January 21, 2009  |  art, Graffiti, LA, News, Openings, Shepard Fairey  |  Comments Off on LA///ORIGINS OF STYLE///MARTHA COOPER’S “STREET SHOTS” AT SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS

Martha Cooper brings back the old days at Subliminal Projects…

Beginning in the 1970s, legendary NYC street photographer MARTHA COOPER captured some of the most indelible images of the vibrant upstart Hip Hop culture of pre-reconstruction Manhattan. Her massive body of color photographs documents the most crucial movers and innovators of the era, from the then-burgeoning realms of bombing, breaking, rapping, alongside everyday peeps straight-up bugging out on the block. Snapshots of what already seems like a long-bygone era when downtown was still a dirty word, rats had the right-of-way, and curb culture wasn’t yet a marketing tool are reminders of the true meaning of early Hip Hop and the power and innovation of youth culture the likes of which we might not see for some time. Currently on display at SHEPARD FAIREY‘s Echo Park gallery, SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is “Street Shots,” a must-see selection of some of Cooper’s greatest hits with visuals so vivid the sounds and smells of the era almost leap from the prints. And that’s a good thing. HAVE A LOOK: Read More


January 16, 2009  |  Film, First Look, LA  |  Comments Off on FILM///FIRST LOOK: STACY PERALTA’S “CRIPS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA” DOCUMENTARY

The REAL Boyz-n-the-hood…

Over the years much has been said in the media about the burgeoning problem of gang violence in America, with particular emphasis on the legacy of LA’s notorious Crips & Bloods factions. Now, Skate industry legend and Bones Brigade mastermind-turned filmmaker STACY PERALTA, hopes to have created the definitive documentary on the phenomenon with his new film “Crips and Bloods: Made in America.” Known as the director of the excellent “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and porno-rifically named “Riding Giants,” Peralta leveraged his underground status to penetrate some of the most dangerous neighborhoods and situations in Los Angeles in his quest to obtain footage of the rival sets’ most violent leaders and “soldiers.” Narrated by actor FOREST WHITAKER, the film traces the origins of LA’s gang culture to the shocking, war-zone reality of daily life in inner-city Los Angeles as members of the Crips and Bloods perpetuate their bloody four-decades long feud. Contemporary and former gang members offer their street-level testimony that provides the film with a stark portrait of modern-day gang life: the turf wars and territorialism, the inter-gang hierarchy and family structure, the rules of behavior, the culture of guns, death and dishonor. Peralta also shines light on the overarching social causes of gang culture and a political system seemingly disinterested in bringing about its demise through effective outreach in favor of mass incarceration. Set to debut with a one week run later this month at NYC’s IFC Theater (January 23–29), before moving to LA’s Laemmle’s Sunset 5 (February 6–12), the film will continue on with arthouse showings in Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle before seeing mass release. Don’t miss it…


January 16, 2009  |  art, First Look, Hollywood Swingin', LA, News  |  Comments Off on LA///FIRST LOOK: RICHARD PRINCE GETS NAKED IN HOLLYWOOD

The platypus of the auto industry never looked finer…

In his aptly-titled new show “She” opening tomorrow nite at MICHAEL KOHN GALLERY, art star RICHARD PRINCE pays ample tribute to the LA-centric institutions of female nudity and car culture with the facility of someone well acquainted with the finer nuances of both. The centerpiece of the show—a split exhibition with Prince’s late artist friend WALLACE BERMAN—is a 1986 El Camino wrapped by Prince in an array of photos from his “Girlfriends” series that makes it the perfect Hollywood cruiser for any nite of the week. Fleshing out the exhibition (literally) are offerings from his ongoing series of “Nurse” collages and large scale C-prints from his “Girlfriends” series alongside a real mailbox plastered in vintage black & white porn images that breathes new life into the stale governmental institution. A VIP reception tonite with Prince in attendance will be the hot ticket of the early LA art calendar, and you can expect ample coverage on tomorrow’s ST. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More


January 13, 2009  |  art, LA, News, Openings, Steampunk  |  Comments Off on LA///FIRST LOOK: JESSICA JOPLIN’S STEAMPUNK MENAGERIE


JESSICA JOPLIN‘s steampunk menagerie of would-be animals and mythological creatures failed to impress no one at her “Clockwork Circus” opening at Culver City’s BILLY SHIRE FINE ARTS this weekend. Renowned for her technical prowess in rendering all manner of imaginary animalia using antique brass parts along with bones, bullet casings, and other unlikely materials that she carefully manipulates, Joplin echoes the otaku attention to detail of her Japanese counterparts who comprise the majority of the scratchbuilt sculpture community. Flawless in their design and uncannily lifelike despite their inherent impossibility, the retro-futurism of Joslin’s creatures’ is a welcome departure from the glassy technology and Apple store minimalism of 21st Century life. HAVE A LOOK: Read More


January 9, 2009  |  art, Japan, LA, News, Openings  |  Comments Off on LA///YOSHITOMO NARA IN THE WILD WILD WEST


One of the Southland’s finest shows of the New Year is actually one that opened very quietly on the cusp of last year’s holiday season and probably got lost in the shuffle along the way. Simply put, YOSHITOMO NARA‘s eponymous show of new paintings, drawings, and large scale sculpture at Culver City’s venerable BLUM & POE GALLERY is an incredible collection that locals should run, not walk, to see. Nestled among the artist’s trademark renderings of Keane-eyed boys and girls in a variety of media sits a full-scale prairie-style wild west wagon filled to the brim with drawings, canned food, and vintage tchotchkes as a centerpiece, succinctly exemplifying Nara’s fascination the West and all that it represents. Make no mistake; the show is a knockout on all fronts with Nara operating at the top of his game in all media, especially in a series of black & white drawings that exhibit some of his finest linework to date. A closing date of February 7th comes as a godsend indeed for his legion of fans who have yet to make the pilgrimage. HAVE A LOOK: Read More


January 8, 2009  |  art, LA, News  |  Comments Off on LA///MUST SEE SHOW: JEFF SOTO’S “TURNING IN CIRCLES” AT THE RIVERSIDE ART MUSEUM


Having opened its doors very quietly amidst the holiday meltdown that was December 2008, Supertouch buddy JEFF SOTO‘s incredible “Turning in Circles” installation at the ultra-progressive RIVERSIDE ART MUSEUM should be considered a must-see show by SoCal locals with gas to burn (now that its only 2 bucks a gallon). Featuring an impressive body of new paintings with the focal point being a massive multi-dimensional face mask unlike anything Soto has created before, the show’s imagery focuses on the perilous state of the world as embodied by the wasted landscape of Southern California that permeates the majority of the Riverside-based artist’s visions. Simply put, it’s the finest work Soto has produced to date and easily one of the best Southland art shows in recent memory. Best of all, the work is all available for sale through BLK/MRKT GALLERY in Culver City at very affordable prices. Remember, 2009 is about buying young art, step to the plate, people. HAVE A LOOK: Read More


December 16, 2008  |  art, First Look, LA, News, Openings, Origins of Style  |  Comments Off on LA///OPENINGS///RAYMOND PETTIBON’S “CUTTING ROOM FLOOR SHOW II” AT REGEN PROJECTS

From Moai heads to buttplugged politicians, Ray left no visual stone unturned… 

As the year we’re all ready to forget comes to a tantalizingly close finale, LA offered one last incredibly bright spot on the artistic horizon with the debut of underground art legend RAYMOND PETTIBON‘s show of new color works “Cutting Room Floor Show: Part II” at West Hollywood’s REGEN PROJECTS. A counterpoint to his epic show of early 1970s & 80s black & white ink drawings at the gallery in September, Pettibon’s installment of new work was awash in shockingly bright color, and armed with the poetic malaise and pointed cultural insight that is the hallmark of the artist’s oeuvre. With wildly diverse subject matter ranging from the Bush administration, dogs & polar bears, Easter Island Moai heads, fighter jets, and baseball players & surfers, to the Notre Dame cathedral perched atop a military aircraft carrier, this SoCal hardcore punk art legend proves that innovative aesthetic evolution is a good thing, and that this year’s overarching theme of “change” is indeed a motto to live by. HAVE A LOOK: Read More


December 13, 2008  |  art, Feature, Icons, LA, News, Origins of Style, Sneek Peek  |  Comments Off on LA///STUDIO VISIT: RAYMOND PETTIBON AT REGEN PROJECTS

l104r0683.jpg The zen master hard at work... The legend of RAYMOND PETTIBON looms large in the psyche of Southern California music and art culture, but few figures have proven easier to get close to than this enigmatic and elusive artist. Renowned for his stark, minimalistic, text heavy black & white ink drawings that would become an integral part of the visual lexicon of 1980s hardcore music, Pettibon has in recent years expanded his repertoire to include deeply layered color work that oftentimes incorporates elements of collage. This evolution of Pettibon's vision is the focus of "Cutting Room Floor Show: Part II," a massive exhibition of new work debuting this Saturday nite at REGEN PROJECTS GALLERY in West Hollywood that serves as a counterpoint to his recent show there of vintage '70s & '80s work. Having transformed the gallery space in recent weeks into a giant makeshift studio, Pettibon has very quietly been putting the finishing touches on literally hundreds of pieces of art in record time. It was here that we caught up with the elusive master for a sneek peek.

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December 8, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, Charity Case, LA, News  |  Comments Off on LA///NEWS///MARK RYDEN RELEASES $6K MoCA BENEFIT PRINT

Mark Ryden’s “Silence”

Reclusive art star and loyal MoCA supporter MARK RYDEN has just released his most unusual and expensive print to date in an effort to raise funds for the financially struggling LA art institution. Titled “Silence,” and echoing the visual style of traditional Eastern landscape painting, the 24″ x 18,” eleven-color fine serigraph is a perfect reproduction of a new Ryden painting created especially for this exclusive print. Meticulously crafted by the fine print-makers at PRESSURE PRINTING using carefully dyed and aged handmade paper from Bhutan “Silence” is embossed with a beautifully hand-sculpted bee and printer’s chop. The edition of 50 framed pieces is numbered and signed by Mark Ryden and includes a certificate of authenticity. Available for $6,000 per print with all proceeds directly benefiting MoCA, the piece can be obtained only by contacting MoCA support programs manager Michelle Bernardin at 213-633-5318, or HAVE A LOOK: Read More


November 26, 2008  |  art, LA, News  |  Comments Off on LA///NEWS///RAYMOND PETTIBON LOOMS OVER HOLLYWOOD

Hollywood goes back to black & white…

Legendary punk artist/Black Flag branding mastermind turned bona fide gallery world phenomenon RAYMOND PETTIBON is currently looming large over Hollywood following the recent erection of his massive “I thought California would be different…” billboard as part of LA’s native 2008 CALIFORNIA BIENNIAL and its series of outdoor site-specific interventions. Too bad a continuous loop of Black Flag songs can’t be playing from the installation 24-7…