Numbers II – Ode to Johnny Rio Dean Sameshima

Press release

Javier Peres is very pleased to present the Los Angeles premiere of the solo exhibition by Dean Sameshima, Numbers II – Ode to Johnny Rio, a recent series of silk-screens on canvas (previously exhibited in Berlin in 2008). The title refers to John Rechy's 1967 novel, Numbers, a thinly veiled auto-biographical portrait of a narcissistic, self-indulged, Johnny Rio, and his sexual forays in the cruising "scene" of Los Angeles – spurred on by the ravages of time, racking up bed partners becomes an obsession, and thus the protagonist, a dark angel of sex and stand-in for his progenitor, turns his tawdry, illicit world into a code of numbers.


Whether in his earlier photographs, his prints of appropriated images, or here with silk-screens drawn from photographs of John Rechy, Sameshima's subject matter deals in the currency of contemporary desire, nostalgia, vindication and accumulation, yet his works speak the language of seriality and the subversion of power structures. Like his earlier pop-forbear, Peter Roehr, Sameshima starts with the object, with the capacity of obsession it embodies and its imperative to be possessed. In a subtle move that straddles the two, Sameshima appropriates these objects, thus making them participate in a complex archive of signifiers, codes, and numbers.


For the occasion of this exhibition, Sameshima has created Numbers II (Ode to Johnny Rio), 2008, a special edition DIS Publication, in conjunction with Peres Projects, Berlin Los Angeles. The boxed edition of 75 includes reproductions of seminal material from and in relation to the artist's ongoing "Numbers" series of work, a digital print and an original signed silkscreen on canvas, and will be initially available at Peres Projects locations and Printed Matter, New York.


This exhibition constitutes a sequel to the artist's first solo exhibition in Berlin in 2007, Numbers, which presented a body of works from his series of dot paintings. The artist lives and works in Berlin.


NUMBERS II – Ode to Johnny Rio featuring Dean Sameshima will be on view at Peres Projects (969 Chung King Rd Los Angeles CA 90012) through November 15, 2008. Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and by appointment.



Installation Shots