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Jeffrey Vallance, James Goodwin, Laurie Hassold,
Marjan Hormozi, Dave Shulman, Scotty Vera

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Contact: Laurie Steelink | 310.264.4678
Images available upon request

JEFFREY VALLANCE: BLINKY THE FRIENDLY HEN 30TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION


JAMES GOODWIN: NOSTALGIC SUBTERFUGE


LAURIE HASSOLD: SUPERNATURE


MARJAN HORMOZI: VICE SQUAD


DAVE SHULMAN: EXHIBIT DAVE


SCOTTY VERA: EAT THIS


March 8-April 5, 2008.
Opening receptions on Saturday, March 8 from 6 to 9 P.M
.

5 February, 2008—Track 16 Gallery is pleased to announce FIVE concurrent exhibitions: JEFFREY VALLANCE: BLINKY THE FRIENDLY HEN 30TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION; JAMES GOODWIN: NOSTALGIC SUBTERFUGE; LAURIE HASSOLD: SUPERNATURE; MARJAN HORMOZI: VICE SQUAD; DAVE SHULMAN: EXHIBIT DAVE; and SCOTTY VERA: EAT THIS. The exhibitions will be on view from March 8 through April 5, 2008 with opening receptions on Saturday, March 8 from 6 to 9 P.M. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M.

2008 marks the thirty-year anniversary of Jeffrey Vallance’s project, Blinky the Friendly Hen. In celebration of this historic event, Vallance will release The Special 30th Anniversary Edition of the publication, Blinky the Friendly Hen (Smart Art Press; Santa Monica, 2008) and construct a life-size Blinky Chapel complete with roof and steeple in Track 16’s cavernous main space. The inside of the chapel will contain display cases filled with Blinky relics and artifacts. The original Blinky (1978) was a piece of meat (chicken) Vallance purchased at a local supermarket. What followed was a trip to the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery to see if they would bury a piece of meat—they did, and held a subsequent burial ritual for a dead pet, all documented by Vallance.

Solo exhibitions by artists (chosen by Vallance) James Goodwin, Laurie Hassold, Marjan Hormozi, Dave Shulman, and Scottie Vera will occupy separate spaces within the remainder of the gallery.

James Goodwin’s work integrates found objects, thrift store junk, and props from collectible shops, drawing and text, as well as computer-manipulated content to convey a story. The boundaries between art and science become blurred in Laurie Hassold’s work, as she focuses on how these disciplines each negotiate the split between mind and body. In her drawings, Marjan Hormozi works with satirical themes within a historical precedent: filtering them through contemporary actors and staging them in theater-like settings suggesting Southern California locations. Exhibit Dave is a mix of text, artwork and artifacts generated from Dave Shulman’s columns in L.A. Weekly (Sitegeist and Column Dave), which ran from 1998 until 2007 and included stories on interesting subjects including involuntary cheerleading, Polynesian butt plugs, among others. As he explores issues of crustaceanism and Dom Deluise, emerging Los Angeles painter, Scottie Vera works in a wide variety of media and styles.

For more information, please visit our website at www.track16.com, or read ahead for separate press releases/statements for the exhibitions.

JEFFREY VALLANCE: BLINKY THE FRIENDLY HEN 30TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION

March 8 through April 5, 2008
Opening reception on Saturday, March 8 from 6 to 9 P.M.

Vallance statement:

In 1978 when I was 23 years old, I had a job restoring antique penny arcade machines. For the first time in my life I had money in my bank account—five thousand dollars to be exact. I decided to spend the entire amount on an art piece, so I self-published the story of Blinky the Friendly Hen. Blinky was a piece of meat (chicken) that I purchased at a local supermarket. (Blinky was so named due to of the chicken’s peculiar cockeyed gaze.) I took Blinky to the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery to see if they would bury a piece of meat—if I had the cash. They did. What followed was the entire burial ritual for a dead pet.

The Blinky piece was originally like a prank -- just so see what I could get away with. I thought it had no meaning at all. But I soon realized that Blinky was a stand-in for us. In that way, I could go through all of society’s death rituals without having to produce a “real” dead body. At the time of the Blinky piece, I was a vegetarian so the piece has an underling vegan statement as well.

Over time I came to believe that Blinky was an archetype of sacrifice. I saw serious correlations between Blinky’s sacrifice, suffering, death, burial, exhumation, and cultification, to the story of Christ’s Passion. It was as if this story (without any specific symbols) is written on the human heart. Culturally we inject familiar signs into the story to give it meaning—The Meaning of Life. Take the Friendly Hen for example: Blinky was born from an egg: the Easter symbol of birth and life, the chicken and the cock are symbols of virility and sexuality, they are also signify sacrifice and redemption, and ultimately the rooster is the emblem of resurrection—the cock crowing three times at the Dawn of Salvation. In the Bible, Christ compared Himself to a hen saying, “How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings!” (Luke 13:34)

Like no other work, the Blinky piece has caught the public’s imagination. Blinky is listed in several California travel guides and there are manifold references to the Friendly Hen on the Internet. The Blinky saga has become akin to an urban legend, with even the pet cemetery workers embellishing the story of the funeral service to include “hooded chanting mourners holding candles.” On Blinky’s grave, I often find strange votive offerings left by cemetery visitors. I was invited to be a guest on Late Night with David Letterman to tell the Blinky story. A reference to Blinky appeared on the TV show Married with Children in the episode “Yard Sale” in the form of “Winky the Dead Bird.” On The Simpsons show, Blinky’s headstone can be seen at the Springfield Pet Cemetery. Blinky is now like a cult thing. I have to be very careful in exhibiting Blinky Relics, as they are the pieces most frequently stolen from museums (for who knows what diabolical purpose).

At Track 16 gallery in conjunction with the release of the Special 30th Anniversary Edition of the Blinky the Friendly Hen book, I am constructing a life-size Blinky Chapel building complete with roof and steeple. The inside of the chapel will be full of display cases filled with Blinky relics and artifacts.

Jeffrey Vallance

JAMES GOODWIN: NOSTALGIC SUBTERFUGE

March 8 through April 5, 2008.
Opening reception on Saturday, March 8 from 6 to 9 P.M.

Goodwin statement:

The exhibition title, ‘Nostalgic Subterfuge,’ was derived from how some of my work operated while engaging the public: a reflection of the viewers’ conflicting reactions. Simultaneously the work and its use of older materials have a comforting sensibility when drawing the viewer in, while presenting information that upon further inspection, reveal and discuss uncomfortable issues that pervade contemporary American life, such as hate crimes, gender issues, religion, and sex and violence.

Having been intrigued and influenced by the politically charged art of Ed Keinholz and the intimacy of Betye Saar, I have discovered that my artistic voice moved more towards using a dark sense of humor to tell the various stories I want to tell. While I integrate found objects, thrift store junk and props from collectible shops, I also combine drawing and text as well as computer manipulated content to complete the story. My art has been described as “an assemblage opera to an American myth.” I find it interesting to blur the lines of what is real and what is fabricated. Sometimes one finds relationships between objects that tell a story, or one stumbles across real characters from the margins of society that when represented, comment on important issues of the day and classic topics that are timeless and affect us all. While I have investigated topics that have been looked at by artists throughout history, I have always been intrigued by the mundane, the everyday, and finding the oddities in these individuals or subjects that speak to a larger more profound and usually uncomfortable, albeit humorous result.

LAURIE HASSOLD: SUPERNATURE

March 8 through April 5, 2008
Opening reception on Saturday, March 8 from 6 to 9 P.M.

The boundaries between art and science become blurred in Laurie Hassold’s work, as she focuses on how these disciplines each negotiate the split between mind and body. For Hassold, the tug of war between our infinite minds and disintegrating, mortal containers is precisely what makes us uniquely human. Strange Attractors, a recent series of three-dimensional Rorschachian sculptures, allow contradictory materials to magnetize and fuse into creatures, which are at once beautiful and terrible to behold. Commercially produced items, such as medical instruments, toys and hardware, are intricately layered with organic remains, such as wasp’s nests, bones and hair, into fantastical plant/insect/animal hybrids that build on the now commonplace practice of genetic engineering. Nature’s baroque and whorish tendencies are strutted out in shameless glory, as the viewer gets caught in a vertiginous web of meaning. The materials list reads as a virtual “Where’s Waldo,” with the alien, slightly frightening appearance of the whole, yielding to the more familiar and recognizable fragments imbedded in the sculptures’ tentacles.

From an anthropological standpoint, these ornamental, bone-like structures are the future fossils of creatures that have adapted to an evolution of impurity, gathering themselves together from the detritus of human occupation. Their predatory appearance suggests aggressive bodies without minds, leaving one to ponder “what will reign at the top of the food chain after the human race has become extinct?”

MARJAN HORMOZI: VICE SQUAD

March 8-April 5, 2008.
Opening reception on Saturday, March 8 from 6-9 P.M.

Marjan Hormozi works with satirical themes within a historical precedent: filtering them through contemporary actors and staging them in theater-like settings suggesting Southern California locations. The social concerns addressed in her work are not portrayed as dogmatic, pedagogical, nor do they offer tidy solutions. To Hormozi, the creative driving force is the narrative that presents itself to be re-interpreted. Her work could be considered a modern take on a Shakespearean tragedy; the compositions are lyrical and robust with complex characters in elaborate costumes interacting in an unconventional environment.

Without the hand of a highly skilled draftsperson, these epic interpretations of societal and personal concerns, could be clumsy or ill conceived, however, Hormozi directs the stage with a deft touch and keen insight.

DAVE SHULMAN: EXHIBIT DAVE

March 8 through April 5, 2008.
Opening reception on Saturday, March 8 from 6 to 9 P.M.

Exhibit Dave is a mix of text, artwork and artifacts generated from Dave Shulman’s columns in L.A. Weekly (Sitegeist and Column Dave), which ran from 1998 until 2007 and included stories on involuntary cheerleading, Lime Barty, mustaches, death, Polynesian butt plugs, coffee, vandalism, head transplants, prostate biopsies, gorilla suits, prenatal capitalism, mudball fights, pancakes, Erik Cheeseburger, high school, tri-tip, cancer, Buffarona, insanity, car-living, decent God-fearin’ family life, more death, more cancer, neo-Nazi typing instructors (and their hats), quote Michelle unquote, Hector Schechner, Jim Chicken, Chlamydia Pines, Lyle Cramby and similar topics.

The installation will include stories, drawings, photographs, paintings, illustrations, found objects, ephemera, reliquiae, artifacts and pushpins. Dave Shulman received a BA in Fine Art from UCLA in 1985 and studied briefly thereafter at CalArts.

SCOTTY VERA: EAT THIS

March 8 through April 5, 2008.
Opening reception on Saturday, March 8 from 6 to 9 P.M.

As he explores issues of crustaceanism and Dom Deluise, emerging Los Angeles painter, Scottie Vera works in a wide variety of media and styles. The one unifying feature of his work is that each contains an image of a lobster and Dom Deluise