April 14 2014 06:18 PM

San Diego screenprinter's new work explores childhood themes

WEB IMG_0958
David B. Cuzick at OBR Gallery
Photo by Kinsee Morlan

As a child, David B. Cuzick dreamed of flying so often that he actually learned how to control his flight path. But since lucid dreaming isn't exactly a science, one night he found himself in uncharted territory—high above the city, and afraid.

The dream stayed with him and eventually became the inspiration for "Flying Dream," the piece of art on the cover of this week's CityBeat and one of Cuzick's new works in Neither Good Nor Bad, his first solo show on view through May 7 at OBR Gallery (3817 Ray St. in North Park). For the show, Cuzick uses silhouetted graphics on wood, paper and canvas to explore these kinds of childhood themes.

'Flying Dream'

You may know Cuzick's work from Circles and Squares, his clothing line depicting playful childhood motifs. This new work, however, represents a side he's only just recently started exploring. Cuzick's aesthetic may be in its infancy, but his understanding of human nature isn't. Each of the pieces in the show captures the challenges and insecurities we face. He uses common childhood situations to drive narratives on what it means to be powerful, vulnerable, isolated or, like in "Flying Dream," alone and free.

"I'm trying to do things that everyone can relate to on some level, either as a child or a human being," he says.

In "Big Boy," a gritty, fenced-in playground sets the scene for a merry-go-round spin gone wrong. A few kids hang on for their lives as the bully in the center, towering over the rest, whips the thing around and around. The kids are purposely presented as flat, almost generic-looking, while the bully's shoelaces and back pockets are fully detailed. Small touches like these help set the print's militaristic, somewhat ominous tone.

"This explores the notion of power and what you do with it once you have it," Cuzick says. "Do you use it to be benevolent? Assert control?"

There's a lot to glean from such simple prints. But Cuzick's works are like that: To a casual observer, they appear nostalgic and playful but, in looking again, you find more powerful commentary on those themes he so vividly dreams about.

Got tips on local retail? Write to ninah@sdcitybeat.com or follow her on Twitter at @polinjun.

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28