R. Tunnel H. Loops
The title, which is meant to make reference to the format of a 7" record, pits the construct of a "duo" show against itself with a "side A and side B". Developing the work for this show individually over a period of months, both R. and H. delve into personal and cultural history to synthesize a distinctive view on their early influences.
In R. Tunnel, Delacruz revisits personally significant storefront spaces from Berkeley, California. These works pay tribute to the changing landscape of the Bay Area while inserting fictional narratives and self portraits that play with the hippie/ counter-cultural tropes customarily attributed to the region. Some of underground landmarks might only be recognizable to Berkeley locals. There is a duality in Delacruz's process that mirrors the dual nature of the spaces depicted. Like Patel, Delacruz's paintings begin as digital renders. The compositions often start out as a 3D digital sketch which supplies the first layer of narrative before moving into paint, pen and sometimes glitter. Often allowing months or even years to pass between the layers, Delacruz will reuse a canvas many times over, each time letting some of the original seep through, resulting in a densely populated visual field. In these works Delacruz summons the historically visionary spirit of the West.
In H. Loops, Patel's oversized artist book and tweaked union jack flag make reference to history's cyclical nature.The artist book appears to contain hand-colored, abstract shapes that in reality are tracings of the broken parts of mass-produced plastic toys. Both the flag and the book begun their lives as digital forms, and then made their way into analogue processes (embroidery, inking and folding). The semiotic form of an imaginary, hybrid flag is one way Patel speaks to his conflicted take on cultural power dynamics. Looking at the production requirements of mass produced plastic toys is also important in terms of analyzing the artist's own history, and the potential for his literacy of design and production to effect change on a globalizing stage.