Photos: Joshua Liner Gallery Opening

Juxtapoz // Monday, April 14, 2008
The brand new Joshua Liner Gallery finally opened its doors to a crowd full of anticipation and excitement this weekend. For the inaugural exhibit, Locked & Loaded, Liner was able to showcase a wide range of well-known and emerging stars. The space remained packed as the night wore on, a good sign for the new gallery’s first opening! Check out the opening photos of Locked & Loaded Juxtapoz was able to snag right this way…

Photos: Last Rites Inaugural Opening

Juxtapoz // Monday, April 14, 2008
Manhattan’s Last Rites Gallery held their inaugural opening, Transgression, last week, featuring a wealth of dark, mysterious, and somewhat evil-looking works. Juxtapoz made sure to stop by and take a peek at the new space, devilishly engrossing artwork, and the wonderful group of people behind the whole project. More photos here…

Emerging Artist: Pamela Johnson

Juxtapoz // Friday, April 11, 2008
Mmm… cupcakes. Who doesn’t like the sweet goodness that is a cupcake? Not only is Pamela Johnson fascinated with cupcakes; she’s also quite interested in waffles, pop tarts, and other foods that have shaped American appetites for the past century. Chicago based painter Pamela Johnson is currently working on a new series of paintings commenting American culture.  Her new work will be showing in the upcoming Artist Project, the portion of Chicago’s annual Artropolis focused on independent artists. Her current series of work focuses on the overindulgence, insatiable appetite, and mass consumption of American society.  Based on traditional paintings’ history of using food as a subject matter, her work updates this notion to mirror our current culture.  As such, the paintings are larger than life heaps of junk foods. Overbearing scale and gluttonous quantities are juxtaposed against foods that can be both tempting and comforting, as a result questioning American ideals and way of life. See more of Johnson’s amazingly life-like, massive junk food paintings at www.pamelamichellejohnson.com.

Bijou: The Universal Order of the Kaleidoscopic Society of Skulls

Juxtapoz // Thursday, April 10, 2008
Highly detailed kaleidoscopic landscapes in all colors of the rainbow. Skeletons meeting for a Danse Macabre. Vibrators set up like nuclear warheads between cauliflower florets and children’s toys: this is the multi-colored plastic world of French artist Bijou, who will be exhibiting new works at Strychnin Gallery Berlin in a show titled Bijou: The Universal Order of the Kaleidoscopic Society of Skulls, opening April 11th. French artist Michael Frojman aka Bijou sees himself less as a photographer than as an editor or designer. He samples the internet, samples the pictures he takes of amateur models in his studio, quotes thousands of image snippets to make both the landscapes of his dreams and of his nightmares, presenting them to the viewer in light boxes. In-between quotations from the internet, the artist’s friends pose in ill-fitting gymnastics suits – tragic superheroes in an oversaturated world that is doomed yet still makes us laugh. More info at www.strychnin.com.

Photos: Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Juxtapoz // Monday, April 07, 2008
Jonathan LeVine Gallery was all fun and glee at this Saturday's opening for four rising stars in the art world--Alex Gross, Erik Mark Sandberg, and the creative duo known as The Date Farmers. With so much talent in the house, it's a good thing our photographer buddy George Koroneos was present to capture the night's festivities on film. Check it all out here...

Photos: Blek le Rat Bombing LA

Juxtapoz // Friday, April 04, 2008
Blek le Rat's solo exhibition will open this weekend, Saturday April 5th, at Los Angeles-based gallery, Subliminal Projects. Titled Art is Not Peace but War, this will be Blek le Rat’s first solo show in the United States! This legendary street artist is considered to be a pioneer of stencil art. First exposed to graffiti in New York in 1971, it took him a decade to start making his own in Paris. Inspired by a stenciled portrait he saw of Mussolini amongst WWII ruins in Italy, he created a stencil of a rat running along the streets. Hence, Blek le Rat was born and the rest, as they say, has been history. Blek’s method of creating graffiti has forever altered the art scene and still continues to inspire and influence street artists today. His work has evolved beyond the rat icon and has taken on a more serious context, using art as a mouthpiece for social change. Blek has made good use of his time thus far before his opening in Los Angeles. Like a good street artist, he’s been hitting up the streets of LA with endless devotion and passion. Some photos of Blek’s most recent work in LA here…

"California Dreaming" at Rare Device

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, April 02, 2008
California exists to many as the final frontier of the American Dream: a madly optimistic mash up of inspiration, absurdity and pioneer spirit. If there are rules of engagement, not many people follow them. There is a struggle here to define and change oneself, but in every mythological promise there is a reality exposed in the California sun. San Francisco design store and gallery, Rare Device, is proud to present California Dreaming, a group show of artists from the Beholder. The show opens Friday, April 4th and will remain up thru April 27th. Participating artists include Timothy Buckwalter, Mike Monteiro, Jennifer O'Keeffe, Scott Barry, Eric Scheib, Suzanne Husky, and Lisa Congdon (whose exhibit piece is shown) of San Francisco and Noaki Mitsuse and Martha Rich of Los Angeles. Through California Dreaming, the nine participating artists will share what it's like to live and make art in California.

12X36 A LOCAL LENS

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, April 01, 2008
One of the more innovative photography exhibits will hit the world in three different places, at the same time, with the exact same content, this weekend. Curious? So were we. 222gallery, Gallery Revisited, and ArtSpaceHue present 12X36 A LOCAL LENS, a simultaneous exhibition held in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Seoul, curated by Benjamin Kaplan. Using artists as representatives of local culture, this exhibition investigates the relationship between local space and local culture in three distinct urban environments through the use of traditional photography. The title, 12X36, refers to the twelve selected artists who will each present 36 photographs for the exhibition. Participating Philadelphia artists include: Melissa Farley, Dan Murphy, Ted Passon, and Randall Sellers. Los Angeles artists include: Andy Bruntel, Michael Hsiung, Estevan Oriol (whose sick Snoop portrait done for this show is shown) and Jessica Robbins. Finally, participating Seoul artists are: WK, Yangachi, Haelan Kim, and Yeji Yun. In contrast to digital photography, which has become commonplace and easily mutable, the invited artists were asked to capture their local reality using traditional photographic methods. Identical 35mm cameras, loaded with only one roll of thirty-six-exposure color film, were shipped to each selected artist. They were then asked to return the camera and exposed but unprocessed film, which, once received, was developed and printed as an enlarged contact sheet (16”x20”). This proof was shown to the artist for their selection of three negatives to be enlarged as 11”x14” prints. The contact sheet and chosen prints are printed in triplicate, with one set shipped to ArtSpaceHue in Seoul, the other to The Gallery Revisted in Los Angeles, and the third to Philadelphia and is exhibited at 222gallery. All work is displayed in a uniform manner across all three galleries. Cameras and other artifacts from the creation of the work will also be on display and opening receptions are held on the same date and time in each city. What could be cooler than that? Uhh, not much. Check out www.12x36.com to see artist profiles, selected works, and more info on 12X36 A LOCAL LENS. 

Ryan McLennan: "From Fur to Bone"

Juxtapoz // Friday, March 28, 2008
Kinsey/DesForges is pleased to present Virgina-based artist Ryan McLennan in his first exhibition with the gallery, titled From Fur to Bone, which opens Saturday, April 5th. McLennan is part of a vanguard of young painters who have twisted the conventional, naturalist approach to depicting animals and environmental themes in mischievous ways to the serious end of drawing attention to environmental issues. In the tradition of great naturalist painters such as John James Audubon, McLennan has become both student and advocate: inspired by many hours spent in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, this VCU grad and Virginia native has undertaken an in-depth inquiry into the evolution and displacement of North America wildlife, and his understanding of changing patterns in their behavior, incurred as a direct result of changes and destruction to their natural habitats, is evidenced in his maturing body of work. Figuring prominently among the skeletal trees which serve as broken shelter to the smaller wildlife depicted in his paintings are fantastical plant-like bears in various repose—draped, hanging, prone and often torn, McLennan’s topiary bears serve not only as sustenance and shelter for playful groupings of elk and raccoons, moose and foxes, but pointedly appear to be the only greenery available to them. The bears, in being devoured, suggest a kind of symbiosis, but could also serve as effigies for a human society that has upset the balance of global ecology. More info at kinseydesforges.com.

"Dissociate" at D3Projects

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, March 25, 2008
D3Projects at Bergamot Station, is proud to present Dissociate, featuring the paintings and installations of Los Angeles based artist Vanessa Matthews. Highly prolific and with an incredibly honest and humorous tone, Matthews brings a new wind of creativity to the ever innovative Southern California art scene with a character-based aesthetic of graphic figures and hand-drawn typography. Initially, the artist built her body of work as a survival mechanism for the everyday routine of her life. Since tantrums are not an acceptable practice for adults (or at least most adults,) Matthews needed an outlet to express frustrations about what she perceived to be a ridiculous and unjust world. Characters were born out of this process of expressing the artist's pent up aggravation: parking tickets, road rage, traffic, inflation, ignorance, control freaks and the annoyance of being forced to comply with pointless rules sparked the lives of personalities who could speak her suppressed language. Dissociate features over 40 paintings on wood paper and an installation composed of over 150 handmade and painted, one-of-a-kind plush dolls, (developed with Nancy Mancini) which represent the characters that Vanessa Matthews created. Upon entering the space, the viewer is immersed in an incredible tridimensional world- and how could you not be down with tridimensional worlds? More info at 3dprojects.net.

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