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Dynamic Duo At Subtext Gallery

Some of the works by Tocayo and Exist1981 to be featured in Subtext Gallery's 'Dynamic Duo.' Credit: Subtext Gallery

Dynamic Duo” is the first new show of the year to open at San Diego’s Subtext Gallery. Part art gallery, part bookstore, Subtext Gallery in downtown San Diego has made quite an impact on the local art scene in its young six-year run. Located between historic music venue, The Casbah, and the lively Little Italy neighborhood, Subtext has emerged as one of many galleries in San Diego’s contemporary art scene that pushes the envelope. The gallery features contemporary art from all over the world, much of it ranging from street art and design culture.

The latest exhibition will feature the work of two local artists, Tocayo and Exist1981, whose work blurs the line between street art, public murals and graphic design. Juan Marante, the artist behind Tocayo, is Cuban-born and creates bold, graphic imagery strongly influenced by surf and skate culture. Some of his murals are featured at the local bar/eatery El Camino with a certain psychedelic take on across the border décor. Abe Aguilar, the artist behind Exist1981, started out as an underground street artist with a tendency toward covering parts of the city with his stickers and murals.

Together, both Tocayo and Exist1981 create works that span mediums in their bold graphic imagery with strong pop culture references. There is also a subtle sense of comic book and pop references in the over-the-top, action-packed nature of their works, which seem to come to life in a very real way. Subtext Gallery’s choice to pair Tocayo and Exist1981 together works seamlessly as both artists play off of one another, truly becoming a dynamic duo.

“Dynamic Duo” is on view at Subtext Gallery in downtown San Diego on Kettner Boulevard between Kalmia Street and Laurel Street starting February 3rd through March 2nd, 2012.