November 29, 2018 - January 12, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 29, 6:00–9:00pm
Coldstream Fine Art is pleased to present Strange Paradise, a collection of collage and digital prints by Los Angeles-based multimedia artist David Krovblit. Synthesizing influences from pop art and contemporary commercial photography to 19th century botanical illustrations and Faberge eggs, the artist creates a dysphoric fantasy world that is equal parts seductive and terrifying. Though the imagery he draws from is disparate, Krovblit’s eye for composition results in a dazzling blend that is both amusing and cutting. The constant stimulus of a world infused with consumer products and their ubiquitous marketing is mirrored in the crowded collages, but Krovblit is able to spin fatigue into inspiration, weaving a conflicted commentary.
Krovblit’s technique bridges new and old methods of producing collage, using the convenience of digital manipulation to scale and print images at various sizes and then reverting to hand-cutting and pasting for the final product. A gloss of resin unites the compositions, but a closer look reveals the delicately handled layers of imagery that comprise the whole. This allows a two-pronged exchange with the viewer, encouraging them to both take in the work in its entirety and step in for a detailed examination of the components. At the same time, hidden narratives alluding to the Garden of Eden and other archetypal tales underscore society’s recurring motifs, even in the face of constant change.
In addition, the exhibition features Krovblit’s series of aesthetically adjusted grenades, repurposing implements of war into contemplations on humanity’s simultaneous potential to create and destroy. Beyond the formal similarity to eggs, classic symbols of life, the grenades allude to surprising (and revealing) historical facts, such as Carl Faberge’s involvement in the Russian war effort during World War I and the use of artisanal Japanese ceramics to create shrapnel explosives near the end of World War II. In concert with the collages, these works present Krovblit’s uncanny ability to extrude delicate beauty from the apparent crudeness of the world, suspending us above all in its strangeness.