press release

Cloaked in the guise of the Old Masters, Karubian’s allegories of power, mortality and vanity make the distinctions between Europe’s historical theocracies and contemporary America ambiguous, at best. Painted in a dark palette more reminiscent of an Eastern European landscape than a Southern Californian one, Karubian (b. Los Angeles, 1971) stirs nobility, royalty, the church, race and sex into one thick, oily stew. The result is a strange and new--but eerily familiar--world presented in classical portraits of hysterically constructed demons, gods, politicians, generals, and anthropomorphized bouquets and fecal matter. Spooky and gesturally painted genre scenes compliment the portraits, depicting rituals of sacrifice, reproduction and war. Instead of confusing our interpretation of the paintings and their historical sources, the conflation of such an array of subjects and narratives actually brings our perspective on contemporary society into tighter focus, to haunting effect.

Charles Karubian received his MFA from UCLA in 1997. This is his third solo show with Black Dragon Society; first at Rental Gallery.

only in german

Charles Karubian
Black Dragon Society at Rental Gallery, New York