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It All Seeped Into the Ground Free Staff Pick

When: March 15-April 19 2015
Many of Simon Tran’s (aka ghost ghost teeth) paintings are explosive — both in color and gesture. In his current show at The Compound Gallery (1167 65th St., Oakland), It All Seeped Into the Ground, streaks of paint overlap one another as if ripping through the surface of each panel, forming a density akin to being lost in a rainbow forest. Installed like the scattered panels of a Japanese manga, each of Tran’s paintings stand alone while also cohering into a larger, even more abstract narrative. Pinks, oranges, and greens dominate the story, indicating potential cuteness — yet the compositions are too chaotic to be contained by such a reductive description. Tran is a Vietnamese-American artist whose parents immigrated to America during the Vietnam War. His work is a means of parsing his dual cultural identity. It makes sense, then, that his imagery seems to depict something that is both healthily growing and also going up in flames. Tran will speak more about his work at an artist talk and closing reception on April 19 from 3–6 p.m. Tran’s work is also up in the Worth Ryder Gallery on the UC Berkeley campus for The 2015 Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting Exhibition until April 24.
— Sarah Burke


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