Push to pull. Spend to make. Work to rest. At "CaliLOVE," Amanda Lopez' new photography exhibit, the tension at the conflicted heart of existence comes from hiding to reveal. Her portraits of intense young people cover the subjects' faces with the traditional to El Día de los Muertos death masks but instead of the usual chalky chunky skull shapes, these are space-blasted, alien-sheen, Ziggy Stardust versions of skinlessness. An acid-trip trick around gorgeous, terrifying mouths pushes the viewer off balance right away, but of course, it's ultimately the windows of the soul that deal the body blow. Covered in a wizard's paint, the sitters are free to look at the camera and try to kill their enemies through it. Noseless and alone with their elaborate hairdos, they get their point across just fine. "Mes rêves sont vos cauchemars," reads the tattooed arm of a man with silver eye sockets; it's French for "My dreams are your nightmares."
An opening reception for "CaliLOVE" starts at 7 p.m.
June 18-July 13, 2010