Bergamot Station Arts Complex
2525 Michigan Ave , Unit T5, Santa Monica , CA 90404
What: Travis Louie "Strange Grooming Habits " & Kathie Olivas "Sentimental"
Dates: Exhibits runs - May 9 - May 30, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday May 9 8:00 - 11:30 p.m.
Contact: Gary Pressman, Gallery Director Copro Gallery
CoproGallery presents Travis Louie's "Strange Grooming Habit's". Travis's paintings come from the tiny little drawings and many writings in his journals. He's created his own imaginary world that is grounded in Victorian and Edwardian times. It is inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings, and otherworldly characters who appear to have had their formal portraits taken to mark their existence and place in society. The underlining thread that connects all these characters is the unusual circumstances that shape who they were and how they lived. Some of their origins are a complete mystery while others are hinted at. A man is cursed by a goat, a strange furry being is discovered sleeping in a hedge, a man overcomes his phobia of spiders, or in this new series of work we find characters with strange grooming habit's. Using inventive techniques of painting with acrylic washes and simple textures on smooth boards, he's created portraits from an alternate universe that seemingly may or may not have existed.
Kathie Olivas in her solo exhibition "Sentimental" finds her characters
expressive of or appealing to sentiment, esp. the tender emotions and feelings, as love, pity, or nostalgia:" This often serves as a means to make something innocent and more appealing, therefore, non-threatening. Perhaps this allows us to comfort ourselves. My questions are based on the discomfort of "what if"-- what if these sweet creatures had other ideas? What if they knew something we were afraid to open our eyes to? Would they protect themselves; would they be able to adapt to a war torn environment and develop their own defense mechanisms? The characters are meant to evoke a nostalgic reaction that reflects isolation, fear, and an uncertainty; yet, at the same time they serve as empowered alter egos. This series is presented as a satirical look at how fear affects our sense of reality. The characters perform as narrators in lonely worlds that each explores individually, creating his or her own perspective, and thus, own reality. As our hosts, the ensemble provides a sense of comfort, the reminiscent style is soothing, yet the mood is dark. As children, they evoke a sense of temporality; childhood serves as a starting ground, a place where things begin.
Inspired by early American portraiture that often depicted children as small adults in an idealized new land, the characters parallel this vision within their own sense of post-apocalyptic conformity, uniquely documenting their own stories in a mysterious brave new world.