A total of 60 pieces of art by young artists from Los Angeles have been exhibited at the Salzburg Hangar-7 since September 20. From their own perspective, each one of them created personal instructions for a visit to ‘LA Potential’. In this case, neo-hard-edge representative Bart Exposito.
What three things, characteristics or frame of mind should we approach the exhibition ‘L.A. Potential’ with in order to come out of the viewing enriched?
The following things in this order: Understand the diversity of painting practice at this point in time; understand the diversity and history of art-making in Los Angeles; consider what the artists are addressing with their work.
Reading a book or going to the movies is not a big deal. But visiting a gallery for some takes a lot of overcoming. How does one get over that?
I believe this issue rests on the side of the institutions that exhibit art. If artists take on this challenge, I believe it could seriously diminish the quality and critical components of their work.
Let’s say we’ve overcome our fear of entering. Should we first get an overall perspective from Hangar-7? Should we follow a system? If yes, which one? Or is it simply about walking up to the first picture that stands out the most and take it from there?
I think an overall perspective is important. Themed shows; ideas that connect work; and installation all contribute to strong group shows. When I approach an exhibition, I first look at the quality of the work then consider meaning and how that meaning is conveyed to the viewer.
Let’s saunter over to your own pictures. Is there something you want to tell us before we take our first look at them?
At first glance, the works look very clean/hard-edged, if you will. However, my works are very ‘hand-made’. Upon close inspection the viewer sees this.
Please help us to find access to your pictures. Perhaps with a bit of background information about your work. Or maybe if you could give us a feeling for how to best receive the messages you want to relay.
I think the more time a observer spends with the work, the better they understand it. The paintings hopefully generate new meanings and reveal themselves over time.
Please choose one of your exhibited works and give us a few details about how it was created.
The dyptich: This piece was created as an image using a mirrored imaged or rorschach. The idea behind this piece is that the viewer recognizes the similarities of the image on each panel, but will also recognize their differences. The logic behind this stems from a desire to slow the viewer down, and that there is more than meets the eye upon first glance. Look deeper.
During the creation of your art, how much do you think about the people who will look at them for the first time? How much does it serve as a mode of communication between you and those in Hangar-7, and what message should the observer receive?
The viewer has always been important to my work. My paintings attempt to address the viewer in a visual and physical way. In other words, I like to think of the paintings as co-existing in the same space as the viewer so that meanings are derived from the interaction between the two.
And finally, please give us the opportunity to show off in front of art-lovers: Is there any specific meaningful detail in your work that’s only visible on a second viewing?
Again, I think once a viewer spends time with the work they realize how the painting is made, and that the hand really becomes evident in the painting, giving it a warmth and humanness that contradicts the clean and cold look the work can suggest at first glance.