The Artist's Guide to the L.A. Galaxy

The LA Galaxy isn’t just a professional soccer team anymore. A constellation of new (well it’s all relative, to the proximity to the page you are on, in the Book of Faces, the Space that is neither My-ne nor Yours), faces facing up to the defaced, debased nature of making a made life by erasing all except this book of impressions, as tentative as electrons, and when even tattoos aren’t permanent anymore, what can a canvas convey?

If Matt Jones didn’t exorcise the presence of qi peng with his delineations taken from Facebook images (“A Ghost” series of acrylics on Stonehenge natural paper, repeated ad nauseum ad museum ad mausoleum), the exercise reveals what is left after the afterimage is gone. Stare at the simulation, then look away at a blank wall; see what appears before you.

Come up to my condo and let me show you my Etch-a-Sketchings (William Brovelli, “Art Object,“ mini travel Etch A Sketch, proof of purchase (receipt) and Buypass exhibition card), the new saying stone perpetually scoured and scored.

These days Karl Roves among the rushes and reeds (Jeff Faerber, “Turd Blossom,“ acrylic, mixed media on board), the turd of self blossoming like an onion at the mendacious restaurant of repetition compulsion, history retreating into repeating.

And even alligators can rock (Kadar Brock, “Selbstportrait mit Weezer T-Shirt,“ oil, flashe, spray paint & marker on canvas) but can they talk the talk?

You can always rock your own bad self (Tom Sanford: “Tom Sanford (Rock'n'Roll version from LA,” oil on paper ) but it’s little more than another version, as loudly writ as it might be intent on being.

Shay Kun’s strange ‘Vay-kay-shun’ (”Soft Landing,” oil & acrylic) poses as imposing postmodern diversionary pastimes on a landscape still classically rendered and remembered.

If you want an example of proper posture, there’s Amy Lincoln’s “The Painter,” (acrylic on board): if you look like that in the mirror when you are working on working the paint into place, you might be on the right track.

Televisionaries awake! Daniel Heidkamp’s “Digital Photograph” focuses on the locus of desire, the sensation that obliterates anything marginal to it.

The self as circuitry: Jon Coffelt’s “Quetzalcoatl Fetish Console,” (duct tape on Tyvek), the AzteChrist bound in bondage to the electronic evil, and Tyvek isn’t the only material that can be cut with scissors.

Lightning Only Strikes Twice, and “Most lightning strike victims are struck in the late afternoon on Thursdays, are in their 20's, and have blonde hair” (Megan Hildebrandt, gouache, tinfoil and cut paper collage), especially if you are all the above. Events only happen at the point of eventuality, a happenstance struck into the static electricity in the air above us in which invisible passages mass and messages pass, unable to do anything but discharge their energy to return to the inert.

“Oh Yes She Does!,” (Leah Tinari, gouache on paper), you know what I mean, the kind of sentiment you can only send with sexy underthings, only seen from behind, a shadow over your shoulder, the anonymous message you know is meant only for you.

You may conclude, as Dave Thomas (“It’s Not My Space,” mixed media on canvas) that this domain doesn’t belong to you any more than you belong here, no more than a name barely able to scream itself.

When all you have is the third eye all you can see is the inside of me (“I,” Jenny Morgan & David Mramor, oil, acrylic & pencil on canvas), what might be there if I still had a soul.

What happens to the self when it’s naked to itself (Jenny Morgan, “In Your Absence,“ “Kindred,” oil on canvas)? Does it attain the translucence of skin, though layered upon itself in imitation of the opaque? When all else is said, when reality is disrobed, what finally can you see?

These and more will guide the potential artist on the path of creating their own persona projected onto the page that has no book, the space that is no place, the face of the façade. No matter how many there are, there’s always room for one more.

Brian Staker, January 2010