Summer Forever

Bruce Conkle, Beverly Fishman, Christian Mickovic, and Paul Rosas

August 23 - October 7, 2018

Dust to Dust presents Summer Forever, a group exhibition presenting a nuanced look at summer. Love, escapism, and dread combine in a celebration of summer’s excess and the collective fear of a future, smoke-filled, everlasting summer.

The last two years of intense fires blanketing the city in smoke is not the new normal, but it is predicted that it will get much, much worse. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that by 2020 the Pacific Northwest will be as much as 5 degrees hotter and the freshwater streams throughout Oregon and Washington will be uninhabitable to salmon. The summers will be longer and drier. Simultaneously, social media is awash with images of people enjoying the heat and reprieve from fall and winter rain. The artists featured in Summer Forever capture these antinomies of feeling through works that both celebrate and presage a summer without end.

Bruce Conkle (Portland, Oregon) is known for his ecological and dystopian works that tackle existential dread associated with a our growing impact on nature. Conkle’s Warm Leatherette (2018), features two skeletons on a sailboat. One skeleton throws his arms out wide in an exuberant gesture, taken from James Cameron’s Titanic, as a cloud and flies circles overhead. The title, Warm Leatherette, is also the title of a song by Daniel Miller that itself is based on the J.G. Ballard novel, Crash. Dehumanized, the novel’s protagonist finds elation and sexual satisfaction through car crashes.

Beverly Fishman (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) recreates legal and illicit drugs in wall based sculptures and installations, magnifying and highlighting the iconography and design in the world of drugs. Fishman’s ecstasy pills are based on actual pills circulated in dance clubs. Brightly colored and phosphorescent, the cast-resin sculptures mimic the altered states the actual pills might induce.

Christian Mickovic (Birmingham, Michigan) paints broken narratives that combine tropes from popular culture, painting history, and cinema. The layering of content upends any direct interpretation, but the works featured in Summer Forever exude a sense of claustrophobia, tumult, and exhaustion.

Paul Rosas (Los Angeles, California) is a multimedia and visual artist who uses 3d renderings and photography to create abstractions which dwell in Psychedelic Idealism, a “reality” that Rosas claims is “more real than real.” Psychedelia, mysticism, and street photography hybridize to become provocations.