When it comes to tracking down LA’s most promising new artists, we’ll confess: South Central isn’t our usual stomping ground. Far from the mural-clad walls of the Arts District, Scott Hove’s newly adopted neighborhood lies adjacent to the University of Southern California amidst a sprawl of run-down warehouses. To be honest, if I hadn’t arranged to meet him here, I never would have thought to wonder what creative alchemy might be happening behind these blocks of red brick.
But that’s the beauty of discovery, isn’t it? A renewed commitment to suspending one’s disbelief, to entertaining the possibility that nothing is quite what it seems.
Hove greets me with his dog, Kona, and a warning to “watch out for the rabbit.” Looking around his live/work studio, it’s immediately apparent that this is no poseur’s “art loft.” It’s too messy for that—in a good way. To our right stands a mirrored installation chamber; to our left, a massive worktable topped with half-finished, stiletto-topped cake sculptures and a gleaming pair of switchblades. Directly in front of us is The Slayer, a coin-operated carnival ride in the form of a stud-and-leather-clad lion. And behind it, I make out Cake Vault, a lush grotto of pink and white confections. At this point, it might be helpful to explain that Scott Hove is known among his peers as “thecake guy:” a mixed-media artist creating fake cakes out of cardboard, acrylic, and silicone, and combining them with found items like fangs, blades, high-heels, and other artifacts as a means bywhich to explore the juxtaposition of beauty and comfortwith the darker themes—oligarchy,violence, and hypocrisy—that pervade his work.
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