In a fast-paced, ever-evolving world, how much do we leave behind for the next shiny thing? And what can we learn from revisiting the items we discard? These are the through lines for artists Shrine, Aaron Taylor Kuffner and Mia Dungeon.
Jeff Stein has admired the three artists’ work for years. As the 2019 Center for the Arts creative-in-residence, Stein brings the artists together for the exhibit “All That’s Left Behind.”
Stein is the man behind Contour Fest, Intergalactic Ball, among countless other events that integrate music and art to create distinctive experiences. It comes as no surprise, then, that the cultural curator is heading this large-scale, multimedia exhibit by three mind-expanding artists. Ahead of its opening on Saturday, Stein discussed the idea that ties the artists together.
Los Angeles artist Brent Allen Spears, also known as Shrine, grew up fascinated by altars. They were all around him. (He attended Catholic school and spent a lot of time in churches.) Those moments staring at altars inform Shrine’s work today. He is an installation artist, muralist and painter whose large-scale installations are sacred in their symmetry, vivid color and use of discarded objects like plastic water bottles and aluminum cans. His work repurposing these items compels viewers to consider their role in a consumptive culture, one where folks are often defined by their behaviors of consumption. (For example, in the media, consider how often the word “consumers” is used to describe people.)
In addition to a childhood where altars and shrines filled his world, Spears discussed some of his other early influences: