Werkstätte is pleased to present STRIP MALL, an exhibition of drawings by artist Don Porcella. Most widely known for his encaustic paintings and pipe cleaner sculpture, this exhibition is the first-ever survey of Porcella’s drawings. While at first approach these works appear childlike and perhaps primitively rendered, upon further consideration his sophisticated design sense and excellent use of color are brought to the fore. Porcella uses mixed materials including pastels, colored pencils, highlighters, magic markers, and graphite. Surfaces include lined notebook paper, the backs of sketchpads, pages torn from sketchbooks, and sometimes more formal art papers. Influenced by the Mission School during the years he spent in San Francisco where the movement originated, Porcella’s interest in commonplace materials and found objects is pervasive in all of his work.
STRIP MALL is a survey of works created in from 2005 through 2007. The work addresses some of the same themes that are seen in his painting and sculpture: often seemingly random imagery that relates back to his upbringing in a small town in Northern California. We see cartoon-like imagined professional wrestling characters inspired by afternoons spent with his father watching wrestling matches on tv. The smattering of alien and ufo imagery comes from his memories of the science fiction reading-requirement enforced by his mother. Porcella’s interest in assessing personal themes is most likely influenced by his degree in psychology. We also see non-personal themes driven solely by aesthetic interest – particularly in a group of recent folk-art inspired drawings rendered in ballpoint pen.
Don Porcella lives and works in New York City.