - MARCH 4TH 2018
In Skunks and Flowers, Emdur’s skunks are a stand-in for the feminine- sensual, mysterious, and sometimes stinky. Although nocturnal, her skunks slink and shift through a colorful daylight floral that points to the optimistic designs of Vera Neumann, whose scarves, tea sets, tablecloths, bedspreads, and curtains, famously dressed the women and homes of the 1960’s and 70’s.
Emdur’s paintings, produced with ink and matte acrylic-based gouache on paper, mix colorful opaque floral shapes with a contrasting intervention of feathery renderings of black and white skunks. The skunks moment of compositional crossing is humorous and emotive as the skunks fur markings reveal a cipher of “V” messaging.
Skunks and Flowers depict an olfactory collision between the floral and the sulfur-containing chemicals that skunks spray from their anal scent glands as they demand personal space.
In Emdur’s paintings, we find, not the skunks of Bambi or Pepé Le Pew, but rather those that many Angelenos find in their backyards at night. Emdur’s idea of a domestic backyard is a flattened gestural version of a secret garden filled, not just with marks that represent flowers, but with other cycle of life wanderings- hand drawn reproductive diagrams, caricatures of authority figures, self-help texts from the golden age of pop psychology, and chapter titles appropriated from a book that helps children cope with death.
Read Alyse Emdur's Critic's Pick in ARTFORUM
ANDY HOPE 1930
MARKET IS DONE
NOV 19TH- DEC 1ST 2017