Michael St. John: The Interregnum | Kash Ford: Muscle Milk
3311 East Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, April 27 at 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Ends Jun 22, 2024
Michael St. John: The Interregnum de boer (Los Angeles) is proud to present The Interregnum, a solo exhibition by Michael St. John. This exhibition displays St. John’s exploration of temporality, liminal spaces, and the intersection of cinema and minimalism. Details from cinematic stills painted in grisaille are combined with assertive color blocking, challenging our understanding of the most fundamental aspect of both painting and cinema, the frame. Through interregnum - a period of suspension between successive reigns or regimes - St. John reflects on the uncertainty and confusion inherent in the absence of structure. He divides space, simultaneously creating an image and experience that exudes ephemerality. Like the enigmatic female figure in ‘Francesca’, who, with her back turned, is seemingly in between actions. This painting sparks a feeling of being witness to something, although not entirely clear what. The color planes, which obstruct our full view of the scene, further emphasize this sense of liminality—abstracting not only the figure’s environment but also the viewer's relationship to the painting. Drawing from John McLaughlin’s geometric paintings and masterpieces such as Johannes Vermeer's The Art of Painting and Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas, St. John creates an architectural frame for cinematic scenes. By challenging the architecture of the canvas, framed by the principles of minimalism and cinematography, St. John's paintings offer enigmatic compositions where uncertain relationships provoke introspection and questions about reality, illusion, and one's relationship to nature. -------- Kash Ford: Muscle Milk de boer (Los Angeles) is delighted to present ‘Muscle Milk’, the debut solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Kash Ford at the gallery. Kash Ford’s maximalist abstractions interweave aspects of his transmasc identity with religious themes and aspects of post-internet culture. Ford's compositions are impulsive yet precise, creating space for connections where colorist intuition and mark-making meet personal mementos and found objects. In ‘Bloody Mary Brunch’ 2024’ a painted white chain is fixed to the canvas next to collaged photos of St. Mary. Loosely rendered depictions of bottles and wine glasses surround the central figures. The chain itself is transmuted, holding various meanings; one can read it as a stand-in for a rosary, or since it doesn’t connect to itself, as an ode to breaking free. One can hardly remove the context of Ford’s personhood from any of these works. Be it the home and religion they grew up within, their journey of identity, or their connection to Hollywood as a commercial graphic designer of blockbuster film posters. Ford’s painting ‘Sunday Mourning, 2024’ is a complex composition featuring a silver background that alludes to the surface of a mirror. In the top left corner text reads ‘Queer Hotline’ scribbled over an aggressive gestural stroke of bright blue paint. This is contrasted by a prayer card that is collaged into the top center of the painting. Descending from it is a stream of constructed chaos in oozes of rainbow-colored paint. Letters that can be deciphered from within the heavy burst of color include a “G” an “O” and a backward “D”. Collaged into the painting is a matchbook and two matches as well as stickers (designed by Kash) that depict the pipe mazes from 90s screensavers. The painting visually resolves as a formal composition, while remaining conceptually slippery, operating as a snapshot of a moment holding meaning by reflecting the transitional nature of life and the complexities of individual journeys of identity. Change is always an option and the resulting trail of amendments, alterations, and additions endows the work with a palpable malleability. Ford’s process is labored and drawn out for months if not years, each canvas is thoroughly demolished layer by layer, and ideas and concepts stack and visually manifest as texture on the surface of each canvas. Tension and conflict are treated equally as important as resolution. That’s the thing here, the paintings are raw, punk rock, and masculine while being bright pink, emo, and vulnerable. Presenting a stance that questions, why not both? or what’s the real difference between pigeons and doves?
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