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Several surfboards from Tomas’s Revolver album series will be featured in an exhibition at the Odells in Los Angeles, California, from July 13 – August 13, 2017. Implementing laser-cut technology, the surfboards are engraved on one side with intricate overlapping drawings resembling both geometric structures and organic forms. These drawings blur boundaries between the synthetic and the naturally occurring as a means of highlighting the dual role of technology–its abilities to both destroy and enhance life.

On the reverse, each board is engraved with lyrics from songs in the Beatles’s Revolver album. Growing up on China Beach, Vietnam, Vu made money taking care of the surfboards of American G.I.’s, one of whom in particular, took a liking to him and introduced Vu to the Beatles. From a very young age, Vu has recognized that the modern technologies that can turn a man into a literal killing machine can also allow him to play Beatles music for a young boy from half a world away.

Released in 1966, Revolver has been declared by music fans as “the single greatest Beatles album,” featuring early experiments in psychedelic music and more complex and mature material than the band had previously attempted (Rolling Stone, February 23, 2011). Viewers of the upcoming exhibition will have the opportunity to see favorites such as Eleanor Rigby, Here, There and Everywhere, and more songs all engraved onto Vu’s handcrafted surfboards made of paulownia wood and linseed oil.

This exhibition is in partnership with the Odells and their first YURT TAKEOVER initiative. The exhibition will be located at: The Odells, 3906 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

“Soñamos bajo el mismo cielo” (We dream under the same sky) reads one of the many phrases visitors could have screen-printed onto wearable canvas by artists, Duy Hoang and Nathan Catlin. Behind the screen-printing operation at Green Go Home, large black and white silkscreen portraits of figures from Roberto Clemente and Debbie Harry to Manny Pacquiao loom over the space. In an interview with ARTNEWS, Daniel Báez, one of the two founders of MECA, said the project “found all the fighters for freedom and put it on the wall” (Báez qtd. in ARTNEWS, Ann Binlot, “Puerto Rico’s New MECA Art Fair Opens in Debt-Ridden Island Paradise,” June 2, 2017).



Tomas will participate in the first edition of MECA International Art Fair to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from June 1 through June 4, 2017 at the Conservatory of Music in the new arts district of Santurce. Green Go Home (Thailand + Vietnam) will be featured at the fair.

MECA (named after the Spanish-language abbreviation for the mercado caribeño, or Caribbean market) is the first art fair in the Caribbean since 2010. It will bring together national and international galleries. Organizers Daniel Báez and Tony Rodríguez “aim to make an impact with bold choices, inviting who they believe to be ‘the most aggressive risk takers’ of the art world right now” (Artnet News).

For more information:
MECA Art Fair
Artnet, ‘MECA, Puerto Rico’s Newest Art Fair, Aims to Revitalize the Island’s Art Scene and Economy
Artspace, ‘Is MECA the Art Fair Puerto Rico Has Been Waiting For? A Q&A With Its Highly Ambitious Founders’

MECA gif

An iteration of Tomas’s Dark Side of the Moon will be shown at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University in a new triennial of contemporary art, called Uptown. Uptown presents the work of 66 artists who live or maintain studios north of 99th Street in New York City.

“It’s really an important initiative for the gallery, the university, and the broader community,” explains Deborah Cullen, organizer of Uptown and director and chief curator of the Wallach. “It’s a no-brainer, really, to have a format, a regular mechanism for the gallery to work with the broader community . . . Our neighbors, the local community should be our first audience.”

The exhibition will run from June 2 through August 20 at the Wallach gallery’s first major initiative in its new home in Columbia’s Lenfest Center for the Arts on West 129th Street, part of the university’s new Manhattanville campus. Furthermore, the Wallach will be collaborating with 13 other institutions uptown to launch related programming and exhibitions with artists participating in the triennial.

Uptown exhibition poster

For more information:
Artnet, ‘Columbia University Starts Uptown Triennial for Artists Living and Working in Upper Manhattan’
Artforum, ‘Columbia University Organizes New Triennial for Artists Based in Upper Manhattan’
NYC Go, ‘Uptown at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery’

Facebook–Wallach Art Gallery
Instagram #wallachartgallery #uptown2017

Curated by Tomas Vu and Yuan Zuo, Draw/Boston will bring together the private sketches and drawings of over 40 artists from around the world in an exhibition that provides a rare, revealing look into the drawing process and artists’ innermost thoughts. In addition to works hung on the walls, 6 artists will produce large murals drawn directly onto the gallery walls and artist volunteers will trace images collected by Rirkrit Tiravanija as part of the artist’s ongoing Demonstration Drawings series.

Draw seeks to show works “inspired by this private space, that reveals something essential, that channels a primordial, truthful side of themselves that is in some way revealing and not pasteurized for public consumption” (Vu qtd. in Draw|Mapping Madness, Les Joynes, “Tomas Vu in conversation with Les Joynes,” p. 8). Displayed unconventionally, the works will be hung as one might find them in the intimacy of an artist’s studio. By focusing on the medium of drawing, the purpose of this exhibition is to showcase not the finished polished products of traditional art exhibitions, but rather the unfiltered, beginning of something recorded through drawing.

On view January 23 – March 4, 2017
Massachusetts College of Art & Design Bakalar & Paine Galleries
621 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115

For more information:

Massachusetts College of Art & Design Bakalar & Paine Galleries

Big Red and Shiny