M+B is pleased to announce “Who cares that it makes flowers”, a presentation of new paintings by Leo Mock. Made over the course of a year in Mérida, Mexico and Los Angeles, the works will be on view at M+B Doheny from June 26 through July 10, 2021. Gallery hours will be extended until 8pm on Saturday, June 26th.
Leo Mock is a metaphysical cartoonist, a landscape cosmicomic, a sci-fi set-painter for the unreal vistas of his own otherworldly spiritual domains. Take Agnes Pelton’s desert transcendentalism, filter them through the surrealist poetry of the Krazy Kat comics and then shake well with the pink smoke of proto-punk record covers and you get close. All of it an Emersonian appreciation of nature from another world. But the je ne sais quoi of Leo Mock’s painting still eludes, nevertheless, draw your eyes slowly over these pictures and a mood begins to mist over you.
The craggy rock pillars tower into a sky marked with an identical double line of clouds like a particularly somnolent glitch in the old Matrix. The preternaturally hazy blue seas sop with tranquillity. The pearlescent pink milk of the meteors streaking light is so perfectly formed as to look like a particularly comforting off-brand of Xanax bars. The perfect repetition of white caps on that serpentine green ocean almost feel like the animation from a 80s videogame, excepting they are definitely too deftly painted for such 8-bit throwbacks. These colors are both too real and unreal to be anything quite so digital. And many of these are marked with a Barnett Newman-ish zip of paint that could just as easily be the long, skinny legs and feet of a mysterious bird whose body (usually) disappears just off the picture plane.
Even when the skies haze with blackness like the blanketing smoke of wildfires, the slow melodic hum of these vast and vacant landscapes gives one a subtle buzz, micro-dosing mushrooms before your morning jog on Venus. Or simply and most magically, these paintings transport you to places that only Leo Mock can imagine.
Leo Mock (b. 1964, Los Angeles, CA) graduated from Art Center College of Design. His works have been exhibited at China Art Objects and M+B in Los Angeles. Recent press includes The New York Times and Art Review. Mock lives and works in Mérida, Mexico.
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