Ivan Morley’s latest exhibition is at Bortolami Gallery through February 18. A lifelong Californian, Morley partakes of a tradition Jerry Saltz has called “clusterfuck aesthetics,” fusing pop images to emblems of American subcultures. Among the materials he’s used in these works: tooled leather, mother of pearl, and KY jelly. By his own account, the two recurring titles in this series, “Tehachepi” and “A True Tale,” refer to apocryphal stories from the Old West—the former concerns “native family life in a town where the wind was so strong it could alter the trajectory of a bullet,” where the latter involves “an entrepreneur who made a fortune shipping cats to a rat-infested city.” 

Ivan Morley, Tehachepi (sic), 2003, acrylic, oil, thread, batik and u.v. varnish on denim, 60″ x 45″

Logo, 2005, oil, acrylic dye, wax, KY jelly and u.v. varnish on linen over panel, 43 1/4″ x 36″

Emblem, 2005, acrylic and dye on tooled leather over panel, 44″ x 25 1/2″

A True Tale, 2016, thread on canvas, 50″ x 43″

A True Tale, 2016, thread on canvas, 72″ x 39″

Tehachepi (sic), 2016, oil with gold, and mother of pearl on glass 32″ x 24″

A True Tale, 2016, thread on canvas, 33″ x 29″