A Suboken Project Special Report

We hope you can join us on November 25th, 2013, at the Palm Desert Community Gallery for the opening reception of a two month solo exhibit featuring The Suboken Project’s: The Cartographer’s Dilemma and In A Place: Coachella Valley.

The exhibition runs from November 25th through January 21st. Gallery hours will be from 8:00am until 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Calista and I are hoping to organize a couple of artist talks during the show’s run for anyone interested in touring the exhibit with Suboken (that would be me), and share in a conversation about the process and themes featured in both projects.

A couple months ago, I submitted an application to participate in the next season of The City of Palm Desert Public Art Program. In the application, I proposed two current projects I’ve been nurturing with the hope that at least one could be chosen as part of a group show. Not long afterward, Deborah Schwartz, the director of PDPAP, sent an email to inform me that the council not only accepted both projects in my application, but decided to exhibit them together in a solo show.

Here’s a copy of the application I submitted for the exhibit:

“My name is Suboken, a conceptual artist living in Palm Desert, and this is my description of the work I hope to display in your community gallery space.

The first collection, In A Place, is a photo print series I have been working on over the past six years. The prints feature an assortment of diverse hand sculpted miniature picnic tables placed in commonly overlooked neighborhood environments. The composition of each image is framed so that the natural surroundings of the picnic table appear to be new and exotic locales. The charm of the picnic table placed in these landscapes works to make the content and context of In A Place accessible to everyone.

The aspects of escape and wonder were the sparks that ignited the In A Place project. The picnic table can represent many things to as many viewers, but the work’s overall approach is to inspire the viewer to take in the little moments and look around them, to find the unexpected. I believe as one becomes accustomed to finding new details in the simplest of surroundings, they become more aware of details in the larger world around them as well.

For your gallery space, I intend to display a set of twenty-four mounted and framed prints, plus a set of four original acrylic paintings, 36” x 24”, based on settings featured in the project. The majority of the locations featured in this series are exclusive to the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas.

The second collection of work I would like to present is a series of shallow relief wall sculptures from a project entitled, The Cartographer’s Dilemma. Each piece is 48” x 24” x 3”.

Cartographers use an illustrative short-hand to describe geographical features of the real world. This short-hand form of communication is designed to allow the viewer to have an easy baring on the contours and layout of the area depicted on the cartographer’s map. Exaggerated color palettes, lines of various weight and solid fields of color all act as simplified yet concise forms of communication informing the map viewer of the geography depicted.

Spoken and written language serves as a way to describe the real world as well. Words are used as a concise method to describe all the vast facets and features of the world and the ways in which we interact with and within it. However, are words also just another form of short-hand, simplifying or exaggerating how we see the real word? A culture’s vocabulary has such a huge impact on how it’s members regard the world in which they live. Could it be that the more complex and sophisticated our lexicon becomes, the more removed we are from simply seeing the real world?

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am certainly willing to separately display the two projects, and would be happy to exhibit with other artists.”

I’m excited to have to opportunity to share both of these projects with the community. The wall space for the gallery is pretty big, and I expect it will be a somewhat surreal experience to see so many of my art pieces in location.

As ambitious as this may sound (or read), I hope that everyone interested in my art can make it to the show. I’ll certainly post updates and personal reflections on the experience.

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