KP Projects Gallery presents Jeff Soto :: Sadlands
Past, present, and the distant future converge in Jeff Soto’s exploration of Southern California terrain in his new solo exhibition, Sadlands. This is his first exhibition since showing with the gallery in 2015. Inspired by nature and contemporary landscape painting, Soto forgoes the laws of time, space, and material reality to imagine a place where relics from L.A. and surrounding cities still exist. Amidst dusty sunsets and soft purple hills, expanses of desert sky give glimpses of a physically altered terrain where prickly pear patches remain along with adaptable invasive species. Enormous owls float above freeway lines, while butterflies perch on mutated cacti and saturated triangles point to the stormy sky.
Playing with themes of Man vs Nature, our changing climate, and science fiction, we see contemporary architectural icons give way to futuristic, site-specific art installations, commemorating contemporary society while acknowledging the possibility that Mother Nature might one day find a way to reclaim her autonomy.
Soto is a native Californian with long family ties to the region, and his reverence for the land and lore of his home finds voice through the connections he makes to childhood memories:
“‘Sadlands’ is the nickname of Brookhurst Park in Anaheim, CA, down the street from where I grew up. This park had a 1970’s playground made to look like a lunar moonscape, complete with cement craters and space age columns. Skateboarders in the 80’s saw it as perfect terrain to skate, and the name Sadlands stuck (a dis to Badlands, another local skatepark). I went to this park as a child and since was fascinated with all things Sci-Fi – I loved it! Most of it still exists to this day. I see it as a creative art installation playground that has evolved through the decades. I saw a similarity with the art installations I was imagining in these paintings.”
Where relics of the past are endowed with new life, “Sadlands is the desolate and beautiful remains of a forgotten civilization.”
633 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036 ste 104