above: works by Burton Machen
VAST space projects (formerly Pop Up Art House) combines Art and Politics with October Surprise, a selection of works by Alexis Smith, Scott Grieger, Mark X Farina, Burton Machen and a rare exhibit of Hunter S. Thompson political posters by Thomas W. Benton and works by photojournalist Karen Ballard. With the opening reception on the first day of early voting for Nevada, owner and curator Shannon McMackin brought the carnivalesque climate of Venice Beach (where most of the artists are based) to sleepy Henderson.
The Benton posters and Karen Ballard photos are a treat to see in person, along with Alexis Smith’s “Lonesome Cowboy” which grounds the exhibition. I got a chance to talk to Burton Machen, who’se Hunter S. Thompson-inspired posters were set out on the streets of San Francisco to be altered by passers-by. Part of his “Urban Evolution” series, they’re surprisingly intact. The additions are graphically well done; less graffiti than art direction.
Give the Gonzo Fist to politics and check out the October Surprise Exhibition on view October 20 – November 21, 2012
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