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Axolotl Tank

Gary Panter, Motohiro Hayakawa, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Matt Lock, Lale Westvind, Rea Burton

Organized by Jess Johnson

March 25 - April 23, 2022

Installation View

Axolotl Tank, Installation View

Installation view colorful drawings and pencil drawings

Installation View, Susan Te Kahurangi King (Left) & Motohiro Hayakawa (Right)

Gallery view of Motohiro Hawakaya pencil drawings

Motohiro Hawakaya

Untitled #1-35, 2018-2021

Pencil on paper

Various dimensions

Installation view of drawing show

Installation View, Axolotl Tank & Core Dump

Close up of Gary Panter drawings

Installation View, Gary Panter

Close up of Gary Panter drawings

Installation View, Gary Panter

three watercolor drawings of women and fluid

Installation View, Rea Burton

The artwork I’m most drawn to is very different to mine. My own work is structurally very rigid. People often send me pics of artworks with a message saying, “This reminds me of you!” I’m almost always repelled at recognizing the compulsions I share. All that math and methodology feels like a trap. A rat in a maze of their own making. It makes me want to smash stuff up even though I’m a maze builder myself.

My preference for other people’s art swings the opposite. The artwork I seek out is impulsive, unfiltered ... almost autonomous but at the same time emotionally raw and honest. Mostly I’m peering from above onto people’s cluttered work desks via Instagram. On rare and special occasions I’ll get this gleeful “there it is!” zing of recognition after which I’ll begin to obsess about seeing that artist’s work in the flesh. Although often I’ll have to buy their comic or T-shirt instead of finding their work in galleries.

Most of the time it’s drawing that provokes the strongest reaction in me. Perhaps because drawing is the most direct line from brain to paper; there’s no waiting for paint to dry or contemplation of process or logistical emails to send. Some artworks are beamed communications outside of language, where the author couldn’t say what they’re doing and you don’t know what you’re seeing but the message tunes through electric and crystal clear.



– Jess Johnson