Shared Universe at Eastside International is an exhibition featuring LA-based artists Samantha Greenfeld, Casey Kauffman, Kristy Luck, Ashley M. Romano, Alex Sanchez, and Skip Snow. Located in LA’s Brewery art colony complex, the venue hosts an international artist residency as well as contemporary art exhibitions.
Shared Universe is a coagulation of emerging and underrepresented artists all pondering the cosmos of the twenty-first century. From roaming through virtual frontiers to recycling wayside scraps of the urban underbelly, the artists tackle in their own ways the physical and psychological spheres of living in contemporary times. We’re breaking down the highlights for you!
Samantha Greenfeld presented two collages from her latest series “Dérive.” Undoubtedly referring to Guy Debord and the Situationists, Greenfeld’s psycho-geographical landscapes are recognizable to most urban dwellers. Shreds of iconic LA architecture are spliced together, interwoven by industrial artifacts and construction materials. Greenfeld’s compositions source from iPhone photos, and the transferal onto matte and transparency paper softens the imagery for a more emotive read. The artist was overheard as hoping to “address the sheer amount of information” pushed before our eyes every day – a contemporary re-telling of Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.
While Greenfeld’s work addresses physical landscapes of contemporary LA, artist Casey Kauffmann prefers to consider virtual terrains. UncannySFValley is a frantic digital presentation compiling a body of work on Instagram, the entirety of which can be found here.
The series coopts the language of Internet art and meme culture to engage in a number of socio-cultural commentaries, including the contemporary art world and current art practices. Pushing the boundaries of art in a digital age, Kauffman’s collages are composed entirely on an iPhone – one that she has named “Big Sexy.” Alongside the slide presentation, the artist also brings her collages to the physical sphere in acrylic block prints – proving that funny doesn’t just live on the Internet. In ultimate Duchampian manner, the artist then collages photos of her acrylic block prints back into Instagram posts, perpetuating an endless cycle of hyper-real humor.
Kristy Luck’s bright paintings compel for a second look. Floating, anthropomorphic shapes hover in an inviting pastel palette. In fact, the imagery seems almost too friendly. Though there has never been a happier or more friendly looking vagina than those upon her canvases, one cannot help but sense a sly, sardonic nod towards self-love as more than just a pretty picture of unbridled optimism.
Funny, absurd, with an ominous sort of casualness, Sanchez’s mad scribblings meditate upon deeper, darker sides of life and art – all veiled in the style of childhood naiveté. Do not be fooled, for however innocent the materials may seem Sanchez’s works are much too pointed and biting to come out of your average nine-year-old. From declarations on God to freedom to exoticization, each piece seems to document some kind of a cathartic meltdown in the chaos of our contemporary world.
Having taken a break from the art world from for two decades (1990-2013), Skip Snow continues his venture back into the art scene with two new paintings. His off-kilter Buddha painting reminds of Old Master panels, improperly passed-down, with nails poking out in the gap between painting and “frame.” Similarly, the bulging lower-right corner seems a defeated concession to the state of spirituality in contemporary times. The disheveled figure appears to symbolize an ironic, new-age (neo-liberalistic) struggle for inner peace and wholesomeness in today’s world. His second painting, featuring bold, black-lettered words spelling out “I KNOW” seems a frustrated yet indignant answer to the state of society, or perhaps the state of contemporary art.
Shared Universe at Eastside International is on view until September 3rd.