Dazed and Confused
“I’ve always encountered really interesting people in little neighborhoods that may otherwise go unnoticed,” says artist Dana Paresa, whose solo show Little Black Bag opens at Interisland Terminal’s gallery in Kakaako–one of the idiosyncratic ‘hoods of which partly fueled its inspiration, specifically its corner convenience stores where little black plastic bags come and go as commonly as the quirky clientele. “The moment I see a neat personality and I look around to tell someone, and no one is there, nor would anyone believe me if I told them, that’s the person I choose.”
The exhibition is a circus carousel of these fancy folks–eccentric passers-by that wouldn’t feel unwelcome in a sequel to Gummo (“Harmony Korine would have a fucking field day over here!”) or a character you end up strolling next to on the sidewalks of Slacker–told from an indigenous point-of-view.
“I guess it’s the Laws of Attraction working in my favor,” Paresa explains. “I tend to overanalyze my pseudo-relationship with all these customers whom I’ve never met and imagine what our friendship could be like or what would happen if we went to the park for a drink or something.”
The gritty caricature paintings (set up as giant wooden cut-outs) are sketched with a casual subversiveness and “not judging!” wit that feels like a friendly chip off the R. Crumb block. Snoop around its aisles, let your guard down, leave hearing the send-off “Thank you, come again,” and maybe you just will.