Steven Harrington is having a busy year. He has participated in various group shows. He made a desert boot with Generic Surplus. He made a figure with Toykyo. He had a pop-up shop at Coachella. He’s even made more shoes, too. He’s been incredibly busy this year! All of his works have been pointing to something greater, as if each piece were a tiny part of a much bigger picture. We didn’t expect this but everything clicked at his solo show Insideout at Known Gallery, which opened Saturday. It is an amassment of all of his concepts from the year brought together in a tight showcase.
Insideout sees Harrington crossing many mediums: there are paintings, there are drawings, there are screen printed pieces, there are collaborations, there are sculptures, there are photos, and there are mixed media pieces. There is a variety to them in form but also in their subject matters, too. The show is best broken into movements as each segment leads into another. As you walk in, two screen printed show announcements reflect a mural of zoomed in black and white faces (which can be purchased in panels from Vantage Process). A little You & I ampersand sits at the front desk with show booklets diagonal from a series of diamond paintings that alternate between abstract geometric Miami hypercolor and black and white faces pulled from the entry mural. Four gigantic graphite drawings across from the diamonds lead to a wall of sculptures and screen prints, leading to more screen prints that span two stories. A giant ampersand lounges on a wood block at the center of the room and, at the back of the gallery, is an area dedicated to his Generic Surplus collaborations (which had a pop-up shop during the opening, too).
All of the pieces express this desert psychedelia that plays in Steven’s head. There are teepees with hands, palm trees with mouths, anthropomorphic pots and totem poles, and the more manifestations of their collision. Like the shoe collaboration, Insideout brings the feelings of his work and concepts to physical expressions that can be accessed by more than people who can afford his art. Physically sharing his work demonstrates their connection between contemporary, discipline mashing and how they–at points–touch classical art and sculptural forms, his wall of stonework and accompanying screen prints in particular suggesting relics found on a planet of neons mountains and black and white oceans. Comparing this body of work with our Featured Interview with Steven, you see how these little pieces have built and built and built to Insideout. The show is the embodiment of where his mind has been from 2011 to 2012.
Speaking with Harrington, he echoed the same idea of how representative this body of work is to his headspace. It also was quite apparent that he has been working very, very hard as–while doing all this art making–he’s still running National Forest and keeping his business end running. Pair this with putting on a show? Give the man a vacation, sheesh. The show is his first Los Angeles solo exhibit in years and, in a way, is a homecoming for him as he’s been traveling and sharing his work all over the world. He is just now bringing it back to his hometown.
Insideout is on display through September 1 at Known which is located on Fairfax South of Melrose. This is a great, light Summer show that you can literally wear around town. Keep on the lookout, too: a new Harrington designed Generic Surplus collection are going to be released on the final day of the show.