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"California Contemporary"
at Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, California
Recommendation by Judith Christensen

Continuing through September 3, 2011

The work of three of the ten artists in “California Contemporary” stands out as embodying a range of up to the moment California culture. William Glen Crooks’ "Geary and Leavenworth" depicts a dynamic San Francisco in the muted light of afternoon — cars, scooters, people walking and talking, signs, and five-to-six story buildings on both sides of the street. The only visible sky is above the end of the street that heads downhill. Kyungmi Shin’s “Tony & Clark” is a collage full of color, cars and clutter that tend to make up urban Los Angeles. The bright orange of the side of the Public Storage building jolts against the intense green of JB Auto Transmissions. The cacophony of information on signs announces who, how much, what, and when.

A less obvious, more subtle choice for this group is Christopher Reilly’s encaustic and mixed media "Prana." The multi-layered surface suggests a billboard, peeling after a heavy rain, revealing an archeological layering of previous ads, the combination of which creates a more alluring image than a single layer possibly could. And the botanicals peeking through are a small reminder that even here nature survives in one form or another.

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