Man-made Machinations will take you on a journey and make you reflect on some of societies ills.
Dream Chasers Club has recently under gone some renovations and last week it opened up with an exhibition by Ashton Kaleigh called Man-made Machinations. I was really struck by the paintings as I walked in. I noticed that the titles below them were hashtagged. It was easy to see what Ashton was trying to convey with her art. Society has really reached a new point in fragility and huge dependence on technology and it has affected us. I recommend this exhibition to any one in the El Paso region. It will be up all month.
I was able to ask Ashton what some of her paintings meant and she walked me through some of her masterpieces. Obviously I will not mention all the paintings for those who go check it out. The first one is called #TINKER and it "has to do with the fragility of everybody and she is working on her heart because we constantly try to fix ourselves and the mechanical thing is basically how we go through our daily grind." There is another painting that is called #BARELYFUNCTIONING that also touches on that gear motif presented in the previous painting mentioned.
Another painting called #THEBIGFIVE refers to the five biggest companies that basically own the media "so it's a controlling of what we know and he is going through the sunflower field. The sunflowers are representative of us. He is killing the things that go along it."
Ashton then pointed to the painting next to that one which were of two sunflowers and explained why those represented us as humans. This whole exhibition is an analogy of society today. There are hidden truths in these paintings, some are more obvious than others. They are all wonderfully done. Please if you are reading this, go support local art.
Below is some of her artwork that was mentioned above, If you want to see more of her artwork then her on Instagram: ashton_kaleigh !!!
I recently went to Golden Goose Tattoo Shop to talk to Joshua Perez a.k.a Cuidado con el Tren! He is a talented artist here in the Sun City who happened to do an art show along side "dotdotjulio" at Dream Chasers Club a few months ago. Not only does he do art shows, but he also does graffiti, murals, tattoos, and much more. You might recognize his art work featured in the Pizza Joint restaurants and Tinman bars around town.
He has been doing art for as long as he can remember. He was that "one kid in class always drawing stuff." In high school, Joshua got really into street art and graffiti. Never in his mind did he believe that he would be doing art for a living. Graffiti was something that he worked on and slowly improved, but once he got the hang of it, he did it professionally and even did some murals. Joshua did not stop there, he kept improving his skill and eventually he started getting paid for commission.
When I talked to Joshua, he told me a story about him and his mentor (who is a tattoo artist) who one day while they were painting trains told him that he could be his apprentice. Joshua was very happy about it since it was something he had been wanting to do. He mentioned that although graffiti was fun while it lasted, he enjoys tattooing since it is still fairly new to him and he has fun doing it as well. He said "I was tired of painting my name over and over and tattooing has allowed me to do something different." With that being said, Josh continues to improve his tattooing as well as creating new designs.
In the past, Joshua has worked with Dream Chasers Club and I asked him whether he was planning on doing another art show in the near feature. He recently had one at ODE Brewery and he mentioned that he might be doing another one with Jam (owner of DCC) this upcoming year. Joshua mentioned that the art shows can get a little hectic due to the fact that there are deadlines and many things to get done, but he still enjoys doing them.
I asked him whether these next exhibitions will have a certain theme to them and he mentioned "my style is always changing and I'm trying to find my own. I do more of the illustrative stuff, but I am all over the place so it's hard for me to settle down and do one theme. My art work at my shows are all different styles." What he said is true, his artwork speaks for itself and after seeing it, I can absolutely agree.
To conclude our conversation I asked him about his fascination with trains, considering that he posts about them and his Instagram name is "cuidadoconeltren". He said that the reason why he loves trains so much was that his grandparents lived next to one of the train crossings. "As a kid I would hear the train coming and I would beg them to let me go see them. When I got older I actually started painting on trains and it was exciting because there was that adrenaline rush of 'oh shit I shouldn't be here' in the train yard and it can be dangerous at times." He mentioned that it was fun for him to graffiti trains with his artwork because he started seeing the trains with his artwork all over the country and people took pictures of them and posted them online. "I was obsessed with painting more trains and seeing them out there."
He also added that his son, now, is also fascinated by trains and he loves seeing them go by as well. It now makes sense to see why Joshua has an affinity with trains and why it sometimes translates into his artwork. Below are a few examples of some of the work he has done (except for the self-portrait):