Sunday, October 30, 2011


Last night, I went to the opening of "Rise Of The Underground" at the Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City. The show features the work of Jeremy Fish (and Kenichi Yokono).

I can only tell you what I see. I can only attempt to describe how I feel about it. Jeremy Fish might very well contradict me. He might say I'm way off the mark, but his paintings feel like the point where tidy folklore and modern clutter meet. His paintings seem to sing Americana. Banjo and fiddle music pour out of the wood, and tell dark stories with a playful grin. Think less Blitzen Trapper and more Louvin Brothers (if performed by Beck). Woodland creatures are trapped in a frantic maze of  highways. Skyscrapers explode around bear skulls. Other critters are easily unzipped, only to reveal sad angels standing sentry to discarded bones.

Jeremy Fish typically traffics in shades of singular color, or complementaries, always accentuated by seductive black contour lines. He makes it look too easy. It can be deceiving. There's a lot of detail in these pieces. Gentle washes of pigment, painstakingly applied for shading, can escape your eye at a distance. Clusters of leaves seem so natural that you might not think what a pain in the ass they must have been to execute. Delicate lines of fur flow just so. Mr. Fish has a command of line weights that I can only assume came from a history of comic collecting.

As for Kenichi Yokono, his work is equally detailed and powerful, but they sing other songs. They seem to be of a different time and place than the Fish paintings. The works, side by side don't complement each other. Both of these artists would be better served by solo shows.

"RISE OF THE UNDERGROUND" runs through Dec. 17th, so you have plenty of time to head out to Culver City and check it out.
All photos by KrossD

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