HOLLYWOOD TO THE REDWOODS

Anthony Ausgang and Jeff Cross

SEPTEMBER 1 - 29, 2018

Hollywood to the Redwoods features works of Pop Surrealism by Anthony Ausgang and Jeff Cross. The exhibition also includes a DJ booth of sacred geometry printed on metal, created by Aaron Michael Noble.

Hollywood to the Redwoods offers a wry and wacky take on reality by two skilled California artists. Their Pop Surrealism style mixes high brow techniques and execution with a so called “Lowbrow” twist on subject matter. Pop Surrealism is a post-Pop underground art movement, with influences from punk music, hot rod culture, and independently published comics with counterculture themes.

Anthony Ausgang was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1959 to a Dutch mother and Welsh father. The family moved to Houston, Texas in the early 1960’s. Ausgang's father made brave attempts to assimilate by attending custom car shows and demolition derbies. Ausgang eventually encountered, artist and custom car builder, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and before long had a shoebox full of Rat Finks, a small plastic figurine of a noxious rodent that had somehow become the embodiment of Hot Rod and Custom Car Culture. Ausgang's mother continued the European traditions by dragging her son to endless operas, symphonies and art museums.

This combination of High Art and Low Art was to prove fertile cultural mulch for Ausgang's artistic inclinations. After a short stint studying art at The University Of Texas in Austin, Ausgang succumbed to the myth of California and moved to Los Angeles where he began classes at The Otis Art Institute. Disappointed to find out that the curriculum there didn't include target practice, admiring cars or watching surf films, Ausgang dropped out to start showing his artwork to as many galleries as would tolerate his frequent visits.

Finally accepted by the infamous Zero One Gallery, a combination of after-hours nightclub, gallery and crash pad. At his solo show that year Ausgang sold to diverse collectors and critics began to take notice. At the Zero One, Ausgang met Juxtapoz Magazine’s, Robert Williams, who was one of the main forces at Roth Studios in the 1960's and was the most successful practitioner of the type of art that would later be called Low Brow, a term often attributed to Ausgang’s work.

As the "official" art world began to accept Ausgang's work, so did the commercial art world as he began making record covers for bands such as MGMT, posters, and working as a consultant on computer generated animation.

Eureka born artist, Jeff Cross has been creating his entire life. “Drawing, building, writing,  problem solving, music… Just about anything that utilizes an active imagination seems to come naturally to me. I was trained, and subsequently worked, as a traditional sign painter, and graphic designer for over 25 years. This experience has shaped my style, color choices, and influences the composition and elements in my pieces. Bright candy colors, linework, and an overall graphic quality are staples of my paintings.”

On the content of his artwork, Cross clarifies, “I don’t generally utilize my art to speak a particular worldview, or in protest. While I completely believe that art is an important vehicle for these things, I like to remind people that art can also be something to convey humor, fantasy, imagination, or beauty for nothing else but the sake of being funny, fantastical, imaginative or beautiful. Friviality, and being in the presence of something that just makes you feel good, are important to us as humans, who strive to be happy in a world with an ever-increasing encroachment of negativity, adversity, and opposition. That’s not to say that elements of these things don’t sneak into my work, and a few of the works included in this show reflect them.”

Aaron Michael Noble was born and raised in the Northwest United States.  He aims to make the world a better place through art, music and tending to The Garden. Balanced between two completely opposite grandfathers, an Atheist Rocket Scientist, and the other, a Christian Conservative Navy Mechanic Rancher, Aaron hopes to fuse the gap separating all dogmas by simply displaying the consistent patterns found throughout all of creation. Sacred Geometry as been used historically as a tool to release mental disturbances and restore clarity and focus to the brain.  Mr. Noble aims to bring peace and clarity to our homes and workplace settings one piece of art at a time.

The VRS2 DJVJ Booth is a 16ft x 4ft stage facade comprised of 4 metal panels that are RBG reactive, allowing stage lights and projection images to illuminate and play with the artwork during shows. Each of these designs are based on the Fibonacci sequence, Golden Ratio, and Platonic solids found throughout all of existence. These patterns are found within flowers, fruit, trees and seeds. Special dyes are infused into the thick translucent coating of the metal under high heat and pressure.  The image is not printed onto the surface, but rather has a depth that in effect glows.

The booth debuted on Main Stage at the 2017 Gem and Jam Music Festival in Tucson, Arizona and has since mostly been  in Northern California setting the stage for numerous talented artists including Schpongle, OTT, Gramatik, Earthcry (Papadosio), and more, as well as dozens of local DJ’s and Producers in the Humboldt Bay Area.