Supertouch buddy and STAGES NYC co-conspirator JEFFREY DEITCH has announced today that he will accept MoCA's invitation to serve as the museum's director after the LA institution nearly went extinct due to grave financial woes in recent years (board member for life Eli Broad bailed them out, luckily). Even more shocking than that bombshell is the atomic bomb blast of a newsbreak that Jeffrey will be closing down his entire DEITCH GALLERY empire that currently ties together and dominates the entire downtown NYC art scene. "I'm just going to stop all commercial activity. The gallery will be over," he told the LA Times.
The home to vital young talents like Aurel Schmidt, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Rosson Crow, and Chris Johanson, the loss of the gallery will be an enormous blow to the downtown art world, a large part of which currently orbits around Deitch's sun. Rumor has it, however, that JD is seriously considering transferring parts of the business to some of his partners & employees.
The biggest source of contention over Deitch's appointment, however, lies with the fact that he is an art dealer (with a large personal art collection) running an art museum who could conceivably use his position to better his own financial standings. Deitch told the LA Times, "Lots of people are going to be concerned and looking, and all their comments are important. What I hope is I'll eventually be seen as an actual individual, not as some abstraction -- an art dealer running a museum ... I have to exercise good judgment and be appropriate," he said. "Would I arrange an exhibition that features a major work I'm thinking of selling? Absolutely not, because that's not appropriate."
Listen to Jeffrey Deitch's NPR interview HERE.
Read the entire LA Times article HERE.
We recently paid sincere homage to our dearly departed amigo SHAWN MORTENSEN in the pages of ST, and Hollywood institution UNDFTD has just unveiled a fitting tribute in the Hollywood skyline with this image of Shawn on one of his many trips to Africa. Rest in peace homie. You are gone, but not forgotten...
Photo by Jupiter
It is truly with a heavy heart that we must break the news that one of Supertouch's dear friends, photographer SHAWN MORTENSEN, passed away last nite. A kinetic force of optimism and seemingly limitless positive energy, Shawn's hearty career as a photojournalist and artist took him around the world several times over, unselfishly spreading his endless supply of good vibes as he went. Particularly renowned for his portraits of musicians, artists, and entertainers, Shawn photographed a stunning array of pop culture demigods in his 20+ year career including...Read More
Beijing-born and Queens, NY-based Chinese artist YI CHEN is a rising force in the world of modern figurative painting. His newest show "Beaut-Esque" that opened its doors at Culver City hotspot HONOR FRASER GALLERY this Saturday nite was full of gorgeous, color-dense examples of his playful and expert signature style full of playful references the modern masters (Picasso and Hockney spring immediately to mind), and loads of painting chops to spare. The artist uses culturally mediated images from advertisements and fashion magazines as inspiration for his work and sees his paintings and collages as metaphors for hybrid, mutated concepts of beauty borne from a global popular culture. This concept of hybridization and mutation formulate a tense balance in his work, combining enticing beauty and repelling grotesqueries that result in magnetic paintings. Chen begins his creative process by assembling collages of human (and sometimes mammalian) facial features cut out from popular fashion magazines. These collages of perfect/imperfect specimens are the foundation of his work. Like an artistic scientist, he disregards race, gender and age and selects individual characteristics and reconstructs them to form a new human species. These collages then become the figurative models for his lushly rendered oil paintings. All art-crawling denizens of the Southland should consider this essential viewing. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
LA might not be ground zero for the next visual renaissance (at least not from how things are looking as of late), but it is home to some solid decorative art. Enter SYLIVA JI who's been painting for some time now in a fun style that might be best described as Nagel Vs. Gustav Klimt on Dia De los Muertos. Her solid new solo exhibition "Haute Eopch" at Culver City's COREY HELFORD GALLERY featuring Ji's usual array of painted doomsday femme fatales opened to a packed house on Saturday nite where the looks made it worth the drive and the ratio of lovely ladies to men was advantageously high. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Unfortunately for the frighteningly stagnant LA art scene most of the great shows of the last few years have been by non-LA artists. Luckily for LA, we get a regular stream of good shows by non-LA artists to keep us happy. The most recent of said exhibitions is by LA-born, but NYC-based painter KEHINDE WILEY whose new collection of figurative masterworks "The World Stage: Brazil" opened this weekend to a packed house at Culver City art hotspot ROBERTS & TILTON GALLERY. Choosing his subjects for this series from the notorious favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Wiley asked each to assume the pose of a local sculptural work on display in the city as a means of interpreting the country's storied colonial history through the images of some of its most vibrant modern inhabitants. The results, as always with KW, were staggering and this new collection of grandiose portraits is exactly the shot in the arm the Southland needs to help kickoff the 2009 gallery season with a fresh breath of colorful optimism. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Underground art stars BARRY McGEE (in the guise of alter ego LYDIA FONG), CLARE ROJAS, and ANDREW JEFFREY WRIGHT came together last weekend at West Hollywood art hotspot NEW IMAGE ART to present the artistic tour-de-force that was their stunning joint "American Realities" exhibition. Punctuated by a comedic performance by Mr. Wright (how many times has he introduced himself to the ladies as such?) and folk singer PEGGY HONEYWELL (who looks an awful lot like Clare Rojas), as well as the mandatory lengthy autograph session by Twisto (with daughter Asha Kilgallen-McGee tagging alongside him like a pro), the scene was one of the highlights of 2009's spring gallery season with an appropriately massive (and sweaty) crowd of admirers to match. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
A lot has changed in the LA underground art world in the last five years. While a frighteningly huge array of marginal painters popped up during the unprecedented art boom of recent times, the rather small contingent of the town's heavyweight talent scaled back, seemingly hiding out until either the false-as-fake-tits art bubble burst or the scene purged itself of wannabe "street artists" and "lowbrow" rejects, or both. Luckily, we're in the process of seeing that last option coming into play and the timing for the re-emergence of one of Hollywood's foremost painters in the form of one Mr. TODD SCHORR couldn't be more welcome. Unveiling "The World We Live In," a small collection of staggering large-scale new works at MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY last weekend, Todd left hanging the collective jaws of his legion of loyal fans that have been wondering where exactly he's been all this time. Dripping with allegory and nearly impossible technical virtuosity, Shorr's new work represents a more streamlined stylistic evolution for the artist who has been flaunting his copious chops in a series of secretly produced massive-scale commissioned works in recent years. While these staggering works have all but secured his mantle as "King of the Brush" in the world of so-called Cartoon Surrealism for years to come, the sheer density of these masterpieces demanded a more minimalistic visual counterpoint, amply provided in Schorr's gorgeous and well focused new work. Hosted by legendary local collector DAVID ARQUETTE with the help of wingmen collectors LEONARDO DiCAPRIO and his father GEORGE DiCAPRIO, the opening recalled the heyday of the late-90s hotbed art scene while simultaneously setting a new high water mark for the town's young artists-in-waiting. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
NIKE has always given 100% of the proceeds from their innovative and comprehensive LIVESTRONG apparel & foorwear collection to the anti-cancer foundation LANCE ARMSTRONG founded in 1997. With their new "Stages" collection designed by JESSE LEYVA, the company has moved to incorporate the cream of the crop of NSW's coveted offerings to expand the reach of a program that has already generated over $10 million for the cause. Kicking off the lineup are reissues of some of sneakerdom's most sought-after DUNK and AIR FORCE 1 releases by FUTURA, MISTER CARTOON, and SO ME, all in the trademark yellow Livestrong colorway. Backing them up are the corresponding AIR MAX PACK (Ones, 90s, and 180s), the new hybrid EVERYDAY LUNAR RACER, the CUTTERS PACK TIEMPO created especially for urban fixed gear cyclists, the original LUNAR RACER, the rare FOOTSCAPE WOVEN, and apparel pieces like the M-65 and FIREFLY jackets. First offerings hit shelves in the coming months with lots more surprises to come. Stay tuned to ST for updates on the way. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More