Purple Art

[January 14 2016]

Alex Hubbard “Basic Perversions” exhibition at Maccarone, Los Angeles

Alex Hubbard’s sugar­coated, plasticky paintings recall the basic perversions (as the title suggests) of Hollywood’s best efforts to fake it. Candy­glass cast out of coloured polyurethane re­creates the sensations of a fast­paced market doing its best to prompt us not to jump (though it’s always tempting). And amid the warmly industrial colourings, like Hershey’s caramels melting over waxy frames or shy violets in violent splashes immaculately hung, it’s easy to see these windows­to­the­future like la vie en rose.
Maccarone, in other words, almost convinces the viewer of their viability in the surreal landscape of Los Angeles, even if this illusion only lasts as long as it takes to receive a text message: one, which contains a quick reminder of the “skeletal stretchers” (Maccarone’s words, not mine) of Dona Nelson, basically perverted, in this instance, to appear like original works. Whether deliberate gesture or proof that abstraction abounds with infinitely exasperating sameness, doesn’t really even matter: Hubbard’s inauguration of the new gallery space is an homage to the charlatan skills of a city that is constantly masked—a conflict of identity, or interest, or something.

Text and photo Sabrina Tarasoff

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