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Jul 19
Amir Zaki Explores the Sculptural Nature of Skateboard Parks, Ceramic Vessels at The Doyle

​An ambitious exhibition which expands on Amir Zaki's dedication to photographing built and natural landscapes will be on display at Orange Coast College's Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion from Sept. 19 until Dec. 5, 2019. 

The exhibition, titled "Empty Vessel – Amir Zaki," is curated by The Doyle's director Tyler Stallings, and presents selections from two bodies of photographic images that create a tension between the fragility of broken ceramic vessels and the solidity of quintessential California concrete skateparks.

A preview reception for Zaki will take place on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 5–7 p.m., and there will be an artist-led exhibition tour and book signing on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 2–3 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 3–5 p.m. Admission to all events is free. 

"Through both the intentional absence of skaters and the brokenness of the ceramics, together all these 'vessels' are pictured as sculptural rather than functional, hence, the title: Empty Vessel," says Stallings. 

From a pop culture angle, the uniqueness of Empty VesselAmir Zaki is that most shows which explore skate subculture focus on the graphics, lifestyle, or the skateboarders themselves; this will be the first major exhibition that features the unusual architecture of skateparks. From a fine arts perspective, Zaki's work is an extension of New Topographic photographers from the 1970s, extending their focus on our human-made environment into the suburban and exurban environments throughout Southern California. 

Amir Zaki is a practicing artist living in Southern California. He received his MFA from UCLA in 1999 and has been regularly and actively exhibiting photographs and videos nationally and internationally since. Zaki has had solo shows in Los Angeles at the Edward Cella Gallery, MAK Center, and ACME gallery, and Perry Rubenstein Gallery in New York, among others. His work has been included in significant group exhibitions at the Orange County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and is included in their collections, as well. His work has been included in a Phaidon Press anthology of contemporary photography called "Vitamin Ph," among other significant publications. 

photography of empty skatepark concrete rampsEmpty Vessel – Amir Zaki is accompanied by Zaki's first internationally distributed monograph, "California Concrete: A Landscape of Skateparks," published by Merrell Publishers, with essays by the artist, famed skateboarder Tony Hawk, and Los Angeles-based architect Peter Zellner. A multi-page brochure also is available with essays by Corrina Peipon and Tyler Stallings. A limited edition print of a work from the show is available for a tax-deductible donation in support of the exhibition. 

The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College focuses on contemporary visual culture and creates dynamic programming that inspires interaction and dialogue between artists, students, scholars, and local and international communities. 

Concurrent exhibitions in Fall 2019: 

  • "Empty Vessel — Amir Zaki," Sept. 19–Dec. 5, Main Gallery
  • "Renovation Clay: Brittany Mojo & Jackie Rines," Sept. 5–Oct. 10, Project Gallery
  • "Flag, Sail, Wing: New Collages by Richard Kraft," Oct. 24–Dec. 5, Project Gallery 


Admission is free for all exhibitions. Hours for "Empty Vessel – Amir Zaki" are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and First Saturdays, Noon until 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Fridays and school holidays in Fall 2019. 

The Doyle is located next to OCC's Parking Lot D, off Merrimac Way, building 180, between Starbucks and the Art Center classrooms. For additional information, call (714) 432-5738, or visit The Doyle website