The title for this exhibition references the eponymous song by the Doors, in which all that is normal or mundane can quickly be turned upside-down, nonsensical and perverse. The three artists in this exhibition all work in forms of twisted narratives. All three share a colorful, illustrative, and comical style. However, each provides a unique, sometimes oblique, perspective on the world around us, where fiction combats reality, and humor struggles with depravity.
Danny Licul (Brooklyn, USA) dives into the messy world of childhood, specifically the laboratory of the middle-grade school classroom . The artist has created a hybrid realistic / fantasy model of his own school, in which he poses loosely molded clay figures to create the school room scenes he references in paint. Here we see part of Licul’s ongoing “Sock Puppet Presentation” series, where children present their puppet creations to the rest of the class. Through chaotic brushwork and vibrant color, Licul shows the struggle of individuality developing in controlled environments, and the conflict of personality that emerges through competition and expression.
Mariano Ching (Manila, Philippines) depicts worlds that are infused with surrealist, psychedelic themes. His images are a mixture of dystopian dreams, carnivalesque and grotesque figures, phrenology, metaphysics, religious iconography, DIY design and entropy. Ching is endlessly expanding his visual universe, producing bodies of work in drawing, painting, wall installations, and sculptures that incorporate burnt wood, wax and found objects. In his Pale Moments After the Explosion series, Ching’s characters are transcendent, oblivious in the midst of a narco-nicotine fueled vision quest. His Ghosts of the Highway series is a totemic representation of a cinematic road-trip combines dreamscapes and the detritus of travel, creation and experience.
Robert Langenegger (Manila, Philippines) creates vulgar, cartoonish narratives in the attempt to turn the aesthetics of “high art” completely upside down. Working in a rough, intentionally awkward style, he combines extremely distasteful humor, carnal excess, body fluids and unclean protagonists to show us the corruption, selfishness, vanity and sexual depravity that underlie and pervert our modern life. Themes range from sex tourism in Asia to global class warfare, the hypocrisy of organized religion, racism, and consumerism. In works with humorous, rambling titles, Langenegger depicts a drugged-addled character who’s domestic threat is ambiguous. Elsewhere, the artist pokes fun at the strange bedfellows that work together to keep the global capitalism machine moving.