Sunday, February 26, 2012

The LALUZAPALOOZA preview page is LIVE!!!!

This past week we hosted the debut of Billy's Thursday Night Fish Fry, and it was off the hook! Images can be found on the Friends of La Luz de Jesus Facebook page. But I don't have time to reveal any of the amazing revelations that exploded from this event, because an even more explosive event is happening right now as I type this: the LALUZAPALOOZA Preview Page is NOW LIVE!

I worked through the night to get the preview images and descriptions up for all the pieces we've received thus far. There are still a few on their way, but the overwhelming majority are online now. I'll be checking the email tomorrow, and answering inquiries in the order received. We will NOT BE ACCEPTING PHONE ORDERS until after noon on Monday, so click the link above and skim through the index for the work you've been waiting to see. But I should warn you that we've got more new names than ever before and there are some superstars in the making among them.

Now, I'm going to go home and sleep...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soft Candy was a Valentine's Day Hit!

Congratulations to Danni Shinya Luo (pictured, left) for selling over 50 of her Soft Candy illustrations –and there are still 10 days left for the rest of her gorgeous drawings to go! We've also got a mere handful of the signed and numbered bookplates (from an edition of only 100), so call me to reserve a book or a drawing. All of the artwork on display in this exhibition carries the additional provenance of appearing in a published art book.

You'll never be able to buy Shinya's art for such low prices again.

Likewise regarding the paintings from last May's Chaotic Harmony exhibition (also published in Soft Candy & currently on exhibition in Europe). If interested in buying one of those, please call ASAP, as Italian collectors are sure to gobble them up, but La Luz de Jesus has right of first refusal!

This latest show has seen many, very prominent collectors add her work to their walls, so Shinya's drawings will soon be hanging next to paintings by Mark Ryden, Joe Coleman, Robert Williams and Shepard Fairey. This could be the tipping point for Miss Luo, whose private commission waiting list has recently expanded to six months. Commissions are available, however, so contact me to set something up.

We've also got the photostream posted for the opening night celebration of our February, First-Friday extravaganza: Matthew Bone, Soey Milk, Bonni Reid, and Christine Wu. Matthew and Bonni's work is featured in a program shot last week for the National Geographic Channel, and Christine's art is now in the hands of a rather well know Pirate of the Carribean. As the images reveal, there were a lot of movers and shakers in attendance, so check it out and then come down to see the shows (on display through February 26th). Pictured above is a shot of Soey Milk and I babysitting the bowl of heart-shaped Valentine's Day candy while the documentary crew from Comics Are Everywhere conducts an interview with Danni Shinya Luo at her Soft Candy signing.

Contact me (gallery director, Matt Kennedy) for purchases and information:
(323) 666-7667 or

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Laluzapalooza Jury List is posted!

La Luz de Jesus Gallery presents:

March 2 - April 1
Opening Reception: Friday, March 2nd, 8-11 pm
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90027

La Luz De Jesus Gallery proudly presents our annual juried group exhibition, "Laluzapalooza.” This gigantic, no-theme show features works from some of the freshest and most relevant artists working today. Over 9,000 submissions from commercial illustrators, graphic designers, tattooists, scenics, students, animators and working gallery artists had to be sorted-through, and we've finally narrowed it down to 120 artists. The official piece count is awaiting verification, but you can bet that it will be another (tastefully) jam-packed, salon-style exhibition. There are some familiar names from our ever-growing roster of feature artists, but an overwhelming percentage of the work comes from a brand new batch of undiscovered, emerging talent.

For the past fifteen years, our annual group show was called “Everything but the Kitschen Sync,” but it began life in October 1986 as the “Día de los Muertos” show which was entirely focused on the folk art, sculptures and imagery of Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” celebration. By 1995, gallery owner and curator Billy Shire felt the show had run its course and presented other themed group exhibitions such as the 1996 “21st Century Tiki Show” curated with Otto Von Stroheim. In 1998 Shire decided to present a non-themed show dedicated to illustrative and narrative artwork. As many local artists work in commercial graphic art fields such as illustration, cartooning, animation, etc., the show was named “Uncommercial Art by Commercial Artists.” In 2004, Shire changed the show title to the more encompassing and less-cumbersome “Everything But the Kitschen Synch.” Several spelling and name variations later, here we are...

“Everyone looks at this show for new and interesting artists” states Shire – and indeed, not only does La Luz de Jesus pick artists from the group show for future smaller group and solo shows – numerous curators and owners of other galleries also keep their eyes on the yearly show for potential artists to add to their rosters."

"This is the one show annually that most patrons look forward to seeing, as it's a chance to discover new artists in the venue that has launched so many careers," notes gallery director Matt Kennedy. "Every year we manage to discover a new conglomeration of fresh talent, and among them a class of breakout successes. That's really a credit to the accessible talent pool. The quality and availability of instruction (both in schools and through independent study) coupled with the the culture that this city attracts, fosters a welcoming environment for people with the ability to create –often in reaction to their individual situations."

Please join La Luz de Jesus as we continue to support the latest and most original efforts from the nation's alternative art scene.

The “Laluzapalooza” Artist List is as follows:

Liz Adams
Deanna Rene Adona
Susanne Apgar
Camille Bachand
Christopher Bales
Dan Barry
Shaun Berke
Vicki Berndt
Michelle Bickford
Dasha Biggs
Mike Biggs
Anthony Bradford
Elliot Brown
Michael Brown
Mark Bryan
Laura Buss
Liam Carl
Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo
Alex Chavez
Adrian Cherry
Heung-Heung Chin
JAW Cooper
Edward Robin Coronel
Matthew Couper
Jeremy Cross
Jo Curry
Steven Daily
Jessica Dalva
John de Fazio
Dave Dexter
Brice Eichelberger
Bruce Eichelberger

Jessica Fife
Barry Fitzgerald
Mary Fleener
Don Fritz
Richard Frost
Rachel Fuji
Arthur Giron
Mark Gleason
Loretta Gonzalez
Max Grundy
Sunny Gu
Tamara Guion

Conrad Haberland
Walter Hall
Howard Hallis
Derek Harrison
Gale Hart
Andy Hernandez
Sam Ho
Scott Holloway
Jack Howe
Eric Hudgins
Andreanna Iakovidis
Jennifer Jelenski
Susan Jonaitis
Jason Justice
Michael "POGO" Kortez
Norbert H. Kox
Alison Krumwiede
Dennis Larkins
Craig LaRotonda
Dave Lebow
So Youn Lee
Inger Lorre
Carl Lozada
Danni Shinya Luo
Dion Macellari
David Mack
Liz Mamorsky
D.W. Marino
Menton J. Matthews III
Matjames Metson
Richard Meyer
Nicole Moan
Graham Moore
Click Mort

Emi Motokawa
Pamela Mower-Conner
Kat Marie Moya
David Natale
Nas Oh
José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros
Heather O'Shaughnessy
Tammi Otis
Ruel Pascual
Doug P'gosh
Brian Poor
Gail Potocki
Matthew Price
Anthony Purcell
Michael Ramstead
Byung Rin
Shawn Roberts
Annie Murphy Robinson
Ave Rose
Amanda Sage
J Salvador
Van Saro
Misaki Sawada
Justin Schaefer
Kim Scott
Meagan Segal
Jonathan Shaw
Ann Shen
Dale Sizer
Aniela Sobieski
Mike Sosnowski
Simon Sotelo
Andy Steele
Sean Stepanoff
Adam Strange
Hui Tan
Miles Thompson
Pol Turgeon
David VonDerLinn
Dave Warshaw
Mel Weiner
Marc Willey
Lea Wood
Jasmine Worth
Christine Wu
Sandra Yagi
Mimi Yoon

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Neighborhood Fame

The latest issue of the Los Feliz Ledger includes an interview with Soap Plant / WACKO / La Luz de Jesus Gallery owner Billy Shire. Local reporters came here in November on the occasion of the 25th anniversary exhibition and remarked about the 40 year history of the shop that houses the most important pop contemporary gallery in Los Angeles (if not the world). Following our coverage on TMZ, MNET, and most recently The Layover, it's been a hotbed of local and international coverage. It's also great to see Billy's contribution to pop culture recognized and appreciated by the people right here in our own neighborhood.

Just in time for Valentine's Day (or rather precisely on Valentine's Day) we'll be hosting the release party for Danni Shinya Luo's first mass market hardcover art volume: Soft Candy. The first 100 pre-orders will get a signed bookplate featuring all new artwork, commemorating the event. The signing will also launch an exhibition of the pin-ups featured in the book, and those drawings are all available for purchase right now. Lucky collectors have been snatching up very affordable published artwork for between $140 and $250. This may be your last chance to own an original piece of artwork before her prices reach the next level. I booked her first show here, and I'm both proud and excited to see her career taking off in a big way. Congrats, Shinya!
Soft Candy book launch and exhibition:
Tuesday, February 14th 7-10 PM.

Well unless you've been under a rock, you've seen our good friend David Choe all over the news lately. Seven years ago, Choe was hired to paint murals throughout the Facebook offices in exchange for stock options. Those stocks have just been valued at more than $200Million, and as a result David has been hounded by media worldwide as interest in his art skyrockets. Well it just so happens that we have two David Choe original drawings for sale. They were commissioned for publication in a fanzine called Gristle Magazine back in 2000, which was published by our very own Sean Stepanoff. The drawings are classic Choe; graphite, ink & watercolor on moleskin paper, measuring 11" x 17" and currently available for $3,000 each.

Call me (Matt) at the gallery to purchase, pre-order or for more info about these or other gallery events: (323) 666-7667.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Anthony Bourdain loves La Luz de Jesus Gallery!

Last August the crew from the Travel Network series The Layover paid us a visit and let us know that host Anthony Bourdain would be profiling the gallery and the shop and interviewing a few of us for our recommendations of the best bars, shops and things to do in Los Angeles. That episode has finally aired, and we found a link on youtube. At the 14:20 mark in the video above you can catch the cool clip that has seemingly run 100 times already, announcing La Luz de Jesus Gallery and WACKO as must stops in any visit to LA. We're all big Bourdain fans over here, so it was an honor to be recognized for a job well done. The clip above features art work by Jessicka Addams, Lou Beach, Alpha Lubicz, Miso, Click Mort, Jasmine Worth, Derek Harrison and Walt Hall as well as pieces by Danni Shinya Luo, Nathan Ota and Christopher Ulrich.

At the 9:25 mark of this second clip, you can see yours truly standing in the art hall in front of a group of paintings by Glenn Barr, with additional pieces by Van Saro, Simon Sotelo, Christine Wu, Frijol Boy and Lyle Motley also visible beside and behind me.

And speaking of Christine Wu, her sophomore exhibition, "Shhh..." opens Tomorrow (Friday, February 3, 2012). She's in the white room with Soey Milk, who'll be making her feature gallery debut after garnering some high profile coverage in Hi-Fructose and Blue Canvas.

The front gallery features 4 time feature artist Bonni Reid and local hero Matthew Bone, who has been building a name for himself among in-the-know celebs and collectors for quite some time. This is his first show with us, and we've already got him on the hook for future collaborations.

If Drew Struzen worked for Hustler Magazine instead of Lucasfilm, it might look something like this, but it wouldn't have Matthew's heart-on-his-sleeve love of comics, sci-fi and horror, which is what makes his paintings so alluring. Well that and his incredible technical skills.

The shop opens at 11 AM, but the gallery doesn't open until 8 PM. Sino Tequila will be making tasty cocktails and a crowd of the best looking, most talented people in Los Angeles will be here to appreciate the best damn show in town. So come join us!

And also mark your calendars for Valentine's Day (February 14th) at La Luz de Jesus. We've got a special book release, signing and exhibition for Danni Shinya Luo who will be celebrating her birthday with the release of her very first mass-market, hard-cover art volume.

Soft Candy: The Girls of Danni Shinya Luo (from Last Gasp) features an all new collection of pin-ups which we'll be displaying (for sale!) in the gallery for the remainder of the month. All of the drawings in the exhibit are published in the book -lending added provenance, and the first 100 books ordered will come with a signed book plate created specifically for this special occasion.

Nothing says "love" like a naked lady –am I right?