ORANGE COUNTY UP-AND-COMINGS BRANCH OUT FROM BEHIND THE ORANGE CURTAIN
Pomona, CA Orange County artists, Preston Daniels and S.A. Hawkins made it out from behind the “orange curtain” last night for the new exhibition at the dA Center for The Arts entitled, A Sense of Place, a Sense of Space: Architecture and Landscape Inspired Art. These Cal State Fullerton artists are some of the most well known up-and-coming artists within our beloved orange bubble.
Preston Daniels, a recent graduate from CSUF, has work in the Laguna Art Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His collaborative efforts with artists, Dave Brokaw and Tim Burton yielded the infamous “Robot Boy” into existence for the traveling Tim Burton Retrospective. Daniels’ work traditionally carries heavy theoretical weight dealing with the ideas of home and structure, while maintaining the literal heavy weight with his usual media in metal and wood. The new work however, branches out of his usual metal cube of sculpture, and goes to the wall, the floor, and the familiar pedestal. His “wall works” have a hint of a literary reference, reading like a sentence of dysmorphic houses, words built with homes of metal sticks and tiny people. The giant black tower watches over all the space, like the tower of Sauron with the all-seeing eye, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Daniel’s has also included some 2-dimensional work in this exhibit, that of course still surround the architecture-obsessed creativity of this show.
The exhibition as a whole was not as exciting and provocative as one might expect from the dA Center. There were a few gems in this sandstorm, but as far as feeling an over-arching exploration through architecture and landscape, there were less than five artists whose work impressed curious creatives, conoisseurs, and critics alike.
S.A. Hawkins’ piece, Consumption was a diamond among gems. As if a fallen tree branch had landed in the middle of the gallery space, Consumption melts fantasy and reality together. Instantly reminded of climbing trees as a child, I stared at this piece for what seemed like hours, though only mere moments. Shining bright in copper and cast iron, this piece is sleek and dirty, playful yet elegant. A large piece of a tree is intersected by two water mains, and references the struggle of nature vs man, the cycle of life and destruction, and the nature of the structured home, while dealing with concepts like authority and law. Hawkins’ recent explorations in his MFA program at CSUF usually center themselves around abstract surrealism, in glass and metal. He has shown work in the Missoula Art Museum, and can be seen this August at the San Louis Obispo Museum of Art.
This exhibit pulls from all mediums, and can easily be said to be representing a large variety of ideological landscapes, but the curatorial choices for the two front spaces seem to leave the viewer asking questions of content, meaning, qualification, and the all-encompassing “why?”
Clare Jackell’s upside-down city scape is remarkably sweet, and carries with it a dream-like quality, reminding me of The Science of Sleep crafted landscapes, magically holding its structure under the weight of gravity, with no adhesive whatsoever.
It is an interesting show to witness, and the large variety is intriguing. I know I’d love to hear what YOU ALL have to say about this experimental exhibit…