Contemporary art across mediums takes over Brea Gallery

Brea Gallery’s “Applied Practice’’ focuses on contemporary art made from craft media such as ceramics, glass, metal working, fabric, neon lights and more.

The 16 exhibiting artists include Dani Bonnet, Ashoke Chhabra, Austin Fields, John Flores, Alex Gano, Annette Heully, Erin Hupp, Nadim Kurani, Cecilia Lee, Diana Markessinis, Beatriz Mora-Hussar, Sheila Noseworthy, Aya Oki, Hannah Pierce, Anna-lena Sauer and Nao Yamamoto.

Chhabra’s sculptural pieces on display are lamps made of wood and glass. They’re highly textured and have fantastical visual elements. Some look like set pieces belonging to a fairy tale production while others would’ve fit into Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice.”

“[My work] takes its cue from the natural world but is rarely faithful in nature,” Chhabra wrote in his website. “Many are essentially riffs on forms found in the plant and animal kingdom, or better yet strange artifacts brought back from imagined worlds. The more bizarre the better.”

Flores, who graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2019, also incorporates nature in his ceramic pieces. In work like “Mother Barrel” a humanistic face emerges from a plant. His sculptures deal with themes of life, death and ephemerality.

Pierce’s ceramic sculptures, plates and mugs are surreal in aesthetic. She portrays characters in urban and domestic environments. In “Drooling Over You,” 2018, the head of a girl wearing pigtails sucks on a lollipop while drool spills over a melting tall and distorted apartment complex.

“I sarcastically pair dismal scenes with pleasurable pops of color, playful perspectives, figure distortion and an abundance of childlike references,” she wrote in her artist statement. “In my most recent works, there is an obvious focus on addictions and habits, with an emphasis on oral fixations. Although these are adult issues, I draw attention to childlike qualities when pertaining to concepts of excess, lack of self-control and escapism.”

If you go
What: “Applied Practice”
When: July 17 to Sept. 10; Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Where: Brea Gallery, 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea
Cost: General admission $3

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