February 2008, Wishful Thinking @ Project:Gallery

February 2008, Wishful Thinking @ Project:Gallery
Wishful Thinking project:gallery 8545 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232 December 1st to December 15th 2007

Wishful Thinking

8545 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
December 1st- December 15th 2007

Project: gallery and Juxtapoz teamed up for Wishful Thinking, a show featuring themed “holiday cards” from more than fifty international artists. The proceeds support the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Inspired by the One Year Anniversary in its new Culver City home, Project: Gallery’s decision to help a worthwhile charity is inclusive of how art can be used for the common good. Artists include Luke Chueh, Tokidoki, Tiffany Liu, Blaine Fontana, and Edwin Ushiro, as well as Nate Frizzell, Jordan Stark, Jen Lobo, Derek Albeck, and Yoskay Yamamoto.
At the reception, it was clearly understood that with a loose theme based around “holiday cards,” one must have been tempted to create with the intent of Christmas consumption. Art designed with more appropriate signature-holiday images, and those purposely crafted for the typical American’s wants but not ‘needs’ sold with dense appreciation.
International joy gave every artist leeway to present his or her interpretation of what the quintessential holiday spirit meant to them. Themes of solitude stuck out; albeit human loneliness ran rampant, but images of animals, snowmen, snow birds, angels, and pine trees, all made similar single appearances. Derek Albeck’s Soldier Eyes (Triptych) speaks of how it is easier to look from the outside than in (no doubt from a soldier’s perspective). Cole Gerst’s ink of a Wooden Deer is traced on a Trader Joe’s paper bag. Fishing for a Gift  by Tiffany Liu, displays intense detail, her dot-like strokes wrap tinsel over precision. Michael Matheson’s Peace presents a civil-war color-schema and a nice history lesson (if one so delves) from our era of ignorant bliss.
Ken Garduno’s In Sheep’s Clothing is a creepy rendition of a southern man disguised as a sheep, ready to terrorize the neighborhood. Little Red-Riding Hood was dressed in hot-red stilettos and pearls, and she drank wine-circles around the gallery; I wonder if anyone noticed this transmuted allusion.
A slight deviation, one print stood out among the snow-trotters. Focused solely on type and politics, Jordan Stark’s  Black Friday mentions, “Where Freedom isn’t free, but it’s probably on sale” and a “fencing of divisions sale.” Inside I chatted with Jordan Stark, his tall frame easy to spot, and his voice readily giving. He continued to speak on how he despised art shows with themes. I glanced at Frizell’s work. My head was floating in the wind, and Stark continued to say how themes can and do undermine the artist’s intent to conduct an area of his or her study.
Rightly said- what is conducive to the fresh approach tackled by Juxtapoz and project: gallery, is the opportunity to give back in more ways than one. They let the artist expound their studious creative theses; all the while bringing a cause to the young folk and providing cosmopolitan holiday cheer, if not for the gainful.

whitehot gallery images, click a thumbnail.

Jessica Rae Cortez

Jessica Rae Cortez is an art critic, writer and photographer based in Southern CA. Her fine art & design reviews, features and interviews have appeared in publications including Jazzreview.com and San Diego CityBEAT.  She photographs for NGO's & everything else under the sun; her photographs can be purchased at deviantArt and viewed at jraephotography.com. She is also an Invisible Children Activist, Lobbyist, and Volunteer.  A Cultural junkie, Jessica Rae blogs at Msnaivete.blogspot.com , for enlightening naivete.  You can email her at jessicaraecortez@gmail.com.

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