Friday, Aug. 17 – Chris Tobar: Unmasked
1221-C N. Orange Ave.
Personal growth is a funny thing. Chris “Tobar” Rodriguez
has been through a lot in the last few years, good and bad – the violent death of his comrade and colleague Palin Perez Jackson; the steady upward rise of his street-art collective, B-Side Artists – and his trademark “man in the mask” character has evolved along with him. Once upon a time that dead-eyed, gas-masked figure,
glimpsed on an alley wall, might have looked sinister or aggressive; now it’s a symbolic life-support system protecting an artist in a state of flux: The mask, Tobar says in the artist’s statement for this show, is there “to filter out all the BS and other unwanted troubles in life.” This show (Twelve21’s 17th, by the way)
displays new techniques beyond Tobar’s spray/stencil beginnings and follows new twists in the Man in the Mask’s ongoing story. – Jessica Bryce Young