The Light Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA., March 2009
Posted on OCartsandculture.com, 27 March 2009 by Evan Vincent
Diabetes has become a worldwide epidemic. In 2008, the United States housed about twenty-four million Americans with Diabetes. In Orange County alone, we have approximately two hundred thousand diabetics. I can guarantee you that at least one member of your family or friends live with it. But what can you do about it? The Light Gallery in Costa Mesa recently hosted an exhibition to help raise awareness and money towards the research and the eventual eradication of diabetes. Thirty one different artists from LA and Orange County came together to host a group art exhibition from their perspective of Type One Diabetes. The show was entitled Pre-Existing Conditions. Each of the artists is effected by Diabetes in some way. Whether they are Diabetic, or have a close friend or family member who is, each one of these artists share in the hope that one day, Diabetes will no longer effect anyone. It was a noble cause and an amazing night of art.
The gallery was jam-packed; we were sandwiched in like sardines. This ‘one night stand’ art show had so many powerful pieces that the walls were completely littered with different works. Mixed media installations, acrylics, photography and even digital art were all on display. Each piece had a different take on what Diabetes meant to each artist and you could really feel the honesty and earnestness in all the works displayed. It was as if no one was holding back. It was really nice to let each piece entice you and speak directly to your core. One of my favorite canvases of the night was by Anthony Ausgang, whose modified canvas was entitled “What my father saw” (right). It really spoke to me. Anthony used a canvas he had found and modified to represent the loss of eyesight that his father had been stricken with after living with Diabetes. It was one of those pieces that really jump right off the white walls of the gallery. Since most of his canvas had been painted black, it immediately stood out and continued to draw large crowds throughout the night. It was such a simple execution, yet it was a very deep, inspired piece of art.
Just a few canvases down, Scott Aicher’s “Evening Drift” was painted on a panel of wood. It was a vibrant acrylic piece that had a reminiscent, sci-fi, nineteen fifties feel to it. It reminded me of Ed Roth’s work, yet a little more other-worldly. It was vibrant in color and so infectious. It was begging you to get lost in all the minor details. This was also another favorite of the evening. Scott’s father and uncle were Diabetics.
Last, but certainly not least, Zoey Stevens (who is Diabetic) had a few works to show. Both of his art pieces were acrylic on canvas, yet it was hard to tell because his work is so lifelike. He really understands how to capture characters in his paintings. Something that struck me was how he captures the eyes in all of his paintings. Since they say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, he really uses the eyes of his characters to give his paintings the soul that makes them seem so lifelike. He really has a unique style and his painting entitled “The Man in Black” was such a great take on that famous photo of Johnny Cash. This one catches the same amount of attitude from Johnny, with a pricked finger in place of the ‘bird.’ Without a doubt, this painting had everyone talking and seemed to be the feature piece of the show.
Pre-Existing Conditions will be traveling to other locations in six other cities. It will stop in various cities like the Brett Wesley Gallery in Las Vegas, PRAVUS Gallery in Phoenix, Terra SF in San Francisco and eventually will end up at it’s final stop in Los Angeles. As the show travels it will pick up new artists and art pieces along the way. So if you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it. All the proceeds from sales will be donated to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund).