Erik Foss at Gallery 3, San Francisco


Artist Reception: Saturday November 15th 7-11 pm Gallery Three is pleased to present the first West Coast solo exhibition of New York based artist Erik Foss. A deftly crafted mixed-media mélange of painting, collage, drawing, photography, assemblage and sculptural installation components, Smokem If You Gotem lays bare the personal demonology of Foss’ visual obsessions along with the greater social pathology of our culture on the brink. At once eminently seductive and deeply disquieting, Foss iconography of cultural critique collapses the perceptual boundaries between pornography, poverty and politics to underscore the collective anxiety and violence of our time. An intrepid scavenger of visual artifacts in which memory, melancholia and madness invoke a visionary topography where the mortality of dreams engender germinal quotients of relativist understanding, Erik Foss locates the fearful symmetries lurking within the miasma of pop culture at the nexus where representation and witness converge. With the raw vernacular of the streets, Foss makes fine art fodder of the smug complacency and delusional democracy by which our failing empire lulls itself to terminal sleep. How else might we read his bold re-imagining of our national emblem, the American flag, as a composite of needy pleas and desperate amusements culled from the signs of begging homeless? His is the itinerant semiotics of national shame reeking behind spectacle of patriotic glory. In conjunction with his exhibition at Gallery Three, D. A. Arts (located next door at 135 Sixth Street) will concurrently be presenting an ambitious new installation Erik Foss is producing especially for the space. Entitled Arizona Graves, this haunting elegy for the tangible presence of loss is at once an interpretive recreation of a Native American burial ground near where the artist grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and a mythopoeic invocation of the darker legacy of the American Dream.

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