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Sayre Gomez
Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Kristen Osborne-Barucca

Sayre Gomez, "I'm Different," installation view, 2014

Continuing through November 22, 2014

Sayre Gomez wants viewers to watch their step and pay attention: he thickly spreads wood chips on the gallery floor to evoke a park, and contrasts this faux-outdoor space with two walls of monochromatic paintings depicting a shopping center showroom. Small speakers disguised as rocks play hip-hop and pop selections from Mark Zuckerberg's public Spotify playlist, while banners affixed to the wall are solemnly peopled with random words and phrases generated from an online algorithm. The effect of the cacophony of music, nonsense slogans, and consumerist themes is that of a constant barrage to the senses.

In contrast to all this are the large, mostly serene paintings, rendered in veils of purple and blue paint. In one an empty picnic table is visible, in others isolated trees are silhouetted. Nature and solitude are the obvious counterparts to frenetic and discordant modern life, but Gomez hints at something more sinister and lonely. In one painting, gloved fingers open a window, and a sculpture of a faceless figure on a park bench is mute and melancholy. The result is the uneasy sensation that modernity is filled with perils, whether one is immersed in society or solitude.

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