Ricko’s Home Art Gallery
I wish I had the nerve to completely remove all furniture, including wall art, from my first floor and turn my home into a temporary art gallery, like Ricko Aslanian did in his Del Ray home.
I stopped by his art opening on Friday and couldn’t believe my eyes. In the front foyer, he stenciled his name and the name of the show.
You can see it as you approach his handsome two-story farmhouse, where he and his wife Mytrang turned their front porch into a reception area, complete with a bartender tending a well-stocked open bar.
Where did they put all of their furnishings, I wondered. To get ready for the show, they moved all of the furniture into a back room and repainted the entryway.
Ricko was trained as an artist and sculptor and has worked for years as a sign maker, where he says he grew comfortable with the medium of the craft – sheet metal, text, Japanese oil paint, linseed oil, and vinyl. At that time, he created flat, two-dimensional items. In this series, he now explores the tension between two-dimensional and three-dimensional art.
“I am always drawn to discarded items from everyday life,” he says. “An old metal sign, a piece of netting, a twisted piece of hose. These objects have a history. I purge the pieces from their original form, sanding and cleaning them to remove old graphics, chipped paint, and rust. A significant part of my creative process involves the labor-intensive, time-intensive, and tactile process of cleaning.”
For this series, he started by creating the “shelf” or pedestal. To Ricko, a shelf is an intimate and accessible space for sculpture. As he worked on a piece, he says, “I remained open to the energy that emerges from the newly conceived objects – the texture and colors from its prior life are layers upon which I build new interest and meaning. As with all of my work, the pieces in this series touch upon personal and human themes of overlooked and subtle beauty, finding a second chance, and the synergy between old and new.”
Later, when I stopped by again with some friends, the place was packed. Mytrang, told me that, due to the interest from friends and neighbors in seeing the work and experiencing the space that they plan to leave the show up for a few more weeks. “It was a strong signal to us,” she says, “that there’s an appetite for alternative gallery spaces in our community where cultural value is more important than commercial value, there’s no need to talk in a hushed voice, and kids are welcome/required. We’re really excited about it!”
If you want to see Ricko’s show in the Nguyen Aslanian home, you can email Mytrang to find out their open times or make an appointment.