JUNE 2009:
 

Prison Dreams,
Nocturnal Butterflies & 4th St.

 


June 4-28, 2009

Opening Reception June 6th, 6 to 10pm

Curated by Gregg Stone

 

We will be bringing you the work from artists of an outsider, incarcerated society: Prison inmates. The medium for their art will be done in Graphite, ink and paper. The subject matter for their artwork work is: how some of the prison society views Women: as sex sirens, as avengers, or angels and devils. The artist style which is most popular in prison, is a mixture between super-realism, tattoo, and pin-up girls.

All the artwork presented was created in prison, much of it from the Special Housing Unit SHU, where the prisoners are looked in their cell with no interaction with other inmates for 23 hours of the day. This will be contrasted with realism paintings of women: actually working in the sex profession as prostitutes in Tijuana, by the artist Gregg Stone. We hope to present a parallel of similarities and differences between the idealized visions of women rendered by the prisoners, and the reality of the portrayals women working as prostitutes.

As an addition to this exhibition in the back room of OCCCA there will be four artists paintings of historical 4th Street in Santa Ana. Each artist will show two paintings of his view on this famous street. The exhibition will also feature a sculpture from Pat Sparkuhl on "Prostitution".

 

Prison Artists: Oscar Campos, Klive Hulsey, Martin Bueno, Bill Woods, Leno Del Gado, and others. Realism Paintings of

Prostitutes, or Nocturnal Butterflies by: Gregg Stone.

Artists for paintings of 4th Street by:
Emigdio Vasquez, Mirta Lorenz, Gregg Stone, and Matt Southtgate.

 


Statement about curator Gregg Stone by Pat Sparkuhl

Imagine for a moment pondering where you are in life; your home is a space, 8 feet wide, 12 feet long, and 8 feet high. Your world is limited in time, space, and ability to extend yourself beyond your immediate environment.

Your social network is made up of those who are dispossessed, unstable, angry, and constantly compensating for their inability to cope with the rigors of society. Self-expression in this type of space is certainly an area where any form of individuality is a challenge.

What has come out of this setting and flourished is a method of illustration that focuses on a stylized perspective of women and sexuality, a type of art form where the female is the primary focus and plays an integral role in the composition. Idealized and imagined female figures, fantasized positions, associations with animals, drug and alcohol induced experiences, the prisoner creates an endless series of illustrations that are created to fill the void of not having a woman at hand to physically interact with.

Segue into a visual composition that suggests a consideration of what the fantasy female might be, however this composition is a depiction of reality, not fantasy. Quite the contrary, this woman is not equipped with the idealized figure or face, nor is she living in a romantic environment. This is not fiction. This woman lives to survive. Her austere environment is made up of a bed, dresser, mirror, and a dim light. Her survival is based on satisfying the fantasy imagined in the prisoner's illustration. She endeavors to position herself in accord with your fantasy. She'll giggle if you like, pant if you like, smile, frown, you choose the behavior. She gives you the surface of the flesh, not the soul, and for what, for money.

This is the composition, made up of sumi-ink, gouache and transparent watercolors, and the insight of someone who has explored and experienced both the fantasy and reality in his own life. He has synthesized the issues of culture and consequence through this series of paintings reflecting real-life environments and actual people. His painting style embodies the clarity of representation combined with a personalized painterly approach to creating an atmosphere that is uniquely his own. This is Gregg Stone.

 

Press mentions:

Prison Dreams, Nocturnal Butterflies and 4th St.,
OC Weekly, By Nate Jackson, Thursday, Jun 4 2009

 

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