Scene and Heard

By Patricia B. Dwyer

8/9-1/20: Margaret Noble

“44th and Landis”
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Downtown

Sound artist Margaret Noble is constantly explaining to people what it is that she does.

“It’s a lot more open and less demanding [than music],” says the former DJ from Chicago’s underground electronic music scene. “The sounds I produce blend with the world around you and your environment. It’s sort of the soundtrack of the world, in some ways.”

Noble’s soundtrack for her new show, “44th and Landis,” will emanate from a dozen handcrafted paper speakers placed around an audible exhibit at MCASD, Downtown. Concerned that audiences might not connect with speakers simply making noise, Noble teamed up with visual artists to add sensory depth to the experience.

The result is hundreds of seven-inch Victorian-era paper-doll dresses printed with 1980s patterns to juxtapose a child’s fairytale-infused expectations of the world with the actuality of Noble’s own City Heights upbringing, which included hip-hop, Pac-Man and low-income housing.

Cut outs of cars, toys and buildings from both eras extend this comparison and hang alongside the paper dresses from five separate suspended structures. Each grouping has their own color pallet motifs, and create an evocative environment that inserts the viewer into Noble’s childhood memories.

Check out Noble’s live performances October 18 and November 17.

8/11-9/2: Jordan Josafat

“Lost Objects”
Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla

Given what he regards as the decline of communities in the face of capitalism, Imperial Beach artist Jordan Josafat is big into nostalgia.

“It’s sort of become remembering the past,” he says, “and embracing lost objects and things that are lost in our past that we don’t appreciate anymore.”

Josafat’s paintings range from Depression-era graffiti to 1950s tattoos, styles he incorporates in “Lost Objects,” a new and show at La Jolla’s Thumbprint Gallery.

“There’s definitely something that everyone’s going to like,” Josafat says. “I thought of all my friends and all the people I know, and I tried to paint one thing I thought they all would like.”

7/14-8/31: Tim Maclean

“Fragments & Phantoms”
Subtext Gallery, Little Italy

Tim Maclean is a pop surrealist painter from the Highlands of Scotland, where he conjures imagery full of allusions to television, comic books and mythology.

The artist’s first solo show, “Fragments & Phantoms” focuses on MacLean’s fascination with philosopher Carl Jung’s concept of the archetype, as well as the consideration of comic book plots as modern myth.

“I generally paint my thoughts and ponderings, stuff I question or muse over,” says Maclean. “I really don’t mind if people end up with a different meaning, provided they find it engaging.”

Luckily for Maclean, it’s easy to be engaged by a grimacing Hulk wearing lion’s fur and holding a club.

7/21-11/11: German Expressionists

“The Human Beast”
San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park

The paintings comprising “Human Beast,” coming to the San Diego Museum of Art, were inspired by the horrors of World War I, the ability of the upper-class to ignore social issues concerning the lower-class, and the ugliness of prostitution.

“German Expressionism isn’t pretty art,” says John Marciari, curator of European art at the San Diego Museum of Art. “There’s an edge to it. They are looking at the raw stuff of humanity.”

The exhibition, which also includes a collection of unflattering and rough nudes,

is full of bright colors and represents the birth of entirely abstract paintings, vulgar and crude figures and blatant social commentary.