Through January 6, 2001
A warm glow radiates from the red neon sign that reads "Fuzzyland" on
the window of a.o.v.. The seductive marker offers a tempting invitation
to the possibilities that lie within the cloaked space. Inside, the
atmosphere is intimate, yet formally cool -- think of a peep show
that teases its viewers to come closer, closer, closer STOP. Twelve
10" x 8 1/2" black-framed ballpoint drawings on white vellum,
spaced inches apart line one wall of the gallery to compose part II
of Julio Morales's "Fuzzyland" series (the first was exhibited
at Terrain Gallery earlier this year). The shadowy atmosphere is reinforced
by spotlight bulbs placed individually behind each drawing, giving
a faint luminescence to the work. Rendered in simple blue lines, the
stylized drawings at first glance look like illustrations from a 1950's
children's book. However, Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories, this is
not. Morales's figures - never whole but rather dismembered or incomplete,
never individualized but always generic (though the simplified bodies
appear to all be boys and men) - seem more like they're out of NAMBLA's
how-to S&M guide. A disembodied face gagged at the mouth floats
in isolation; figures participate in gestures that allude to scrubbing
the floor, washing the dishes, and masturbating. Of course the vague
quality of these psychological pantomimes only adds to their perversity.
The drawings, though sparse, have been layered with altered digital
scans, suggesting that the prevailing mood of anxiety that quietly
infuses these works isn't exclusively dedicated to the pictorial scenarios
but concerns the very practice of drawing in its search for self-definition.
The choice to exhibit the work of Morales, an established San Francisco
artist, is a bit of a deviation for this alternative gallery space
that has been supporting emerging artists for the past 2 years. However
the choice of venue for this body of work couldn't be more appropriate.
3326 22nd Street (at Valencia), San Francisco
Thurs. - Fri.. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m., Sat. 12 - 8 p.m.
(415) 431-8341 (Megan Wilson)