IN TWO-MAN SHOW, MACHIDA EXPERIMENTS WITH TECHNIQUES TO ALTER VIEWER’S PERCEPTIONS, FOX EXAMINES HOW SOCIETY ALTERS OURS
On Saturday, May 1, downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) will proudly premiere new works by Sush Machida and Jon Fox in Gallery 3. The two artists will each be presenting their own solo showcases.
“Aged, Fresh, Renaissance and a Lie”
Japan-born, Las Vegas-based artist Sush Machida is best known for his distinct style that combines modern pop art with Japanese symmetry, animal themes, vivid colors, polygonal panels, and boldly layered textures. His combination of art historical techniques from 18th century Japanese art to Matisse to Ed Ruscha’s Hollywood sign painting converge to create pieces that are at once timeless and timely. In Aged, Fresh, Renaissance and a Lie, Machida pits his arsenal of techniques and stylistic choices against each other to create visual conflicts of both the linear passage of time and presence of entropy in our contemporary world.
“My painting often looks aged and damaged, but it is new and undamaged,” explains Machida. “Or, it may look new but old. It sometimes looks unfinished but actually finished. It is bright and dark at the same time. It is traditional and cutting edge at the same time. By creating something unrelated to the time, new/old, trend and movement, my art becomes timeless. I always wonder, how my paintings would look in 200 years from now?”
Machida’s self-imposed question is present in each piece—his conflict with how we perceive time becomes the basis for much of his technique, layering different techniques on top of and underneath each other. Machida explains, “My art is about a view focused on the acceptance of ‘intentionally made’ transience and imperfection. The Japanese aesthetic called wabisabi is a concept where you enjoy the beauty of imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”
His fascination with balance on the edge of instability becomes increasingly relevant through his wabisabi aesthetic. “In the contemporary world, we are able not only to enjoy the beauty of ‘real’ imperfection but also ‘fake’ beauty of imperfection because, again, it is my art, and my painting is real in my art. In this way, real imperfection (of these wabisabi things) becomes fake.”
About Sush Machida
Sush Machida is a contemporary Japanese artist who lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., after moving from Japan in 1992 at the age of 18. His artwork is in the collection of Microsoft, Weisman Art Foundation, Wynn Resort, Portland Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Nora Eccles Art Museum, and many others.
Machida received his M.F.A. (2002) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he studied under MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called "genius grant") recipient Dave Hickey, who has written for many American publications including Rolling Stone, Art News, Art in America, Artforum, Harper's Magazine, and Vanity Fair.
Machida is one of Hickey's Las Vegas art "Diasporas." L.A. Times art critic David Pagel stated, "It's a rare instance of less-is-more magic, when a strictly limited number of judicious decisions intensifies the effect of the whole. Pop art never looked more scorchingly gorgeous or wickedly Zen."
In his latest body of work, Heavy Whispers, British artist Jon Fox examines the forces that shape us – particularly the way society’s values exert pressure on people and their identities, and the way these interact with our own internal pressures. Each piece is layered journey, exploring how these outside influences can affect the facets of our lives, how our inner selves push back against the pressure, and how, ultimately, the confluence of these forces shape not only our individual behaviors but also the shape of the society we live in.
Heavy Whispers is particularly informed by the increase in external pressure that has resulted from our age of social media saturation, showcasing the combination of techniques that range from Japanese cartoons to computer games and graffiti that gave rise to his personal style. “Too many voices, too many opinions, compulsive, competitive comparing of lives against one another, it can swallow you up and spit you out, and still have you crawling back for more,” explains Fox. “I see family and friends often affected in very negative ways by it, it conjures up an anxiety-fueled downer brought on by this strange habitual browsing of one another’s lives. It leaves us searching for solace, or an escape route from these patterns of behaviour. What do we share, and what do we hide, how do we push back?”
About Jon Fox
Dynamic geometric structures, angular shapes and striking colour characterize Jon Fox’s work. Born in Hereford, UK, a child of the 80s, he was initially attracted to Japanese and American cartoons, comics and computer games, along with hip hop and the graffiti styles that came with it. Primarily interested in storytelling and drawing on personal introspection, Fox juggles narrative and pictorial composition to produce a wide array of vivid mindscapes, character designs and scenes full of wild energy and intricate detail.
Since 2003, Jon has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Europe, the UK, Australia, United States and Canada, including Égrégore: The Zenith of Pop Surrealism at Yves Laroche Galerie d’Art, Montréal (2014). His works are in many private and public collections, including Coleccion Solo in Madrid. Jon’s work has been featured regularly in publications such as Hi-Fructose, Mincho Magazine, NoBrow, Hey!Magazine as well the ‘New Contemporary’ book published by Juxtapoz . His work has also featured in various publications by Pictoplasma, where he has taken part in live events at the festival including a solo exhibition and live wall/mural painting.