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Dave Warnke: "In Pursuit of Happiness" 

Wednesday, Sep 5 2007

Dave Warnke's sticker and poster art decorates newspaper boxes, light poles, and BART stations all over the Bay Area. It's art for everyday eyeballs. A Warnke gallery show turns the gaze back on us. His paintings feature a population explosion of tuberous cartoon creatures peppered with buttonlike eyeballs staring in dopey delight. Madras patchworks of pinks, purples, and blues provide a background for layered shapes, some of which pop out like familiar old friends. Haven't we seen that smiling two-legged jellyfish on a bus station? What about that orange four-eyed baldy — didn't he appear on a Mission Street billboard? Warnke cites Keith Haring as an inspiration, but where Haring's beings were faceless, Warnke's are a veritable army of expression. You are about to be attacked by a horde of flying yellow hats and grinning pink drums, all the Dave stickers of your dreams. Surrender to the cute.

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Traci Vogel


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