There is a silhouette wearing a man’s beige suit, intermittently shaking in the corner of Koplin Del Rio’s summer group show “Fever Dreams,” emitting a gentle hum with every twitch. A coil of multicolored wires explodes above its collar, while several feet of wires leak from the cuffs and gather on the floor, forming a kaleidoscopic pool of electrical bits and pieces. The mixed-media kinetic sculpture by Mark Licari, titled Nervous Man (2008), is a visual manifestation of a fever dream, an unpleasant nightmare that can be remembered after waking and left to vibrate in the conscious mind. The four-person exhibition, curated by Robbie Conal, and featuring the works of Conal, Amir H. Fallah, Mark Licari and Stas Orlovski, offers mixed-media pieces that walk a tightrope between lucidity and surrealism. One of the first images encountered in the show is Conal’s A midsummer twilight fever dream (2013), rendered in acrylic on canvas juxtaposed with a digital photograph. A blue and orange owl nearly camouflaged by the setting sun in the background confronts the viewer with a pair of large, hypnotic eyes. “Fever Dreams” is a collection of work that embraces the mystery and nuance of the twilight hours.
A professor of painting and drawing at USC, Robbie Conal is best known for his satirical street art posters of figures such as Dick Cheney. Inspired by photographs taken by his wife during sunsets in Culver City, Conal noticed that an owl appeared in nearly every frame; his works in this show feature owls as their subject, captured in various states of looking. The paintings by Amir H. Fallah present a very different view of the gaze as the visage of his subjects are covered by patterned blankets and are surrounded by domestic objects. Fallah also presents a series of still lifes, in an explosive palette of electric blues and fuchsia, like an environ of flora for Canal’s owls to inhabit. Stas Orlovski presents a delicate series of monochromatic oil and ink drawings that celebrate the late hours with a splintering, angular light that illuminates his compositions from one piece to another. Moon with Book(2008) shows an opened book with trees blossoming from its pages, bathed under a direct beam of light from the moon. Mark Licari’s Vortex Boon (2013) depicts a cyclone that swallows all sources of communication including a television and telephone, suggesting that in the world of “Fever Dreams,” we are alone with our thoughts and vibrations.
Featured Image: Robbie Conal ,VULNERABLE IS THE NEW MACHO (sky courtesy of Deborah Ross & Albert Pinkham Ryder), 2013, acrylic on canvas with digital photograph, 48” x 63.5”
All images © of the artists and Koplin del Rio Gallery