Guest Jurors: Peter Mars & Ciro Quintana
American Popular Culture has EXPLODED since the good old days of Rauschenberg, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. In those days there were maybe 5 television stations, 5 national magazines, your daily newspaper, and zero internet. While these early works in Pop-Art remain relevant, they do not even scratch the surface of today's massive barrage coming. What used to be American culture, now sits like a behemoth amongst the even larger global popular culture, and this is the dialogue you will see in the exhibit called Pop2.0
So this exhibition is about what has happened in pop art AFTER the 1960s. and what is currently happening in pop art today, in 2019.
One of my favorite things about Pop Art is that it is easy to understand. Even small children "get it". Or at least get most of it. I worked in old print shops to learn the technical parts. It took me many many years to learn all the fine points of this old-world craft. I worked hard at it because i believe good art should look easy, fresh, or effortless. The way a violinist will draw the bow across the instrument and easily make the music flow out. I feel art actually SHOULD look like a child could do it. But of course we know that the master violinist who makes all that music look so effortless, is clearly someone who has studied the instrument for decades. We forget about the years where all that early student could conjure from the violin was a bunch of confounded horrendous squawking.
So, once you get to the place where there is music without the squawk, there becomes visible an amazing art without the struggle, then you have something truly special. And that simply takes years of practice. Looking back at my own 40 years of learning the art of silk-screen i really appreciate the art i get when i am feeling most fearless and effortless.
My art is all made by hand, there are no machines, no presses. The art of Silkscreen is simply pushing ink through a stretched piece of silk fabric. Each time ink is pulled across a different silk screen, a new layer, new design, and new color is added to the canvas. I also paint and draw on the canvases.
I'm interested by our American popular culture, and that culture reveals itself best in our packaging, our branding, our Donkey-Kong/Wonder Woman/Movie Stars/Mr. T/ Six Million Dollar Man strip mall America. So I might find inspiration in an old box of crackers, empty match packs, or on old potato chip bag. And i watch for what most people would possibly consider trash or the detritus of our society, and i use those elements to discuss the larger stories that result from the endless diet of advertising and questionable "news" that we get fed every day. I like to make playful works that laugh about popular culture, while many times revealing its danger and its thin veneer..