The Jancar Jones Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibit of the work of San
Francisco-based artist David Berezin titled Combo. Through an exploration of
stock images and cultural practices, Berezin combines signs to ultimately
critique the ways in which “pop meaning” can be understood.
In a previous series of photographs, he recreates canonical still lifes from
art history, built with images from the Internet and stock photography. Where
the vanitas still lifes of the 17th century that he references were
symbolically rich, his still lifes do not carry the same specific meaning.
Instead, his interest in the work comes from its construction: historical
images with precise meanings are recreated with collaged low-resolution
images that are free and available through a Google image search. As a
result, the original meaning of the composition is disrupted, through the
interpretation of the contemporary replacement imagery.
In a new series of still lifes, which will be included in Combo, Berezin
removes the historical referent, instead focusing on narrative content. Using
a precise combination of contemporary signifiers, he builds an image which
could evoke the residue of a theatrical plot. Given movie-like titles, he
emphasizes the predictable nature of Hollywood narrativity and how embedded
it has become in American vernacular, while simultaneously confusing this
read through the deliberate use of incongruous yet stereotypical symbols.
Using a similar gesture, Berezin will also construct an installation of
bedroom posters and ephemera. In the same way the arranged items in the still
lifes connote a narrative, the bedroom posters function as a highly legible
building block to a peculiar personal identity; allowing for an extremely
fast read, there is no confusion as to what a FREE TIBET poster means in a
bedroom. In spite of the often easy read, Berezin obscures the signifiers
with which he works, again drawing attention to the language of popular
culture that often is taken for granted or over looked due its over
saturation or over use.
David Berezin received his BFA from the California College of the Arts, San
The exhibit will coincide with a small edition release of “You know, we have
a lot of friends, but there’s something about Mary”, a collaborative book
project by David Berezin and Harsh Patel.