May 15 – June 19, 2004 Reception for the artist Saturday May 15, 5 – 8pm.
Western Project is pleased to present new paintings by Las Vegas artist, Sush Machida Gaikotsu. This will be his second solo exhibition in Los Angeles and will include major paintings completed over the past year. Sush is heavily influenced by the 19th century wood cuts of Utagawa Kuniyoshi - for their eccentric imagery and humor. His work also integrates elements from the last 20 years of Pop culture, such as tattoo, extreme sports, skate and snowboarding graphics, high-fashion, computer imaging, etc. Blending traditional Japanese attitudes of image making and slick technologies of contemporary painting, the artist has made a body of work he defines as a super clean sublime.
Being an incredible draftsman, Sush designs his images on wood panels, layering the pictures with text such as ‘emotional’ and ‘conceptual’, purposely spoofing the viewer with art clichés, against his
cool and crisp techno language. What is alarming are the contrasting elements of the work– a painterly lushness mirrors the natural diversity of our world, yet the hyper slick surfaces and finish of the paintings refer to commodity, control, and the complex order of global culture. The beauty of Sush’s huge crying monkey smoking a cigarette is just plain odd, beautifully made and wrong, but not entirely unfamiliar. While mining the lower sediments of our consumer world the artist has come up with a uniquely elevated view of our actions. Ultimately, the spirit of Sush’s paintings is a celebration of our shared environment and a serious testament to the humor and imagination of how we can, and do see ourselves.