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Tofer Chin: Alex

The tripped-out artist's upcoming exhibition at Fecal Face in San Francisco celebrates his enduring relationship with Op-Art

I like art. Let me rephrase that. I like some art.  Whether I know enough about the topic to properly judge it, it is hard to say. Does anyone really know anything when it comes down to it? And where does this whole pricing system come from? Don’t even get me started. But with art, like food, I have simple tastes and know what I like and dislike. My approach could be described as very “Siskel And Ebert” – you either get a thumbs up or a thumbs down. I don’t like wasting time pussy footing around being in art limbo trying to please both sides.

But when I was first introduced to Tofer Chin’s work online, I was at a crossroads. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. It felt a bit dated, sterile; yet filled me with a strange nostalgia for Ticonderoga pencils, BMX bikes, and slip-on Vans. I needed to see more, and in person.

I made an appointment to stop by Tofer’s studio in Los Angeles to catch a glimpse of his new work being prepped for an exhibit at the Fecal Face Dot Gallery in San Francisco, and was pleasantly surprised. His newest collection entitled Alex is an ode to his former drug dealer, and when you see the pieces you can see the connection. They’re vibrant yet subdued, playful yet earnest. They reflect a few particular months back when he was a teenager dabbling with mind-altering substances; yet still represent his on-going relationship with Op-Art. It’s his most personal work to date. It shifts gears from his previous works, which used unnatural color and a faux approach to examining the spiritual and psychological impact of synthetic LSD. Alex strives to enhance the viewer’s personal point of view by relying solely on the organic effects of mescaline. Instead of hindering ones view of the world, Chin uses mescaline to enhance its truths though highly detailed and surgically precise checkerboards, stripes, and angular spikes, and succeeds.

Verdict? Tofer Chin’s Alex = Thumbs Up.

If you’re in the San Francisco on Thursday, stop by the Fecal Face Dot Gallery and take a mind-trip with Tofer. The show also marks the release of his new limited-edition acid print, entitled No. 1.2, available through the gallery.

Tofer Chin, a Los Angeles native, continues to exhibit, in both gallery and museums in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Australia. Past works appear in The Los Angeles Times, FlauntNylon and Rojo. In 2006, Rojo published his first book of photography, entitled Finger Bang, and in 2008, published his highly anticipated follow-up, entitled Vacation Standards. In 2009, Chin participated in ROJO®OUT Urban Stage Sao Paulo where he was selected to create a permanent site specific painting on three massive concrete structures in the center of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Fecal Face Dot Gallery, 66 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102