September 6 - October 25, 2009
Opening Reception: Sunday, Sep 6, 2-4pm
Flying Machine features two artists, Darren Hostetter and S. Ian Song. Both artists will be featuring selections from their bodies of air and spacecraft-themed work, which although vastly different in media and style, features common elements of repetition, pattern and a general fascination with the aesthetics of flying machines. S. Ian Song's work, a series of mixed media on paper drawings of helicopters generates the shape and form of each aircraft out of a clustering discrete, bound elements. Darren Hostetter's acrylic on aircraft aluminum paintings depict whimsical patterns and formations of military air and spacecraft in a graphic, realistic style.
Darren Hostetter - Artist Statement
My paintings depict technological weaponry and military aerospace objects that are set in whimsical and alluring patterns. My pieces pit many contradictory elements against one another: drab machinery against bold color schemes inspired from commercial and lingerie design; order versus chaos; the natural world in opposition to the man-made. Although I'm working to make the symbols of the horrific power that we possess beautiful and seductive, I'm also pointing out that such powerful symbols are a reflection of our arrogance and ignorance. I am inspired by the general malaise, anxiety, and fear that we are experiencing during these strange and frightening times since the end of the Cold War, and also from the tragedy of September 11 to the United States' current global military adventurism. Quoting from one of my favorite movies, Dr. Strangelove (by the late Stanley Kubrick): "This is how I am learning to stop worrying and love the bomb," I thought this statement was a completely absurd notion but a poignant starting point to make art.
As a young boy, all I wanted to do was draw pictures of jet planes and helicopters; I would build scale models of them, collect books about these machines and spend hours reading about their destructive capabilities. My father had a career doing secret work for the aerospace/defense industry, so the war machine literally put food on our table. My feelings about the proliferation of weapons and war have changed considerably since my younger days. Even though I, in a peculiar position, am still attracted to the machines, I also fear what they do and despise what they represent.
- Darren Hostetter
S. Ian Song - Artist Statement
These works on paper are truncated version of a larger series that is, in short, a work-in-progress. They are part of an offshoot from my mobile-based installation work turned into layered and drawerly manifestations.
Some thoughts and images, considerations:
Clusterbound: assembly of discrete components to reincarnate into a cohesive form/body/platform where the emphasis is not on fragmentation, but on encapsulating an orientation into an identifiable image. Pattern formation. E pluribus unum.
Formation: arrangement of aggregates to form a helicopter. To perceive the helicopter as a real-life version of Deus ex Machina as to resolve or overcome an insolvable situation with its timely intervention... Consider the flying machine in terms of it's utility: famine relief and humanitarian aid to many parts of the world; current conflicts in Southwest Asia and the usage as gunship platform; utilization for evacuation purpose, etc.
Transformation: ideas relating to the stability of the collective formation in which the configuration itself may be constantly undermined by addition or deletion of each or groups of the ball-like forms.
Reflection: a correlation to view the clustered image in terms of accumulation that constitutes a collective will (of a given society), held in suspension. And in the process, the helicopters may be viewed symbolically hovering over the notions regarding self-protection and preservation.
- S. Ian Song
This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.