"To Whom It May Concern"
Pencil and gouache on bristol board
Currently on display at 111 Minna Gallery, SF thru Dec. 2nd
"Utopian and dystopian or anti-utopian narratives fascinate me. It is curious to see on a daily basis, the signs and forms of perfection and the promise of temporal happiness in advertisements, commercials, billboards, and places of amusement. Las Vegas and Disneyland embody this promise of satisfying every desire through their hyperrealist environment. My work explores the polarity between utopian and dystopian ideas. I like to play with images, to organize them in such a way that the relationship between them creates a new reading or an unanticipated narrative of unfolding events. This piece was a response to seeing a mailbox covered in graffiti. I was thinking of letters, messages, and information. Forgotten and misplaced dialogues. I was also thinking of what the world might be like with an increase of global warming. Animals would migrate to new areas depending on the change in temperature. Ecosystems would begin to merge and overlap. new relationships and interactions would evolve.
I envisioned a future where society had broken down into a feudal system, people had become nomadic and tribal, hanging on to the remnants of technology and culture. The title refers to a letter that had been written long ago warning of the events to come. "To Whom It May Concern", poses the question, who is the "Whom" that should be concerned about the state of increased consumption and degradation of the environment? The grass is overgrown, litter and debris salt the landscape. The diagrammatic quality of my work allows me to incorporate the narrative of time, such as that strata of the earths layers, to lift or cut through layers to see the structure and root systems, like skin. I have experimented with incorporating backgrounds in my work but I find the white space is an effective device for creating a feeling of detachment and objectification that supports the subject matter.
My intention is to create work that asks questions about the implications of urban sprawl and its impact on the environment. I am interested in creating psychological narratives set in closed systems that express the behavior of and the interaction between humans and animals. The dystopian model creates a dynamic playing field where I can experiment with these ideas and forms."
by Josh Keyes
A little info about Josh: He's 37, lives and works in his apartment in Oakland and can break dance! although, he says he's a little bit rusty.
GO CHECK OUT THIS PIECE and more at 111 Minna Gallery until December 2nd!