by Elizabeth Manson
photos by Nikki DeVries
Friday, March 5th was the opening reception (but “party” is more apt, I think) of “Soundtrack of Your Life” at the Black Maria Gallery. The theme of this collection is how films and their soundtracks (obviously) influence our lives and our art. When the Oscars are just days away, how can you turn down anything movie-related? You can’t.
Good thing I came too, since the Black Maria Gallery knows how to throw an opening reception. Free wine? Standard, but always appreciated. Free tacos? Yes, a thousand times yes. A DJ spinning some tracks while a silk screening artist creates live art, and a video of a strip-tease act is projected on the wall? Well, now I definitely don’t feel hip enough—but I’ll pretend I am.
Inside (you know, where the art was), the movie theme really became present; a curtain of filmstrips covered the windows, and empty film canisters were propped up against the walls—a really well decorated cutting room. I always appreciate a well thought-out décor. The paintings, however, addressed the theme in a more nuanced way (though there WAS a painting that looked kind of like Frodo), but the works obviously did (and in a way I can’t really adequately explain) draw from the collective movie-influenced pop culture. Rene Lawter’s “squid vicious,” for example, was the painting of a punked-out squid-man. The obvious film influence is Sid and Nancy, but, let’s face it, there has to be some Pirates of the Caribbean in there too. The rest of the collection (the ones that don’t have an immediately recognizable movie inspiration) used painting styles that really spoke to me as a child raised on pop-culture. Maybe it’s the bright colors. Maybe it’s something else. I guess that you’re just going to have to check out the collection yourself. Can you really turn down a night out at the movies?
WHAT: Opening reception for “Soundtrack of Your Life”
WHERE: Black Maria Gallery
ADDRESS: 3137 Glendale Boulevard
WHEN: March 5, 7-10:30 PM
EXHIBITION DATES: March 5-April 11, 2010