Iowa born San Diego artist John Dillemuth playfully explores the relationship between real and imaginary. Assemblages, contraptions, vehicles, and paintings combine to create an installation that references domestic places and the adventurous space beyond. Play is the thread that ties the work together, mixing the fantastic with the ordinary, the crude with the sophisticated, and the visionary with the comical.
Innocence and playfulness greet the viewer at first glance, but Dillemuth’s work requires a more thoughtful inspection. Reserved attitudes toward intimacy and gender are challenged by the overt use of colorful nylons, long-johns, and other undergarments stretched across the towering contraptions. The whimsical, toy-like mechanisms, with their quirky, awkward movements, embody coded signs and loaded psychological symbols.
Simultaneously expressing sophistication and celebrating roots in folk art, this exhibition is a testament to Dillemuth's distinctive and highly original personal vision.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.