Last week, the Merry Karnowsky Gallery also presented work from Vonn Sumner, who was showing alongside Nicola Verlato (covered). The LA-based painter, who was mentored by the renowned Wayne Thiebaud, put a new body of work entitled This Makes Sense on display featuring his his contemplative and consumed characters placed against stark backgrounds.

He states: “My paintings are an attempt to bring together seemingly contradictory elements: the observable outer world and the subjective inner world; the formal possibilities of non-objective painting and the psychological possibilities of representational painting; seriousness and humor; artifice and authenticity; revealing and concealing.

The figures in my work are often costumed, mostly on their heads, and all of the props are real objects made by the artist for the sake of the paintings. I am drawn to the shapes these things create, as well as the symbolic potential they carry. I do not set out to illustrate some pre-determined verbal idea, nor do I intend any one specific literal or didactic message. Instead, I trust and follow my instincts and compulsions to work with particular poses, shapes, and relationships and to explore the emotional and psychological territory that unfolds. Through this process of drawing and painting I develop a personal vocabulary that attempts to reconcile the exterior objective world with my subjective experience of it. I am interested in the potential of art to create one’s own mythologies.

The colors and tone of the paintings are drawn from the specific qualities of Southern California: the stark light, the faded concrete freeways and buildings, the intense beauty of the coastline.”

Photo credit: ©Carlos Gonzalez.