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The Horse Before The Art

A mane attraction, followed by social commentary and a slice of life

By Patricia B. Dwyer

All Hallows Eve involves a lot more than just candy and costumes.

An art-collecting biology professor’s love for the holiday, for example, inspired him to curate “Ghosts of Halloween Past,” an art show coming to Subtext Gallery in Little Italy.
“Other than the Fourth of July, it’s the one holiday that pretty much everybody can participate in,” says curator Jeff Yule. “There’s a strong element of nostalgia built into it.”

Yule’s show, “Ghosts of Halloween Past,” is comprised of North American artists’ works that use dramatic color palettes to depict trick-or-treat imagery, harkening to childhood sugar highs, wax lips and vampire teeth.

10/6-11/4: “The Horse”
Artist: Tia
Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, thumbprintgallerysd.com

Tia (she nixes the surname) is known for her smart cartoonesque images, which she has historically set against flat backgrounds. Through collaboration with friend and San Diego artist Andrea Rushing (of Rushing Academy of Art, in Kensington), she has recently expanded her aesthetic to include elements of fine-art landscape.

“I’ve got very traditional-style-looking things and then very pop-arty-style things,” says Tia. “I’m trying to reach everyone and let everyone know I’m open to all sorts of ideas and creativity.” Each horse in the show is depicted in the act of representing a different steed-based idiom, i.e. show horse, prize horse, Trojan horse.

10/18-11-14: “Return to Nature”
Artist: Jaehyo Lee
Madison Gallery, La Jolla, madisongalleries.com

South Korean artist Jaehyo Lee is a purist in both the materials he chooses and how he applies them – using raw or charred wood, stones, leaves and nails, for example, to create organically shaped sculptures
“These materials are not special,” says Lee. “But I have some talent to see the invaluable qualities in them.”

The show is Lee’s first solo exhibition in California and displays 15 new pieces of both free-standing and installed sculpture, and utilitarian stools and benches.

“I hope the viewers are happy and calm when they see my work,” says Lee. “No more or less than that.”

10/13-11/3: “The Privileged Series”
Artist: Anthony Dortch, Jr.
Distinction Gallery, Escondido, disctinctionart.com

Citizens with foreclosed homes and masked politicians standing before the word “WEALTH” in bold letters tell part of the story of “The Privileged Series,” Washington, D.C. artist Anthony Dortch’s first exhibition in San Diego.

To create the images that will be on display at Escondido’s Distinction Gallery, Dortch began with photos of models, which he printed on canvas and then painted. The process isn’t his invention, but his unique method creates ghoulish hues to match his dramatic imagery.

“The subject isn’t mean to be light,” says Dortch. “It’s kind of a satirical version of things that have happened in the past or are happening now.”

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