Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The icing on the (Monster) cake

The construction is done, and the installation is in process for the inaugural exhibit at the new addition to La Luz de Jesus Gallery for our grand rebirth / reopening on April 2nd. As you read this, Scott Hove and Billy Shire are hard at work assuring that Gallery II will be fully assembled for the opening reception this Friday at 8PM.

When we decided to close BSFA last month, it was part of bigger plan that centered on a redesign and expansion of La Luz de Jesus Gallery. The exhibition schedule for 2010 was built around this planned construction, and the new space allows for multiple exhibitions to cohabit under one roof. The combined infrastructure enables edgier content and a return to the cutting edge exhibitions of our golden age when we launched the lowbrow and pop-surrealism movements of California art. Scott Hove's "Iced Out" exhibition, alongside Max Grundy's "Out of Order" and Dennis Larkins' "Read Between the Lines" were conceptualized with the new space in mind. Scroll down for previews of these first three exhibitions at the new, double-sized La Luz de Jesus Gallery.

Scott Hove's work encompasses a broad variety of media, from sculptural installations to painting. "Iced Out" is a celebration of the artificial, and acknowledges our tendency to embrace illusion in order to feel safe and receive emotional gratification. The fake cake sculptures, with their display of beauty and potential for satisfaction, lure the viewer into a sense of anticipation, but also create a sense of anxiety and fear.
Among the highlights are a seven-piece cake chandelier and a demo of the cake vault, which is an enclosed structure -partly Alice in Wonderland, but entirely Scott Hove. (Click here for a video tour)

We have never exhibited anything like this before!
In keeping with the cake theme on Easter Weekend, The Nickel Diner's master pastry chef is making some extravagant sweets and the All American Softy truck will be parked out front to supply ice-cream and other snacks.

Long time Grateful Dead artist Dennis Larkins returns to La Luz de Jesus on the same evening with a new batch of three dimensional relief paintings that provoke, disturb and amuse. Dennis is longtime La Luz alumni, and his freshest batch of textured oil and acrylic works will dominate a display that includes classic and rarely seen work as well. He's fresh from an exhibition at the New York Historical Society, and just in time for the premiere of his new graphic volume Startling Art: the Revealing Art of Dennis Larkins, which he'll also be signing on Saturday, April 3rd from 6-9 PM.

He'll be in attendance with Scott Hove and Max Grundy, who is unleashing his sophomore show here at La Luz de Jesus which includes neon sign in addition to his enamel works on aluminum and steel. Max's work conveys a concept of the future from the perspective of the past. He infuses each image with rebelliousness, industry, freedom, conflict and impending disaster. By paralleling the Atomic Era and today's times of terror, social and political pressures, Grundy gives his work a narrative that is both familiar and unprecedented. Created with enamel on aluminum panel, "Out of Order," Grundy's new body of work, portrays the tension created between man and technology and the impending apocalypse.

We've got cake.
We've got ice cream.
We've got the best damn art gallery opening you're going to see this month!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kitsch 'N Sync Coverage

Congrats to La Luz de Jesus' own JAW Cooper, who has three great paintings in the Kitsch 'N Sync show, the same week that her art graces the cover of the LA Weekly! Cooper's got a featured exhibition here in June, too, so be sure to sign up for her preview list on our constant contact sign up box. She's been dropping hints about what we can expect, and I'm feverishly anticipating another faux-fur rug, because I know some hard-wood floors that need a stylish companion.

We expected a great turn-out on Friday, but we could never have expected over 2000 people!

The folks from SinoTequila were working overtime to blend enough margaritas for the ravenous crowd, and several artists had complete sellouts of multiple pieces. Brandon Steen, Frijol Boy, Jasmine Worth, Tennessee Loveless and Walt Hall all sold three or more paintings each, and many of our newbies experienced the very first gallery sales of their artwork. That list is far too extensive to list, but you can check out what's sold and what's available by clicking on the Current Exhibition link.

The following evening, we said goodbye to Billy Shire Fine Arts.

The live, musical performance by Unextraordinary Gentlemen was off the chain, and we were able to give away some mementos from the past five years' exhibitions. The aesthetic that was established at BSFA will be incorporated into the new La Luz de Jesus, which will soon have a second enclosed space behind the current main gallery. Take a look at the upcoming shows and you'll see what I mean.

Next month, Scott Hove will be taking over the new, second gallery space at La Luz de Jesus with his installation of surreal, anthropomorphized cakes. The exhibition, called Iced Out has already received coverage from Hi-Fructose, Boing Boing, Planet Oddity and The Food Network. Ace of Cakes -eat your heart out, as the centerpiece of this show is a gigantic cake chandelier that will hang suspended from the center of the ceiling in gallery II. We'll be coordinating some other special events around this opening on April 2nd, which will likely involve some edible sweets to accompany visual ones, so check back for updates.

The front gallery will host Dennis Larkins and Max Grundy.

Dennis' work is 3D relief sculpted paintings in acrylic on canvas and paper. He was just covered by the New York Times as part of the New York Historical Society Grateful Dead Exhibition, which coincides with the release of his book, Startling Art: Revealing the Art of Dennis Larkins, which he'll be signing at La Luz de Jesus on Saturday, April 3rd from 6-9PM. Max Grundy's paranoid propaganda paintings of enamel on metal are a hellacious futurama meets constructivism. Larkins & Grundy are La Luz veterans, and their work will juxtapose nicely with Scott Hove. You've never seen anything quite like this, I promise you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The End of an Era, the Start of an Epoch

All good things must come to an end, and so on Saturday, March 6th, the Dave McKean exhibition Nitrate & Kinogeists will be ending. If you haven't seen this extraordinary exhibition, this is your last chance. Dave's meditations on silent cinema hang side by side with the posters from the Century Guild collection that inspired them. It's his best work, and that says a lot when you consider that his resume includes over 300 album covers, some of the greatest art to ever grace a comic book cover, and let's not forget that he directed the movie Mirror Mask.

There are still affordable pieces of art left from this exhibition, and we held onto stacks of hard to find and out of print art books, too.

It will also be the end of Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City. This is the last night.
We are leaving the historic 1925 Neo-classical landmark at 5790 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 that served as the BSFA home since opening in April 2005.

But are we sad about it? HELL NO!

We're throwing a party! And aside from an excellent liquor sponsor in the form of SinoTequila, we've got Nakhon Beer and and the finest snacks that Costco has to offer (until we run out). And it just wouldn't be a party without a band so we've got legendary steampunk band Unextraordinary Gentlemen performing a full set at 8PM. DJ MP3 Sark (Ground Contol's Andrew Holguin) will be holding it down on the wheels of steel throughout the night. Only time will tell if Billy Shire breaks out his harmonica!

And how much does it cost to get into this shindig? NOTHING!
Just show our doorman your purchase receipt for $5 or more from Soap Plant, Wacko, La Luz de Jesus or Billy Shire Fine Arts, and you get in for free. That receipt must be less than nine months old, and it's one receipt per person. Otherwise it's up to our discretion -and we don't pride ourselves on our discretion, ahem...

The party starts at 6PM, Saturday, March 6th, but we'll be open from noon, so come see the McKean exhibition before the crowd gets there, then come back for the main event. It'll end when it ends. This is a celebration of our patrons -the folks who have been supporting the gallery, and we want this to be a night to be remembered while surrounded by our friends, so feel free to pass along the good word.

Speaking of which, I've finished logging all of the accepted pieces in the Everything But the Kitsch 'N Sync group show. There are 307 pieces from 150 artists. Pieces are already starting to sell, so don't hesitate! That show opens this Friday, March 5th. 8-11 PM at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90027.

This is the 13th anniversary edition. It's a rad show if I do say so myself. I've corrected and updated the listing in my last blog, which also links to the artist pages now. There are about 75 images per page, and the artists are indexed alphabetically by first name. There are many first-timers, some veterans and a handful of future museum pieces. Stop by, and I promise to give you my top picks, so when you visit or call, be sure to ask for me (Matt Kennedy).
See you this weekend!