Guy Hepner and Guy Hepner Editions is pleased to present “Astral Drive” – a solo exhibition by Ben Evans. Please join us for an opening reception on Thursday, September 8th, from 6-8PM, for the grand opening of the 4th floor at 521 W 26th Street, New York, NY.
Ben Evans’ neo-noir, campy, Los Angeles house paintings reflect the artist’s output of visual stimulation he’s gathered from a rolodex of iconography that is meaningful to him. Whether it be Shelley Duvall, Slim Aarons’ pool photographs, or moms from his hometown “leasing their white Mercedes” the rolodex of imagery creates a visual language in the works unlike anyone else.
“Astral Drive is a street with a vantage point of all of Los Angeles. You can get to it off of Mulholland Drive and it dead ends on a long winding road to a street sign that reads “end”. I first ended up here when I got lost in LA at 3am. I sat on the hood of my car and smoked a cigarette alone looking at the light pollution on the smog covering West Hollywood. Since I was young I’ve always had a visceral relationship with places. That night, this locale felt unreal and sad. Maybe it was me romanticizing something stupid, but it felt surreal and unlike anywhere l’d ever been. I’ve only been back once since that night but its stuck with me for years as a place that I couldn’t put my finger on. The works in this show exist in that realm – specific, but distant. Real, but superficial. Light on the surface, but with dark baggage threaded into the isolationistic atmosphere. I thought a lot of Hopper and Hockney while making these works. I hope for them to exist within the lexicon of Los Angeles as a promised land for artists.