Once I manage to park my car and look around, the Hurley Space parking lot in Costa Mesa looks more like a tailgate party than an art opening.
Alterna-types (black clothes, odd facial hair, loud music) mill about, the back of their PT Cruisers open, showing off expensive speaker systems. Ice cream is being eaten, paper trays of Korean/Mexican hybrid food or hamburgers named after metal bands like Blue Cheer or Molly Hatchet get scarfed. Teenage boys are rolling around on the skateboard ramp to the side and there are a lot of people wearing Hurley shirts.
As is usually the case where free food is involved, the lines in front of the taco trucks are larger than the lines to get in and see "BIGFOOT: Ominous Compositions from the Magic Mountains", the current exhibition by artist, skateboarder and KISS afficianado, Bigfoot.
First Thought, Best Thought: Bigfoot has a bit of an obsession with, well...Bigfoot.
The hairy beast of legend is featured in every picture that hangs on the gallery's walls, a brown Kong-like figure among the variant shades of green forestation. Painted on canvas or wood in a way that allows the natural timber to show through under the paint, the work is intentionally reminiscent of the kind of laquered tourist-trap art that you'd buy in the Sequoias or Big Sur.
Sasquatch sends lightning bolts at tractors and land-movers preparing to clear-cut the mountains, prepares to trounce Paul Bunyan and his blue ox's asses, bats away helicopters, rescues baby saplings and flicks lumberjacks into the air.
And when our American Yeti isn't making Earth First! proud by monkey-wrenching the casual devestation of our environment, he also likes to Trick or Treat, meditate and play in a rock n'roll band that looks a lot like The Banana Splits
Yes, everything is really as silly as it sounds, and there's definately a one-trick pony aspect to the work, its broad figures and bright colors perfect for Saturday morning cartoons.
Would it be nice to see something less obviously designed to sell t-shirts? Hell, yes, but all you have to do is look at the epic wall mural the artist has painted in all of its awesome awesomeness to see that there's also talent--and not just gimmick--to justify the hoard of tiny red SOLD stickers.
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So, I had the partner snap a few pics and then I snap a few and his turn out better than mine, but he didn't take any of the artist or the mural and while crappy, they aren't as crappy as mine, which are far too crappy to post. (Much thanks to Hurley's foresight, Gallery.Me. com and photographer Derek Bahn for capturing all the right pics far better than my cell phone could.)
We leave before the KISS tribute band begins, exiting to the screaming apocalypse of Iron Maiden blasting from the DJ's booth in the lobby, the crowds outside still big, the lines still long (and I'm pretty sure the guy that was behind us initially is still several people away from giving his order), so we jump in the car.
As we travel down Newport Boulevad, we see the parking lot of A Little Taste of Asia has only a few cars in it, and that means no waiting for the Mongolian BBQ pork or the Vietnamese bun.
We pull in. "BIGFOOT: Ominous Creations from the Magic Mountains" is running at Hurley's )( Space Gallery, 1945 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa. The Gallery is open 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday.