Monday, August 30, 2010

Installing the next show already!

Christopher Ulrich gave a great lecture yesterday about his artistic process and regarding the impact of fables on art. Afterwards, most of the die-hard Ulrich fans headed over to Umami Burger for a tasty dinner and to reflect on the wonder and spectacle that was Illuminator: The Royal Wedding.

Today the work is off the walls, but if you didn't get to see it, about half of the paintings from the series will be on display October 9 & 10 at the Beyond Eden Contemporary Art Fair inside the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery within historic Barnsdall Park.

Right now, we are preparing the next installation of Nathan Ota's An Unforeseen Homecoming. Nathan stopped by the shop today to help layout the show and let us know that American Illustration has included his work from this Friday's show in their upcoming published annual. Earlier this morning I received a phone call from the Hollywood Arts Counsel requesting images from Nathan and also from Yumiko Kayukawa's 49 Days series for print in their quarterly magazine, so this Friday (September 3rd) will be another great show. Don't forget that we'll be giving away posters to the first 100 people here at 7PM on Friday night, and both Nathan and Yumiko will be signing them. They were produced specifically for this occasion, which is sponsored by Sino Tequila. I'd like to give a special shout out to our pal Spanky Stokes who will be celebrating his birthday that evening and is completely open to someone buying him a Nathan Ota painting as a B-Day gift.

Pre-sale options are available for these shows and many others on our calendar, and there are still works available from several of the recent exhibitions, so browse the site and give me a call on the gallery line: (323) 666-7667. Ask for Matt!

Friday, August 27, 2010

It seems that Illumination, too, must end...

This Sunday (August 29th) marks the final day of exhibition for Christopher Ulrich's Illuminator: The Royal Wedding. As a special treat, the artist will be discussing the work and signing books and prints, which will be available for direct purchase. Following the lecture, at 6 PM, if you purchased a painting or drawing or digital proof edition, you will be able to take it with you.

Ulrich's paintings are steeped in allegory, and it will be a challenge to cover every aspect of each piece in the allotted time frame, so this is your chance to engage the artist with your own insight of his work and pick his brain about the piece that greatest embrace you. Christopher is incredibly easy to approach and talk to, and while some of the paintings are rather intense, this is a great opportunity to expose young people to fine art –presenting a rare opportunity for juvenile artists to ask questions about technique and integrity.

In just one week we'll be opening solo shows for Yumiko Kayukawa's 49 Days and Nathan Ota's An Unforeseen Homecoming. Previews for each show are already posted, and work is beginning to sell. Yumiko is flying down from Seattle so both artists will be attending their opening on Friday, September 3rd, and in celebration of the occasion, we're releasing posters free to the first 100 people through the door. The artists have agreed to sign them for one hour preceding the opening of the exhibit, starting at 6PM.

Nathan received preview coverage for this, his first solo show on Hi Fructose's website, and will be live painting on Thursday evening at Montana Cans paint shop on Sunset Blvd., from 7-9ish in a collaboration with L.A. graffiti legend Risk.

This is followed by a weekend of outta sight book signings. On Thursday, September 9th from 6-9PM, we welcome Brian McCarty as he signs and discusses his book Art Toys, an extensive photo-tome of the secret lives of designer toys. Then on Friday, September 10th, we welcome back author Mick Farren to sign his latest mind-bending, counter-culture non-fiction work: Speed-Speed-Speedfreak: A Fast History of Amphetamine, tracing the cultural and criminal use of this very dangerous narcotic. There will be a story contest and musical performances, so rush on over from 6-9PM! At the end of the month we'll be welcoming back Dave Cooper, to kick off the tour of his new book Bent, which is much more than just the catalog of his sold out 2008 BSFA show. Info soon!

A special mid-month exhibition of the art of Dee Dee Ramone will debut on the punk rocker's birthday of September 18th. A special Memorial poster will commemorate the show, and rare, classic photos of Dee Dee from the Jenny Lens Photo Archive will be made available as oversized, signed, numbered Museum quality prints. The very next weekend La Luz de Jesus pal Brad 'Tiki Shark' Parker opens his Ocean Dreams exhibit at the Manhattan Creative Arts Center. That's on Saturday, September 25th, and it runs through October 14th. We're handling the sales, so let me know if you want to buy anything. The preview is posted.

Hi Fructose readers will also be familiar with the Art of the Lowbrow Tarot exhibition that guest curator Aunia Kahn has assembled in anticipation of a new book and tarot card deck featuring the art of 23 of the biggest name in pop-surrealism and the pieces they created specifically for this project: Carrie Ann Baade, Christopher Ulrich, Edith Lebeau, Cate Rangel, Kris Kuksi, Chris Mars, Christopher Umana, C.C. Askew, Brian Viveros, Claudia Drake, Heather Watts, Molly Crabapple, David Stoupakis, Laurie Lipton, Patrick 'Star 27' Deignan, Chet Zar, Jessica Joslin, Danni Shinya Luo, Jennybird Alcantara, Angie Mason, Scott G. Brooks, Aunia Kahn, and Daniel Martin Diaz (pictured left) have all brought their A game, and this exhibition is sure to be talked about for a long time after it's over. This show opens on October 1st, but the preview is already posted, and I wouldn't be surprised if everything sold before the opening reception.

Also on the walls in October is Art Center alumni Karen Hsiao, who's been catching much press in the UK, Europe and Asia for erotic painted photography art and has just seen the publication of her first book, Rubber Duck, alongside recent Art Center grads Christine Wu (whose painting in the recent 100 More Artists See Satan exhibition sold pre-opening) and Matt Wood (whose Mom's in Prison show warrants Art in America coverage).

I didn't even get to mention the TIKI FARM 10th Anniversary show in October! Watch this space for more info soon!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Eve of Illumination!

"There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic." – Anais Nin

Tomorrow night the gallery will be filled with patrons, artists, chaos magicians and simple passers-by. Their one commonality will be awe, as Christopher Ulrich unveils his masterwork, almost three years in the making, Illuminator: The Royal Wedding. The reception begins at 7PM, when Ulrich will be celebrating (and signing) the official release of his 16 image print collection, each of which is limited to only a dozen editions. He'll also have the last remaining copies of his Demoneater tome available for purchase. The grand opening celebration will start one hour later, and I honestly can't prepare you for what you will see if you are lucky enough to attend.

We just finished hanging the entire show, and it's grandiose on an unsurpassed scale. This is the first exhibition of the New La Luz de Jesus, to utilize both rooms. This is a journey: a full gallery takeover by one artist. The front room has all of the drawing studies, which line the south and east walls. The print editions are lined in a double row along the west wall. And on the North wall...

You'll just have to come and see.

It's the perfect springboard for the doorway into the back gallery, which houses the rest of Illuminator: the Royal Wedding!