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From the street to the living room

Checking In With ... Alex Amador and Chris Kane

November 14, 2013|By Michael Miller
  • Owner Alexander Dax, bottom, and Director/curator Christopher Kane, top, pose for a portrait at Dax Gallery in Costa Mesa.
Owner Alexander Dax, bottom, and Director/curator Christopher… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

In an arts-heavy town, they're the true backstreet boys.

Last week, Alex Amador and Chris Kane launched the Dax Gallery on Randolph Street, a short thoroughfare tucked behind the Lab and the Camp in Costa Mesa's alternative shopping district. And fittingly, the gallery's first show, "For Love of Dreams: Romancing Evolution," focuses on street-style art — the owners' attempt to bring an urban flavor down the block from South Coast Plaza.

Among the pieces in the show are a statue by RISK of Hello Kitty with the Rolling Stones' tongue logo over her mouth, a canvas by the Ultravelvet Collection featuring a "Donkey Kong" level juxtaposed over a photograph of a scantily clad woman, and a black-and-white image of Frank Sinatra created by Greg Auerbach out of news clippings about the singer.

Amador, a managing partner for the screen-printing company Massive Prints, and Kane, who represents artists through Tarheel Art Management, met on the L.A. art scene. With the canvases still being hung at the Dax Gallery, the owners spoke with the Daily Pilot about their plans and the fine line between high art and pop culture. The following are excerpts from the conversation:

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In your press material, you talk a lot about L.A. or New York or San Francisco being centers for street art. Do you think street art is that prevalent in Orange County?

Amador: In the brands that are up here in Orange County, I think it's prevalent. But they're having to reach out to some of the bigger cities. A lot of the brands I work with that look for inspiration travel to New York, L.A., Paris to find, you know, what's next.

Do you see any real trends going on right now in the street-art community?

Kane: Yeah. I mean, I would say the people that were doing illegal work and undercover work in the past 10, 15, 20 years are now transferring what they were doing on the streets to different mediums, as far as canvas, wood, metal — just different mediums that they're bringing into the galleries now.

Instead of having a piece that they spend all night doing, a mural on this beautiful work of art, they're now transferring it onto a piece that can actually be sold and enjoyed in someone's house forever. So, you know, usually the buff man comes by and can buff it the next day, can buff it a month later.

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