Thursday, July 28, 2011

Post Comic Con Previews Now LIVE!

August is almost upon us, and with it comes one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year. I've recently received additional images from José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros and a near full set of pics from Jessicka Addams (pictured left, with more pieces to come) so that the entire selection of Kitschen Sync Jury Winners have previews live on the website right now! Gallery II will also feature never before seen work from Walt Hall, Derek Harrison, Miso, Click Mort and Jasmine Worth.

Lou Beach sent some new images for his Gene Pool exhibition with daughter Alpha Lubicz (left) and son Sam Lubicz. Father and daughter have previews online now, Sam's will be forthcoming. This represents over twenty years of La Luz de Jesus exhibition history, as Lou first showed here back in 1988. Expect a who's who of (very) special guest attendees for this one!

Freshly back from Comicon, I'll be attending a few local lectures by the hardest working man in heroic fiction, Grant Morrison, whose many groundbreaking highlights were featured in the Pop-Sequentialism exhibit back in May. While in San Diego I ironed out the plans to travel this exhibit to Europe (Tuscanny in October, Paris soon after), before bringing it back to Los Angeles next year -with an ever changing line-up of key pieces from the Modern Age. The seeds have also been planted for an all-star Bronze Age exhibition some time in 2013. Be sure to pick-up a Show Catalog, which features over 40 essays on pieces within the inaugural presentation. Special congrats to Danni Shinya Luo for landing in a story that appeared on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune this past Sunday (the final day of Comicon). She's one of three artists (with and JJ Villard and Daniel Clowes) profiled in the currently-shooting documentary, "Comics Are Everywhere," which looks to reveal what motivates artists in their creative process. Shinya will be releasing her new book "The Girls of Danni Shinya Luo" this fall via Last Gasp Books, with a signing here at La Luz de Jesus planned to coincide with that debut. Most of her drawings will be in Rome (at the wonderful Mondo Pop gallery), but we hope she'll hang onto a few to display here while she signs. Kudos also to Karen Hsiao who earned a full-page photo feature in UK's Knave Magazine for her excellent photography tome, Rubber Duck. Karen is one of a very few people to have exhibited here under two different identities, producing wildly different artwork as each. We're thrilled to have her here next month, and we're sure that a few of her photography subjects will come to support her Miso show!

More news soon –including a sneak peek at the lineup of artists featured in La Luz de Jesus 25!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Did I mention that we're HUGE in Africa?

Mwari (pronounced Marh-ree, and translating as "Young Woman" in Swahili) Magazine is the only lifestyle publication created for women of the African Diaspora aged 18-24. Within this 152 page digital and print publication readers are exposed to captivating articles about politics, fashion, world affairs, gastronomic trends, personal finance, travel, college life, health and fitness, arts & entertainment, health, and other areas that will develop them into well-rounded leaders of our global society. In their most recent issue, Amber Stevens (pictured above) of the hit TV show Greek, selected her ten favorite places in Los Angeles, and we scored position #3!
Click the article page below to see it in context, or read the following extract:

"3. Wacko - Every once in a while I like to check out the latest artwork featured in the La Luz de Jesus Gallery at Wacko. They always have really cool, interesting stuff by Southern California artists. They also have a fun selection of books and novelty toys in the store. It's a pretty silly place but lots of fun to browse."

Readers can currently access the magazine via The current circulation is 120,000, and they've recently partnered with Chapman University, University of Maryland, Northwestern University, Cleveland State University and Keuka College providing access to their entire student bodies.

Who knew?

We've also just recently posted the previews for several of the Everything But the Kitschen Sync jury winners who were brought back for expanded exhibitions in August. José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros has already sold half of his show to a lucky group of determined patrons, but there are still some extraordinary paintings available. Click Mort's recombined sculpture collages are now available for purchase as are Miso and Jasmine Worth's anatomical and gothic, oil mini-paintings and Derek Harrison's exceptional contemporary nudes. We'll have previews for Walt Hall and Jessica Addams in time for Comicon, so check back to the website or email me with preview requests and purchases. The previews for the Gene Pool show, featuring new works from Lou Beach and Alpha and Sam Lubicz will be available on August 1st.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

There are fireworks and then there's Yellow Cake Uranium!

Mark Todd's Powerfury Fireworks Stand from his Force Field exhibition (now on display at La Luz de Jesus) has been a huge hit with Independence Weekend crowds. His high concept idea to blend two great juvenile obsessions (comics and fireworks) has rendered a very mature art piece –an installation that is already being hailed as one of the landmarks of the year. All of the collage pieces and most of the paintings have already sold, so Mark has decided to allow collectors to buy individual pieces from the fireworks stand. The fireworks themselves are now available for purchase in five sizes at incremental price points between $100 - $200, which is a real steal. Todd has also been adding to the stand with each visit to the gallery, making the installation a continuing work in progress adding a deeper degree of vitality to an already ostentatious centerpiece. Far from an art snob, Mark Todd is a prolific zine publisher, will be exhibiting at both Comicon and A.P.E. and teaches at Art Center College of Design. He's also amassed an impressive fan following if the attendees to his opening reception are any indication of his collectors: Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore, Jeanne Tripplehorn & Leland Orser, director Patty Jenkins, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and several rock 'n rollers, museum curators and journalists.

Mark Todd will also have a new piece in the Lucid Dreams exhibit which opens tomorrow night at the Noel-Baza Fine Art Gallery in San Diego (July 8 through August 9) featuring 45 internationally renowned artists. Lucid Dreams is the 26th artist survey and fine art exhibit curated by San Diego based designer Mark Murphy of Murphy Design, following up last year’s Narrative Museum exhibition, “Survey Select,” which featured 32 live events over eight weeks.

Wayne Martin Belger previously exhibited at Billy Shire Fine Arts in 2006. Wayne's preferred medium is the construction of specialty pin-hole cameras which often feature a biological or organic element. Among that collection was a camera fashioned from steel from the World Trade Center (Post 9/11), a camera featuring a mini-dialysis pump containing HIV+ blood, and a formaldehyde-preserved infant heart. Patrons of Belger's functional fine art pieces also receive a series of themed photographs shot with their cameras. While I've spoken with Wayne several times over the years, I had never actually met him until last week when he visited the gallery and discussed some of the projects he's been conceptualizing. He brought two new cameras, one of which will be in the La Luz de Jesus 25 show this fall. With the other, Belger will photograph X-rays from inside a giant particle accelerator. The Divine Proportion camera is a lead glass encased pinhole camera, specifically designed to capture on film the scatter from the impact of a high intensity X-ray beam on sculptures representing creation and destruction. The sculptures will be selected based on iconic figures of creation and destruction (such as Robert Oppenheimer and Shiva) formed of materials from the region in which the particle accelerator is located. One of the organic elements attached to this particular camera is a vial of yellow cake uranium (pictured with Wayne, above right). He's recently received an invitation to enter the hot zone (Congo, Liberia) to document the AIDS epidemic in Africa with his HIV Cam. We'll be working hard this summer to get a grant for this important endeavor.

Have I mentioned that Wayne is one of my new favorite people on the planet?

Friday, July 1, 2011

La Luz tops L.A. Times & Huffington Post Art Picks; lands on NPR!

Tonight we'll unveil the Mark Todd's Force Field exhibition which (in timely July 4th fashion) features the Powerfury Fireworks Stand installation. We've archived fifty photos of the construction of this incredibly important work, accessible at the bottom of the preview page. The Los Angeles Times selected this show as their Top Pick. Several of Mark's pieces have already sold, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is a complete sell out. In addition to his signature comic book deconstruction paintings and collages, he'll be offering custom, non-explosive fireworks in four sizes for as little as $100 each. We'll be holding a BBQ in the back lot for this show, which will also serve as the public party for the Soap Plant 40th Anniversary! Hard as it is to believe that the shop that spawned Wacko and La Luz de Jesus Gallery has been around for 40 years now, it's been a pleasure and a privilege to reflect and contribute to the counter culture as we head towards our fifth decade. NPR just profiled us:

Also on exhibit this evening and for the rest of the month will be new work from Simon Sotelo, Andy Steele, Hui Tan and Van Saro -who earned the distinction of landing a highlight on the Huffington Post as all four were recommended by Artweek.
The breakout stars of this year's Everything But the Kitschen Sync group show cover a lot of ground between Van Saro's graffiti verite, Hui Tan's Chinese nostalgia, Simon Sotelo's Dia de Los Muertos portraits and Andy Steele's deformed children's book illustrations. Come on down and have a hotdog on us!