September 8, 2007
through October 6, 2007
NEW YORK, NY September 2007 – Jonathan LeVine Gallery is proud to announce Storm Clouds, a solo exhibit of new works by Jeff Soto and the artist’s second major show at the gallery. Storm Clouds features over thirty new works on wood panel and paper, as well as large-scale installations that will focus on the theme of politics, fear, and fatherhood. Storm Clouds is Jeff Soto’s most politically charged exhibition to date.
For Storm Clouds, Jeff Soto explores his predominant fears and anxieties over his daughter’s future, the civil war in Iraq, and the United States policies on environmental conservation. Soto’s concern for the American population’s indifference and a general disconnection to global affairs are motivating factors behind his overtly mature subject matter. Storm Clouds is ripe with metaphors that allude to the fate of the planet should neglect and indifference prevail. Soto’s expressive narratives evoke inherent contradictions, crossing between notions of a precarious and fragile natural world on the brink of extinction with one that is an indestructible, organic mass.
Executed with a sophisticated mélange of graffiti and mixed media techniques, Jeff Soto’s paintings permeate with influences of popular culture, science fiction, and memories of nuclear war. Illustrating these notions, Soto creates a futuristic world where ominous clouds dominate, exotic plants struggle to survive, and colored prisms symbolize hope amidst desolate landscapes. Soto’s creatures, floating gardens, and religious symbols exist in entangled masses, revealing a civilization’s decline, destruction, and efforts to regenerate. In this surreal universe, an inevitable ice age has befallen, humans are extinct and fantastic robotic creatures flourish. Swarms of oil-like cloud formations expand on themes of death and decay, while subtle and bold use of text emphasizes the artist’s most intense trepidations and desires.
“I wish more Americans would take a stand, get educated and try to make a difference,” states Soto. “I know making paintings is like preaching to the choir, most fans of my art are aware of what’s going on a global level. But I might be able to reach a few open minds here and there. That's why there's always a hint of optimism in my paintings. I think we can make things better somehow.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
In 2002, Soto graduated with Distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Jeff Soto has illustrated for record companies, skateboard magazines, book publishers and advertisers. His client list includes Sony Music, Warner Bros., Wired, Entertainment Weekly, Disney Adventures and Outside Magazine. Recent exhibitions include Supernova, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY and We’ll Make A Lover of You, ArtCenter of South Florida, Miami, FL. He has been featured in fine art and popular culture publications including, Artweek, Juxtapoz, American Illustration, Communication Arts, Beautiful Decay, and Lodown Magazine. In 2002, Soto graduated with Distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He currently lives in Riverside, California, with his wife Jennifer and daughter Shannon.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jeff Soto was born in 1975 in Fullerton, California. He currently lives and works in Riverside, California. In 2002, he graduated with distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In 2008, his work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum titled Turning in Circles. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe. Soto has been featured in numerous publications and published two monographs: Potato Stamp Dreams in 2005 and Storm Clouds in 2008.