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Curation of Group Show "DIFFRACTION"

Curation of the young artists' show DIFFRACTION at NEW THEME Gallery

NEW THEME Gallery is proud to present DIFFRACTION, an exhibition featuring works of Los Angeles artists Nick Aguayo, Daniel Payavis, Zack Stadel and Beth Holden, curated by Darius Sabbaghzadeh. Varying between painting, sculpture and found images, the work of these four artists engages with a dissemination of geometric and physical forms, and explores narrative techniques of reconstituting meaning.

Nick Aguayo was raised near Palm Springs and received his MFA in Studio Art from the University of California at Irvine. His method of painting is grounded in his interest in abstraction, and his diagrammatic works showcase the processes of their own creation. In his paintings, shapes are contrived, juxtaposed and then overlaid with a grid layout. Through such a process, Aguayo's work seeks to create a dialogue between harmony and dissonance, establishing moments that exist outside of a language of representation.

Daniel Payavis was educated at the University of Texas, Austin, and moved to Los Angeles in 2011. His works on display involve a rigorous pursuit of the modernist form within a landscape of exuberant, kitsch graphic design. Situating palm tree scenes as the backdrop to sober geometric lines, his work creates the effect of European minimalism in the South American jungle, akin to Brasilia, Brazil or the works of Oscar Niemeyer. These series of paintings reflect a lived-in architectural experience laden with emotional or psychotropic elements, creating a cohabitation of contrasting forms.

Zack Stadel grew up in Portland, Oregon and received his MFA in painting and sculpture from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His untitled series of irregular photographs are appropriated from pornographic imagery and presented in custom wooden frames. Through using the frame as an active agent, Stadel explores how formal subtraction can open familiar readings of explicit content to other narrative possibilities.

Beth Holden is the principal of NEW THEME Inc, a design-build architectural firm with a focus on sustainable practices. Her work, "OPEN STALL", is a conceptual installation of a female urinal, a prototype for a bathroom fixture that still has no definite form or mass appeal. Her sculpture renders transparent the difficulty in equating feminine and masculine forms, not only anatomically, but also within the wider professional and aesthetic realm.