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Friday, December 28, 2012

Whisper Pitch- Doni Silver Simons

Doni Silver Simons-featured in the project room:

November 10, 2012-January 15, 2013

The Loft at Liz's
453 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323-939-4403 ext. 6

Main Gallery:
Andy Moses, Mike Street, Robert Mack, Linda Vallejo, Zadik Zadikian, Stuart Kusher,
Guillermo Bert, Lisa Bartleson, Suzan Woodruff, Ching Ching Cheng

The interaction and communication between audience and art are "gold" to me.  Whisper Pitch
is my response to the invitation to create work based on the themes of "gold and alchemy" for this exhibition.
Whisper Pitch represents the alchemical transformation of elemental into complex.  Utilizing a drawn line, the most basic component of art, this work explores the magic of marking.  The piece begins with my single drawing horizontal line.  Throughout Whisper Pitch, guests are invited to also draw a single horizontal line.  The culmination is a drawing comprised of multiple lines, side by side and intertwined.
Each individual mark becomes encoded within this web creating the symphonic voice of a communal work.
Doni Silver Simons

I was able to interview Doni on the phone and also in person at the gallery space.  Doni's current interactive-drawing-installation-performance investigates the formal issues of line from literal to conceptual to ethereal.  A scroll of paper surrounds the installation space on three walls.  Doni invites individual gallery visitors to choose a drawing tool such as charcoal sticks, pencils, and oil sticks.  They are asked to make a continual mark along the three walls.  Each person creates marks based on their height. 

When Doni interacts with each person she stresses that Whisper Pitch is not about making art.  What is paramount is being present.  Doni continued to say that " as a person is present-the residual was the mark...".  This concept of leaving residual marks existed since Doni was a child.  She frequently spent time on the beach playfully dragging a stick on the sand.  As Doni reached her destination, she would turn and absorb the emphemeral marks that were a component of her journey. 

Doni had participants express loss of ego and become "the collective symphony of voices".   There have been heartfelt demonstrations of tears and expressions of "feeling human".  Whisper Pitch is reduced to the basic essentials of drawing lines.  These lines have unified numerous visitors which continue to move and have an impact far beyond the installation walls that currently house Whisper Pitch.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

the earth is round yet we divide it into squares

galleRoy @ RiT

New and recent works by:

June Diamond
Nader Ghassemlou
Gabriela Perozo
Roy Anthony Shabla

RiT Gallery
15866 E. Main St.
La Puente, CA 91744

opening : November 17, 2012 (Old Town La Puente Artwalk)

Roy Anthony Shabla's - Water Music in the background of the punk band that played as part of
the La Puente Artwalk.
Roy Anthony Shabla is the curator and participant in this group show.  The title and premise for the exhibition is based on one of Shabla's poems and his life as a feng-shui yogi.  In feng-shui the round and the square signify heaven on earth.  Shabla was dealing with "earth aspects" as the metaphor for the artists that were chosen for the exhibition. 
Ghassemlou's photographs were described by Shabla as having a "skewed perspective".   Each of the photographs for the show pulls the viewer into the on-going energy in the shot. Shabla described Ghassemlou's selected photographs as "earth images with man-made structures around them-landscapes and buildings-squares and round things".
June Diamond's wall installation, Go (7' x 11') consists of hundreds of slivered tequila bottles which are cleverly linked by a small opening in each shape.  Diamond conceptually adheres to Shabla's "earth aspects" by abstracting the malleability of materials.  Go exhibits the periodic table of Silicon. The glass from the tequila bottles is obliquely returning to its elemental origins.  Human skeletons and plant ashes contain silica.  Diamond reminds us of our cellular connections.  Additionally, Gestation harbors a bird's nest in a sanctuary of a re-purposed aluminum chair.  The design of the metal chair, square acrylic casing and hand-made glass bowl, exalt the nest to reliquary.
Gabriela Perozo's Encadenada I (porcelain, 21"x 7"),  parallels Diamond's installation with continuous lines of clay highlighted by floral cups sprouting throughout the form.  The spiral forms, in each cup shape, relate to sub-atomic images of organic matter existing in their own micro-galaxies. The word encadenada in Spanish refers to being chained.  Perhaps Perozo's work references the dichotomy of nature needing to "link" to survive and wanting to become independent from metaphoric throngs.
Roy Anthony Shabla included two large scale paintings; Water Music and Grand Canyon Suite.   These paintings are conceived by pouring paint on canvas on the floor.  By working in this manner, Shabla replicates his experiences of aerial views of the earth via airplanes.  He poetically stated his experiences as;  "...when I look out the window of the airplane flying over the farm fields and the property- our property is all rectangles and squares but the earth is always round...I was working with that juxtaposition...".
The exhibition at RiT gallery will be on display for the next two months. 
Nader Ghassemlou

Gabriela Perozo -Encadenada
June Diamond- Go
June Diamond- Gestation
Roy Anthony Shabla- Grand Canyon Suite

Friday, November 23, 2012

What's Left Behind (oil on canvas, 84"x84") 2012
November 1 - December 1, 2012

William Turner Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave. E-1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
What's Left Behind Works
Carole Bayer Sayer's recent work is filled with imageries of our childhood sweet treats like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, popcorn, caramel corn and peanuts.   She said that as a child she was not aloud to have these treats because she was considered "chubby".  Sayer said her mother would never have offered her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Even though on one level these paintings could be about childhood issues with food, Sayer stated that the images for this exhibition where not originally designed to document these experiences. 
Sayer discussed her approach of viewing objects and things from a micro and macro perspective.  She photographs her images and begins to slowly view them close-up to create abstract paintings.  For Sayer the cropped element equals "questioning".  She surveys her images for the answers that, in this case, became the visual components for her current series.  Sayer snugly tugs at our salivary glands with luscious dripping jelly in Drippy and Kid's Delight and continues to satiate our "drawer-strings" with images of warm sepia caramel biomorphically sinking into the popcorn.
Visual artists journal their experiences with paint and other mediums.  Sayer is able to enjoy her childhood treats by curating each one in a painting.  Through her creativity she is able to abstract the past into various morsels and tidbits of nostalgia. Sayer allows her audience to delight with the whimsical memories associated in these delectable treats.
One of the first things I asked Sayer during our interview was how she felt about "Hostess" going out of business.  She said she had just spent $23.00 on some "Twinkies" and
"Ho-Ho's" but wasn't sure if they were going to be part of her new series.  However, she was motivated to make the small investment.
                                            Kid's Delight (oil on canvas, 48"x 48") 2012
Avalanche (oil on canvas, 48"x 48") 2012
Galaxy (oil on canvas, 84" x 84") 2012


Big Pop (oil on canvas, 84" x 84") 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holly Tempo-Inglewood Open Studios-Nov 10-11, 2012


Holly Tempo was featured at the Inglewood Open Studios.
from Tempo's artist's statement:

"The paintings are informed by an exploration of the semiotics of color, decoration and macro and micro systems in environments.  The artist has shown extensively in Southern California and internationally.  She is a recipient of a grant from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation and teaches at Otis College of Art and Design.  www.hollytempocom

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wendell Wiggins

Current Paintings
Dysonna City Art Gallery
July 7-30, 2012
5373 Wilshire Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Donna Dyson, Director

Wendell Wiggins and June Diamond

Wendell Wiggins' current exhibition of his paintings languish between ancestoral connections and contemporary heart beats. Wendell is a multi-faceted artist who rides the reins of many horses: painter, graphic designer, photographer and illustrated (+).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tim Youd "Coney Island of the Mind"

Coagula Curatorial
977 Chung King Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90012
April 21-June 3, 2012

The Mount Rushmore of Cunt

Tim Youd's artwork is part of the maiden voyage of Mat Gleason's new gallery-Coagula Curatorial.  His crudely designed contraptions express post-pubescent memories enhanced by the writings of Henry Miller and Philip Roth.  Both of these writers are successful for their candid interpretations of sexuality and their devotion to the "c" word.  "Cunt" is boldy written on Youd's mixed-media scupltures and non-verbally exhibited in his 8' "cunt" drawings. The drawings and the sculptures are abstractions and transmissions of Youd's primal instinct.  He perpetuates the cultivation of his "id" with every stroke of the pencil.

The marks on the drawings appear to be streams of consciousness directing the artist back and forth in time. One thing is for sure-we've all experienced at least one vagina.  Returning to our mother's womb is the desire to experience paradise and safety once again.  Youd's creative impluses are equal to experiencing a return to our intrauterine homeland.

"I have found God, but he is insufficient." (Henry Miller-Tropic of Cancer)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From Lebrun to Paul McCarthy

January 21-May 20, 2012
Pasadena Museum of California Art

There is an overwhelming solidarity by the forty-one artists exhibiting at the LA RAW exhibition.  Many of the artists have long-standing relationships with eachother.  The major focus of Abject Expressionism begins in the entry of the exhibition with Jack Zajac's monumental sculpture entitled, Descent from the Cross (1955).  The viewers are reminded of the torture and humiliation that Christ on the cross symbolizes.  The larger than life Christ sculpture exemplifies punishment and agonizing pain in his sinuous appendages.  He also resembles the emaciated Holocaust survivors seen in news reels of World War II.

To the left of the main room Rico Lebrun's Magdaline (1950) and John Paul Jones' Ronk's Woman (1964), co-exist on opposite sides of the room.  Magdaline an "abject woman" by reputation and rumor is also known as a devoted disciple of Jesus.  She was a witness to the crucifixion, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus.  As a patron saint of repentant sinners, Lebrun's image represents a stalwart woman facing her critics directly and profoundly visceral.  Additionally, women found near battlefields, are often prostitutes who help ease the soldiers' pain during their furloughs.  Jones' Ronk's Woman (1964) can represent a wife, mother, lady of the evening, and the illusions men experience in battle.  The scale of the work is a concentrated effort of heartache. The atmospheric quality centered on a solitary woman, waiting on the edge of the bed, stresses how women are expected to virtuously "wait" until their men return from war.  Jones' painting is the "mastaba" of the exhibition-"a bench of mud", basic, solid and grounded.  Also this female image is a subtle and acute feminist statement that eminates throughout the exhibition. 

Judy Chicago's Red Flag (1971) displays an aggressive symbol of the differences between men and women.  The graphic imagery of menstral blood is loud and clear for womens' rights. But what remains the same between the sexes is the blood soaked flags that are raised during wartime.  Bloodshed is inevitable during an siege.

Hans Burkhardt's My Lai (1968)  is a vestige of the horrors of war.  Cobblestones of skulls narrate the atrocities of the Vietnam War.  The images on Burkhardt's painting are replays that were brought into our homes on the nightly news.  It has been written many times that the exposure of war on television has diminished the shock value for the general public.  This over-exposure does not immunize us but instead infiltrates the television viewers with the trauma. It becomes "post-tramatic stress disorder" by association.

The exhibition is entitled from Lebrun to Paul McCarthy.  McCarthy's work focuses on using the human body as an art medium.  Like Jackson Pollack's action paintings McCarthy's performance piece, where he whips the gallery windows and walls with paint soaked rags, marks time and movement.  With every "whip" he created super-imposed "Rorshasch" images that continually stimulate our visual senses.  He's the "Abject Sisyphus"" painting his way uphill.  Michael Duncan stated that he coined the phrase "Abject Expressionism".  Paul McCarthy embodies the term with permanent and empheral marks.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Karla Klarin "Oceanscapes"

Schomburg Gallery
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave #E3A
Santa Monica, CA 90404

February 25-March 21, 2012

by Sandra Vista

Chris Chop (oil on canvas) 40"x72"

Ocean Study #3 (oil on canvas) 12"x20" (sold)

Ocean Study #1 (oil on canvas) 22"x24"

Karla Klarin's recent exhibition at Schomburg Gallery encompasses forty years of her practice.  Klarin's previous work at Schomburg focused on the architecture of the Ocean Park neighborhoods of Santa Monica.  These paintings are looking even further  westward to the Pacific Ocean.  Klarin paints her familiar surroundings by using what she calls her "eccentric code".  Klarin breaksdown the surface of the canvas into fissures of color that modulate the light and form of her oceanscapes. 

There is an obvious connection with "Cubism" in Klarin's paintings as seen in the intersecting angles and the multitude of viewpoints that intensify the subject matter.  Klarin has spent years studying the ocean waves of Santa Monica.  Her paintings demonstrate her knowledge of how the exchange of energy between the water molecules creates an ocean of crisscrossed waves traveling in various directions.  Each painting is fractured and fragmented  into various intersecting wavelengths.  The crests of the waves are elevated in some areas forming sharp edges.  In addition, the troughs are delineated as deep space with a series of overlapping shapes and revealing layers of color.  And also quite prevalent are drips throughout the paintings which exude Klarin's command of her painting techniques and her courageous use of color.

Klarin spoke of her influences of Aztec and Mayan ruins.  She stated that in l970 she made a journey to see the ruins and was motivated to create paintings based on her familial neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley.  Her signature techniques continued throughout the l980's when she moved to downtown Los Angeles and focused on the "ruins" of the city skyline.  Currently,  the reminiscing shadows that are cast and integrated into the Aztec and Mayan ruins continue to inhabit Klarin's paintings.  The Pacific Ocean provides the visual clay for Klarin to interpret the various fragmented forms of the waves and imprint her inspirational journey.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

AFTER THE GOLDRUSH: Reflections and Postcripts on the National Chicano Moratorium of August 29, 1970

curated by Vincent Ramos

Vincent Price Museum
East Los Angeles College
Small Gallery
September 16, 2011-December 16, 2011

                              Diego J. Garza (Silver Dollar (ruinas) 2011
On the Corner
by Sandra Vista

Vincent Ramos curated an exhibition at Vincent Price Museum in the fall of 2011 which spotlighted the National Chicano Moratorium of August 29, 1970 and the death of Mexican-American journalist, Ruben Salazar.  The Chicano Moratorium was an anti-war movement during the Vietnam War.  Ramos' artwork centers on remembering, and continually unfurling the mind, body and soul of the Vietnam War era.  Born in l973, Ramos' involvement with the Vietnam War began in the womb.  His uncle Forrest Lee Ramos, who was killed in Vietnam in l967, became part of his character building legacy.  This legacy also speaks to the Mexican-American families of Los Angeles county.  The After the Goldrush exhibition appropriately invited a group of "cross-generational" artists working in various mediums.  Some of the exhibiting artists like: Will Herron III, John Valadez, Ruben Guevara, and Judithe Hernandez, had first-hand experience with the Chicano Moratorium.

Diego J. Garza's Silver Dollar (ruinas) 2011, served as an essential metaphor of a historical moment influenced by war and the impaling force of grief on mankind.  In a photograph Garza's ruinas seemed monumental in scale.  However, in real life it occupied a small corner of the gallery.  As an abstraction of the tragedy that occurred at the Silver Dollar Cafe in East Los Angeles in l970, Garza gives us something tangible to remind us of the death of Ruben Salazar and all the other people who lived to tell the story of August 29, 1970.

Judithe Hernandez' painting-collage entitled Mekong Ollamalitzi 2011, integrates the Mexican and Vietnamese culture. The horses rustling in terror can almost be heard reverberating off the canvas.  At times they appear mechanical like "war horses" on the battlefield.  At other times, they seem to be harbingers of future bloodshed.  
 Ollamalitzi, an Aztec ball game, linked with Mekong, fuses the cultures and reminds the viewers of the overwhelming contribution of Mexican-American soldiers that served in Vietnam.  War is like a "ball game" where many are destined to lose.

Hernandez' painting was in the entrance of the gallery.  The design of the exhibition consisted of walls that surrounded the center of the gallery.  The viewers were gingerly compelled to walk along the walls observing the various works dedicated to the moratorium.  There was a vigil-like atmosphere expressed by the creative contribution of the artists.  Additionally, there was an extensive amount of photography that served as documentation and portraiture.  Isabel Avila L. Rodriquez included a photograph of a Brown Beret.  The prophetic figure is seated on a metal folding chair at an outdoor event.  He is prepared for the day's events holding two ceremonial wooden instruments decorated with Aztec symbols and his brown beret uniform. He establishes a mixture of his cultures-Mexican and American.  Ramos' referencing of Neil Young's song, After the Goldrush, can be understood in this photograph.  The Brown Beret has a timeless presence.  The past, present and future that has been defined in Young's song exists behind the soldier's sunglasses. He is saying: "I 'm here-don't forget me-there's more to be done."  Was he "... lying in a burnt out basement..."? Was he "...hoping for a replacement..."?  Did this Brown Beret experience the brutalities of the Vietnam War?

Young's After the Gold Rush, was released soon after the moratorium.  It intentionally became the soundtrack for this exhibition.  There were two Postcripts for the show in which there were artists' talks and performances.  I was privileged to be present on September 29, 2011 during the performance of Felicia Montes and the readings by Ruben Guevara.  I came in at the tail end of Felicia Montes' captivating performance but I was able to experience all of Guevara's poetry.  One of Guevara's readings focused on the 10th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium.  The poem written on August 29, 1980 entitled: Whittier Boulevard is Still Bleeding, was written as a tribute to Ruben Salazar and as a response to the closing of Whittier Boulevard to cruising.  Part of the poem goes as follows:

      August 29, 1970
Sirens singing, Sheriffs dancing
To a street song of death
They cut the tongue
They killed the will
They closed the boulevard
Silver Dollar shootout
LA Times journalist

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Time Being Thrown In

Moshe' Elimelech
Geometric Geographics
Jan 7-Feb 11, 2012
990 N. Hill #205
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Moshe'  Elimelech's current watercolor series at L2Kontemporary in Chinatown represent individual cross sections of time and energy.  Each watercolor's vertical format consists of bands of subtle color that can be deciphered as ephemeral moments of the artist's creative thoughts.  The energy of his creative thoughts flickers along in chips of color.  The combination of all the formal components-the lines that draw everything together, can be read and played musically.

The timely absorption and saturation of the watercolor documents Elimelech's concern for the importance of craftsmanship and its contribution to the creation of each artwork.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Moshe' Elimelech

L2 Kontemporary
990 N. Hill St #205
Los Angeles, CA 90021
opening : Jan 7, 2012
review to follow

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lisa Adams-Paradise Notwithstanding

Paradise Notwithstanding 2011

CB1 Gallery
207 W. 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
December 11, 2011-January 15, 2012

Bellwether Species

by Sandra Vista

Lisa Adams current paintings of her personal paradise are like a bullet proof vest.  There are signs of protection in the beauty of flora, fauna, and fluffy clouds.  There is serenity in flat areas of color.  But as the title, Paradise Notwithstanding, suggests we have to be prepared for the inevitable.  The individual worlds in each painting are devoid of shadows even though there are objects being illuminated.  Shadows serve as locators and indicators of objects and things.  Without them the artist is not constrained by time or place.  As Adams stated in her artist's statement for the exhibition: "My paradise is broke, melancholic, maybe, but beautiful nevertheless. It's a place that makes me feel comfortable."

The titles of the paintings are clues for Adams' interpretation of her paradise.  By definition, a "generic" paradise consists of a landscape filled with orchards of flowers, exotic birds, and various species of animals communing under the shade of amorous trees.  Adams' paintings limit the imageries to solitary figures such as solemn bird portraits or pairs of objects, as seen in the thistle blooming flowers in Paradise Notwithstanding and the vandalized cottonwood trees in Made in the USA.  These images appear portentous in terms of ecology and the future of our planet. The Bellwether Exchange characterizes a warning to preserve plots of land.  The land is exalted and the grasses partially protected by a dome reminiscent of a "bio-dome" and hot house.

Adams' paintings are "melancholic" and they also continue to engage in abstraction with monochromatic colors and patterns.  The montage style of the paintings stresses Adams' cerebral process of creating the work.  Each color, object, texture are methodically retrieved and placed.  What is inside Adams' head is projected on the canvases.

Made in the USA

The Bellwether Exchange