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.
Currently on view at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, “Morpheus” is a group show guest curated by Morpheus Gallery. Morpheus began as a publishing house in 1989, carving a niche for themselves by showcasing the late, Swiss artist H.R. Geiger and other dark surrealists. The influence of Geiger’s disturbing, biomorphic creations can be easily spotted in the current group show at Copro. Dariusz Zawadzki, a Polish artist, does not shy away from horror and gore, painting foggy scenes in which everything appears to be connected by a tissue-like moss, adding to the feeling of an unescapable, nightmarish world.