Now on view at Soze Gallery is “Steer Ahead”, a unique group exhibition of hand-painted steer skulls benefitting CAMP2E. Proceeds from the artwork go to the charity’s art programs created to empower Los Angeles inner city youths, ages 8-14. Among the artists involved are street artists and pop surrealists Dan Quintana (featured in Hi-Fructose issue 27), Victor Castillo (issue 23), Dave Kinsey (issue 13), Retna, Cyrcle, Gregory Siff, Aaron de la Cruz, Paige Smith, and more. Despite their impressive scale, the skulls came together relatively smoothly with the help of Toowee’s local artist friends and several successful eBay bids to acquire them. “It all started with Retna’s piece from my personal collection and grew from there,” shared Soze Gallery curator, Toowee Kao. Toowee and Retna are the co-founders of the CAMP2E charity.
As we walked around the gallery, Toowee pointed out the intricate details that went into each piece and their corresponding paintings. Paige Smith transformed her skull with her signature style that mimics geological formations, revealing metallic paper-cut geodes inside. Other interpretations are more playful, such as FIDA’s spoof of McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”, complete with a hamburger pieced through the steer’s horn. What may strike viewers as an odd subject matter became the perfect symbol for a western based charity- and strong will of the artists who support it.
“Steer Ahead” at Soze Gallery has been extended for viewing through May 2, 2014.
Curator Toowee Kao and artists at the opening. (Photo: James Law/Soze Gallery)