In Oil Paintings at Downtown Contemporary, LA artist Michael Foulkrod mixes traditional style portraiture of the family heirloom sort with nontraditional subject matter—replacing the rigid formalities of portraiture past with the souvenirs and attitude of millennial culture.
Like Foulkrod’s other works of tornadoes attacking impressionistic, peaceful rural landscapes, these oil-on-board and oil-on-canvas-board paintings create contrasting scenarios.
Remove the cheap stuffed animal (à la some 7-Eleven Valentine’s Day purchase) from the lap of an elegant woman posing in an evening gown in “I Love You” (along with the rabbit ears from her head) and you’d have a more customary vintage look.
“Emily With Monkey Mask” features a young woman, topless with star pasties on her nipples, striking a tough-girl pose with a cigarette in her mouth.
A couple of the works, by the artist whose background includes decorative paintings and murals, have a pulp fiction book-jacket style, while others incorporate rough brushstrokes for effect.
The portrayed mentality of the women featured in the works might be best summed up in “Hollywood. She Does Not Care,” which features a fire in the hills and a young woman in the foreground wearing a careless expression and an animal hat with tassels. Though some of the works seem rushed in areas, it’s an engaging display of conflicting and changing ideologies.
Oil Paintings Through October 2, Wednesday-Sunday, 5-8 p.m. Downtown Contemporary, Art Square, 358-7022. Opening reception August 1, 6 p.m.