Dave Warnke: "In Pursuit of Happiness"
The Hang Art Gallery, 556 Sutter (at Mason), S.F.
Opening reception Thursday, Sept. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Through Sept. 28; call 434-4264 or visit www.hangart.com.
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.