"IVAN WONG'S CONNECTING OF STREET AND SURF THROUGH HIS ART IS AN ACT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ALCHEMY. HIS PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES EVOKE THE FINISH FETISH'S CONCERNS AND UPDATES THEM FOR OUR MORE COMPLEX CONTEMPORARY TIMEs — BRINGING A SENSE OF DEPTH AND UNCERTAINTY TO THE FINISH, A GLIMPSE OF THE ARTIST AND THE TOUCH OF HIS HAND ON THE SURFACE, AND A HINT OF THE AESTHETICS OF GRAFFITI AND TATTOOS AND OTHER STREET SENSIBILITIES THAT EMERGED. IVAN WONG'S SURFBOARD SCULPTURES AND EVOCATIVE PAINTINGS ARE A BEAUTIFUL DISTILLATION OF WHAT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN ABOUT FOR THE PAST 100 YEARS." -MICHAEL FALLON, ART CRITIC AND AUTHOR OF CREATING THE FUTURE: ART AND LOS ANGELES IN THE 1970S
Complete text of art critic Michael Fallon's talk at the opening reception for CHROMIUM US 101 at Palos Verdes Art Center, August 13, 2016 ACCESSIBLE HERE.
DANIELLE IS PLEASED TO PRESENT CHROMIUM US 101, ITS INAUGURAL PROJECT WITH NEW YORK-BASED ARTIST IVAN WONG. FIRST EXHIBITED IN CALIFORNIA IN SUMMER 2016, WONG'S surfboard sculptures, CHROME PAINTINGS AND PRINTS EMBODY THE HISTORY AND SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S CULTURAL IDENTITY. for his sculptures, wong uses hand-shaped surfboard blanks by iconic californian surfer and shaper mike hynson, a member of the international surfboard builder's hall of fame known for appearing in bruce brown's 1966 surf documentary, the endless summer.
born in san diego, california, wong was influenced by the region's car culture, aeronautics industry and proximity to the pacific ocean. his large-scale, monochromatic paintings of chrome pigment have a reflective quality that changes the surfaces' tone, color and intensity as light and the viewer shift in space. sonorous and dimensional, these visceral works are filled with subtle hints of motion and action, catching light unevenly and idiosyncratically and recalling california's light and space movement.
tO ACCOMPLISH HIS SCULPTURES, WONG USES INNOVATIVE MATERIALS AND FABRICATION PROCESSES BORROWED FROM THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD TO CREATE SEAMLESS OBJECTS THAT BLUR THE LINE BETWEEN PAINTING AND SCULPTURE AND BETWEEN HANDCRAFTED AND INDUSTRIALLY PRODUCED OBJECTS. he extends his chrome paintings and blue gradient to hynson's hand-shaped surfboard blanks and incorporates hynson's signature red fins. the materials and finish of wong's sculptures echo the concerns of the region's finish fetish artists. wong bases his chromium us 101 logo on the U.S. highway 101 shield, an internationally recognized symbol of the region's culture and lifestyle, and his prints on the colby poster printing company's day-glo posters that cover the region's landscape and have become a prominent part of its visual lexicon.
growing up in southern california in the 1950s and '60s, wong was part of a generation that provided a beacon of hope as the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war. their new modern mindset brought with it an explosion of positive energy and popular culture. southern california saw the rise of a unique surf culture due to its proximity to the pacific ocean and negotiations between mainstream and alternative forces. this surf culture included native hawaiian culture influences as well as the use of state-of-the-art aerospace techniques and materials. while southern california raced to complete freeway systems and build new defense plants, surfers established a new way of life dependent on their proximity to the ocean as a source of personal freedom and symbolic identity. offering a new interpretation of california, wong's chromium us 101 series is a manifestation of the history and energy that forms california's cachet.
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CHROMIUM US 101 LOGO © & ™ IVAN WONG & DANIELLE.
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