The straw that broke the camel’s back. The last drop makes the cup run over. The last straw of our carrying. The moment one experiences the last straw can be summed up as simply part of the human experience; It’s a series of difficulties that brings one to and beyond their limit.
The last straw of our carrying brings together the work of Sam Davis, Orion Martin, and Kira Scerbin. These artists engage narrative structures through the use of photography, painting, and sculpture as a way of presenting work that mines integral parts of human experience like intimacy, anxiety, loneliness and mystery. The result teeters on the edges of reality and escapism, summoning the viewer to participate in an unhinged world as the reader, adventurer, and director.
In Sam Davis’s molded plastic wall works, the words “hurrying, carrying, struck” repeat vertically stacked upon each other then stacked on an incomplete brick wall. These words derive from a longer work by the artist, which the exhibition also borrows its title from. Davis gives the words literal weight, producing an anxiety that the words might break the wall that holds them up. In Kira Scerbin's quixotic paintings, figures are portrayed with the familiarity of a roommate or friend. Through living closely with the works, Scerbin captures an emotional intimacy. She explores the duality of these emotions by rendering her characters with expressions that can confuse a look of pure joy and a sinister smile. Through four photographs, Orion Martin introduces two characters: a faceless sickly woman and a women on a journey. Originating from the personal, the characters are played by family and friends, the photos act as a viewing screen into a reality where not everything is as it seems, what initially looks like an intravenous drip is DIY-ed out of garden rakes, plastic shopping bags, and electrical cord.
Through uncovering layers of meaning, these three artists turn to individual experience as a means of conveying shared stories, whether real or fictional. Despite their disparate practices, their works share a common thread, it invites the us in only to leave us pleasantly nonplussed.
Sam Davis (b. 1987, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Davis received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011, and his MFA from Yale University in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include 0.5 Mommy Man at Topless, Rockaway Beach, NY, and Louie, Louie, at Human Resources. Recent group exhibitions include Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles; Bureau Inc., New York; Actual Size, Los Angeles; and Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles.
Orion Martin (b. 1988, Sonoma, CA) received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Recent solo exhibitions include Bodega, New York; Favorite Goods, Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include Flatlands at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Nicelle Beauchene, New York; Bodega, New York; Favorite Goods, Los Angeles; Important Projects, Oakland. Orion is based in Los Angeles, CA.
Kira Scerbin (b. 1991, Cleveland, OH) received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Recent exhibitions include Disco City #8 Art Gallery, Chicago, IL; Faber & Faber, Chicago; Lodos, Chicago / Mexico City; and 100 Percent Gallery, San Francisco. She lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Audrey Moyer (b. 1988, Chicago, IL) is a curator based is Los Angeles, CA. From 2011-2015, Moyer ran Favorite Goods, a gallery based in LA's Chinatown. She has also curated and co-curated exhibitions at Actual Size, Los Angeles; Gallerie Xippa, Paris; and The Sunroom, Richmond,VA