Evan Holloway's "#72" at the Huntington Beach Art Center's presentation of Reverberation, an exhibition of contemporary art. (SCOTT SMELTZER, HB Independent / October 22, 2013)

Growing up, Christian Tedeschi fancied getting into trouble. He didn't harm himself or others, but flaunted a short attention span and flagrant disregard for authority.

And then he welcomed the punishment, be it a time-out at home or day-long suspension at school.

Closed into his bedroom, away from prying eyes, he drew for hours on end. One day, he swapped the permitted pen and paper for a block of clay — and then just couldn't stop designing.

In retrospect, he said, that moment altered the course of his life.

"I really gravitated to the illogical," said Tedeschi, 39, whose first piece was a John Lennon head in which the musician's hair covered his nose, mouth and other facial features. "I wasn't a good student except for my art classes and poetry — I enjoyed that. And, it became a coping mechanism or a way to deal with life in a different way."

Domestic elements and common objects, such as Saran Wrap, bicycle wheels, blinds and even a Superman costume, continue to star prominently in Tedeschi's work. Whether employing fabricated or discarded materials, he finds that his work occupies a "strange space between utilitarian objects and nature."

"A lot goes through my mind when I'm making things, and I don't know if that's what people see, but I embrace that," Tedeschi said.

The Los Angeles resident is one of nine artists — many of whom are professors or have taught at some point in their lives — on display at the Huntington Beach Art Center through Dec. 14. Curated by Andre Woodward, "Reverberation" features over 30 pieces that reflect the influence of contemporary thought on visual art, namely sculpture.


Reality and illusion

Woodward, 36, of Fullerton, picked exhibitors who either taught him in a classroom setting or impacted his aesthetic through their imagination and finesse. Under his supervision, colorful artwork and photographs that provided inspiration for 3-D creations mingle with objects, large and small, that play up the available light and space.

The show's name comes from the title of a 13th Floor Elevators song, which was later recorded by ZZ Top and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

"The song has been covered by other musicians, so it deals with the idea of inspiration," Woodward said. "Also, the word 'reverberation' lends itself to influence because something reverberates over time and influences other things."

A wall at the entrance to the show is dotted with 10 Artforum Magazines with pirate skulls and abstract wave patterns cut into the pages. Titled "State of Affairs," it leads into three galleries methodically scattered with items including Evan Holloway's "72," a steel, brass, lead and paint concoction that represents, with small, carefully molded faces, people in a room and each one's interaction with another.

Continuing on, the viewer encounters Thomas Müller's "I am the man in the gray flannel suit!", arranged on the floor with shattered letters revealing their interior architecture, and Tedeschi's "40,000,000,000,000 years" a toilet-paper-and-resin construction with a Dracula head and globe tucked inside.

Woodward was Tedeschi's student at Cal State Long Beach and also studied under Sean Duffy at UC Irvine.


Art from darts

Duffy, 47, spent his youth in east San Diego County, 30 miles from the closest convenience store. The landscape sported motorcycles, go-karts and rocks and lent itself to fixing broken paraphernalia with other scraps on-hand. Today, this use of familiar, mass-produced goods, like paint and canvas, is part of his practice, albeit nontraditionally.

Last year, he purchased 1,000 red, yellow and blue darts off eBay, which lay around his Santa Clarita house, to be fiddled with occasionally. One night, Duffy was joined by his wife and two sons, throwing darts at a wall for over an hour.