Big Sad Men

A mercurial figure with wide shoulders and a resigned look on his face is the hallmark of art collective and superduo the Date Farmers. Sometimes he's a lonely tough guy with prison tattoos, other times he's Mickey Mouse wielding a shiv. He's drawn with lines so beautiful your heart goes out to him, trapped as he is in a dramatic but messy desert in which the signs of mass capitalism hover over him in handmade replica form. The stark blue skies and rich, mustardy sandscapes reflect artists Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez' real home of Coachella, as does the regional garbage in their collages – they use a lot of bottle caps and coffee cans, and are probably best known for painting on corrugated metal. At their new exhibit, "The Ballad of Richie Valenz and Other True Stories," expect the hulking icon to show up along with wooden sculptures made in collaboration with folk artists from Oaxaca, all organized with the Date Farmers' impeccable eye for hanging arrangements. "The Ballad of Richie Valenz" continues with Madrid artist San's "Sparks and Ashes" through Nov. 30.
Nov. 1-30, 2007

 
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