Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jeff Soto @ StolenSpace

StolenSpace present a new show from Californian artist and icon of the current pop art scene, Jeff Soto, in this his inaugural UK solo exhibition ‘The Inland Empire’.

This show will feature over twenty new paintings on wood panel. The opening will see the release of an exclusive limited edition hand pulled screen print and Soto will be signing copies of his newly published book ‘Storm Clouds’

The Inland Empire’ is a politically charged exhibition focusing on the theme of recession in the area in which the artist lives and how it reflects what is happening all over the world. Conceptually it is the next step of Soto’s hugely successful and critically acclaimed Museum exhibit at the Riverside Art Museum, “Turning In Circles” in December 2008. Being in Riverside, his home town for the last 24 years, he knew it had to relate somehow to this city that has moulded him and made me who he is.

“The region I live in is called the Inland Empire. It is an area about 50 miles east of Los Angeles nestled between the desert and the mountains. Overall it is a low-income area, mostly suburbs and manufacturing plants with a high minority population. When the economy was booming the Inland Empire grew at a fast rate as people headed east, unable to afford homes in Los Angeles. It was one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. But when the economy crumbled the Inland Empire was hit hard. As home values dropped most who bought houses ended up backwards on their mortgages and let them fall back to the banks. We have lost 115,000 jobs since 2007 and the unemployment rate is near 12%.

I see the Inland Empire as a miniature version of what is happening around the world- poor people and the working class are getting poorer and disempowered while the rich and powerful are getting more rich and more powerful.”
The show opens 14th May and runs until the 7th June.
STOLENSPACE GALLERY | Dray Walk | 91 Brick Lane | London