Jeremy Kost : Seismic Dreams
February 15 - April 18, 2020
Opening Reception Saturday February 15, 7-10pm
Circus of Books is pleased to present, Jeremy Kost : Seismic Dreams, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition and Jeremy Kost’s first exhibition in Los Angeles, featuring more than 30 works from his newly released book of the same name.
Jeremy Kost has been a tireless chronicler of gender, sexuality, and nightlife for more than 15 years. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, he now lives and works between Los Angeles and New York City. Traveling the world to make images, whether they’re of male models in the Californian desert or drag queens strutting through Pittsburgh, is a nonstop pursuit.
New gestures recall dreamlike hazes, swirling brushstrokes, and seismic heartbeats while packing a poetic punch of intense color, all over Jeremy's signature, male-nude polaroids. These new marks are more painterly, more intentional, more whimsical, and more romantic. The Polaroids are sharper, with stronger definition and deeper range. The resulting works stand in contrast to the overly-saturated, high-contrast photography we see in today’s Instagram world. Two-dimensional snapshots become textured and alive. Contrast is distilled. The paint acts as an energetic punch against the muted, dreamlike tones of the Polaroid.
Rather than disguise or obscure, the paint brings both the figure and landscape of the original image into sharper relief, while repeating the conversation of figure and ground again with paint to Polaroid.
Whether staring back at the camera or captured at a distance, the men in Kost’s work exude a true sense of intimacy. They offer a canvas for our own projections and fantasies. The paint fractures the image, almost puncturing a reverie, reminding us of the vulnerability of that moment and inviting us in while also keeping us at a distance.
Limited to 750 signed and numbered copies, SEISMIC DREAMS continues the investigation of painting and Polaroid that Jeremy began with his last book, Isolated But Not Alone. It is a substantial 194 pages and features 162 new oil painted Polaroid works, all made between October 2018 and October 2019.
Jeremy Kost (b 1977) lives and works between Los Angeles and New York. Kost’s work is included in multiple private and public collections across the globe, including LACMA, Museo Jumex, MoCA Los Angeles, MFA Houston, The Studio Museum Harlem, The Nerman Museum, and many more. He has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Galerie Nuke, Paris, and Galerie Charlotte Moser in Geneva. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including State of the Art – New Contemporary Photography, NRW Forum, Dusseldorf, Germany; Dress Codes, International Center of Photography Triennial of Photography and Video, New York, NY and many others.
Jeremy Kost : Seismic Dreams opens on February 15, 2020 and will remain on view through April 18, 2020.
About Circus of Books
Circus of Books was a bookstore and gay pornography shop in West Hollywood, California, and in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was established in the 1960s as "Book Circus”.
A notable Los Angeles gay cruising spots of the late 20th Century, both locations are now considered important sites of Los Angeles' gay history.
The store opened at 8230 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood as Book Circus. In 1982, when the owner was having financial problems, it was taken over by Barry Mason, a former special effects engineer and inventor, and his wife Karen, a former journalist, who had been working as distributors for Larry Flynt's publications. They renamed it Circus of Books and opened the Silver Lake branch. In addition to gay porn and adult toys, the store stocked back-list paperbacks, novels by LGBTQ writers, science fiction books, Bibles, and foreign newspapers.
Now under the care of Rob Novinger, the newly reopened Circus of Books will now feature a gallery space dedicated to showcasing queer identifying artists on an ongoing basis.