Keeping in step with their promise to continually showcase some of the world's finest street artists, Dax Gallery followed up their debut with a second show entitled New Beginnings: A Spectrum of Collections. The show features a vast array (and I do mean vast) of works, ranging from painting to digital media to sculpture, each one employing a wild and amazing use of color.
Dax gallery is a fairly large space; however it still amazes me how many pieces were included in the show (curators even had a surplus of art tucked away in the back). Check out the show before it closes on February 8, they are open regularly. In the meantime, here's some highlights of the pieces that interested me, just enough to tide you over 'til you explore it yourself. So GO GO GO!
As all major street art intersects with pop art, most of the pieces regularly feature some sort of cartoon or iconic figure in their work. No artists employs the use of icons more in this show than Hanksy. New York-based artist Hanksy is known for his work looking remarkably similar to that of Bristol graffiti artist Banksy. Hanksy, however, seems less about politics than Banksy and more about puns. Being the only artist using sculpture, Hanksy has three pieces- "Brick Moranis," "Schwing," and "Win'doh." It's a proliferation of his work from NYC, adding new connotations and a play on words to random found objects, which will give you a laugh, but Hanksy's work seems to be lacking in something. Despite that, his work offers humor and adds to the pop cultural elements of the show.
Another artist who does work with found objects in-dare I say- a better way is Sebastian Walker. He has multiple objects on display in this show but his use seems less like a goofy interruption of daily life than a clever reinterpretation that object, as well as a DIY canvas. His piece "Dip" employs a street sign with rows of tiny colorful faces spread out and squeezed inside the borders of the sign's frame. Very neatly ordered, somehow there's a sense of disorder through the varied expressions; the sign acts as a signifier for the street, urban planning as a whole, and the standards of street communication. Shark Toof's impressive comic book- esque paintings on wood caught my eye the most, not just because I'm a comic book fan but because of their imagery. Featuring acrylic on wood, Shark Toof's paintings feature the horror, humor and sharp illustrative style of comic artists from the days of yore (my head immediately thought of comic maestro Wally Wood). The wood gives them extra dimension and is keenly aware of all the comic conventions and little touches that make them seem genuine, but what gives them away is their use of his name. "SHARK TOOF" is emblazoned in various ways in his pieces. This guy has got a wild imagination and an inventive use of color, you can almost tell the way this guy's mind works.
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Moran Victoria Sabbag's digital collages are haunting. Her work carries a very sophisticated and surreal aura, and when I say surreal I mean Salvador Dali melting clocks surreal. "Across The Symbols" specifically is a very challenging piece to understand, and is seamlessly put together it almost could look like a painting. I had to step back from this one a couple times, not just to see it with a fresh set of eyes but because it legitimately creeped me out. Other works by Sabbag were less creepy, but did transport me to other worlds through her use of icons and different media elements, like maps, old illustrations, and text. Color me impressed.
The colors! The colors! Against the white walls of the gallery space, color flashes at you at every step, so much so you'll be seeing stars after you exit. Dax Gallery has hit the ground running since its first show in November, and there's been no slowing down for the gallery ever since. Seems like there's been no slowing down for Dax, and it will be a blast seeing what new things the gallery will bring in the months to come.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @aimee_murillo Follow OC Weekly on Twitter and Facebook!