Sush Machida Gaikotsu: If I Were A Zen Master / 2006

May 6 – June 10, 2006 Opening reception Saturday May 6th, 5-8pm.

Western Project is proud to present the third solo exhibition of paintings by Las Vegas artist, Sush Machida Gaikotsu. This new body of work is heavily influenced by two of Japan’s historical painters, Jyakuchu Ito and Okyo Maruyama. Reinterpreting late 18th century Edo classicism of these two masters, Sush has infused traditional Japanese imagery with a sense of global culture.

Goldfish, tigers, butterflies, and other images of nature are presented in a kind of Super Pop animation. It is a digital Nature, processed into a techno dreamscape of airbrushed light. Sush uses elements of snowboarding and skater graphics, tattooing and couture fashion to create a cross cultural language of empathy and humor; lost giant fish floating in clouds of M & M candy and flowers, or an immense dragon hunting a butterfly. As 1960’s Pop painting used graphics and cartoon imagery to comment on politics, Sush utilizes his spare images to contrast ideas of control and timeless nature. His exact and highly finished surfaces mirror contemporary notions of order while his subjects refer to another type of structure; older and grander in design. It is the endless vibrancy of creation that Sush depicts – suffering the tags and arrogance of human culture; but ultimately inspiring us to consider a more complex sense of origin, and bolder purpose.

Sush Machida Gaikotsu received his MFA from the University of Las Vegas. His work is in the collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, the Portland Art Museum, the Nora Eccles Art Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. He has exhibited in Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Fe and will be having a solo exhibition at the Las Vegas Art Museum in early 2007. His most recent solo exhibition was at the Rebecca Ibel Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. His work has been reviewed in Flash Art, Art Issues, Art in America, and The Los Angeles Times, among others.