Thursday, June 16, 2011

Comic Book Deconstruction: Why July is Going to Rule!

I just received this image of Mark Todd's Powerfury Fireworks Stand, which will anchor his upcoming Force Field exhibition, which opens on July 1st, 2011. Mark has delivered an incredible variety of his signature comic book deconstructions for this prestige installation that will occupy the entire space that currently showcases Glenn Barr's Faces show. When last we showcased Mark (at BSFA), he caught the attention of USA Today. A mere two weeks after this show opens, Mark will head down to San Diego Comicon International, where he'll be further promoting this installation. Click the image at left to access a preview gallery.

There's a maturity in the childlike simplicity of this project, which has been underway for quite some time. The explosive presentation of the sequential action that Todd's art celebrates is less juxtaposed than forced upon the public in a clever and relevant construction that configures the 4th of July holiday opening directly into the oeuvre of the show. I rarely venture into art critique with this column, but I find this particular object to be absolutely brilliant. It's a work of powerful significance that posits a logical progression from Duchamp's Urinal to Warhol's Brillo boxes to Hirst's Pharmacy and finally to Mark Todd's Fireworks Stand. This may be one of the most important pieces to come from our Los Angeles Post-Pop culture, in that it undeniably references the nostalgic appeal of the movement that started as Lowbrow, graduated to Pop-Surrealism, and has recently found acceptance under the greater umbrella of California Modern/Figurative. It also closes the circle from comic books to graffiti to pop-art and back again. I think that 2011 is going to stand as a pivotal year for modern art, specifically with respect to the city of Los Angeles. It will be impossible to have any such discussion without referencing the "new school" that started 25 years ago at La Luz de Jesus and how this single gallery has pushed the envelope in ways that few others could and no others did.

There's a full page advertising Mark Todd's upcoming show in the previous and latest issue of Hi-Fructose Magazine, in WHOA's Summer Art Special, and in the upcoming issue of Pop Surrealism Magazine. Also in the pages of the latter is a two page profile of the recent Pop-Sequentialism Exhibition of modern comic book art. With Green Lantern sure to top the box office this weekend, and Captain America: The First Avenger following soon after on July 22 (during Comicon) it seems that the culture at large is once again dancing to a beat that started here.

Also showing in July, we've already got previews posted for Van Saro, Andy Steele and Hui Tan (check back for a Simon Sotelo preview).

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