Thursday, January 13, 2011


Frank Santoro: New Values
Thursday, January 20 th – Friday, February 18th , 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 20th, from 7 to 10pm
7914b SANTA MONICA BLVD around back - west of FAIRFAX
Dem Passwords is pleased to present a show of new work by Frank Santoro. For his first solo outing in Los Angeles, Santoro will exhibit a series of drawings rooted in Greco-Roman mythology. Lining the walls of the gallery, on uniform sheets of 25 x 38 inch gold-colored parchment paper, is a gathering of ideas and intimations that Santoro has been honing over the past several years.

These drawings evidence Santoro’s fascination with both the swift gesture of a spray painted graffiti tag and the virtuosic line work of renaissance drawing. These marks and textures are employed to summon figures that embody the violence, eroticism and grandiosity of classical mythology. In working in this vein, Santoro is participating in an artistic dialogue across the centuries. If you create an image of Mars, he wants to say, then you are both speaking to War and talking about war, the latter in concert with hundreds if not thousands of other artists. This web of connections gives the work, as Santoro has put it, “instant content – the figures are multi-dimensional signifiers.”

And to preserve their symbolic value, Santoro is careful to make images that allude to— but never indulge in—narrative. Instead he likens them to the frescos discovered in Pompeii and Herculaneum: charged, often erotic, images of Venus, Hecate, and other gods that underpinned and explained Roman daily life. Those frescos, and the work presently on display, are unprecious exaltations to the forms and ideas that move us.

Frank Santoro has previously exhibited in New York and Switzerland. He has published comics and zines including Incanto, Chimera and Cold Heat. He is also the author of the graphic novel Storeyville (PictureBox). Currently at work on an animated film and a new picture narrative, Santoro lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.

- Dan Nadel
writer / Picturebox publisher

For further inquiries contact Sebastian Demian at or at +1.772.202.2733