At first glance Paul Donald’s sculptures are brightly colored, cheerful and toy-like. Yet, they are a little odd, inviting you to take a closer inspection. Shapes that resemble animals and machinery at the same time, even phallic. Are they some strange creatures? weapons? someone’s trophies? I watched over these sculptures during November’s Downtown LA Art Walk. The most asked question was, “what are they made of?”
They are wood sculptures made by whittling with the exception of the shield-like components. Small pieces assembled together to give more reference to toys that children assemble at play. Spray painted in bright colors, they have a sheen that confuses people into thinking they are made of plastic, or some other material. Only one person at Art Walk recognized the marks left by whittling.
Paul invites people to examine and question what these pieces are, challenging our perception, how we recognize objects, letting our imagination do the work. These deceptively simple objects are packed with symbolic meanings. For example the whittled pieces look organic, resembling a creature out of our wild fantasies. Yet, they are combined with these meticulously crafted shields (or crests,) sometimes like a collar, sometimes like a trophy. Crests were used to show the heritage and power of a family or kingdom. These neatly crafted shields also strongly display human attention. This combination of the wild and a show of human strength brings a degree of sadness to the toy-like creatures. Domesticating the nature.
October 29 – December 4, 2011
Read the press release. Hey, see, even the show title invites to wonder what it means. Wouldn’t, wooden?
Last post was on July 23, 2011. Wow, I thought it had only been a couple of months since I last posted. Have been busy with the family business thing in China, not the good kind of busy. Busy enough to not have posted about our recent and current shows. Will be doing that very soon, plus a review or two.
Oh, I have not been keeping up with my blog lately, even missed announcing our current summer shows. There is a lot of stress lately. Some work related, but mostly from the family business in China. I am not going to get into the details, just a lot of waiting and uncertainty right now. UGH!
Our summer group shows have been up for almost 2 weeks! We are very excited about them. Both are curated by guest curators, John Souza and our very own Alexander Kroll. Artists also include long time friends Roy Dowell, Renee Petropoulos and Carter Potter. Below are the links to the show pages and slideshow of the opening reception. Shows are up until August 20, 2011.
The Haunted Word, curated by John Souza
Ah, forgot to share David Pagel’s review on HK Zamani’s show at our gallery. Here’s an excerpt:
Their humble, down-to-earth demeanors make a virtue of ambiguity. Each seems to be an expansive landscape and a tabletop still life. “Untitled (15)” evokes Morandi and sand castles. “Untitled (12)” brings together the beauty of the Taj Mahal and the pleasure of a long hot bath. Others turn tiny details — four blades of grass, three lime-green lumps and a slithering pink line — into worlds of possibility.
– David Pagel
Added at 11:52 AM, and I forgot about this article in the local Bunker Hill Magazine. It talks about the gallery, about CB and HK’s show. The printed copy is quite nice, pick one up if you can get to them.