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Bob Biggs: OPP–A Roadmap to Nowhere


Contact: Laurie Steelink
Images available upon request

Bob Biggs: OPP–A Roadmap to Nowhere

September 6 through October 4, 2008

25 July, 2008, Santa Monica—Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present OPP–A Roadmap to Nowhere, new paintings by Bob Biggs. Though he is widely known for his involvement in SlashMagazine and for founding and heading Slash Records, Biggs has painted throughout his career. His most recent body of work is the culmination of his persistent attention to paring down imagery and stripping it of its meaning. The exhibition runs from September 6 through October 4, 2008, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 6 from 6 to 9 PM. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Biggs describes thirty years of artistic labor with the words of Samuel Beckett, “….you fail, then you fail again, and then you fail better.” The imagery he used in the past (fruit, babies, rocks, toys, etc…) and the style he employed were laden with unavoidable meaning. His goal was to “not communicate or translate,” but capture the big contradiction. With the OPPpaintings, Biggs quotes, “I’m closer to the goal. I guess you can say I’m ‘failing better’”.

The solution to this problem arrived recently: like a Mad Lib game of masterpieces (and non-masterpieces), Biggs combines elements of recognizable Art History 101 paintings and creates a “new painting,” for example, three Ingres bathers in front of a Monet cathedral. By using other people’s paintings, he has managed to exit issues of meaning and style, leaving execution and the combining of paintings into a plausible pictorial scene as the only artistic decisions to be made. The process of “becoming” is achieved in that “meaning” is left up for interpretation.

Beautifully executed with an unintended playful absurdity and a mocking irony, the work addresses academics and the language of imagery, it also re-contextualizes different histories into a modern disarray of displaced thought, false memories, and foggy recognition.

Bob Biggs lives and works in Tehachapi, CA, and was involved with Slash for 20 years. He left the music business in 2000, and has concentrated on painting since. For more information, please visit our website at archive.track16.com. Concurrently on view are Doug Edge:NewPaintings, and Kate Harding: Whiskey Creek.