C.A.V.E. Gallery radiates with color as of Saturday night, thanks to Shark Toof's most recent collection, "Ping Pong Show". Bright colors, technical spray paint work, and a refined painting style, resulted in a compositional mash-up of pop art, street art, and fine art. Shark Toof's collection addresses the prey-versus-predator relationship within nature and romance through social interaction. Comic book-like characters and wildlife predators collide as they are placed in provocative proximities that question the dilemma about who is the actual target of attack. The color-infused paintings are driven by spectacles of roaring passion. Whether it's in the midst of a gentle touch or the climatic point of a passionate kiss, Shark Toof has captured the predator at the peak of its attack and the prey at its most defenseless moment.
The understanding of having a beast within is not always as clear as the Jekyll and Hyde duality where the transformation is evident. Shark Toof's paintings give the viewer an opportunity to figure out who the beast or predator is, but little do we know they're looking right at us in most of his paintings. There is such contrast between the women and the beasts(wolves and tigers); the women are extremely feminine with delicate features, including an old Hollywood vibe, while the wolves and tigers maintain an aggressive stance allowing the viewer to almost hear them gnarling. Yet, there are moments where the women's seduction is a distraction from the looming inner beast awaiting to consume her prey. Although the vixen may not have a face at times, her claw-like grasp remains tight, feeding her predatory instinct. Nature and romance are a complex rivalry and in order for a relationship to exist, one has to prevail.
Shark Toof's vibrantly rendered "Ping Pong Show", will be on view through November 11th.
Words and images by Jessica Portillo