Archive for January, 2009
Unbeknownst to SIMPSONS fans, it seems that that BART (aka: voice actor NANCY CARTWRIGHT) is a confirmed SCIENTOLOGIST and is now "auditing" at Thetan Level VII. At least that's the scoop fellow Scientologists got when they received this Cartwright-voiced "robocall" in support of her upcoming speaking engagement for the "religion." Looks like Matt & Trey just got enough raw material to make an entire new season of South Park out of. Fun fact: Cartwright—who earns $400K per Simpsons episode) was granted Scientology's Patron Laureate Award after donating $10 million to the faith in 2007 (the "religion's" second-in-command Tom Cruise only coughs up $5 mil)...
Supertouch homie NECK FACE may have abandoned NYC for the warm climes of his native California earlier this month, but he left a formidable trail of visual destruction as a reminder nonetheless. Fanboys and girls needn't worry, however, Nasty Neck's up to plenty of no good in the LA hood this week, stay tuned to ST for updates. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More
It really does seem like only yesterday that ripping surfer chick and art connoisseur MARSEA GOLDBERG opened the doors to her NEW IMAGE ART GALLERY. In that time the West Hollywood hotspot has been a home (oftentimes literally) to a vast array of the underground art world's young upstarts and a proven incubator for talent that has nurtured the careers of Ed Templeton, Clare Rojas, Jo Jackson, Judith Supine, Tauba Auerbach, Matt Leines, Jeff Soto, Taylor McKimens, Chris Johanson, Phil Frost, Jordin Isip, The Date Farmers, David Ellis, Barry McGee, Ashley Macomber, Os Gemeos, Neck Face and Thomas Campbell, to name a few, all of whom are among the contributors to "15 Years," the space's impressive celebratory group show that opened on Saturday nite. Of course, LA's hipster elite turned out in full force to help mark the occasion, bolstered no doubt by a special live performance by rippers NO AGE and an endless supply of free booze. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
In a move seemingly engineered to break the brains of conservatives, BARACK OBAMA made good on his "Change" platform this week by granting his first official interview as president to the Saudi owned Arab news network Al Arabiya. The move was an overt show of good faith to Muslims worldwide, one that serves as a starting point for the long process of repairing America's badly damaged public image at the hands of his predecessor. Explaining this unprecedented outreach Obama explained, "Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Criticizing the Bush administration's "War on Terror" as ineffective, Obama said "The language we use matters. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down. But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship ... What I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith—and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers—regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams. And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.” Shocking stuff indeed given the lingering shadow of last eight years. On the topic of Arab Israeli relations, Obama declared "I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away ... All too often the United States starts by dictating—in the past on some of these issues—and we don't always know all the factors that are involved. So let's listen." Looks like those campaign posters weren't just all rhetoric after all. Read the full transcript HERE.
If OBAMA's inauguration took your breath away, these reader-submitted experiments in tattooing should leave you speechless...
Here we have our first sneek peek at one of MARK DEAN VECA's new wall paintings for his retrospective show opening this Thursday, January 29th at the UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY/UCSD. Providing a comprehensive overview of the Shreveport, Louisiana native & current Altadena resident's creative oeuvre, "Mark Dean Veca: Painting, Wall Drawings and Collaborations" chronicles the diversity of the painter's career from his early drawings and monochrome paintings to his creative collaborations with Nike, KAWS, Ford, and Burton Snowboards, before arriving at a selection of the artist's stunning new work. The show will feature two intensely detailed wall paintings indoors & out exhibiting his signature style of graphic assault. In the words of curator Steve Mitchell, “Veca works in the meticulous tradition of the fresco painter to produce an image that paradoxically evokes the immediacy of the graffiti artist.” Keep an eye on ST for more MDV updates soon...
The tattoo world's Michelangelo, SHAWN BARBER has extended his old school painting chops to the political scene with this commissioned portrait of BARACK OBAMA for the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Gracing the cover of their Tuesday, January 22nd inauguration edition, the move was a bold one for the traditionalist rag that furthers the mainstream embrace of underground artists in the name of Barack almighty. Not only is the Big O leading the charge toward economic and political recovery these days, he seems to be sparking an art world revolution in the process. Of course, this time next year the printed newspaper might just be a thing of the past.
It'll be a rainy nite in LA this Saturday, but two shows are more than worthy of bundling up for on January 24:
NEW IMAGE ART "15 Years" celebrates the lifespan of this West Hollywood underground art institution that has helped birth the careers of a vast array of talent in its time, including Neck Face, Barry McGee, Rich Jacobs, Thomas Campbell, Ashley Macomber, Kelsey Brookes, Misaki Kawaii, The Date Farmers, and the Clayton Brothers, whose work, among others, will help celebrate the space. A special musical performance by No Age is not to be missed.
*7910 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood
CHAZ BOJORQUEZ "Graff Since '69" traces the oeuvre of LA's most important and vital graffiti writer and painter whose iconic skulls, "Señor Suerte" tag, and gorgeous lettering style have literally defined the genre for a legion of followers like Retina, and Mr. Cartoon. Doubling as Chaz' 60th Birthday celebration, the opening is sure to be an epic occasion.
*530 South Hewitt Street, Suite 141, Downtown LA
Having mastered the so-called "Lowbrow" aesthetic perfected in the 1980s & '90s by his artistic forebear Robert Williams (who also named the genre), LA-based painter VAN ARNO has expanded upon the traditionally noir West Coast style to modernize the genre with an approach that is both refined and distinct. Like his contemporary brother-in-arms Todd Schorr, Van Arno spent years studying “Lowbrow's” meticulous vernacular, ultimately mastering its "girls, guns, and ghouls" iconography before streamlining it in a style he can call his own. Currently on display at JUSTIN GIARLA's venerable SHOOTING GALLERY in San Francisco is Arno's "The Boogie Disease," featuring a dozen new paintings characterized by the artist's dynamic compositions and dramatic figurative rendering that has become his trademark. Having been demoted by the modern trends of "street art" and more cartoony, illustration-based painting, Arno's genre remains alive in his work, a fact that will doubtlessly secure the artist's position as a legitimate elder statesman of the movement when it’s ultimately rediscovered by a new wave of fresh-faced voyeurs in years to come. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Artist, musician, vintage clothes horse, and curator AARON ROSE—best known for his traveling genre show "Beautiful Losers"—is no stranger to tears. With a band called The Sads, it comes as no surprise that his current show of painted objects—his first solo exhibition since 1992—should be called "Born to Cry." Installed at Echo Park's promising HOPE GALLERY, the show sees Rose's Mexican art influences channeled on the surfaces of a diverse array of stuff, from guitars, chairs, and suitcases to table lamps and tables themselves. Color is key in Rose's work, and the palette here radiates warmth, belying the sorrowful messaging (ie: "Too many teardrops for one heart") of his slogan-driven work. Affordable as the day is long, it's the perfect show to crack open the wallet at to bring a dose of much-needed color into the house in these trying times. HAVE A LOOK: Read More