The purveyors of art without pretense solicit photography professional and not to provide a look at the weird new reality of life after a two year stretch no one expected.
A subcultural sanctuary and an emerging authority in measuring the style points of the subversive, Superchief Gallery continues to function as a definitive curator of outsider art.
With destinations anchoring strategic markets like Los Angeles, New York and Miami, the collective has established their brand with a kind of street-level credibility that can’t be faked. Eliminating the highfalutin pretense that can be pervasive among the art community, Superchief has managed to organically position themselves as a vital proponent of mixed media that curves the assholes that complicate the intrigue of art.
For the specialists’ latest exhibition, Superchief is revisiting their brilliantly defiant ‘Fuck The Likes’ photography series with the second edition of their visual showcase. Assembling photography from both amateurs and professionals alike, Contagious Culture examines the nuances of the post-pandemic landscape from unassuming documentarians that picked the perfect instance to snap a photo and capture a unplanned, often times poignant moment.
The exhibit features the kind of imagery that toes a fine line between the stylish and the stark – an aggregate of photos that depict an unprecedented era marred by volatility, angst, and strange, exaggerated reality that almost flirts with fiction – only it doesn’t at all.
The dichotomy of flicks span the spectrum of civil unrest and the collective anger on a street level to the murder of George Floyd, to the desolation of a shuddered economy in the wake of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Scenes of rioting and protest are juxtaposed with images of revelry and debauchery – party pics that capture the “fuck it all” disposition of a generation hellbent on sidestepping lockdown and indulging in every way warned not to.
Aside from the glamorously gritty collection of images, the open solicitation aspect is what really adds an interesting layer to the exhibit. In a sort of open casting call, Superchief used the sound board of their social media to make the call for submissions – asking photographers professional and not to send in the images they felt met the criteria. Among the contributors selected was spectator turned amateur documentarian, David Yllescas. Contesting the old adage of a picture painting a thousand words – for photographers like Yllescas, sometimes brevity is just as bold.
“The two pictures i snapped that were chosen basically showcased how the pandemic shutdown impacted the community. A shutdown basketball court due to Covid and a quick flick of the homeless in L.A. There is a weird irony in both photos. I couldn’t have imagined a world where a public basketball court was off limits to everyone, explains Yllescas. “As for the homeless pic, the ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ quote makes the photo in my opinion.”
Superchief Gallery’s Fuck The Likes Vol. 2 Contagious Culture is currently on exhibition at Superchief Gallery LA. The Gallery has also published a zine compiling all of the photography featured in the exhibit which is currently available – HERE.
Images from the exhibition’s opening night can be found below.