Los Angeles, CA (November 1st, 2014) — Known Gallery is pleased to present Mark of Cain, current works by Jesse Hazelip, in what will be his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. In conjunction with the event, the artist will release a three-color screen print, available for purchase during the opening reception.
Hazelip will build a site-specific installation out of fluorescent bulbs, replicating a jail cell using the measurements of a solitary confinement unit (six by nine feet), which he will occupy during the reception, and receive a tattoo variation of the “Mark of Cain” on his face to protest the conditions and human rights violations in U.S. prisons.
Hazelip will be creating a site-specific mural inside of the gallery space that will only be on view during the exhibition.
Works in the exhibition include bull skulls carved in a scrimshaw technique, mixed-media paintings on wood salvaged from an abandoned prison, as well as studies drawn with ink on paper.
Hazelip uses animal subjects in his imagery to explore themes of injustices within our legal system and underlying corruption in the prison-industrial complex. The bull with butcher markings emphasizes the systemized labor practices and division of value. The wolf relates to a pack mentality created through incarceration subcultures, as individual prisoners align with hierarchical groups or gangs for protection and survival. The vulture, a predator who preys on the disadvantaged, symbolizes the prison system as a whole. The snake refers to the violence created by the penal system that is specific to prison. The skeletal hands are representational of the death and reach of the violence nurtured in the prison-industrial complex.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jesse Hazelip was born in 1977 in Cortez, Colorado, amidst Navajo and Ute Nation territory. At the age of 13, he relocated to Santa Barbara, California—a vastly different environment from that of his childhood. There, Hazelip became involved with graffiti, developing an aesthetic and technique that is woven into his artwork alongside the imagery and history of his native southwest. In 2007, he received a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He is currently based in New York.