Alpha Romeo Tango: A Fine Arts Exhibit

Alfa Romeo Tango:

The first fine arts exhibit curated by celebrated Los Angeles-based artist Ben Jackel “USS Indianapolis and other Tales from the Sea”.

The current exhibit “CORAL SEA: The Unsung Battle of the South Pacific” by Los Angeles and Japan based interdisciplinary artist Kio Griffith.

CORAL SEA: The Unsung Battle of the South Pacific is brought to life through blueprint-styled graphic prints of hybrid war machines, a hybridized Japanese castle and superstructure of the IJN battleship, postage stamp-styled graphic prints of imaginary nations named after bodies of water and seas, and more.

Kio Griffith is a bi-coastal, Los Angeles- and Japan-based artist, curator, and writer. His conceptual work includes drawing, painting, sound, video, performance, electronics, language, sculpture, and installation. 

The naming of the exhibition space, “Alfa Romeo Tango,” is from the National Alliance Treaty Organization (NATO) phonetic alphabet spelling the word “art.” The location is on the third deck, near the semi-permanent show, “Lost at Sea: The Explorations of Dr. Robert Ballard.” Extended IOWA Experience admission to the museum incorporates entry to the gallery. A percentage of each sale will be donated to Battleship IOWA Museum.

Born and raised in Aurora, Colorado, Ben Jackel received his BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and earned his MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a graduate student at the onset of the Iraq War, Jackel began to reflect on his lifelong interest in military history by examining weaponry and combat apparatuses to represent the humanity of war. This inquiry led him to create his first life-size Civil War-era cannon from clay and wood in 2002 and continues to manifest in his work today. While working in clay and wood as primary materials, his works symbolize aspects of conflict, warfare or disaster, but belied by their organic or fragile media.

L.A. Louver gallery began representing Jackel in 2007, presenting solo exhibitions “Compliance Solutions” (2009), “Zero Percent Contained” (2011), “American Imperium” (2015) and “Reign of Fire” (2017). His works have shown at UCLA Fowler Museum; Williamson Gallery at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; Torrance Art Museum, CA; Denver Art Museum, CO; China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Venice Biennale, Italy, among others. Jackel was an artist-in-residence at University of Colorado, Boulder. He has held a teaching position at California State University Long Beach and currently instructs at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A comprehensive online catalog that surveys Jackel’s works from 2008-2017, with supplementary videos and descriptions, can be viewed here.