Ishmael Dueñas Presents Group Show "Future Shock" at Frontal Lobe in Phoenix

Ishmael Dueñas Presents Group Show "Future Shock" at Frontal Lobe in Phoenix
Courtesy Ishmael Dueñas

Painter Ishmael Dueñas has gathered together an impressive list of some of the art scene's most well known for "Future Shock," a collaborative collection that opens at Grand Avenue's Frontal Lobe Gallery this Friday. The seven-person show is mostly made up of paintings -- which, despite the name, have little or nothing to do with the future.

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What's in a name anyway?

"I have to laugh at the question, because the name has no meaning. It just sounds really cool," he says. "It's one of those things where you keep hearing it over and over -- for me it was in the music I have been listening to, the Internet and television."

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The concept came from a pop-up gallery Dueñas developed for Art Detour and Paint PHX earlier this spring. For "Future Shock," Dueñas teamed up with fellow artist and friend Oscar Chavez. Chavez is one of the artists who will be on display during the show.

"I tried to get artists who don't know each other or maybe share a common aesthetic," he says. "I feel I have the perfect mix of new and established artists for this show."

One of those artists is J.B. Snyder, known for his large-scale, colorful geometric creations -- a few of which can be seen along Grand Avenue.

"Group shows are important to showcase with others and mix up the collectors [to] let them see new work maybe they haven't seen before," Snyder says. "[This is] a great group of talented artists young and old.

"I've always liked Ishmael's house-scapes a lot and have been seeing them for years," he says. "When he asked me to be a part of his show it was a no-brainer. Then he told me the lineup and it made even more sense."

Tato Caraveo, Joshua Rhodes, KC MacGregor, and Scott Biersack round out the list. Twenty-year-old Biersack, whose preferred canvas is skateboards, won the New Times' 2014 Big Brain Award in the design category.

Dueñas will show pieces from his City Series paintings, keeping with his popular portrayals of stacked houses in vibrant colors. His work can be seen throughout galleries and walls of downtown.

"My wife calls me the City Guy," he says.

Given the group, the show -- which is on view for a month and a half, ending Friday, August 15 -- has plenty of potential to be packed. Arguably the most impressive show of the summer, neither Dueñas nor Snyder is worried that a downtown deserted, thanks to hundred degree temperatures, will have much of an impact.

"I'm a native Phoenician [and] I love the heat. I have been waiting for this new Phoenix art scene all my life. Why stop for the summer [when] we need to keep pushing it?" he says. "The Fourth is going to be the perfect time to come out, bring the family, and enjoy some art. You're off of work, the barbeque is over, and you're headed out anyway to look at fireworks."

Dueñas plans to keep working throughout the summer, assisting with organizing and participating in the sixth annual Grand Avenue Festival in October. He will also be a part of the next Paint PHX project, which debuted earlier this year, courtesy of creator Thomas "Breeze" Marcus -- who Dueñas says "is making the biggest contribution to the Valley art scene."

Snyder will be busy in the art scene, too. He says he and Caraveo are planning to open their own studio and gallery space in the area later this summer.

"Just because it's hot doesn't mean we stop," Snyder says.

The opening reception for the ongoing group show is from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 4, at Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery at Bragg's Pie Factory, 1301 West Grand Avenue. Viewing is free and open to the public. The show will remain on view through Friday, August 15. Check out the Frontal Lobe's Facebook page for details.

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