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Press Release - Betty Number 22 Taken Down by Oliver Hawk


First Amendment Gallery
Betty Number 22 Taken Down

Oliver Hawk
Opening Reception - May 4th 7-10pm
Showing Through - May 26th

First Amendment Gallery is proud to present Betty #22 Taken Down, a solo exhibition by San Francisco-based artist Oliver Hawk Holden. The show is focused around portraiture and intuitively curated imagery, including multiple miniseries that reflect common imagery through the artist’s distinctive lens.

From broken billboard pieces and kinetic sculptures to wood carvings and relief paintings, each small series of work within the show coalesces towards the structure of the entire body. Holden works in a fragmented way so that the presentation only coalesces naturally upon installation. He often includes both figures and text, mostly derived from common or mundane imagery and executed with a certain crudeness that shows through his skilled craftsmanship.

The shows title references a piece that was intended to be in the show but was removed. It infers both an inclusion and an exclusion, a seemingly irrelevant diversion from the instinctive direction of the show. In many ways, it’s reminiscent of a common theme in both Holden’s work and contemporary culture: names and symbols get applied to things and people without intention or consideration, all of which distract from the true nature of what something really is.