“Found in Darkness,” John Felix Arnold III and Christopher Burch at Book & Job Gallery

by Admin on 11/24/2012

Two Bay Area artists John Felix Arnold III & Christopher Burch, whose artworks are presented in the dual show “Found in Darkness” at Book & Job Gallery explore the evolution of mythologies, specifically those that celebrate Heroism and Humanism that arise from extremely dark circumstances. Arnold and Burch also explore how folktalkes and mythologies continue to intrigue as they deftly analyze and reflect contemporary reality and social structures.

Inspired and informed by man’s enduring interest in uncertain futures of society and the end of the world, artist John Felix Arnold III personally fabricates his mythologies. The “post reset” mythological world created in his exhibition series, “Unstoppable Tomorrow” is further expounded upon at Book & Job from its debut at Oakland’s Old Crow Tattoo in December 2010, which incidentally included Christopher Burch. In this exhibition, his “World of Future Antiquity” gives concentrated attention to the importance of collaborations. In this post-apocalyptic, “proto-punk” look at an alternate future, Arnold implements an artistic vocabulary which blends a 1960s Pop Art aesthetic and coloring with both abstract art and graffiti that complement traditional painting and drawing.

Reclaiming the Br’er Rabbit folktale, Christopher Burch’s artworks combine a strong, surrealist draughtsmanship with the decorative arts including flocked damask wallpaper, hand-painted silver serving trays, and blackened bottles to create haunting, surreal site-specific installations. Told by fictional character Uncle Remus, narrator of African-American folktales adapted and compiled by Joel Chandler Harris in the 19th century, The Br’er Rabbit is a trickster who succeeds by his wits rather than brawn, outsmarting authority figures and bending social conventions as he sees fit to achieve goals. Burch’s drawings and installation at Book & Job Gallery conflate the historical, socio-economic, and political innuendo and connotation incorporated in such popular folktales like the Br’er Rabbit to  show how they continue to shape the American racial terrain.


John Felix Arnold III and Christopher Burch, “Found in Darkness” will be on view at Book & Job Gallery through December 8.