The interactions between Roy G. Bivens, Fats R. Skinny and Mark Z. Setty are the focus of Jake Thomas art show Dark fields. Thomas says that working through the characters allowed him to explore new artistic ground.
By Kirby Scudder | SCICA
Artists Roy G. Bivens, Fats R. Skinny, and Mark Z Setty are having their first one person exhibit at the Felix Kulpa gallery through the month of November. These three artists are the creation of Jake Thomas, who explores three very different disciplines through the eyes of these fictional characters.
“I came up with these three fictional characters and I wrote from their point of view,” Thomas says. “I created dialogues among them.”
The character Fats R. Skinny is a skater girl who creates digital paintings. In the painting “is hell cool” the figure of a reclining nude appears to be resting on a bed of starbursts while Fats name blazes across the background. Fats R. Skinny’s medium is created on a computer, but Thomas used real models.
“Fats R. Skinny always uses double negatives. This one here says ‘Fats R. Skinny is nothing like an undertow’ and that’s a way of saying Fats R Skinny doesn’t suck. It’s a form that invites these affirmations about herself.”
The character Mark Z Setty is a photographer who takes portraits of his dog Lucky that he believes posses magical powers.
“I sort of transposed the metaphor of the hunter as a sort of mystical quest… higher intelligence,” Thomas says.
The character Roy G. Bivens is a painter who produces a series of self portraits in his series “Ghost writing.”
Working through the characters Thomas created art he didn’t think he would have done from his own persona.
“It allowed me to explore some territory that I wouldn’t go into. It really gave me the opportunity to allow these media to play off each other,” he says.
Thomas has brought several shows to the Felix Kulpa Gallery over the years. The gallery, which is in downtown Santa Cruz, has a history of exhibiting experimental and cutting edge work of Monterey Bay area artists.
“Felix Kulpa is this concept that comes from St. Augustine – the sin that requires redemption,” he says. Which to Thomas is an approach to art that is edgy but also peaceful.
Jake Thomas’ “Dark Fields” opens November and continues through November 18th at the Felix Kulpa Gallery. The gallery web site is felixkulpa.com.
Kirby Scudder is the director of the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts.