Tag Archives | War

Friday 1/5: D.W. Marino – Burning Optimism at La Luz de Jesus

D.W. Marino – Burning Optimism
Showing with Valerie Pobjoy and Scott Rohlfs
Exhibition: January 5-28
Reception: Fri. Jan. 5, 8-11 PM

La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027


D.W. Marino – Burning Optimism

D.W. Marino majored in graphic arts in college but dropped out after 2 years. His first job was drawing ejection seats for a defense contractor. He toiled at different scientific firms doing technical illustration, typography, color proofing and layout as well as some catalog design work in NYC and label design in San Francisco. Yearning for something different, he started working at a neon sign shop and this leap from working in 2D to 3D led to a series of bomb Christmas ornaments.

While making these ornaments his wife, Allie, was diagnosed with cancer. As a distraction, the two came up with themes for bombs and mounted them in boxes. “We’d sit and talk about a tiki bomb, a Hello Kitty bomb, or Everyone hates clowns…why not bomb them!” The list went on and on, becoming something to focus on that took their minds away from the stress and strain of difficult circumstances.

The “Bombardment” series became the artist’s trademark.

Marino’s dad was a Nuclear Physicist in the weapons industry and was a member of the Sierra Club, so the irony of presenting an anti-war message in sardonic drag presents an evergreen pool of inspiration that is as much rooted in his childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area and the psychedelic art of that period as in his own experience in the munitions industry.

Close observers will notice the tropes of record album covers, the colorful pop art of Peter Max, and the underground comix work of artists Rick Griffen, R. Crumb, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, and Gilbert Shelton–all given a new, multi-dimensional surface and context.


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