Portfolio > Under the Big Black Sun

Under the Big Black Sun
July 22 — September 2, 2023
Pamela Walsh Gallery
540 Ramona Street
Palo Alto, CA

Under the Big Black Sun is a thought-provoking exhibition that explores the complexities of living in a city known for
both its glamor and its dark underbelly. It derives its name from two seminal works in Los Angeles history: X's album
"Under the Big Black Sun" and Paul Schimmel's "Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981." In this new body of
work, Bayne harvests materials from the urban landscape, translating what is often seen as common ephemera into art.
He transforms this found material into a unique vernacular that symbolizes the experience of living in a challenging
modern city, where the urban legend of the California dream often clashes with the reality of life.
The black shapes central to the new paintings in the collection serve as a dual metaphor for both the intoxicating
Southern California sun and deep holes torn in the canvas. These symbolize the tears and holes in the fabric of our social
contract; they represent the loss of hope and the weight of societal pressure in a city known for swallowing up its
dreamers. Conversely, themes of strength and defiance appear through the fissures of torn paper on canvas with
fragments of text and imagery whispering messages of resilience. The sun is portrayed as a constant in the paintings; its
daily rise washes away the hopelessness of the long night and makes sinners into believers again. There is a duality in his
work that is analogous to the messages received by social media today. Bayne's work serves as a powerful commentary
on the state of our times, capturing the anxieties and struggles of modern life with raw emotional intensity.