The Hole is currently hosting the second solo exhibition at the gallery by LA-based artist Eric Yahnker. In the exhibition Yahnker will unveil eight new works on paper, along with sculpture and installation.
Steve Jobs’ Day Off is a considered exhibition looking obliquely at cultural forces in America and presenting a sort of visual poem, open-ended and non-didactic, but at times mordant and definitely satirical. Gender stereotypes, generational differences, political philosophies and personal prejudices are all triggered by his carefully concocted and luminously rendered works on paper.
Using imagery from pop culture and recognizable people or products as a surface level entry point to each work, Yahnker draws the viewer in to the deeper semiotic and sociopolitical concepts beneath. The artist seeks out points in his own psyche that are dark or embarrassing or unresolved and exposes his own problematic personal perspectives to the public. A bit of head-scratching is OK: confusion for the artist is a productive state of mind, a grey area where he thinks most of life and especially politics resides.
For example how would one “explain” the work above, “King’s Court” featuring to-scale renderings of LeBron James and Michael Jackson playing defense in his loafers? It depicts two top performers in their performance attire, each somehow making the other’s outfit look ridiculous, but the scale is perhaps the most visually powerful aspect; how huge LeBron is, his massive Nikes and giant deltoid muscle larger than Michael’s head. Michael’s virtuoso dance moves are juxtaposed to James’ goliath-like power and equal but different finesse. In the presentation of two examples of male masculinity and prowess, James has home court advantage being on a basketball court, however Jackson seems in charge, unperturbed, and having a better time; after all it is titled “King’s Court.”
Other drawings in the show include a giant decontextualization of the Reuben’s painting “Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus” where the overly-casual central female is landing a layup over her captor’s heads; “Hang In There” features a slumbering vampire bad hung pendulously under the tight-jeans covered crotch of an anonymous dude; “Bong Gone” is a meditation on utopia with a phallic bong full of very chill dolphins; while other works include high heels, hybrid cars, what looks like Sarah Palin and a beautiful shirtless Picasso drinking a Frappuccino.
Intentional visual and conceptual ambiguities act as a Rorschach Test to the individual viewer; depending on where you are coming from, “Steve Jobs’ Day Off” could prove to be way more disturbing than a walk in the park. More complete information on the works will be at the gallery and on our website after the opening.
Eric Yahnker - Steve Jobs' Day Off
The Hole, April 28 - May 22