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Black Maria Gallery presents
"Macho Bullshit"
July 23 - August 27, 2006

PRESS RELEASE
  • Participating Artists
  • Los Angeles – Black Maria Gallery announced a new exhibition, entitled “Macho Bullshit,” which will present works reflecting issues of contemporary male identity.
    Artists participating in the exhibition are: Thomas Lee Bakofsky, Jack Howe, Gary Garay, Dave Leamon, Sam Saghatelian, Gin Stevens and Chris Ryniak.

    “In our time, and especially since the sexual revolution of the 60s, masculinity as both social role and frame of mind has become increasingly problematic,” said Zara Zeitountsian, owner of Black Maria, commenting on the theme of the exhibition. “While boys and men are still led to believe in notions of gender-based entitlement and invincibility, the realities of our world have long overshadowed such beliefs, with women continuing to gain in economic and political power.”

    Sam Saghatelian, Black Maria curator, added: “Many men today are stuck in a referential no-man’s-land, quietly nursing an identity crisis yet unable to ultimately overcome a traditional macho mindset. Should they remain steeped in anachronistic male behavioral patterns, or should they get with the program of radically transformed inter-gender relations? “Macho Bullshit” is an exploration of that particular disconnect.”

    According to Saghatelian, the exhibition as a whole will underscore the tragicomic nature of what he terms the macho ethos. “A bona fide macho can be offensive and comical in equal measure,” he explained. “There is also something pitiful, even endearing, in the way a typical macho man interacts with others. Our exhibition will be a no-holds-barred look at the phenomenon, with plenty of commentary on the irony and nuances of the macho way of being, and also the inner conflict of not being able to deal with fast-evolving gender roles and societal values.”

    “Macho Bullshit” featuring new and recent works by seven artists, will kick off on Saturday, July 23, at 7 PM, and will remain open until August 27.

  • Participating Artists
  • Thomas Lee Bakofsky

    A former resident of Texas, Thomas Lee Bakofsky routinely draws inspiration from his ties to the border town of El Paso. He is currently pursuing his artistic goals in Pasadena, California. During his two-year stay thus far he has had his work exhibited in numerous group shows and he is a recipient of several awards. www.bakofsky.com

     
    Jack Howe

    Jack Howe lives in Santa Cruz, California. A self- taught assemblage artist, he attended three years of high school where instead of exemplary work he did expellatory work. His works are narrative pieces encoded with antique bits and pieces that tell a story, reflecting his appreciation of decay. The LA Times commented: “the veneer of time lay heavily over all.” Jack has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, and many other cities. In Los Angeles he has exhibited at La Luz De Jesus since the early 90s and also at Patricia Correia Gallery, along with the Don O’Melveny Gallery. His work has appeared in major and indie films and is in numerous corporate and private collections. www.jackhowe.net

     
    Dave Leamon

    Dave Leamon was born in Guam in 1968. He has been an artist for as long as he has been allowed to play with sharp objects. Dave claims inspiration from a myriad of sources, including high-speed television chases, tabloid stories about five-legged animals, microwave burritos, and 99-cent sake. “I think the challenge is to present subject matter that most people deem unacceptable or unattractive, and make it appealing,” Dave says. “Also, there are more than enough artists painting flowers and bunnies. You need to try to achieve equilibrium by creating a netherworld filled with booze and bums to ensure that the natural balance of the universe is maintained. It's my job to maintain that balance.” www.twistedvisuals.com

     
    Gary Garay

    Gary Garay uses the homespun vernacular of street vendor advertising, cultural icons, and visual slang to comment on themes such as consumerism and cultural integration. Familiar imagery is adopted and redirected as a new, highly personal language. The results are displayed in expansive energetic installations which mirror the impact of street signs and the ever-escalating competition for advertising space. www.garygaray.com

     
    Sam Saghatelian

    Sam Saghatelian graduated from Yerevan nstitute of Architecture and pursued a career in architecture, until in 1988 he started his journey as an artist at the brink of the collapse of the USSR and independence of Armenia. He is one of the artists representing Armenian pavilion in 2001 Venice Biennale in Italy and his works are part of the permanent collection of Armenian MOCA. Inspired by the innovative and attractive US art scene, Sam Saghatelian now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Peter Frank wrote about his “Grotesque Reality” series " He may insist we know humankind at its worst, but he brings us to this knowledge through rituals of mourning and comedies of manners and errors”. www.samsaghatelian.com

     
    Gin Stevens

    Gin Stevens has been influenced by the deep- southern culture that has surrounded him at an early age. Upon turning 17 he took the Greyhound north, from his hometown of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, for Chicago, dreaming of enrolling at the Art Institute of Chicago. But in the Windy City Gin soon discovered that school was not for him. Instead he opted for the punk rock theory of “doing it yourself.” His work has echoes of the visionaries and hucksters that populate Flannery O’Connor’s Gothic southern landscape or the fevered imaginations that drive Faulkner’s characters, along with the songs of early Delta Blues musicians. His work is done all on scratchboard, where he captures the mood of the dark and mysterious history of the south. Gin now lives in Los Angeles, where he has exhibited his work in numerous galleries and has created album covers and rock posters.

     
    Chris Ryniak

    Chris Ryniak paints vast empty spaces inhabited by hideous mollusks and thingamajigs whining about their mundane suburban lives and other various sappy emotional issues. An illustrator of kissy-face bunnies and farting teddy-bears for greeting cards by day, and an art vampire by night, Chris sometimes does commissions for periodicals like Playboy, the Washington Times, and the Village Voice. Chris tries to express really simple concepts and situations by painstakingly painting every single hair on the body of an albino gorilla or by holding his breath while he puts the highlights on the teeth of a microscopic thingamajig. It's really quite silly, but it's what he does.

     



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