Brand new works by Shawn Barber & Carl Dobsky: “Within The Hearts of Man” at Copro Gallery

Copro Gallery presents a two-artist exhibition with Shawn Barber & Carl Dobsky titled “Within The Hearts of Man”. The origins of the phrase has no single origin and can be found in a variety of sayings and places. However, despite its ubiquity, the phrase whenever it is used always refers to something that is at the very core of someone’s being. It could refer to beliefs that are deeply held, a love of something that defines one’s life, or it could refer to something that is intrinsic to the very nature of being human.

Shawn Barber & Carl Dobsky: “Within The Hearts of Man


Copro Gallery

Bergamot Station Arts Complex, 2525 Michigan Ave, #T5, Santa Monica, CA 90404, United States

Opening Reception: Saturday June 1, 6pm – 10pm

Exhibition Dates: June 1st – June 22, 2024

NEW HOURS: Friday 11-7PM- Saturday 1-5PM – Sunday 11-6PM

Shawn Barber

Shawn Barber has been exploring and documenting contemporary tattoo culture and history for almost two decades. Through portraits, still-life and paintings of the interiors and exteriors of tattoo shops, Barber’s intimate personal knowledge of these subjects is unveiled. These storied characters that create the images that embody the beliefs of those who (get tattooed) or memorialize those people who were close to the heart, are humbly connected to the tribal nature of man.

Shawn earned his B.F.A from Ringling College of Art in 1999 and A.A.S. from Cazenovia College in 1997. His paintings are held in private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe and Australia. Among his extensive achievements, he has taught drawing, painting and the business of art for 20 years at various art schools throughout the country. After years of documenting the art of tattoo, it was a logical progression to pick up the tattoo machine and add tattooist to his resume. In 2009, Shawn and his girlfriend Kim Saigh, opened Memoir Tattoo in Los Angeles, CA.

‘Tattooed Self Portrait, Dragon Back Study’, oil on canvas, 18” x 36”, 2023
Portrait of the Artist, Carlos Torres, 3 views oil on linen, 16” x 32”, 2023

Carl Dobsky

Carl Dobsky interprets that what lies “within the hearts of man” appears to be a deep-seated and a tragic kind of folly. Through the use of allegory and social commentary, Dobsky points at our tendencies to engage in acts that end up destroying our health, wealth, and security both on the individual scale and that of the society at large. Whether the subject is an original invention or taken from literary or humanist sources, the common theme is the evil men do both to others and themselves.

A figurative painter, Carl Dobsky currently lives and works in the Los Angeles area. His work is grounded in traditional forms of representation while still incorporating contemporary elements. Dobsky earned a B.F.A from Ringling College of Art and Design and an M.F.A from the New York Academy of Art. Beyond education at these institutions, he also studied classical approaches to drawing and painting at the Water Street Atelier in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and in Europe. His work can be found in both private and public collections including the New Britain Museum of Art and the Seven Bridges Foundation.

“Blind Leading the Blind (You Can’t Stop Progress)”, 72” X 104”, Oil on Linen

An excerpt from Carl Dobsky on his work, “Blind Leading the Blind (You Can’t Stop Progress)”:

“Although clearly based upon the painting by Peter Bruegel, this image is a reversal or possibly a development of that theme. Using the same diagonal found in Bruegel’s work, here the blind are struggling to get out of the ditch rather than falling into it.

Rather than the tragic moment being one of falling into disaster because of a lack of knowledge or belief, this painting posits that the fall into that ditch is inevitable. The real tragedy is how do you get back up once you’ve fallen.”

“Luxuria and the Fool (Lipstick on a Pig)” Oil on Panel, 20” diameter, 2024

Carl Dobsky on his work, “Luxuria and the Fool (Lipstick on a Pig)”:

“This painting is based off an etching by the anonymous Master E.S. from about 1460 titled “Luxuria and the Fool”. The etching shows a fool or jester who is being lured into folly by lust while Luxuria (lust) holds a mirror showing the fool his reflection.

“In this painting the theme has been reinterpreted into a modern context. Instead of a medieval fool, we have a man of means and status. He has all he needs- food, money, even social standing, and perhaps a modicum of fame. Even so, not satisfied with what he has, he reaches for more. Luxuria defiantly holds up a mirror showing the man his reflection while smearing lipstick all over his face.”

For more information about the show, email Copro Gallery Director, Gary Pressman at coprogallery@live.com or call 310-829-2156.


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About Author

Based in the UK, Natalia Joruk enjoys a life surrounded by art, nature, and curious trinkets. As Deputy Editor, she's worked closely with the Editor-in-Chief for over a decade, supporting with the design and growth of Beautiful Bizarre and the maintenance of the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. Natalia also oversees sponsor partnerships for the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, and distribution of the magazine, so drop her an email if you know someone who would like to sponsor or stock! She also writes for both the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine website and print publication. One of her favourite perks is getting to know artists, gallery owners and their teams personally, so feel free to email her if there is anything she can help you with – or just to connect.


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