Currently on view in the project space at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles is a solo presentation of work by Montreal-based French artist, Turf One, entitled Shining Darkness. Often perversely proportioned, Turf One’s curious depictions of bowler hat and imperial mustache-donning men read like the lineup of a Coney Island sideshow act. His mixed media constructions of the seemingly dark side of kitsch reflect this aesthetic as well, with vintage-inspired depictions of a fortune telling monkey or a palmistry booth being presented inside the dark dimensions of ornate wooden frames. In possible homage to Francis Bacon, the grim-faced man in the piece entitled Meat holds a sow’s head out in front of his shirtless body, the folds of his stomach and tufts of his dark chest hair peeking out from behind it. Shining Darkness is the first offering of Turf One’s new work on the West Coast, and it brings a fresh approach to the canon of work being produced or shown in in Los Angeles by artists with roots in–and inspiration from–comics and street art.
Born Jean Labourdette, Turf One has had his work exhibited internationally, including this summer in the group show, Beach Blanket Bingo, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York, and in the two-person exhibition, Life Size, at Yves Laroche Galerie d’Art in Montreal. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a film project he’s been working on for the past three years with his partner Lela.