Mario Ayala Channels Doo-Wop Classic "Rubber Biscuit" In New Exhibition
The last time we checked in on an exhibition of Los Angeles' Mario Ayala, he had created a sort-of truck stop paradise at Jeffrey Deitch in NYC, an ode to car culture and his use of the utilitarian tool in the airbrush. Serious about his craft, Ayala has a sense of humor about his art as well. And in Rubber Biscuit, his newest solo show at David Kordansky in LA, he channels the doo-wop classic of the same name but also the sort of non-sensical, kitsch style of the song. It's perfectly fitting of Ayala's work, these wonderfully mechanical works that are both odes to a Los Angeles but also a sort of nostalgia of craft and sub-cultures that surround an era of Americana. These aren't works of 1956, but they seem to speak to what we think of the budding age of American capitalism and when craft and design was considered in an exciting ways.
An underlying this is how craft, design and labor are often in need of reconsideration. As the gallery points out, "The song’s mostly unintelligible lyrics performed in a Dadaist poetry-scat manner, evoke the use of humor and satire to address social struggles, using imagination and expression as the last available tools of agency." And Ayala remixes these themes with a sense of pop-culture, the automobile and lowbrow aesthetics. Ayala continues to be a pivotal emerging contemporary artist, and each exhibition is telling a greater story of culture and history. —Evan Pricco