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Sunday, August 17, 2014


Elias Telles

August 2-30, 2014

The Good Luck Gallery
945 Chung King Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Elias Telles proudly represents himself as an American whose family has been here since 1795.  He served his country as a Marine in the Vietnam War.  As a daughter of a WWII veteran, I understand the pride of fighting for your country and the importance of patriotism by the young men we send off to war away from the warmth of their loved ones.  Telles continues to express his love for America and the diversity that keeps our country in constant flux and growth through his artwork.  

Telles has only been painting for a little more than ten years.  He said he woke up one morning and wanted to start painting. He was fortunate to listen to his epiphany.  His work has a naive style, but his autobiographical messages are considerate of his family members, teachers, historical figures, politics, and interpretations of his dreams.  He said his mother and his teachers where the people who most inspired him in his life.  At the gallery, during our interview, he showed me a painting that was dedicated to his high school literature teacher Miss Cartmel.  She introduced him to theater by taking his class to see The Glass Menagerie. The value of this creative experience continues to work its magic on Telles.  Miss Cartmel is portrayed as a "school marm" from the late nineteenth century.  Like many of his paintings- time is a state of mind.  One of the healing properties of his art is that he can time travel on a paint soaked paintbrush and give his lifelong connections a memorable audience.

 I was curious about how he survived Vietnam.  He said that he didn't think about it that much anymore.    However, "once a Marine always a Marine".  His creative surge is a partner in  keeping him grounded.  Telles at times has fearful dreams that are centered around turbulent bodies of water.  In Self-Portrait he portrays himself as a thumbnail image in a red shirt standing precariously on a sand bar.  His courage and tenacity are powerful against the ominous viridian  sea and tempestuously choreographed waves. Even though he is a speck in the middle of the sea, he stands upright and redefines the importance and value of each individual.  Telles' bravery as a young Marine is now exemplified in his paintings.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Little Death-Petite Mors Jouissance

curated by Tucker Neel
July 27-September 7, 2014
Roundtable Discussion: August 24, 2014, 5-7pm

Featuring :
Nancy Baker Cahill, Kiki Seror, John Weston

Little Death-Petite Mors Jouissance

Kiki Seror- "A Phial Where Memory and a Soul Flashes Into Future Lives; Finding Time Again," 2014 (detail) (The Private Pleasure of John Holmes, l983)
477 C-prints each 4"x6" Installation dimensions variable
Edition of 5

I was once told by an art therapist that kids were sexual beings.  Kiki Seror's photographic installations are based on her childhood interest in pornography of the 1970's and l980's.  Her first introduction was keenly her parents porno stash.  Seror's brave honesty, regarding her early sexual experiences, creates an open field for the viewing public to make allowances for their own childhood sexual peccadillos. Each installations consists of approximately 430-520  photograph stills taken while viewing pre-digital pornographic movies.  These movies are from the days of "Beta-max" and "VHS".  The installations as sexual foreplay, methodically and patiently produce cerebral orgasms. Seror referred to an orgasm as a "little death"- "petite mors jouissance",

There is a similarity to Gerhard Richter's "blurred" photographs and paintings.  Richter said that blurring images made " everything equally important and equally unimportant" and blurring also made "all the parts a closer fit".  Seror's photographs blur in and out of focus making some of the images identifiable and others left to the imagination.  Like Richter the images vary in "importance" and "un-importance" and their grid format produce a unified field-"a closer fit".

Nancy Baker Cahill-"Virgil No. 20", 2014
Graphite on paper, 70"x55"

Nancy Baker Cahill's graphite gestural drawings where born out of Cahill's re-entry into making art.  She said that she had been away from her art practice for a little more than ten years.  She began by making a drawing each day in a sketch book.  The exhibition contains a book of her daily drawings in addition to large scale drawings on paper.  These drawings are simply displayed unframed and pinned to the gallery walls.  Cahill's presentation defines her need to be intimately involved with her work-which she named "conceptual intimacy".  During our  interview I asked her how her work fit into the "explicit imagery" category.  My imagination went to "pubic hair".  She said that the "id was in charge".  Cahill called her drawings "erotic landscapes" with a fair amount of ambiguity.  Her simple elements of paper and graphite can produce aggressive marks that exceed the boundaries of her physical body.  She continued to describe her process as "viscera at work"-searching ceremonially and experiencing a range of emotions.

John Weston- "Spare The Rod, 2013

John Weston shares Seror's focus on genitalia.   There are multi-cultural influences in his work. He includes his personal travel experiences of Japan and Japanese imagery from art films and comic books.  Many of his patterns also originate from Navajo and Mexican pottery.  He expressed an interest in the "vernacular"-the everyday patterns as seen in Native American, Mexican, Islamic as well as Psychedelic, Pop and Op art.  The complementary colors create vibrations that could be associated with an "orgasm".  The stylized representation of the phallus and the vagina are reminiscent of Indian-Hindu religious interpretations of the Yoni and the Lingum. The union of these two symbols are representative of the eternal process of creation and regeneration.  Weston spoke of "stylized sexuality" which "vascelates" to a more "literal" context.  The same is true of the sculptural interpretations of the Yoni and Lingum .  The Yoni can be an abstract of Shakti and Devi the creative life force (feminine) and the Lingum-the generative power of the Lord Siva (male).

Installation shot of the three artists at CB-1 Gallery

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Daniel Rolnik (Curator) and Simone Gad (artist)
August 2-29, 2014

121 E. Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

Currently at Flower Pepper Gallery is a group exhibition of over 50 artists working in North America.  The show exhibits a variety of styles that complement the artists that were selected by curator Daniel Rolnik.

Daniel Rolnik and Susan Feldman Tucker (participating artist)

Simone Gad and her artwork

Monday, August 4, 2014


Curated by Kelly Thompson
FEATURING: Alice Bag, Diane Gamboa, Meg Madison, Shizu Saldamando, 
                         Lorraine Scognamillo, Kelly Thompson, Sashkio Yuen

August 2-12, 2014

Coagula Curatorial
974 Chung King Rd
Chinatown, Los Angeles,CA 90012

Diane Gamboa's mixed media baby entitled "Mutation" 2014, defines the show of seven woman who are supporting each other with perseverence of  their creative missions. Gamboa has been on the art scene since the seventies. As an artist/feminist/punk practitioner, she is a standing influence on young artists who emulate her work and lifestyle. Gamboa once said that Punk Rock saved her life. Her participation in this group exhibition demonstrates the nuturing  power of the punk ideal on Gamboa and the other women in the exhibition. 

Alice Bag, the lead singer of The Bags, the infamous Punk rock Los Angeles band of the late seventies, is a childhood friend and colleague of Gamboa. This is Bag's first art exhibition which exhibits her portrait paintings and showcased her musical talents as "Punk royality" on opening night.  The seeds for this exhibition are demonstrated by the work of Shizu Saladmando, a prolific painter and exemplary tattoo artist who is influenced by Bag, Gamboa, fringe and the neo-punk community. 

Meg Madison's Letters to Mother are a psychological and contemporary exploration of reaching completion with her mother. Madison also shares her experienced journey with the other women in the exhibition, Kelly Thompson (curator), Lorraine Scognamillo, and SashikoYuen.

Alice Bag Portrait & Diane Gamboa's pre-installation flowers

Kelly Thompson (curator and artist)

Alice Bag Portraits

Alice Bag, Diane Gamboa, Shizu Saldamando

Opening night of "Heads Will Roll"


Shizu Saldamando