Federal Art Project (FAP) in downtown LA recently hosted Mixtape Volume 1, a show featuring artists who use music subculture as impetus for their work. Shizu Saldamando‘s 5′ x 3′ graphite on wood piece, Maria Daniela y su Sonido Lazer Concert, Azusa, CA, was hung in the forefront of the gallery, begging viewers to take a closer look at her skilled draftmanship. With fluid strokes, Saldamando delivers accurate textures of hair, clothing, gestures, and expressions as well as the overall energy of a moment. According to Saldamando, the musician’s role is subsidiary while the collective spirit of the audience is key.
Three of Jacob Rhodes‘ quilt series, Candy Skins, were also included in Mixtape. Candy Skins are Rhode’s fictional characters whose subculture is influenced by that of Skinheads with a heightened fashion sense (Candy Skins make all their own clothing.) Rhodes uses embroidery floss to stitch Candy Skin scenes onto quilts made out of denim, nylon, and gingham–the fabrics of the Candy Skin’s everyday lives.
In some cases, specific songs, lyrics, or rock ‘n’ roll sayings were referenced by the exhibit’s artists. For example, in a 30″ x 30″ piece of steel, Rich Shelton plasma cut the words, “It’s better to burn out than fade away” and seamlessly installed the steel along with the kino flo lights that backlit the script into the gallery’s wall.
In addition to the artists mentioned above, the exhibit included digital installations by Irina Contreras, Marco Dimas Sanchez, and Juan Capistran as well as Xerox and Light Jet Prints by Sandra de la Loza and Hazel Mandujano.