New York, NY January 2006 – “Potato Stamp Dreams” will become a reality for art and culture lovers on Sunday, February 19th from 4pm-7pm at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, when graffiti-inspired artist Jeff Soto appears for an exclusive book signing event, held in conjunction with his solo exhibition, Supernova. An impressive compilation of works from the prolific artist, the book includes installations, graffiti and photography. The 160 page hardbound edition, published by Murphy Design and released in August of 2005, features a poster fold out, double-sided dust jacket, embossed cloth cover and a limited edition 48 page mini Potato Stamp Soto zine. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the book signing and can purchase “Potato Stamp Dreams” on-site, or pre-order copies on www.jonathanlevinegallery.com.
“Potato Stamp Dreams” is an extension of Jeff Soto’s imaginative world. Named after his first solo show in September 2001 at New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, “Potato Stamp Dreams” signifies a milestone for Soto’s outstanding growth as an artist. Soto describes the origin: “I got the title thinking about how we take things out of nature and use them for mechanized processes, like mining metals to make machinery, or chopping down trees to make toothpicks. Potato stamps are tubers pulled out of the dirt and sculpted by man to do a repetitive job. For good or bad, we take advantage of what nature has to offer.”
When approached by publisher and designer Mark Murphy to collaborate on the book, Soto explained, “>From the start my intentions were to tell a story and take the viewer on a journey rather than just show the artwork. I wanted people to get a feel for where I’m coming from and what my inspirations are.” What began as a sample layout of Soto’s ideas developed into creative exploration for both designer and artist and, ultimately, a collection that inspires and intrigues the reader. Through “Potato Stamp Dreams,” we learn a bit more about Jeff Soto and how his art connects his early inspirations and memories. “An important aspect of my work is nostalgia,” explains Soto, “showing what I did as a kid and how that shapes who I am as an adult.”
Themes of beauty, destruction, and nature versus machine are beautifully captured in this impressive collection. Subtle nuances make the book unique, such as photographs of Soto as a young child. The rounded edges and yellowish hues of Soto’s photographs blend seamlessly with his signature color palette and painted wooden panels. Elements of nostalgia weave throughout his collages on panel, which are highlighted through the stunning reproductions and lush details.