|Whether simply placed in a gallery environment, photographed, drawn or recorded on video or audio tape, automobiles and car accidents have long been used as visual metaphors by artists, their inclusion lying somewhere between performance and disturbance, installation and litter. This visual archetype has been repeatedly harnessed to construct a narrative about everything and anything from violence and destruction to consumerist icons, industrialization, and/or the environment in which we live. Religion too has even figured in there somewhere
Its hard to reinvent the wheel, though sometimes it works. Technically dextrous, incisive and even witty, Los Angeles artist Justin Moore seems to have succeeded. Entitled Tectonic, the exhibition includes painting, sculpture, drawing and prints, each beginning the exploration of the aforementioned narratives. As Moores first solo show it is incisive and thoughtful, outstretching the expectations of a premier solo show by a young graduate of the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Thematically, Moore confines his attempt to gauge human psychological and emotional response to such automotive carnage, in certain instances of extreme violence. The physical event separates itself from the consciousness of the participant, and two distinct narratives are launched. One is subject to the domination of physical law, while the other, created by such extraordinary effects as "shock" or "divine intervention," leads to what might be called a "psychological wilderness."
Wilderness, 2002, installation, acrylic on tara cloth/
slot-car track/mirrored plexiglas, dimensions variable.
T-Bone," 2002, digital Web edition.