Red Pipe Gallery to Present SOLDIERS IN OUR MIDST
Red Pipe Gallery presents a debut solo exhibition by Los Angeles based painter Charles Swenson entitled SOLDIERS IN OUR MIDST. For this series of work, Swenson uses toy soldiers as models, photographs them, and creates the paintings from those photos. The resulting images are wistful, sad and stoic, while slightly disturbing. These compelling paintings are meant to honor all soldiers but also call in to question the abstractions of war and what constitutes service. The edgy and contemporary art in the SOLDIERS IN OUR MIDST series, occupy a space between nineteenth century portraiture and more recent pop art - using the toy models and treating them as though they are real people.
Swenson's work functions as contemporary and reaches out to an under-served audience: veterans, their loved ones. SOLDIERS IN OUR MIDST are Swenson's homage to those who serve our country without the cloying sentimentality or simplistic flag waving. When Swenson renders a toy soldier in paint, the semi abstract portrait represents all veterans. His paintings reveal the wear and tear that the process of being in war brings to its participants.
Charles Swenson (www.charlesgswenson.com) was born and raised in Los Angeles, attending both the Art Center and the Chouinard Art Institute where he graduated with honors. He has been making art and animation all his life.Swenson's first work experience was with the Charles Eames' design office where he worked as an apprentice where he designed a multi-plane camera for the 17-screen computer controlled film made for the IBM Exhibition for the 1965-66 New York World's Fair.He went on to make many animated films with the likes of Frank Zappa, Peter Yarrow, Harry Nillson, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and that great cultural icon, Roger Corman. Swenson is perhaps best known for his work on the iconic Rugrats television series. He currently paints in his Los Angeles studio and also sits on the Board of Directors of the Chouinard Foundation, a non-profit that is dedicated to the idea of bringing low-cost, high-quality art education to the inner-city youth of Los Angeles.
Red Pipe Gallery showcases contemporary art. Located in Chinatown's Arts District on historic Chung King Road, the gallery opened in summer of 2013 to join what has become a thriving arts community. Visitors can enjoy fine art in over a dozen galleries along Chung King's walking street and in close proximity, Wednesdays - Saturdays, as well as festivals featuring visual and performing arts throughout the year.
An opening reception will be held at Red Pipe Gallery on Saturday, September 6th from 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
SOLDIERS IN OUR MIDST will be open to the public from Saturday, September 6th through Saturday October 11th, 2014.