Bespoke Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Joe Sola, New York Mega Millions and other works, which features new watercolor paintings and the video In the Woods, (2008) .
In the Woods is concurrently exhibited as part of the Hard Targets: Masculinity and Sport exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In his video work Sola often examines the gulf between American cultural notions of masculinity, heroism, sexuality and their psychic implications. In In the Woods a hunter clad in camouflage makes his way through the woods to a large tree. He inserts his hand through a pink portal in the tree trunk and flips a light switch on in the interior. The ensuing sequence of events involving a young starry-eyed wisp, a bodybuilder cum carpenter and a multi-colored gun shell comes full circle and the film ends once the hunter has returned to his blind.
Sola’s reference to “flipping the switch” reflects on a popular sports idiom meaning to intensify one’s performance. The cyclical chain reaction initiated by the hunter when he flips the switch and the ensuing unconventional and humorous juxtaposition of expositional elements evokes the stream of consciousness narrative of a Buñuel film. The metaphorical explorations of Sola’s latest video seems to beg many a ponderous question, perfectly balanced by the levity inherent in his fantastical scenario.
Like Sola’s video work, his watercolor paintings employ wry humor and subtlety to critique contemporary culture. Watercolor painting is a medium often relegated to the realm of the hobbyist and reserved for pastorals. Sola upends this longstanding tradition by depicting a range of unlikely subjects, in bold and elementary strokes, such as a lottery ticket, and the backside of a plumber working on a kitchen sink.