Funk Zone art gallery Silo118 is now showing Spring Magic, a pop-up exhibit at The Voice Gallery in La Cumbre Plaza, which displays a fantastical imagining of the magical, whimsical, jovial quality of early spring. The show, a collaborative effort with the BG Gallery in Santa Monica, boasts talented artists from Santa Barbara, Ventura, L.A., and Rosario, Mexico. The artists featured are Airom, Allois, Enrique Avilez, Jessica Darke, Gregory Hordenski, RT Livingston, Salvatore Matteo, Matt Mazza, Jim McAninch, Hung Viet Nguyen, Gerald Patrick, Ryan Schude, Lana Schmulevich, Larry Vigon & Eric States, and Robin Walker.
The co-curators, Bonnie Rubenstein and Om Bleicher, display their curatorial talent through the thoughtful gallery layout: moving through the different spaces feels like moving through a series of surreal, fantastical dreams. Allois’s traditional style of painting accented with strange mythological creatures create an aura that is somehow both fanciful and slightly sinister. Ryan Schude’s crisp, brightly colored photographs of carefully posed models, nearly doll-like, portray a fresh look on Americana in a way that is creepily comforting. Hung Viet Nguyen’s unique use of texture and vibrant color transport viewers to an idyllic wilderness dreamscape.
The show also has a certain comically absurd aspect to it. RT Livingston’s Images from The Herd series, a collection featuring pictures of plastic animal figurines positioned around the world, aims to remind the audience of the artificiality of our own world. Gregory Horndeski’s seemingly innocent painting, Sexscape #6 Seated Man hides a sneaky sexual innuendo behind an eccentric explosion of color. Salvatore Matteo’s Pieta depicts Mickey Mouse stuck in a mousetrap, poking fun at the character’s beloved status in our culture juxtaposed against his inherent condemnation as a rodent. These pieces, which prioritize comical absurdity alongside artistic release, serve to remind us that art is meant to be experienced — a piece of art that elicits laughter can be just as powerful as one that moves you to tears.
Spring Magic is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. through the month of March at The Voice Gallery in La Cumbre Plaza. They will host a special public reception on Friday, March 17 from 5 – 8 p.m. For more information go to silo118.com.