Livin’ It

ae leadRadius Gallery unveils a new look at everyday life in Santa Cruz

Art is meant to tell a story. Whether it’s a political statement, a tale of sorrow, or maybe just an absurd joke, it communicates the different ways in which we all experience this crazy “living” thing. Four artists at the Radius Gallery are sharing their version of the story, with their exhibit “Livin,” opening Aug. 29.

Aaron Clark, Carlos Dye, David Gardner, and Peter Saporito present their stories of living and working in Santa Cruz and how the struggle to do what they love was shaped by reality—with all those bittersweet ups and downs of adulthood. Four unlikely styles with a medley of materials combine into something that does, in its own artsy way, feel surprisingly like bits and pieces of daily life. Each artist creates their homage to “Livin” in the after-hours of their real lives.

Each of the four styles are as individually interesting as they are distinct from one another; Clark brings a technical element to his printmaking on ceramic, instead of paper. His work features a range of subjects with his Broprints Inc., from the surfer Santa Cruz-esque hang-loose to explorations of depth through his narratives of home through an intimate juxtaposition of landscape and mechanical—like a sullen robot watering a flower.

From smaller ceramics to wall-climbing wooden creations, Gardner’s work is full-scale and whimsical. A taste of the colorful craziness and vibrant personalities you might see on the day-to-day, his wood standups are just “folks”; they’re mirages of devils, freedom fighters, beautiful ladies, lovers, haters, homemakers, and dancers.

With a different eyeglass into the human spirit, Saporito brings his background in photojournalism to the black and white memories he crafts upon glass and reclaimed wood. They’re devoid of pomp and hodge-podge imagery; Saporito’s creations are a naked look into pure moments.

From the beauty in people to the wretchedness of commercial propaganda, Dye brings the America of old in conversation with the honest truths of our day. Nostalgic and Americana, his ceramic sculptures and paintings recycle popular images to weave an essence of sorrow, angst, and confusion. Call it a post-pop nightmare narrative, Dye’s work throws a somewhat playful wrench into the frenzied narrative we’re fed by the media.

What all of these artists share is the way they capture moments of the mundane and make them beautiful, presenting a dynamic glimpse of daily life as they know it.

Info: Artists’ reception Aug. 29, 6 – 9 p.m., featuring DJ RS2 Ray Stevens, Radius Gallery, 1050 River St., Santa Cruz.

Contributor at |

Anne-Marie was 9 when she decided she would be a journalist. Many years, countless all-nighters, two majors and one degree later, she started as GT’s Features Editor a day after graduating UCSC.
In her writing she seeks to share local LGBTQ/Queer stories and unpack Santa Cruz’s unique relationship with gender, race, the arts, and armpit hair.
A dedicated pursuant of wokeness and turtleneck evangelist, she finds joy in wall calendars and that fold of skin above the knee.

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