The Life of Things

On August 29, 2014 by Victoria Banegas

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Text and Photos by Victoria Banegas

Pomona, CA.     The Pomona Art Walk happens the second Saturday of each month and has been improving over the years. More and more artists display their art each month, bringing in art lovers from all around the Inland Empire and Los Angeles area. This month, The Life of Things, opened up at the SCA gallery, a hip basement-like gallery, located next to a Pho restaurant on Thomas Street. The Life of Things, showcases the talents of Tammy Greenwood, Jim Haag, David Lovejoy, Osceola Refetoff, and curator Johnny Fox, who transform found objects in to unconventional masterpieces.

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Walking in to the gallery several pieces caught my eye, causing me to quickly scam the room before intimately critiquing each work of art. Being one of the first to arrive at the show’s opening I had a few moments of silence to thoroughly indulge in and photograph some of these great works of art.

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After making my rounds, I decided to go back to the gallery’s entrance where the work of Tammy Greenwood was displayed as a welcome wagon of beautifully arcane images. Greenwood’s work evokes her own maternal desires and challenges the pressures women often face to reproduce before their “biological clock” stops ticking. Greenwood’s desire to create is apparent in her work, with a reoccurring motif of bunnies, bumble bees, female anatomy and clocks, each piece is similar in content but unique in composition offering an interesting variety of texture, color and form.

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Osceola Refetoff’s work, although photographic, seemed to be one of the most profound. Vague imagery displaying vast desert land through the broken windows of forgotten homes, takes viewers in to a world of nostalgia and haunting beauty.  Refetoff photographs abandoned homes in the California desert, homes once inhabited by families and individuals whose memories still linger in the walls, and broken glass of windows, whose frames they once looked beyond countless days and nights.  With intense saturation and sharpness, Refetoff’s photographs are surreal images that give new life to places long forgotten and ravaged by various visitors, vandals, animals and the irrepressible passing of time.

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The works of Johnny Fox and David Lovejoy are that of seasoned assemblage artists, with traditional compositions, materials and ideals. Serving as Profound relics of the past, the work of David Lovejoy is meticulously placed together, becoming one of the more visually engaging series in the exhibition. Shrine-like objects constructed of old baby shoes; documentation and toys suggest a celebration of family lineage and how one’s legacy can be carried on through the practice of art. Johnny Fox meshes childhood nostalgia with provocative images of desire. A wheat paste collage with a nude woman, bulls eyed and dead center is reminiscent of the haloed Virgin Mary. A View Master Toy and projection of old-timey cartoons are displayed as symbols of innocence, diluted with hints of sexual imagery.

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Johnny Fox

Johnny Fox

The one artist whose work was minimal in material was that of Jim Haag. Although it took some time for me to realize that there was a fifth artist in the show, I was happy to have made that realization.  Haag’s work was minimal, minimal in the sense that he only used one form of medium for each of his three pieces. Wood, rope and stone, three materials traditionally used in assemblage art, creating grotesque sculptures such as his Rope Man, suspended from the ceiling by a noose.  Haag’s work seems to be more internal and self-centered, not in a narcissistic way, but in a sense that it represents where he is placed psychologically as an artists.  His untitled piece, constructed of molds duplicating a wooden astronaut his grand father carved, suggests some kind of misplaced family values.

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The Life of Things is a wonderful exhibit for those unfamiliar with the art of assemblage and those who are fascinated by it.  The artists represented in this show display the unconventionality of this art form and how the materials used are given a whole new meaning, a whole new “life.” This exhibition will leave you in wonder, as each artists’ work is filled with detail upon detail waiting to be addressed building upon its significance.

On view thru August 30, 2014. SCA Gallery, 281 S. Thomas Street, Pomona. (909) 620-5481

 

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