This month coincides with the rising of Sirius, Orion’s dog star, from which the dog days of summer take their namesake and Copro Gallery’s upcoming group show. Inspired by the summer star, the participating artists of “Summer Soirée” draw upon seasonal and fantastical themes for the exhibition. In particular, the exhibit features a new series of acrylic paintings by Florida based artist Scott Scheidly, previously covered here on the blog. His portraits play on the mythological associations of Sirius with oncoming heat, fevers and evil, as in Homer’s Iliad.
Venezuelan artist Jota Leal and Polish artist Dariusz Zawadzki each mix elements of the fantastic and the surreal in their artworks. The two artists headline Copro Gallery‘s current group exhibition “Morpheus”, so named after its co-curators James Cowan and Morpheus Gallery in Las Vegas. Zawadzki’s series exhibits the artist’s skill in different media, mixing up oil painting, watercolor, and hand-embellished giclee pieces. His portraits of what look like post-apocalytpic villians out of Mad Max are treated with the rendering of old master painters.
The childhood toys of surrealist painter Geoffrey Gersten visit the Cold War era in his current exhibition at Copro Gallery, “MK-ULTRA Wars.” The show coincides with Anthony Ausgang’s equally whimsical exhibition “Catascopes.” Gersten takes his title and inspiration from the CIA’s mind control program “Project MKUltra,” which illegally ran drug testing from the 1950s to early 70s. The project is used as a metaphor for Gersten’s paintings, which infuse conflict into otherwise dreamy landscapes populated by candy colored characters.
Los Angeles based artist Anthony Ausgang, coined a “godfather of Lowbrow,” has made a career of depicting his own struggles in his kaleidoscopic cat paintings. Colorful and intensely surreal, his playful images portraying cartoon cats in unusual scenarios are loosely inspired by reality. Ausgang makes no secret of his experimentation with psychedelics, and these experiences have carved their way into his hallucinatory visions and bright palette. In his upcoming solo exhibition “Catascopes”, opening May 30th at Copro Gallery, Ausgang’s trippy paintings of cats get even trippier.
Chris Mars’s paintings engross viewers in a dark and macabre world where exaggerated humanoid characters of different colors and sizes find themselves in a dark inferno. Mars’s painting style has a sculptural quality to it. The forms he paints appear so convincingly 3D, it’s easy to suspend disbelief and immerse oneself in the scenes he depicts. On March 21, Copro Gallery will debut “Chris Mars & Friends,” which features a selection of Mars’s new paintings as well as work by Dan Quintana, Dan May, menton3, and Erik Alos. Based on disturbing events Mars witnessed while visiting a relative at a mental hospital, his new work explores the dark crevices of the mind, approaching this classic horror trope with sensitivity and nuance.
Last weekend, Santa Monica’s Copro Gallery debuted their exhibition “Conjoined V,” guest curated by artist Chet Zar. True to Zar’s own dark, surreal aesthetic, the annual sculpture show features a variety of emerging and established artists with a penchant for all things creepy, curious, and bizarre. Kazu Tsuji’s gigantic, silicone bust of Salvador Dali, Jessica Joslin’s metal-adorned taxidermy animals, and surreal imaginings by Craig LaRotonda and Jim McKenzie are among the myriad of bold and pop culture-inspired works in the show. Take a look at some highlights from “Conjoined V” below and see it in person through February 14.