Art Hopping

    The Art of Complaining

    The Art of Complaining

    Self-expression is ranked highly in the list of qualities that make art … art. In this October’s exhibition “Complaint Box,” the artists of Voice 1156 give tribute to a more common, less exalted form of self-expression: complaint.

    Images spread across the room like wildfire; a collage exhibition of posters, paintings, sculptures, assemblage and photographs, heated with grievances.

    Grudges against humanity. Politics. Evening news. Fat cells. Che Guevara.

    Street art and graphic design shake hands in this show: frontal profiles reference the black and white of Shepard Fairey’s “Obey Giant,” backgrounds are covered with the rugged, blended technique of spray paint and biographies trace back to graffiti collectives such as “Do the Math” (www.dothemath.tv).

    Gallery owner Monica Hoover’s print of bejeweled fingers clutching dollars — titled “Resist and Persist” — rhymes a message that is not so much a complaint as a statement of hip-hop currency.

    Spencer Little’s drawings-by-wire describe apes and apish behavior (sometimes of human capacity) in pieces with titles like “Mobile: Cellphone,” “Human Head,” “Chimp Head,” “The Rise and Fall of Man,” “Ego Monster” and “We’re At War.” In “You Dropped Your Cool,” a wiry boy points accusatively to his left, where the absence of cool is spotlighted by empty space. Little’s works are carvings of care bulging with playful humor and hung from the ceiling or off the walls, like street scrawl without the permanence.

    An exhibit dedicated to complaining can’t avoid politics for long, and “Complaint Box” features enough media bashing and Bush-bullying to keep any progressive hash-baby happy. A globally recognizable image of Guevera slanted with the text “cliche” may not rally the red Communists, but makes good commentary on visual overstatement.

    From streetism to surrealism, brilliant to bizarre, “Complaint Box” features work from over two dozen local artists — a wide palette for the choosing. Visit www.voice1156.com for more information.

    Runs through Oct. 27

    Tues. – Fri. , 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

    “Complaint Box”

    Voice 1156

    1156 7th Ave.

    San Diego, CA 92101

    619.235.6922

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