Luis de Jesus Los Angeles debuts three exhibitions – “JOHN BROOKS: Thinking About Danger,” “Men Play Games,” by Pacifico Silano. and Jonathan VanDyke’s “How to Operate in a Green Room.” The gallery will host an opening art party on Saturday, July 23, 2022 from 5-8pm. 

John Brooks, You Can’t Shake It or Break It With Your Motown, 2022, Oil on canvas, 58 x 46 in. © John Brooks; Pacifico Silano, Detail of The Leathermen, 2022, UV laminated archival pigment print mounted on Museum Box, 50 x 80 in. © Pacifico Silano; Jonathan VanDyke, Blue Pulse, 2022, Ink and water-based paints and dyes on cotton, linen, silk, and ramie dress shirt fabric and cotton t-shirt fabric, backed with dyed and embroidered linen, 70.25 x 51.75 in. © Jonathan VanDyke; All images are courtesy of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

The paintings in “JOHN BROOKS: Thinking About Danger” combine images and inspiration from art history, cinema, literature, music, and the artist’s personal life to explore longing and remote desire, empathy and connection. The richness of experiences as well as a kind of “existential openness” is alluded to in the exhibition’s title which is taken from a painting of the same name and borrows lyrics from the Marianne Faithful song “Times Square.” Their subjects are our lives: what is and what can be, the known and the unknown. These are not ordinary paintings—they are meant for all of us—and the reading and understanding of them need not be ordinary. In truth, they invite us to lose ourselves in their openness and, as the Sufi poet Rumi enjoins, “come out of the circle of time and into the circle of love.”

“Men Play Games” is an exhibition of new and recent photo-based works by Pacifico Silano, who is known for sourcing archival images of gay pornography, mostly from the 1970s and 1980s, to interrogate white masculinity and American clichés through the lens of queer desire. He creates his work by photographing, rather than scanning, the archival photographs he has collected. Silano often layers them physically on top of each other, sometimes repeating the process with several magazines, and then takes a picture of the final layout. He makes further edits to those images by cropping or scaling them to show the pixelated grain, paper fibers, rough edges, or a detail of the magazine spine.

“How to Operate in a Green Room” features Jonathan VanDyke’s opulent sewn paintings, which fuse geometric pattern and expressive gesture. His works emerge through complex and prolonged processes of accumulating, mark-making, and piecing, often taking over a year to conceive and construct. Gathered from his family, friends, and companions, the fabrics that make up his paintings are stained and marked by way of techniques he first devised through long-term collaborations with performers from the NYC queer art community. Earlier sewn paintings – including a pair shown in the group exhibition The Road at the gallery in 2013 – revealed the traces of dancers who moved directly atop raw canvas, working through choreographies around themes such as submission and domination.

On view: July 23, 2022 – September 3, 2022

What: New Exhibitions
Where: Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, 1110 Mateo Street, Los Angeles (in the Arts District)