Gallery 1988 / Los Angeles / January 2019
Two years ago I had a show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles called FRANCHISE, where I made a whole series of paintings about our love of fast food chains, pizza places, and coffee shops. In particular I was thinking about places that had a specific regional ties, like In N' Out, Waffle House, and Tim Horton's, and about how they have become deeply intertwined with our sense of where we come from, along with a nostalgia for our childhood, that goes well beyond a simple love for greasy things.
Believe it or not, I was actually a bit nervous whether people would like those paintings – I mean, did anyone really want a painting of a White Castle? Well the resounding answer was yes. It's been one of my most popular shows, and like with all popular things, we green lit a sequel.
This time around, instead of strictly focussing on fast food, I spent a lot of time considering the dying art of going to the mall. Growing up in the 80's and 90's, that's what we did. Almost every weekend. We browsed CDs, cassettes, and vinyl, hung out in the food court, got chased out of department stores, rented videos, shopped for robots at RadioShack, grabbed a cookie or a frozen yogurt or whatever the hell an Orange Julius is. A surprising amount of my young life happened in or around malls, department stores, and shopping centers. But these physical spaces – the stores, buildings, signs, logos, loading docks, parking lots, and atrium fountains - are largely fading away. Along with the lifestyle we built around them. Many have been torn down, some have been repurposed, and others were just left to rot away. The last relics of a once golden age of shopping plazas. Before they're gone entirely, I wanted to make some paintings about them. Come check them out at FRANCHISE TOO.