“The whole body reacts to color,” says the 37 year-old Miami-based artist Jim Drain. “If you were to walk into an all-neon-pink room, it would be difficult not to react. I think it is a unified, human thing to feel color with everything. It is like standing next to a bass speaker plugged into your eyeballs.”
This Saturday, the artist’s new show, “Drain Expressions,” opens at PRISM in Los Angeles. Drain’s artistic aesthetic is characterized by a mélange of pattern and color that is simultaneously electrifying, conceptual, and playful. Chaotic bundles of knits accumulate into dripping wall hangings. Imposing creatures abstractly reminiscent of Jim Henson’s Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus beckon for the touch. Fuzzy totems sprout from the ground and morph into what feel like living organisms, and kaleidoscopic paintings and assembled sculptures explore geometry and the structure of pattern. “Drain Expressions” will show all new work and will endeavor to thread together all the themes from the artist’s past.
“I do feel like I touch new and unknown areas, but it is not necessarily therapy,” he explains. “These two things often get confused, especially when you are entering into new and unknown territories.”
Drain applies his creativity to multiple disciplines; he’s exhibited at the Whitney Museum in New York and Art Basel in Miami, makes custom furniture out of steel railings, and once collaborated with Opening Ceremony on a line of sweaters. During Art Basel Miami Beach, Drain will relaunch Bas Fisher Invitational (an alternative art space in the Miami Design District) with fellow artist and girlfriend, Naomi Fisher, as well as doing an exhibition in the project room at the De la Cruz Collection. He will also bring back his popular “Weird Miami Bus Tours”: artist-led expeditions to lesser-known places and cultural projects in Miami.
An opening reception for “Drain Expressions” will be held from 6 to 8 pm on Saturday November 10 at PRISM gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition runs through January 5, 2013. Coinciding with the show, Jim Drain will deliver a lecture at the Hammer Museum on November 15 at 7:30 pm.