ROAD TRIP TO THE FOURTH DIMENSION
The Art of Dennis Larkins
Curated by Les Barany
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 4th 8-11pm
Exhibition Dates: September 4th – October 31st.
Dennis Larkins, renowned for his stage design and illustration work for bands including The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones, returns to Sacred Gallery with his new exhibition, “Road Trip to the Fourth Dimension.” Larkins presents iconic images of America’s cultural past, borrowing heavily from the aesthetics of the Atomic Age and the Golden Age of Sci-Fi, to present at once a critique of America’s past, present, and past-futures. Aliens, mushroom clouds, and rocket ships mingle with the family unit through Larkins’ unique painted sculptural reliefs that present a field of depth and tangibility to his fantastic canvases.
When dinosaurs roamed the Earth and played loud rock music, Dennis Larkins was bringing set design out of the Paleolithic with revolutionary arena rock stage concepts. During a legendary period of rock music, under the aegis of promoter Bill Graham, Dennis brought a vision of monolithic drops to life in the form of towering painted backdrops and scrims.
Taking what he’d learned as a painter of stage backdrops for the San Francisco Opera, Dennis almost single-handedly designed and painted set decorations for The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones and Bill Graham’s annual “Day on the Green” festivals, such as the original legendary “Monsters of Rock” featuring Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Santana, and Journey, Today’s elaborate stages, with their pyrotechnics, banks of special lights, and shifting colors were born in the 70s, and Dennis Larkins was one of the earliest developers of these revolutionary new staging concepts.
Little did he know that his musical journey would lead back to his first love, painting, and the internal landscape of self-discovery and spiritual growth. For the next several years, perplexing images began to emerge from the depths of his psyche. By juxtaposing personal elements of symbol, metaphor and cultural iconography, he created a form of open-ended storytelling which offered for each viewer questions raised and answers cryptically unique to their own experience. He works in a style forged from both traditional and space age ingredients, painting sculpted relief on canvas and creating layered works of arresting depth and intense optical punch. His use of archetypes from retro-pop culture are metaphorical players in a scenario intended to illustrate the mysteries of our common life experience, including the poignancy of death and destruction, but also the principles of rebirth, wonder, absurdity, exhilaration and creative freedom. The dichotomy between all of these aspects, and more, being simultaneously present and available to experience in each moment is a thematic thread that consistently runs through Larkins’ work. He mixes metaphors for a living.
Dennis currently has designed 23 Moonalice posters in the series.
Sacred Gallery and its sister business, Sacred Tattoo, have been featured with the BBC, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, MTV, TLC, New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Daily News, various tattoo magazines, and many other forms of news and media.
Sacred Gallery NYC is conveniently located in Manhattan’s SoHo District at 424 Broadway on the northeast corner of Broadway and Canal. Take the N,Q,R, or J.
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Sacred Gallery 424 Broadway #2, New York City