In “The Kingdom is Lost” now on view at East Oakland’s Faultline Artspace local artist Santos Shelton begins his multi-part visual epic series chronicling the adventures of the character known as Deep Space Traveler. “The Kingdom is Lost” is the first part of this narration, which concerns a civilization that has been nearly destroyed by a meteor, and has irrevocably changed the way of life of the surviving inhabitants. Through this episode, Shelton makes many thoughtful observations and conveys important ideas about the current issues concerning the citizens of Oakland and the greater Bay Area.
The suite of vibrant paintings on view show illustrated vignettes of the important scenes, and portraits of the main and supporting characters within the first story. From the work viewers follow how Deep Space Traveler arrives at a vibrant red planet, and finds a kingdom atop of a floating island whose citizens are at threat of a civil war. The king of this civilization has all but caused this civil war, as he has allowed access to clean water only for members of the elite class — whom only he appoints as such. This story, says the artist, is both a narrative and a larger, more conceptual exploration into social justice. The creation of the works were largely created from personal reflection go the artist’s experiences while living in Oakland the past several years, a rapidly changing city.
“The Kingdom is Lost” will be at Faultline Artspace, 815 High Street, Oakland through November 21. Faultline Artspace has also produced a series of screen prints by Santos for release during the show.