Jeffrey Becom wanders exotically named streets in foreign towns searching for stylish images to trap forever in Cibachrome. He has a built-in radar for doorways and walls with the slick, color-block look that has come to be the new cliche of travel photography.
In Morocco, he locates images like an aerial view of rows of striped canvas chairs punctuated by furled and unfurled umbrellas. Or a weathered wall the color of cream of tomato soup snapped up with a pair of black shutters. In Portugal, the find is a ceiling striped in rich textural contrasts of peach and dusky green an interior designer would kill for. With a very few exceptions, these are yuppie’s-eye-views of a world packaged to fit an urban living-room aesthetic.
Becom also does pristine watercolors, mostly aerial views of kneeling faceless peasants who look like bundles of striped cloth. These paintings are not about peasants, of course, they’re about the nifty designs of the local cheap fabric. (Susan Spiritus Gallery, 3rd floor, South Coast Plaza Crystal Court, 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa.)