Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Everything But the Kitsch 'N Sync group show Acceptance List

In less than two weeks (on Friday, March 5th) we'll be unveiling our annual Everything But the Kitsch 'N Sync group show. We sorted through tens of thousands of submissions and finalized the list of accepted works today. There are a handful of additional artists that will be included whom we are waiting to announce just before the show opens, but the vast majority are listed below. I know a lot of artists have been waiting to hear if they've made the cut, so if you are not included on the list below, the odds are fairly secure that you have not been accepted this year, but that doesn't mean that we didn't like your work. In many cases, pieces were too large to fit cohesively with the majority of approved selections. In some cases, the deadline prevented us from including some folks that otherwise would have been represented.

There were a lot of very strong contenders, but there's only so much wall space, so without further ado, I announce the 2010 Kitsch 'N Sync "Accepted" list:

Adam Strange
Adrian Dominic
Alan Kocharian
Alyson Souza
Amy Jeeye Lee
Andy Steele
Antonio Roybal
Apricot Mantle
Aya Masuda
Barry Fitzgerald
Benjamin A. Vierling
Bob Dob
Bonni Reid
Brad Parker
Brandon Morino
Brandon Steen
Brendan McCarthy
Brian Poor
Bree Hranek
Bruce Eichelberger
Bruce Gossett
Bryan Cunningham
Bryce Yoshito Takara
Caroline Hwang
Carl Lozada
Carlos Ramos
Cecilia Granata
Celene Petrulak
Chris Athans
Chris Madans
Chris Roberts-Antieau
Christopher Umana
Conrad Haberland
Cristina Paulos

Da Kim
Dale Sizer
Damara Kaminecki
Damian Fulton
Dan Barry
Dani Manning
Danni Shinya Luo
Daniel Lim
Dara Harvey
Dave Dziemian
David K. Rose
David Russell Talbott
Davidd Batalon
Dennis Larkins
Dion Macellari
Domenick J. Calligaro
Eben Dodd
Edward Kunze
Eric Eyeball Richardson
Eunbyul Kwak
Everett Davidson
Frijol Boy
George Peaslee
George Thomas
Glen C. Davies
Heather Watts
Henry Stinson
Howard Hallis
Hsin-Han Su
Hyejoo Son
Jack Howe
Janet Kim
Jared Tharp
Jasmine Worth
Jason Houchen
JAW Cooper

Jayme Im
J.D. Fiedler
Jennifer Jelenski
Jennybird Alcantara
Jessica Dalva
Jessica Ward
John Stuart Berger
Jon MacNair
Julia Romanenko
Junichi Tsuneoka
Katerina Perdue
Kathy Braceland
Kim Scott
Krystopher Sapp
Kyle Henry
Lance Richlin
Laura Borchert
Lea Barozzi
Leslie Ditto
Liane Shih
Liz Brizzi
Liz Mamorsky
Lyle Motley
Mark Gleason
Martin Kanshige
Mary Fleener
Mary Syring
Matjames Metson
Max Grundy
Megan Majewski
Michael Brown
Michael Pukac
Michael Stansell
Michelle An

Mickey Edtinger
Mike Maas
Mike Sosnowski
Mikel Parton
Miles Thompson
Miran Kim
Myron Conan Dyal
Nathan Ota
Nicholas Harper
Nicole Bruckman
Norbert H. Kox
Olga T. Mosqueda
Patricia Anders
Patrick “Star27” Deignan
Patrick Fatica
Paul Barrow
Peter Adamyan
Pol Turgeon
Rachel Bensimon
Rachel Fujii
Raya Golden
Richard Frost
Robin Fuqua
Rodrigo Cifuentes
Ron Adkins
Ron Tolentino Velasco
Ruel Pascual
Rusty Sherrill
Sae Soh
Scott Holloway
Sean Stepanoff
Shark Toof
Sheri DeBow
Stephanie Henderson
Stephen Holman
Steve Bartlett
Sunny Gu
Tamara Guion
Tammi Otis
Taylor Christensen
Tennessee Loveless
Thea Saks
Thomas Lynch III
Trevor Brown
Walter Hall
Winifred Johnson Brewer
Zachary Schoenbaum

The focus has always been to grant exposure to emerging talent while showcasing them alongside established names, and that esthetic remains more true than ever before this year. In fact, we have the highest concentration we've ever had of artists making their art gallery debut in this exhibition. Add to that a wide percentage of professionals making their Los Angeles and North American debuts, and that makes this an exhibition you really can't afford to miss. There are quite a few pieces that I would love to purchase outright, but I made a decision when I took this job to allow our patrons first right of purchase to insure that our artists' work makes it into the hands of collectors, helping to widen their buyer-base. I've always thought it a slap in the face of loyal supporters when the gallery buys the best pieces before the show opens.

But if you snooze, you will lose, because I am definitely going to be buying a few of these pieces in the second week of exhibition. So on your marks, get set...

A preview will be posted on Monday, February 1st, so be sure to check back soon.
If you spot someone on the above list for whom you want to queue for an advance purchase option, please shoot me an email at info@laluzdejesus.com or call me at (323) 297-0600.

Get in on the ground floor of some great careers building before our very eyes!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Punk Rock Weekend

When I was growing up in Lynn, Mass, the only link I had to the vibrant, angsty Los Angeles Punk scene was the photography of Ruby Ray in the seminal fanzine Search & Destroy. Her images of those bands (from The Dils to The Germs to X) were a window into a secret world that would became the soundtrack to my teenaged rebellion -about a decade later!

As I drifted from punk to post-punk and modern primitive industrial music, I came to realize that Ruby had beaten me to the finish line there, as well. When I moved here in 1991 and first stepped foot into the Melrose location of Soap Plant, I was greeted by a row of RE/Search publications, completely oblivious to the fact that Ruby Ray had co-founded the magazine that supplied the content for most of those books a little over a decade earlier.

That Ruby Ray has been influential to the counter-culture is indisputable, but the extent of her influence is criminally underrated. In the almost 25 years that La Luz de Jesus has been in existence, there have been about a handful of photography exhibitions. It's not a medium that we dabble in lightly, so when we actually do decide to host a photography show, you can bet your bippy that that it's going to be extraordinary. Convulsive Beauty: First Wave Punk Photography is that type of show, and Ruby Ray will be attending her opening reception, Friday, February 19th from 8-11 PM. To further cultivate the proper D.I.Y. spirit, we've got Drive-By Press in the back-lot doing custom woodblock printing on T-Shirts while their favorite mobile DJ goes full ninja on the wheels of steel.

Not enough for you? We've got a gourmet catering truck out front and two beverage sponsors! Sino Tequila and Nakhon Beer are providing a shot and a beer for select patrons of legal drinking age, too.

Still not enough? Ok...

On Saturday, we'll be hosting Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh to read and sign his book I Slept With Joey Ramone, which is a compelling, behind-the-scenes biography of the punk rock life of the Ramones as told by someone who lived it. Mickey will be bringing along Rock n Roll High School alumni Alan Arkush and PJ Soles, as well as punk rock musician and disc jockey Howie Pyro. The event runs from 6-9 PM, so you can cruise in on your way out to the clubs!


We've still got the Danni Shinya Luo, Kim Scott, Miran Kim and Transmission Atelier exhibitions hanging in the front gallery of La Luz de Jesus, so if you haven't seen them yet, you've now got a great second reason to do so.

And lastly, if you missed the Dave McKean opening reception last Saturday, you missed an incredible discussion about the significance of art and humanity between Howard Hallis, Brendan McCarthy, Dave McKean, Grant Morrison, and Danni Shinya Luo as Century Guild curator Thomas Negovan, Gail Potocki, Kent Williams and I eavesdropped. It was magical! While you can't see exactly that this weekend, you can see the video installation that Dave McKean assembled for his exhibit and the Century Guild poster collection that inspired his paintings. There are still one or two ink drawings available for purchase, too.

So from Punk to Steampunk, we've got all your bases covered. Check back here next week for the Everything But the Kitsch N Sync group show ACCEPTED list, and details about the Billy Shire Fine Arts closing party.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dave McKean Weekend!

One of the perks of this job is getting to work with truly amazing people all of the time. But occasionally, I get to collaborate with people who have had a direct impact on my life. Such is the case with Dave McKean.

Dave McKean is what we used to refer to as a "hyphenate." He's a multi-talented illustrator-photographer-comic-book-artist-graphic-designer-filmmaker-musician, who just happens to excel at each one of his specialties.

As an artist, Dave McKean changed the look of comic books when his illustrated-photo-assemblage works began gracing the covers of Neil Gaiman's reboot of the Sandman character at DC Comics. He next tackled an incredibly ambitious Batman tale that focused not on the caped crusader, but instead on the mental institution that housed the more macabre among his rogues' gallery. That story written by Grant Morrison was Arkham Asylum, and it quickly became (and remains) one of the best selling graphic novels of all time. His comic book works have won numerous well deserved accolades and awards, but he's also won a World Fantasy Award for "Best Artist," three Spectrum Awards in the categories of "Advertising", "Book", and "Comic," A British Science Fiction Award in "Short Fiction" (shared with Neil Gaiman), and his film directorial debut, MirrorMask premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. His concept designs shaped the look and feel of two entries in the Harry Potter film series, and if your CD collection veers on the darker side of pop, metal, and avant-garde, odds are you've got a few Dave McKean images there, too. Did I mention that he's an accomplished jazz musician and discerning foodie?

So it would be an understatement to say that I'm feverishly proud to welcome Dave McKean this weekend at two incredible events:

On Friday, February 12th, from 6-9 PM, Dave is signing comics, books, DVDs, CD's and limited edition art prints at La Luz de Jesus Gallery (inside the Soap Plant / Wacko complex at 4633 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90027). For every item that purchase at the signing, Dave will sign one item that you bring from home. NO EXCEPTIONS! So don't bring your entire collection of Sandman comics for him to autograph unless you plan on buying 75 items at the signing. He's a wonderful guy and he'll be happy to speak with you and answer questions -especially about his new body of work, which is debuting on Saturday night at Billy Shire Fine Arts.

New Works from Early Cinema is showing in conjunction with Nitrate & Kinogeists, an event sponsored by Chicago's Century Guild and includes highlights from their inventory of historically significant and undeniably beautiful silent film posters, most of which have been lost and unseen by the public before now. In addition to large format paintings, Dave has included a series of ten smaller ink illustrations that are priced for fans. Believe me -you can totally afford these, so check out the preview on Thursday evening. Whether you're a comic book fan or a patron of the fine arts, if you've been looking to add a McKean original to your collection, this is your opportunity to do so. Whether you're a comic book fan or a patron of the fine arts, if you've been looking to add a McKean original to your collection, this is your opportunity to do so. There are also some limited edition prints for which this will be a Release Event.
Since the exhibition references and pays tribute to lost films from the silent era, there will be a Video Installation with two screens playing footage of recently unearthed and restored films previously thought lost. The artist's reception is Saturday, February 13th, from 7-10 PM at Billy Shire Fine Arts, 5790 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. A full and complete preview will be available by Thursday evening. The paintings and posters are live on site now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Danni Shinya Luo, Miran Kim, Kim Scott & Transmission Atelier!

Hello everybody!
It occurred to me that most of you might know next to nothing about me, so I figured I'd introduce myself: I'm Matt Kennedy, the director of La Luz de Jesus Gallery. Some of you O.G. scenesters may remember me from back in the golden age of lowbrow when I was the manager at Billy Shire's original Melrose location where I worked alongside gallery director Alix Sloan (and actually hired artists like Aaron Smith and Christian Clayton as gallery personnel) until 1995, when Billy Shire relocated the whole Soap Plant / Wacko operation to Los Feliz, and I entered the entertainment business.

I did a lot of acting, a bit of recording, a healthy amount of producing, and ran a few video labels that earned me the type of Geek street-cred that I'd always longed for. I even moled myself into the studio system and somehow managed to keep aware of the emerging and established talent in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, London and elsewhere. As a patron I probably kept a few of the smaller galleries in business, and consider myself fortunate to have been presented with an opportunity to return to my roots in the Shire Empire and reacquaint myself with the artists whose careers were launched in those heady days of the early to mid 90s.

Back in May, I was presented with the opportunity to become a columnist on Daily Dujour, and after nine months of waiting, I've finally been given my login info, so you can read me here or read me there ...and just in time for the 4 person exhibition that opens this Friday (February 5th at 8PM) at La Luz de Jesus:

Danni Shinya Luo, Kim Scott, Miran Kim, Transmission Atelier

This is the first show that I've assembled completely on my own. When I first stepped back into the position as gallery director, the majority of the 2009 schedule was in place. As sometimes happens, there were a few re-schudules (and one rather public dropped show) that allowed me to bring some new talent to La Luz de Jesus and Billy Shire Fine Arts. I'm proud to have been the person that brought Christopher Ulrich and Myron Conan Dyal to BSFA, and to have given first shows to Jessica Dalva and Misato Otake at La Luz de Jesus. But mostly the position was one of a clerical/sales nature; managing the artists' deadlines, contacting buyers, overseeing publicity and booking the ads. As I approach the close of my first year back, the role is much more of a balance between gallery director and show curator. I booked this Friday's show back in July, and the joy of watching it open is difficult to express in words -least of all words that serve as an introduction.

Having seen the work in this show, I couldn't be prouder of Shinya, Miran, Kim and Jim (aka Transmission Atelier).

With the consolidation of BSFA back into La Luz de Jesus, I feel like I'm finally getting a chance to do what I do best, and that's to take the years of experience I have (marketing niche media) and steer it into the heart of my greatest passion -art. I've been overseeing a complete redesign of the La Luz de Jesus website, I've set up Artofficial: the official La Luz de Jesus Gallery Art Blog, and most recently launched a La Luz de Jesus Art YouTube page. The first video I've produced for the new blog and YouTube page is a studio visit with Danni Shinya Luo. It's something of a trailer for her Spiritual Deficiencies exhibit, which opens this Friday alongside Miran Kim's Uncomplicated Treats, Kim Scott's Peep Holes and Magic Boxes, and Transmission Atelier's If the Shadows Could March.
We've got a new beverage sponsor, NAKHON, and we're expecting a special visit from a very special catering truck, too. We know how to throw a party around here and I encourage you all to come on down.

This exhibit will run the entire month, closing on Sunday, February 28th.

I also had my friend Jennifer do a Studio Visit with Karen Miso Hsiao, whose The Cold Returns show will be closing at CHG this Saturday. It's a great show and I encourage you to check it out while you still can. If the link doesn't work, you can access her video on the La Luz de Jesus Art YouTube page.

See you this weekend in the flesh, and back here next Tuesday!