By Michael Ashman
With dark art and mysterious titles, Tom Haubrick captures surreal forms and embodies them into his portraits. The new series of work by Haubrick is a part of Thumbprint Gallery’s latest show “No Sleep.” The two artists in this show, Tom Haubrick and Bradford Lynn, focus on dream-like illusions caused by overworked and sleepless situations. With insomnia creeping into each artist’s conscious, they begin to find bizarre and unnatural patterns to use in their art. Haubrick has found such designs and has incorporated them into his portraits.
Shadowy women caught in a reflective stare in foggy black surroundings set a dark and wicked tone. Different women gaze outwards with serious expressions and cat-like greenish eyes. The viewer cannot help but stare deeply back at them. The effect of their eyes is enhanced as a few have no pupils or irises. The color green is only in their eyes, which intensifies the focus on them in these black and white portraits.
Almost like drawings of muses found in a sleepless, dream-like state, the women busts fade into the space of the background. Remembering a dream is hard to do, and sometimes remembering a face in one can be even harder. Fuzzy details come into focus, in “We Looked the Other Way,” as her neckline is gradually formed by the lines of her long hair. The illusion disappears into nothingness at the bottom, and we are left with only the clear image of her face. In “Was It Like This Before,” wispy black lines circle her and create the outline of her shoulders. With this kind of line, the upper body looks as though it is slowly coming out from the void of the dark background.
There are two uniquely drawn portraits that best capture the inability of remembering our dreams after waking. The two women in the portraits are actually faceless, and their faces are replaced with different fascinating designs. In “We Had Our Hope,” the face is replaced with a colored geometric shape called a mandala. It is a spiritual symbol that represents the universe. In “Too Soon to Forget,” the face is replaced by a starry night. Both have this cosmic theme where one represents the idea of the vastness of space and the other actually looks like space. The universe has infinite possibilities, and, in a way, dreams are also like that.
The public is welcome to visit Thumbprint Gallery at 920 Kline St. in La Jolla to see more of Tom Haubrick’s work during the show “No Sleep.” New works by Bradford Lynn are also on display that are inspired by the side effects of sleepless nights and dark spirits meddling with their sanity. The “No Sleep” show runs until November 3 and the gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thumbprint Gallery will also be holding a “Second Reception” for “No Sleep” on October 26 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Also, don’t forget to check out Thumbprint Gallery’s new gallery in Hillcrest, TPG2, and its “Grand Opening Art Show” on Friday, November 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.