Fabrik Projects Sparkles and Shines with JT Burke Mural
On view now
By Genie Davis
Revealing JT Burke’s glittering, gorgeous vinyl mural “In Paradisum Cantavit” (The Paradise Crew), Fabrik Projects sparkled on September 8th.
With the outdoor mural uncovered, the viewer was left with the feeling of diving into a lavish, dense world. The decidedly riveting composition is created from the artist’s photos of vintage costume jewelry, small figurines, and faux gemstones. The work resembles a rich tapestry, one that tells a strange and sweet story, featuring aliens in spaceships ringed with flowers, the image of Buddha, a woman running, a mysteriously militaristic looking baby with rhinestone eyes. A dancing pig in a sailor suit, a cat, another baby – larger in scale, seemingly with a spiritual intent, an owl, a cherub, a frog – they’re all here.
The work has its own mythology, as well as an opulent, layered texture that draws the viewer into this dazzling world. A former advertising photographer and commercial director, Burke’s use of digital capture is inspired, his images here dreamy and dense. The jewelry and small objects that form the substance of the mural are both subject and map, directing one into a new realm filled with beauty, pleasure, wit, and shimmering light.
Speaking of light, the piece shifts depending on the time of day. At the almost-twilight unveiling, the work was rich with burnished golds; as the evening drew on, it became more silvery and blue, with those aspects of its palette catching a glint of moonlight. Midday, it’s hot, seeming to absorb the sun into golden pores.
53 feet wide, it’s an immersive work, one which Burke based on another piece that he created for an exhibition in Naples, Italy last year, titled “Ambiguous Reality.” Burke says his influences run from pop surrealism to the old masters, as well as a fascination with the universe itself. The work will remain on Fabrik’s courtyard wall through 2019.
Inside the gallery, two exhibitions are coming to an end October 13th. In her exhibition How the Light Gets In, artist Nancy Wise paints vivid sunset-and shadow-colored landscapes that are quintessentially Southern Californian. Using a strikingly pastel palette and thick, rough, varied textures, she shows us freeway overpasses that are geometric, deserted, and shown in stunning lavender and blues. A gilded sky flashes overhead.
Soft, flat, dream-like images of mountains sift in the distance behind dense freeway layers, some in magenta, some blue, purple, red. A dream-like feathery grey road cuts a curved, smooth ribbon beneath the thick paint of the freeway pillars. In another work, a man sells bags of apples beneath a different overpass; in yet another, a vibrantly colored grocery cart waits outside a store, shaping wonder from the prosaic.
In contrast, photographic artist Yuri Boyko’s Transience, also closing the 13th, offers black and white images that offer a permanent if often hazy recollection of captured, transitory moments – such as a dancer in mid-leap.
Taken together, Burke’s mural, Boyko’s shadowy monochromatic forms, and Wise’s vivid, dimensional paintings offer an encompassing portrait of California: dreamy, glittery, bright – a vision that we all must define for ourselves.
2636 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034
Hours:Tues. – Fri. 11am-5pm