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HERE is the Story
Once upon a time a creature called man roamed the earth. He called it earth. He lost the earth. When he lost his mouth (though his tongue still wagged.. When he lost his earth… the embers glowed brilliant green, copper golden, lilac pink and greenish purple, jolly rancher red and screaming white with brown and pink sparkles. There were signs of struggle. Regret was the smoke the ghosts smoked and hope was the ghost in the haze of wonder that held the earth within its loving embrace, inside the line of a circle, at the front of space. So that when you looked back you saw it all around, everywhere within the memory of now
Backspace opens its doors and is very pleased to present tinT, new works by Los Angeles artists Jackson Dill and Ruben Vincent. tinT is the inaugural event marking the opening of Backspace, the collaborative exhibitions program and site in Downtown Los Angeles promoting emerging artists through Artist and Curator-driven events and exhibitions.
tinT features two Los Angeles artists: Jackson Dill and Ruben Vincent. For this exhibition, Dill has created a series of paintings that appear to render and explore space, geological and astronomical phenomena, desolate and inhospitable landscapes, energy and light, and darkness. Dill’s artworks – stretched canvases upon which he pours and variably applies, scrapes and agitates, wipes and deletes layers of pigment-infused cement – are not intended to represent the above-mentioned phenomena, per se. The works emerge from his direct engagement with the materials he uses and the unfolding and evolving dialogue that occurs as he creates and physically reacts to his highly discrete artwork environment. It is as if Dill is the diffusing catalyzing agent – precipitating and accelerating formal, elemental and chemical change – in the mass of materials and within the immediate conditions of his creative process. It is in this way that these works relate to the earthly and cosmological phenomena they seem to represent.
In tinT, Dill’s canvases function as portals in the gallery’s walls, openings revealing the universe beyond in various near and far permutations, somehow dry and often empty save for the appearance of some thing or substance in motion, caught as if by chance and barely prioritized over anything else, and glanced upon by light from completely ambiguous sources and directions. In only the rarest instance does a framing, situating or foreshortening device appear, but even in those works the challenge for the viewer to understand her relative position to the painting’s “content” is forever delayed and always denied.
One is set, therefore, to floating, drifting. Turn from the gallery walls and toward its center and rows of glowing cubes appear.
Ruben Vincent is a painter and sculptor with years of experience casting bronze, aluminum, copper and resin. He uses acrylic and cel-vinyl to tint resin that he casts into cube molds. The cubes give out colored light in precise measurement, carefully calibrated to the spectral light trained on them. Presented to the viewer singly on small table stands, the experience of beholding each cube is a triangular dance between elemental physical visual factors. Color, light and retina engage in an ocular threesome where the orbiting movement of the viewer’s body draws out these static objects into gentle, sensual play. Surface and texture, translucence and depth, the soft eroticism of plastic’s simulation of human skin and flesh, imperfections that disfigure, indent and distend the platonic cube: the eye touches, caresses and penetrates these firm and delicate objects according to fluctuating sensations and interests. The cubes are tactile as well as retinal wonders. But what are they?
In earlier works, Vincent has cast protective gas and airborne particulate matter masks in aluminum, bronze and resin. Walking sticks used by hikers and wanderers have been cast in bronze and formed from the branches of juniper trees. He has made paintings by mounting thick, solidified resin pours infused with various mineral and pigment content onto linen-wrapped panels, hanging them on walls. These small-to-medium sized panels look like excavated segments, tablets of strange terrestrial and extraterrestrial surfaces, frozen at moments of critical transition. They are suspended gasses and liquids; captured, halted and prepared for examination and research, for evidence of universal formation.
In the works Vincent and Dill have created for this exhibition, spectral light and color suspension, vistas of forlorn and unknown landscapes, gaseous atmospheres, cold deep space and gorgeous, jewel-like radiances point to a unique place in the continuum of geological, planetary and celestial evolution that situates human presence and its subsequent absence in a theoretical, experimental and developmental state – a precarious state. At a moment when industrial, fashion and genetic design are merging ever faster, indicating the conscious and subconscious understanding that future life forms, which incorporate the human DNA in our quest for species preservation, require radical, miraculous technological advancement and transformation, Vincent’s cubes suggest new forms of materiality, functionality, modularity. They look toward bio-fashion and genetic invention. Dill’s atmospheric environments point toward travel and exploration far into the future and far into the past. They look intimately and speculatively at time and space. They place human markers up high and deep into the cosmic evolutionary continuum for points of reference and envisage novel forms of dimensionality.