having followed jeff bark‘s work for some time and aware of his affinity for romantic and historical reference, i was quite excited about his latest californication of eternal youth. almost biblical, his adeptness with lighting succeeds in transporting one to to a neo-eighies-renaissance-ness. a young man lazes about in an aft sun, a topic which should be eternally hopeful, but bark adds a dark mystery to the narrative. with his painterly style, he captures the hopeful historical and transforms it into a sweaty tale of despondency with his character basking forgetfully in a detritus of meaninglessness. the play on bark’s own experiences of california is ambiguous and inconclusive except for the heat and the light which undoubtably dominates the reading of the work. i find the underlying sadness of the subject’s languid and lonely existance a poignant metaphor for the loss of youth and for the anticipated disillusionment. this creates a tension in the work that is further emphasised by the sticky-griminess of the milieu that he created in his garage in new york, another proverbial dichotomy. this paradox of paradise is beautifully illustrated in this exhibition which is almost too aptly named: goldenboy.