New Paintings and Works on Paper
October 18 - November 29, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 18, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Western Project is proud to present the third solo exhibition at the gallery by Los Angeles artist,
Mark Dean Veca. His new body of work, EVERLAST, is comprised of seven new paintings and twelve works on paper. Veca grew up around the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by words; words in the sky, words on the streets, words on the billboards, on trucks and grocery stores, liquor stores - everywhere - an environment of language, letters and images. For this work he writes:
Particular street signs and logos started to jump out at me as perfect combinations of subject matter and composition. I'm not picking words or images at random, but those that I find have some kind of resonance personally as well as universally, be they mundane or iconic, and are redolent of my 1970's California upbringing...
For years now I've been interested in the negative space in and around letter-forms, particularly logos in a certain script, like the Fender logo. When I see these spaces I get an urge or compulsion to define and articulate them, to make them the figure, not the ground.
It is the atmosphere which seems to have won out as an undulating miasma or vapor, enveloping the signage from neighborhood stores (LIQUOR MART), to international corporate logos (EVERLAST and Zildjian). Perhaps they recall the brown smog atmosphere from the 1970's in LA, along with the Pop culture explosion of the era; his paintings reek of immersion in a climate of billowing energy, a charged atmosphere where background shifts to and fro:
Duality seems to be a consistent theme in much of my work. In these word paintings the eye wants to flatten the text, especially from a distance, but upon closer inspection the forms flip. The atmospheric quality that fills the letter-forms heightens the effect of creating depth and contrast to the crisp line-work defining the biomorphic abstraction surrounding them.