2928 Telegraph Ave.

Oakland, CA 94609


The Devil’s Harp

Curated by Elwyn Palmerton

Dane Patterson

Arthur Johnson Weiss

Mason Speed

Elwyn Palmerton

Daniel Brickman

Hayley Barker

Selby Cole

Opening April 20, 2019, 7-10pm

April 20 - May 18

Gallery open Saturdays 1-5pm and by appointment

The Devil’s Harp explores the darker side of our current moment. With references to politics, pop culture and a nearly all-black color palette these artists plunge headlong into the negative energy and bad voodoo of the Trump-era Zeitgeist.

As Arthur Johnson Weiss exclaims in his video WOOF: ”all children are meant to be safe! All children are meant to loved” Taken out of context the phrase conjures the collective fears. The desire for safety - an almost primal need - which lies at the core our political attitudes, perhaps regardless of ideological persuasion. At times kitschy, luridly colorful, dark, and uncompromising, Johnson paints a picture of individual psychosis as a stand-in, reflection, or symptom of our society’s more general insanity and instability.

Mason Speed’s work operates similarly. He mines recognizable pop culture characters - Bart Simpson and the Batman logo reoccur in his drawings. His inconsistent and expressive line imbues these figures with an intense anxiety and angst. His execution - at turns scraggly, broken, or aggressive - gives these figures a pathos which is generally elided by the smooth finish of professional cartoons.

Dane Patterson’s work also makes overt reference to pop culture and politics. His piece “Object Study - Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Jacket, and a large Taxidermied Fish on a Stand” refer obliquely to Jackson’s disturbing history with young boys. However much we have enjoyed his music; the credibility of the allegations has, unavoidably, colored our understanding of his music.


The Devil's Harp: Dane Patterson, Selby Cole, Arthur Johnson Weiss, Daniel Brickman, Elwyn Palmerton, Hayley Barker, and Mason Speed


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