The Seventh Letter's Retna on Vimby

Juxtapoz // Thursday, June 12, 2008
VIMBY has a sweet new flick on infamous Seventh Letter graff and fine artist Retna (Juxtapoz issue #78) From county jail to world-renowned artist, Retna takes some time to chat about his work, his crew, and why he feels art saved his life. More on Retna at digitalretna.com

Grand Opening: Upper Playground LA / Mister Cartoon & Oriol

Juxtapoz // Friday, May 30, 2008
Upper Playground LA, along with Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol's respective retail spaces, "The Last Laugh," will be celebrating their grand opening tomorrow, May 31st, from 1—8PM. Come down to Skid Row (125 E 6th Street) and enjoy all the unveiling fun. As well as the three retail spaces celebrating their grand opening, a fourth retail space, serving as a revolving concept space next door to UP LA and "The Last Laugh," will occupied by Roland Sands Designs. During the open house, it will feature a display of custom motorcycles from 1998 AMA 250cc Champion-turned motorcycle designer Roland Sands and limited-edition fashion pieces from designer and model Tony Ward's line, Six in the Face. As if it couldn’t get any better, Upper Playground LA will also be unveiling their FIFTY24LA Gallery, with an opening show featuring the works of Usugrow, Sam Flores, Jeremy Fish, David Choe, Herbert Baglione, San, Retna, Saber, Alex Pardee, Ron English, Doze Green, Slick, Armsrock and David Ellis. Want more? Hit up UpperPlayground.com.

"It's A Beautiful World" Art Auction

Juxtapoz // Thursday, May 29, 2008
The tour may be over, but the art lives on. At least until this Sunday, June 1st. That’s right, we’re talking about Scion's Installation 4, It's A Beautiful World art auction. It's A Beautiful World opened in Los Angeles, the last of nine cities on the national tour, on May 10th. More than 800 people attended the opening night festivities, including most of the 34 participating artists (some of which are shown above, trying to take a group shot.) The innovative Scion Installation Art Tour launched its fourth installment last July and features a diverse array of some of the best contemporary artists from around the world, like: Andrew Pommier, Blaine Fontana, Blek LeRat, Cody Hudson, Dalek, David Choe, Jeff Soto, Kofie, Mel Kadel, Michael Sieben, Mike Giant, RETNA, Ron English, Sam Flores, Sage Vaughn, Travis Millard, and more. The theme, It's a Beautiful World, was interpreted by each artist, in one of four mediums— painting, photography, sculpture, and collage, and will be on final view for the 3rd Annual Culver City Artwalk on Saturday, May 31st. The culmination of the tour is accompanied by a live auction where all of the artwork will be auctioned off to the public at the Scion Installation LA space in the Culver City Arts District on Sunday, June 1st, as well as online and on phone lines. The best part? 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward Art From Scrap, an organization encouraging creative expression in the arts and promoting a greater understanding of environmental issues. Details at www.scion.com/installation.

Upper Playground LA / Mister Cartoon & Estevan Oriol

Juxtapoz // Thursday, May 22, 2008
SF-based apparel and art company Upper Playground, photographer and director Estevan Oriol, and artist Mister Cartoon are excited to announce the unveiling of a series of four one-of-a-kind retail establishments in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, offering customers a unique fashion and fine art experience. In celebration of the properties, the three entities will host a grand opening next Saturday, May 31st from 1-8pm that will feature a special art exhibit and appearances from some of the world’s leading designers involved in the project. As the pioneer of combining fashion and fine art, it seems fitting that Upper Playground will host a special art exhibit featuring the works of legendary artists: Usugrow, Sam Flores, Jeremy Fish, David Choe, Herbert Baglione, San, Retna, Saber, Alex Pardee, Ron English, Doze Green, Slick, Armsrock and David Ellis. Many of the featured artists on display also contribute designs to Upper Playground’s apparel line. In addition to Upper Playground, the new venture includes “The Last Laugh,” which will house the Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol retail experiences. Learn more about this exciting project, and get a peek at some new t-shirt graphics Upper Playground has ready for the LA store right here…

"It

Juxtapoz // Friday, May 02, 2008
Scion’s Installation 4, It’s A Beautiful World, opens in Los Angeles, the last of nine cities on the national tour, on May 10th. The innovative Scion Installation Art Tour launched its fourth installment last July and features a diverse array of artists from around the world. The theme, It’s a Beautiful World, was interpreted by each artist, in one of four mediums— painting, photography, sculpture, and collage. The culmination of the tour is accompanied by a live auction June 1st, where all of the artwork will be auctioned off to the public, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward art-related charities. This year's artists include: Andrew Pommier, Andy Mueller, Angela Boatwright, Blaine Fontana, Blek LeRat, Books llll, Caia Koopman, Chris Yormick, Cody Hudson, Dalek, David Choe, Eye One, Francesco LoCastro, Freddi C, J Shea, James Jean, Jeff Soto, Joshua Krause, Kelsey Brookes, Kenton Parker, Kofie, Mel Kadel, Michael Sieben, Mike Giant, Rammellzee, RETNA, R Grimes, Ron English, Sam Flores, Sage Vaughn, Skwerm, Tim McCormick, Travis Millard, and The London Police. Maybe you’ve heard of a couple of ‘em. They sure make purty stuff. The final tour stop and auction will be held in Los Angeles, at the Scion Installation LA space in the Culver City Arts District May 10 - June 1, 2008. Most all of the Installation 4 artists will attend the opening night of the show on May 10th, so we’d advise you to make sure your ass is in LA next weekend! More at www.scion.com/installation.

What's Up: "The Citrus Report"

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, April 23, 2008
To the cats out there thinking all urban art and culture lovers are a bunch of society-leeching fools: not only are you gravely mistaken, but you also have obviously not met The Citrus Report. The Citrus Report is fast becoming one of our favorite spots to keep up on all the latest political banter, as well as the most interesting new shows, books, music, and films out. As if that weren’t enough, this issue of The Citrus Report features interviews with some of our all-time favorites, like: The Date Farmers, Alex Pardee, Sasha Grey, Retna (shown painting,) Thomas Marecki, and Jim Fitzpatrick. We could go on and on about how cool its columnists are, and how refreshing it is to have a website with some backbone to it, but don’t just take our word for it. Get ready to stick a bookmark in The Citrus Report at none other than www.thecitrusreport.com.

Scion Says: "It's A Beautiful World"

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Scion has done it again. Scion's Installation 4, It's A Beautiful World, opens in Minneapolis, one of nine cities on the national tour, this Friday, April 4th. The innovative Scion Installation Art Tour launched its fourth installment last July and features a diverse array of artists from around the world. The theme, It's a Beautiful World, was interpreted by each artist, in one of four mediums- painting, photography, sculpture, and collage. Some of this year's Installation artists include: Andrew Pommier, Andy Mueller, Angela Boatwright, Blaine Fontana, Blek LeRat, Books llll, Caia Koopman (whose work is shown above,) Chris Yormick, Cody Hudson, Dalek, David Choe, Eye One, Francesco LoCastro, Freddi C, J Shea, James Jean, Jeff Soto, Joshua Krause, Kelsey Brookes, Kenton Parker, Kofie, Mel Kadel, Michael Sieben, Mike Giant, Rammellzee, RETNA, R Grimes, Ron English, Sam Flores, Sage Vaughn, Skwerm, Tim McCormick, and Travis Millard. More info at scion.com/installation.

"Los Angeles Graffiti"

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Some of the world’s most epic graffiti has risen from the streets of Los Angeles. Graff guru, and Juxtapoz contributing editor, Roger Gastman has compiled an appropriately named new book, Los Angeles Graffiti, with Sonja Teri to preserve and celebrate this transient art form.  

Boosted Films' "Retna: Walls Around NYC"

Juxtapoz // Monday, March 10, 2008
Graffiti artist Retna made a name for himself on the streets of Los Angeles. Frequently inspired by images of females found in magazines and corporate advertisements, Retna is especially known for embellishing existing fashion advertisements overlaying a classic style that recalls Mayan and Egyptian hieroglyphs, and even Byzantine religious mosaics. This great short film by Boosted sheds some light on Retna’s process and the motivation behind his work. See more of Retna’s stuff online at DigitalRetna.com.

Boosted Films: Retna

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, February 26, 2008
When Los Angeles-based graffiti artist Retna's work first appeared in the mid-nineties, what made it stand apart from the rest was its unique layering. His color palette was so intricate, so carefully chosen, his pieces often looked to have been daubed on with a paintbrush. Quite the achievement when you consider he was painting on walls, trains, bridges, and freeway overpasses in the black of night. Frequently inspired by images of females found in magazines and corporate advertisements, Retna is especially known for embellishing existing fashion advertisements overlaying a classic style that recalls Mayan and Egyptian hieroglyphs, and even Byzantine religious mosaics. Since first making his name in 1997, Retna has found himself in popular demand, especially in the music world. R&B artist Usher is a big fan (Retna-fied paintings of Marvin Gaye, Sade and Miles Davis hang in his home). Retna's art has also appeared in pop videos for Kylie Minogue and Will Smith, and he appeared alongside Metallica at the American Music Awards, creating one of his signature pieces live on stage. "Looking at pop culture and adapting it to a more classical style is what I am known for as an artist," he says. "It's something I learned to do on the street and I'm proud to now incorporate in my paintings."

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