Forrest Kirk takes the police officer as his subject throughout his first solo exhibition at Chimento Contemporary. Forrest, a self-taught painter who studied at an atelier in Paris, has mounted four 6’ x 9’ canvases and a series of small sculptures for the inaugural show at Chimento’s new gallery space on 4480 West Adams Boulevard.
Forrest’s portraits feature larger-than-life officers accorded the status of serpents and boogeyman. His policemen, wearing matching blue uniforms, brandish water guns. Their holsters bulge at their waists. They lasso their victims – the African Americans who convulse and disappear into the mysterious circles the officers control. Acrylic paint smears a black nightmare over the canvas and its white screens while gorilla glue thins a red tricycle that sprouts, as if from a dream, over one officer’s chest and suggests his uniform is likewise hallucinated. But it’s not a dream, the violence comes from someplace real and palpable: America.
Forrest, reversing the systemic oppression that places black men at the discretion of America’s boys in blue, interrogates the lawman alongside his fantasies, paranoias, and delusions. “Is this all a game?” he asks.
Forrest Kirk was born in 1975 in San Diego, California. He attended California State University, Los Angeles. Body Count showcases paintings comprising acrylic, spray-paint, gouache, and gorilla glue on canvas. He has mounted work at Nicodim Gallery and will be simultaneously exhibiting at the Museum of Contemporary Art- Marin.