New Image Art is pleased to announce PURE LOGO, a group exhibition co-curated by Los Angeles artist Skullphone, which features the diverse multimedia artists Evan Gruzis, Curtis Kulig, Takeshi Murata, Cleon Peterson, Skullphone, Paul Wackers and Hugh Zeigler.PURE LOGO explores the omnipresence, necessity, form and functionality of logos as they metamorphose to communicate within increasingly brief discourses. The trajectory of each individual artist informs the exhibition’s overarching investigation of logos, both literal and symbolic, and links the artists through investigations of representation.
Evan Gruzis was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1979 and received his MFA from Hunter College. His technically rigorous ink and watercolor paintings are known for their combination of seductive light and absurd, vacuous pop imagery. In 2008, he published his first monograph, Dark Systems, in conjunction with a solo exhibition at Deitch Projects. Gruzis belongs to numerous collections, including that of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Currently, his work is on view in two solo exhibitions: Exotic Beta at The Hole and Shadow Work at Nicole Klagsbrun, both in New York. Abroad he is represented by DUVE Berlin and Galerie SAKS, Geneva. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
Curtis Kulig is best known for obsessively covering his canvases and the streets of New York City with the two-word phrase “Love Me.” An inversion of New York’s famous slogan, Kulig’s ubiquitous plea speaks at once to humans’ most primal desire and belies self-doubt and -criticism. “Whatever it’s become,” Kulig says, “It’s kind of my everything.” Kulig was born in North Dakota and got his first taste of creating in his father’s screen-printing shop at age 13.His work has been featured at Mallick Williams & Co, Leo Kesting Gallery, and NYEHAUS in New York; Subliminal Projects, in Los Angeles.
Multimedia artist Takeshi Murata’s immersive, painstakingly hand-drawn animations exploit broken code and programming glitches to fracture video footage into hypnotic, pixelated distortions and flowing color fields. His evolving processes, visualized in computer-aided hand-drawn forms onscreen, shift and morph into organic forms that teem and pitch, creating images that at once gesture toward technological fragmentation and painterly abstraction. The Chicago-born artist received his BFA in Film/Video/Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design and his work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo; Peres Projects, Los Angeles; and Deitch Projects, New York; among others. Murata lives in Saugerties, New York.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Cleon Peterson currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Peterson paints an anxiety-ridden dystopia where corruption and injustice plague the social order. Deviance prevails, as desperate characters struggle for power and control over their environment. The indiviudual is displaced and forced to navigate this brutal world alone, finding hollow bits of pleasure and meaning in violence, sex, religion and drugs. In this show Peterson has evolved full circle creating utopian symbols that are uniquely unrepresentative of any past movement. The Los Angeles-based artist has shown at galleries internationally, including Alice Gallery, Brussels; Deitch Projects, New York; and Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco.
Los Angeles-based Skullphone first gained notoriety on city streets in 1999 for his iconic image of a black-and-white skull holding a cell phone. He drew attention once again in 2008 when his work appeared on the then-new digital billboards above the streets of L.A. Skullphone’s Digital Media paintings document our world – one which is increasingly communicating with brief encounters via technology – through a laborious painting process. Through painted pointillism on mirror-polished aluminum panels, these images dislocate when the artwork is approached. Skullphone’s work has been shown at Mallick Williams & Co, New York; Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles; the Riverside Art Museum; and was featured in MOCA’s 2009 FRESH Silent Auction.
Paul Wacker’s work is rooted in inventive means of figuration. “My work is first a response to the world and then a reaction to what is has to offer,” notes Wackers. The formal quality and sensibility of his work is reminiscent of a 17th-century Dutch still-life painter à la Margareta Haverman or Willem van Aelst merged with atmospheric, broken-down geometric landscapes or a diptych-inspired composition on a single canvas. In these works, dreamlike non-places are populated by objects and elements that interact as part of another world that is jarringly similar to our own. Trained in fine arts at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and as a painter at the San Francisco Art Institute, Wackers’ works have appeared in solo exhibitions at Eleanor Harwood Gallery, in San Francisco, and group exhibitions in Los Angeles, London and Brussels.
Hugh Zeigler originally hails from Richmond, Virginia, and lives in Los Angeles. He received his BFA in painting and art history from the Rhode Island School of Design and was awarded an artist fellowship at the Ox-Bow School of the Arts in Saugatuck, Michigan. Zeigler’s work confronts the intersection between painter and viewer. Using and relying on the vocabulary established by prior painting, he describes his work as “touching on existing components and tropes as clues, directing the viewer not to a finished narrative, but rather to a self-awareness of the legibility of painting.” Zeigler has exhibited his work in Los Angeles; Providence, Rhode Island; Saugatuck, Michigan; and Richmond, Virginia. In addition to contributing to Pure Logo, he’s currently creating a body of work for a December exhibition Johansson Projects, in Oakland.