When: Nov. 9-Dec. 6 2013
The work of Santos Shelton defies chronology: It merges the aesthetics of futurism and folk art in allusions to both science fiction and ancient civilizations. In doing so, the artist engages questions of beginning and end: Where did we come from and where are we going? He is fascinated by the enormity and force of concepts such as the Big Bang, and tries to capture them through dynamic compositions of painted, abstract forms. The concept behind the show, now on view at Betti Ono Gallery (1427 Broadway, Oakland) is aptly relayed by its title, Big Things Have Small Beginnings. Shelton’s new work includes acrylic paintings on paper, cardboard, and wood, as well as installation. It shines in its striking combination of geometric patterns and fluid, organic forms. His series “Watchers of the Cosmos” is the most memorable in the show, depicting ghostly nebulas in a style reminiscent of an updated and urbanized version of Alaska native iconography. They stir up the feeling that there is something out there so large and mysterious that we could never fathom it.