b. sakata garo

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September 20, 2009
Critic's Pick


By Victoria Dalkey, The Sacramento Bee art correspondent

"Flying with the moon"/Brian D, Tripp.
Tripp's paintings and sculptures at b. sakata garo draw on tribal symbolism and personal experiences that express his anger with the treatment of American Indians and his quest for personal transcendence. Tripp, who is a California Indian, draws on his heritage and exemplifies the ad hoc nature of art in a series paintings and sculptures at sakata's 20th Street space. Using whatever is at hand cardboard, duct tape, stones, wood, broken mirrors he fashions strong abstract paintings and figurative sculptures that seem to embody the magic and mystery of tribal legends and rituals. Bold color and expressionistic handling typify the two-dimensional works, many of which take the form of symbolic self-portraits. In "Me, Myself, and I Out in the Nighttime Sky," a trio of symbolic figures rises up under the moon over dark waves. "Me, Myself and I Home Talking With the Rocks, the River, the Trees and the Mountains" is a startling composition of red, silver, black and yellow with the same three figures in an abstracted landscape. Tripp's sculptures range from flying, mirrored, half-bird, half-human figures made of wood and stone, such as "Chook, Chook (Osprey)," to wounded creatures with mottled, many-eyed heads made of stone and limbs made of sticks. The best of them ("Getting Off the Rock," " The Veteran," "What's on Her Mind" and "The Champ," among them) are powerful objects of spiritual force. While there are perhaps too many small works in the show, this rare showing of Tripp's creations is not to be missed.

The show continues at b. sakata garo, 923 20th Street, (916) 447.4276 through Saturday October 3, www.bsakatagaro.com