There are those who might revel in being embroiled in political discourse and carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, but there’s a time when even they need a reprieve from all these serious matters. That’s when the brain has become overstimulated and begins yearning for recess. Given the gravity and social import of the very powerful and thought-provoking “Art With An Agenda” undertaking last month, PÄS Gallery and John Sollom aka Nhoj did the hokey pokey, turned themselves around and interjected some levity into August’s Art Walk with “Fun & Games: This Painting’s For You.” Conceivably, they probably took one down, passed it around and downed a few pints in the process.
Upon entering the Magoski Arts Colony, you noticed immediately that there were quite a number of art patrons parading about with leis around their necks. We can only presume that Nhoj is a tremendous Magnum P.I. fan, as all attendees were encouraged to don their best Hawaiian shirt or attire; possibly also, to help stave off the sweltering summer heat. The fierce and cut-throat competition had the lucky bastard — we mean, winner — taking home one of the artist’s current works, while runners-up happily chugged down a cold one courtesy of DB Brew in Huntington Beach as their consolation prize.
The majority of Nhoj’s pieces were inspired by that childhood ditty sung on a field trip bus, “99 Bottles of Beer” and possibly the steep trajectory of the current brew trend/love affair. Iconic kahunas such as Modelo, Peroni, San Miguel and a multitude of others from here and around the world were glorified in oil paints and plastered all over PÄS‘ previously lugubrious panels. Sharing some of the art space were nostalgic depictions of stacked board games like Parcheesi, Operation and Aggravation. A Shaq-sized version of Jenga took center court and provided a hands-on and interactive aspect.
The wonderful thing about the “Fun & Games” exhibit is that in this technological age, it hearkened back to an era when things were more simple; when having a good time was as easy as calling banker for Monopoly and cracking open a Bud. All in all, it was a welcome flight of playful pop art. So, never mind Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can, we’ll take Sollom’s Stella Six-Pack any day!
John Sollom is one of the most prolific painters of our time. His style is described as utilizing broad and loose brush strokes, yet brilliantly conveying great detail in his everyday still lifes. Landscape, Folklore, Americana, and Relics of the Past are subjects that inspire his work. His influences consist of Elmer Bischoff, David Park, Hans Hoffman, Frank Auerbach, Larry Rivers, Rembrant, Mark Rothko, John Singer Sergeant, Manet, Rauschenberg, Van Gogh, Vuillard, Bonnard, Lucien Freud and Ed Hopper.
For more information on John Sollom’s work, contact PÄS Gallery at www.2pas.org or 714.871.2PAS (2727).
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