Jeff Soto with his artwork on the opening night of “Nightgardens.”
Jeff Soto (HF Vol. 18) celebrated his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2009 on Saturday night with “Nightgardens” at KP Projects/MKG. We recently discussed the exhibition with Soto in our studio visit here, where Soto shared his continued interest in landscapes: “Nightgardens” is an exploration of the magic and mystery in life coupled very loosely with the tradition of landscape painting. For this show I am using the concept of “nighttime” as a symbol of the unknown. I’m working on creating an imaginary world of magic, monsters and daydreams that exists in a different time and place, yet alludes to issues in our chaotic modern world.” It’s an imaginary place represented in new acrylic paintings on wood and a series of watercolor paintings and studies. In these images, Soto portrays detailed renderings of creatures of the night, including owls and bats, mixed with abstract geometric motifs that sprout from their environment. Owls and yeti-like creatures, which Soto calls “Seekers,” are present throughout, serving as a sort of guide and overseers of this place. They lead the viewer through mythical, otherworldly settings with subtle hints of reality, such as vibrant Los Angeles sunsets and billboards. It’s as if they are reminding us that not everything we see is what it seems, and the power of daydreams to bring magic into the real world. Take a look at our photos from opening night, below.
“Nightgardens” by Jeff Soto is now on view at KP Projects/MKG, alongside new work by Sashie Masakatsu, through July 25th.