John Burltle

There Is Soooooooooooooooooooo Much or/and Recent Works on Paper

January 19 - February 23, 2019

It is now just a spec of red amongst the paper thin clouds. A triceratops hovers over a spiky cactus. It tightens its grip with futility, as it loses its grasp on the bouquet of birthday balloons that keep it a float. Peeking out from behind the clouds, an eye emerges, just as the thunder cracks and a deluge drops down from the sky. Through the rumble, a load of trucks comes around, much too big for the little suburban road lined with white picket fences. The first truck carries a whale, tail curled back in mid-leap, the second, snow capped mountain peaks from which snowflakes grace the dinosaur on the side of its face. The third flatbed carries a haul of intrauterine contraceptive devices. The fourth, an ice cream cone stacked so high it fades from vision just before bending over into a trash can. The parade seems endless. The Statue of Liberty is overwhelmed, so she walks inside and heads into the bathroom to open up the cabinet and grab a small container. She pushes down and spins, pops a couple pills of Xanax, and curls up to slumber like a cat in a fishbowl.

John Burltle makes worlds using rubber stamps. The new work in this exhibition speak to the economy of image making, production, and value. Stamps of Xanax, butt plugs, butterflies, trash cans, Judge Lance Ito, and nails are among the few icons that figurate space and work to collectively construct dense environments. Each stamp coincides with a prepositional shift, through which singular icons retain their autonomy in surprising collisions next to, over, below, or above another. Things converge, unit by unit, connected in humor and darkness, much like a cacophony whose echo is greater than the sum of its parts. The stamps relationally shape each other and their shifting values with one another, effectively reproducing and circulating in the collaborative fluidity when worlds collide.

John Burltle (b. 1984, Long Beach, CA) has exhibited throughout Los Angeles and elsewhere. Solo exhibitions include Biquini Wax (Mexico City), Clifton Benevento (New York City), Armory Art Center (Pasadena), Michael Benevento (Los Angeles), The Little River Yacht Club (Miami), and Sea & Space Explorations (Los Angeles). Group exhibitions include Museo Comunitario de Sierra Hermosa (Zacatecas, Mexico), Katonah Museum of Art (New York), LACMA, LACE, Jaus, Actual Size, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Pomona College Museum of Art, and the Hammer Museum. John has performed at PAM (LA), J. Paul Getty Museum, The Smell (LA), Machine Projects (LA), MCA Chicago, Santa Monica Library, and Center for Performance Research (NY). John’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Art Forum, The New Yorker, Washington Post, LA Weekly, Artillery, Hyperallergic, Bomb Magazine, Sex Magazine, Art 21, and KCET Artbound. John frequently works with other artists in collaborations that include co-hosting the Eternal Telethon (a webcast variety show that raises money for an artist retirement home), co-running LA Chinatown’s non-profit artist space Human Resources, and most recently co-editing Propositional Attitudes: What do we do now? A book of of performance scores with Elana Mann.