THE DEVIL'S HARP

CURRENT EXHIBTION

Flowers

2928 Telegraph Ave.

Oakland, CA 94609

917-653-2438


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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