Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 6-10pm
Open for February First Friday: Friday, February 7, 6-10pm
Classic Cars West is proud to present a site-specific installation and new works by Isaac Amala and Liz Simpson. Collaborative duo Isaac Amala & Liz Simpson explore incongruity within the physical and psychological space of their tenuous, imposing installations. Relationships within the work evoke tension between opposing yet harmonious forces of the overall composition. The artistic environment of otherwise commonplace silk ties creates a sense of familiarity within the other worldly organic masses, and the abstract mark-making and pixilation of the swathes of patterned and colored silks are carefully placed in color gradients with a textural pattern accumulated to form a demanding presence.
Reminiscent of a biological ecosystem, the individual elements have their own distinct personality and potential narratives. Stalactite or glacial forms hang from the ceiling, creating a space to enter, navigate, and explore. The wide variance of texture, pattern, detail, and scale of each tie lends further agitation between the opposing yet cohesive realms of whimsy, kitsch, austere masculinity, structure, and delicacy. Many of the individual pieces take on a fictitious life of their own, assuming the disposition of an imagined yet fantastic history. But as one steps back and away to absorb the collective corpus, moving from the immediate scale of one’s own body to the immense accumulations, the viewer fades into a more linear milieu. The infinite yet unknowable stories rearrange to create an alternate narrative presented by the artists, transforming the prosaic into mysterious beasts and organisms, or floating formations, ultimately working as distinct elements and collected environments and experiences.
About the Artist: Isaac Amala & Liz Simpson have been a creative collaborative team since 2007. The duo works from their shared studio in Berkeley. Isaac is also a painter, writer, and graphic designer. Liz is a photographer, sculptor, and garden designer. Together they have exhibited their installations nationally and locally, including exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose.
About the Venue: Classic Cars West is a boutique vintage car showroom and contemporary art gallery located in the heart of Oakland’s thriving arts community, focusing on local and emerging artists working in a range of mediums.
About the Curator: Dasha Matsuura is an independent curator and associate consultant at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary living and working in Oakland. Matsuura will be curating three exhibitions yearly at Classic Cars West in addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Oakland Art Murmur.