Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: Power Animals III: Spirit Guides Presented by Thumbprint Gallery at The Spot Barrio Logan

I love how suddenly everyone is waxing surprised about the "explosion of new art talent" in Barrio Logan, as if it hasn't been happening for literally decades.  It never went away, you hipsters.  Just because a few bloggers finally pulled their heads out of their asses to comment on it doesn't mean that the art scene in Barrio Logan and Golden Hill is just becoming as vibrant, funny, and smart as people suddenly think it is.  Those of us who have lived there, grew up there or just new it was the place to go for cool quirky shit have known this for a long time.  The only thing it was ever missing was money and white people who cared.  This is an area that has been hiding amazing talent in plain sight for years.  The city just kept whitewashing over it.

Hopping off my soapbox now, The Spot on Main Street in Barrio Logan is a relatively new artist's collective that rents spaces to artists at reasonable prices, does shows and events of all kinds, and apparently does some street vending on the side.  They've given new meaning to the term "multi-purpose," as there was even a Hip Hop video being shot in the loft upstairs when we went to the opening show for Power Animals.  Despite its newness, The Spot is completely run by locals, and while it's well-lit for art shows and devoid of graffiti (that we could see), the space definitely has that great Barrio Logan/Chicano Park, art-but-no-art vibe that those of us who know and love the area can immediately recognize.  It's great to see these crews and groups starting to be able to go legit and have spaces and shows of their own, and I love that Thumbprint Gallery chose this space to showcase Power Animals III.

Since I didn't see Power Animals I or II, I'm sort of firing blind here, but no matter.  Thumbprint has a great way of not explaining itself too much before a show and letting the art speak for itself.  I think this is a great tactic, because it allows both the artists and the viewers interpret the themes on their own terms.  The theme of "Spirit Animals" was widely interpreted this time, with everything from a Sloth running a vacuum in a pink dress a'la Freddy Mercury in "I Want to Break Free" to abstracted, ghostly street-inspired panels.

The show only ran from May 18-25, and I once again found myself in a situation where I was so stoked on all the art that I didn't write down many names.  About 30 artists participated in this special short show, and I'm really just going to let the photo gallery above speak for itself.  Truly an amazing show.  If you know any of the artists, please feel free to leave the names int he comments and I'll tag them, and if you're interested in any of the pieces again just comment and I'll do my best to find out.   You can also get more info about upcoming events at The Spot or artist rentals by going to
Thumbprint Gallery is currently showing Werkaholic: Works by Kreemworks at their La Jolla Studio through July 8.  They also have two upcoming short shows opening on July 2 and July 23 respectively at Bar Basic downtown.  For more info or upcoming events go to  Hopefully my crappy pictures from this show will inspire you to come and check them out.  Thumbprint are truly tapping some great unseen talent in San Diego and beyond, and we should all be thankful to have collectives like them and The Spot in this town.  They are our true culture.  Hey, where'd that soapbox come from again  Enjoy!

**All photos in this post by LKL Studio**

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