Masters of vinyl toydom TIM BISKUP and Tokyo's T9G teamed up to blow minds of Japanese collectors with their "T x T Project" of collaborative vinyl toys and new paintings from Mr Biskup that opened last weekend at STITCH GALLERY. Cobbling together new toys mad scientist style using the best parts (giblets included) from their own respective signature artist toys, the dynamic duo gave frenzied onlookers a glimpse of how cool the modern world of vinyl toys could be if places like Kid Robot didn't actually exist. Needless to say, the pair's legion of devoted fanboys and girls lined up for blocks to get a glimpse at the neon colored spectacle and snatch up newly released colorways of the pair's new collaborative production toy "Rangeas" which sold out instantaneously. Also of note was the sneek peek look at the new prototype of T9G's version of Tim Biskup's iconic "Helper" toy set to be released this spring. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Following the amazing Yoshitomo Nara exhibition at Blum & Poe this January, LA is off to a bright year visually—despite the otherwise morbid outlook—with a show of new drawings by ANISH KAPOOR at REGEN PROJECTS in West Hollywood this month. The Turner Prize-winning London-based Indian artist is in fine form in this exhibition of medium and large-sized gorgeously pigmented gouache on paper abstract "drawings" that are meditative in both form and depth and a notable departure from his more visible sculptural and architectural projects of recent years. Of course writing about abstract art is like "dancing about architecture" and the show's accompanying artspeak does a far better job of just that:
"Anish Kapoor's work brings together the formal concerns of post-minimalism with an eastern spiritual sensibility and explores the relationship between physicality and transcendence. Each drawing is typically begun near the center of the paper and develops spontaneously. The drawings are direct expressions that stress the primacy of the mark and the hand of the artist. There is a raw, gestural, and visceral character on one hand and a sublime refinement and control on the other. Within these works there is a coexistence of opposites: a simultaneous play of glutinous and dry surface, negative and positive space, lightness and darkness, shadow and void, presence and absence, stasis and potential activity. This duality creates a tension between formalist structures and an engagement with deep metaphysical elements of philosophy. Space remains undefined as forms swirl and light alludes to the spaces beyond. The vivid and saturated colors illustrate Kapoor's understanding that color has the ability to transform feelings and provoke emotions while being a physical presence unto itself. These drawings represent a more private and personal side of his practice. Symbolism and modernist abstraction coalesce and illustrate a movement beyond the decorative into the sublime."
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Our own SHEPARD FAIREY has been a near constant presence on Supertouch of late, but what can we say, the last year has belonged to him. Capping off an epic string of career milestones beginning with his street level branding of the Obama campaign to being inducted into the Smithsonian and the attendant media blitz that ensued–most famously with his appearances on The Colbert Report and Charlie Rose, Ol' Shep managed to cap it all off last nite with the VIP preview of his career retrospective art show "Supply & Demand" at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON. Of course there were even more media microphones and cameras there (that's after doing two days of press before hand), but this time so was his loyal legion of diehard fans, which made it all worthwhile. Just to up the irony factor, local government just unveiled a massive Shepard mural outside the entrance of historic City Hall with the Mayor presiding over the occasion. Looks like art crime pays after all. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Opening up last week was MARK DEAN VECA’s phenomenal career retrospective “Mark Dean Veca: Painting, Wall Drawings and Collaborations” at the UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY/UCSD. Providing a comprehensive overview of the Shreveport, Louisiana native & current Altadena resident’s creative oeuvre, the multifaceted exhibition 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 also features 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.” HAVE A LOOK: Read More
One thing's for certain about NYC-based artist, street bomber, & sign painter extraordinaire STEPHEN POWERS (aka: ESPO), his career moves fast with international shows of his trademark enamel on metal quips firing off around the world at a breakneck pace. This month finds the hightop-faded one debuting an extensive set of new works in "Semaphores of the Soul," at Brussels' esteemed ALICE GALLERY where red dots on the space's white walls attested to the enduring strength of Powers' market despite the art world's current economic woes. Local fans flooded the spot where the red hooded power trio known as LES BOURREAUX closed out the night and nearly drew the cops. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Following up on our previous 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, we've got a first look at the show's new interior "lounge" freshly painted by MDV himself. 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 an MDV opening recap soon. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Supertouch buddy James "DALEK" Marshall continues his artistic trek in search of geometrical expression at Charleston, South Carolina's REDUX CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER, with his defeatist "Broken, Beaten, and Buried" show of new works that opened its doors last Friday. Moving away from the central "Space Monkey" character that has long dominated Dalek's artwork, the former Murakami production line painter has been exploring the realms of kaleidoscopic geometry with abandon of late, and the results are pure mathematical eye candy. Just to throw another curve ball into the mix, Dalek has moved beyond his intricate and complex compositions for this show to create an additional walk-through installation of decidedly minimal and linear abstract work, possibly a sneek peek at a further deconstructed approach to come. If catching a glimpse at this eye-popping new work isn't enough motivation for New Yorkers to drive down to the show, escaping Manhattan's sub-Arctic weather for the mild climes of South Carolina should be reason enough for anyone with a penchant for self-preservation. 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
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