The impossibilities that magic and fantasy can create are at the heart of Matt Dangler and Mark Garro‘s side by side solos at Copro Gallery in Los Angeles. Both artists are known for their depictions of creatures and figures of legend in scenes evoking a certain darkness. In recent exhibitions, covered here, Matt Dangler has looked to Old Master painting techniques by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Johannes Vermeer, marked by their serene mood and luminous colors of painting. For his exhibition, “Sanctify”, Dangler takes a note from the religious themes found in Renaissance art in particular, where figures like Jesus and the Hindu God Ganesh appear in bizarre settings. Several images reimagine the Law of Moses in the Hebrew Bible, where a robed mutant carries a lantern that never burns out, a symbol of never-ceasing worship.
“The Promised Land” by Matt Dangler
Mark Garro, covered here, also injects whimsy into his new series, titled “Corpus Callosum.” His title refers to the connection of the two halves of the brain, a theme he follows in the composition of his paintings. Garro’s paintings often explore an alternate universe, represented here in wonderous underwater scenes. One piece illustrates a scene from Moby Dick, revealed to be a gigantic whale-tailed mermaid swimming underneath Captain Ahab’s warring ship. By splitting the scenery in two, Garro depicts subjects that are not exactly what they seem to be. While his subjects find peace and tranquility under the water’s surface, this is a stark contrast to the aggression and horrors that exist in the real world above.
Matt Dangler’s “Sanctify” and Mark Garro’s “Corpus Callosum” exhibitions are now on view at Copro Gallery in Los Angeles through October 31st, 2015.