There are several very good reasons why Norman Korpi's paintings of sunsets should suck. He was one of the cast members of the very first season of MTV's The Real World, and you don't really expect anything worthwhile to come from one of those kids who got famous for sitting around arguing about which housemate is the most obnoxious. Plus, paintings of sunsets fall somewhere between crashing waves and sad clowns on the scale of hopeless clichés. But Korpi's "Twilight" series, currently on display at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art as part of the "Alternate Views" show, is genuinely impressive stuff. "Golden Arches" features a commonplace SoCal image, a McDonald's sign and a few palm trees before a setting sun. But Korpi has transformed it into a scene of pulpy, noirish beauty. This is the kind of sky that things happen in front of - people fall in love, hearts are broken, scores are settled. Looking at it, you can see why all the pretty young things are drawn out here. But you can also see why so many of them get lost here, and never find their way back home.
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Alternate Views @ the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art 117 North Sycamore, Santa Ana, CA 92701 August 1st-30th 2008 Admission is free