Hot Night at the Dogtown Follies

Lynn Coleman
Hot Night at the Dogtown Follies
Mixed media on paper, 1991
30 x 40 inches
From the Stuart and Judy Spence Collection, donated April 1999 by Judy and Stuart Spence

Lynn Coleman’s Hot Night at the Dogtown Follies (1976) references the gritty area lying between Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Ocean Park in Venice, where she hung out in the 1970s with an influential group of surfer/skateboarders. In a lush palette, and with profuse patterning and repetition, the autobiographical watercolor also comments on the collision of art and popular culture. In one vignette, trained art seals jump through hoops to gain acceptance in the art world. In another, dogs high-step across the Muscle Beach Hot Dogs on a Stick concession in the Dogtown Follies. In still another, Coleman portrays herself as a gussied-up pig having a beer with her favorite trout at the Jamaican Garden Room at the Miramar Hotel, with the POP roller coaster below. Coleman’s art is full of allusions to Southern California subcultural experience and puts a tongue-in-cheek spin on hot contemporary art world themes.