Sayre Gomez

Sayre Gomez

Sayre Gomez extracts strangeness and cultural significance from prosaic architectural facets of Southern California. The life-size paintings in his current show evoke banal intersections between commerce, fantasy and nostalgia: strip mall facades are romantically backlit by lightning storms and hazy sunsets; cell phone towers are ineptly disguised as trees; faded advertisements on storefront doors bespeak yesteryear’s escapism. Elaborating the atmosphere of these two-dimensional scenes is a collection of three-dimensional stanchions installed at intervals throughout the gallery. Although they appear to have been plucked from some beleaguered parking lot, these yellow poles are not made of concrete or metal, but painted cardboard and foam. Even so, you’d swear that the chains hanging from them were really steel, and that the decals adorning their surfaces were, indeed, stickers, not meticulously painted trompe l’oeil details. One’s marvel at Gomez’ technical skill gives way to risibility at his sculptures’ sly titles such as Senior Regional Manager (all works 2019) or CEO. Yet the show ends on a grim note. Enterprise appears as a sign outfitted with anti-bird spikes, with the titular word barely legible under a sooty coating of grime. On the adjacent wall is Open, a soft-focus portrayal of a homeless tent encampment, blear and off-kilter as though hastily swept under the civic carpet.

 

François Ghebaly
2245 E. Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Show runs through Nov. 3