Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fishfry with the Purple Gang & Vogue Italia

Fish Fry 7: Click for Line-up
Tomorrow night is the last Thursday of the month. You know what that means: BILLY'S THURSDAY NIGHT FISH FRY!

You've not heard of this?
On the last Thursday of each month, Southern California's axis of underground pop culture, Wacko / La Luz de Jesus Gallery, hosts "Billy's Thursday Night Fish Fry & Community Social." The monthly event presents a diverse multi-media mixed-bag variety show of music, spoken word, unusual performance and more, putting a spotlight on several generations of Los Angeles performers. Billy Shire calls the night a "21st century salon" and aims to re-connect the local creative community with a free, two plus hour "in the round" show, with the performers in the center of the gallery. The Fish Fry promises short revolving acoustic based musical sets, poetry, odd pairings of performers and much more. The show is open to all ages and there is NO cover charge!

Click below the image (top left) for this month's line-up, starring The Purple Gang (featuring members of Tex & the Horseheads, The DIs, The Hangmen, Kix, Thelonious Monster, The Joneses & Rhino Bucket) and a special live painting event with Van Saro!

While you may not instantly connect La Luz de Jesus Gallery with haute couture (no matter how much money I spend on custom sneakers), we've managed to follow our April coverage in Elle Magazine with an August feature in Italian Vogue!  In the column, Vogue Curvy, Irene Tamagnone singled out "Loaiza'a Curvy Snow White" (pictured right), further adding, "Rodolfo Loaiza plays with the imaginary of the cartoons, at it amazes us thanks to a Snow-White character with a curvy body."

While highlighting Loaiza'a After The Loving from last year's La Luz de Jesus 25 Exhibition (and featured in the anniversary catalog of the same name), the article went on to discuss the Disasterland exhibition and the online version had a gallery and links back the La Luz de Jesus website. Congrats, Rodolfo!

If you can't get enough of the live music events at La Luz de Jesus, you absolutely must not miss the Negativland "Our Favorite Things" opening reception which will feature an incredibly rare performance by the band to kick off a career retrospective of their subversive art projects. It took almost two years to set up this gig, and the fact that Neon Park and Chick Strand will be the other headliners (in Gallery II) for the prestigious September slot makes this an evening for the ages. There will be more special events connected to these exhibitions that we'll be announcing throughout the month, so check back to our Events page often.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tiki Invasion Tonight!

Tonight (7-9 PM) we'll be hosting the release party for THE DVD OF TIKI, which will feature a screening of the film fully packed with everything that makes a Tiki-lover's heart go crazy. Documentary producer Jochen Hirschfeld's guerilla crew travelled the Pacific for 101 days and captured the true South Seas as well as its pop culture interpretation.

Viewers will get insight in the work of veteran and present day tiki artists: writers, musicians, painters, carvers, illustrators, and of course, bartenders.

Meet Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern author Sven A. Kirsten (who will also be on hand to sign copies of the DVD), and see Edgar Leetag's house in Moorea.

Mr. Hirschfeld will be hosting the event, and will not only be signing copies of the DVD, but willing to answer all of your probing questions about Tiki.

In preparation for this event, we've hung some Tiki-themed pieces in the Art Hallway, including Doug P'Gosh's "One Way Trip to the Tiki Grotto," and several of Brad Parker (aka Tiki Shark) one of a kind giclées on canvas from his recent and very successful "Tales from the Tiki Lounge" exhibition. 

We've also got a very small quantity (less than five as of this writing) of Brad's Tiki Cat giclée on paper prints, which were limited to 25 total. Any of the tiki art pieces purchased at this event can be taken home tonight, so be sure to ask a store manager for details.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mechanical Butterflies in Motion!

Ave Rose's Watchbot City has been getting a lot of attention, but unless you've seen her magnificent Butterflyport in person, it's difficult to understand exactly how much more the motion enriches these delicate sculptures. The butterflies are real, by the way, and the antique gear mechanisms were acquired on a recent trip to the Philippines. The film above (shot by Treiops Treyfid) will be quite illuminating to those too far away to travel to La Luz de Jesus Gallery and witness in person the exquisite miniscule metropolis.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Extended by Popular Demand: Disasterland!

Drunk on Love 2
 We generally open our shows on the first Friday of each month and end them on the last Sunday, but the overwhelming popularity of José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros' latest exhibition Disasterland has necessitated that we extend to the first Sunday of next month!

By now you probably know that his Drunk Snow White image (above) is at the center of the Twihard break-up between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. A scorned wife upon hearing of Stewart's affair with her husband tweeted the image just about a week before Disasterland opened. We were quickly flooded with press requests and international sales (and Perez Hilton hyped us –twice!), and now there are only a handful of pieces not yet sold . But if you think Rodolfo is in the only reason to rush in and check out the show, you'll be very pleasantly surprised by the steampunky exhibitions in Gallery II.

Christopher Bales
Ave Rose
 Christopher Bales sold three pieces in a single day last week to different buyers from his current feature in a show that highlights the jury winners form this year's Laluzapalooza. That tallies four displayed pieces sold over all, and while it's a common sentiment that the images on the site don't do justice to the works in person, his really is a collection that must be seen. The works are three dimensional collages with delicate and antique components. All are wall-hanging and quite beautiful.

Ave Rose is another of the jury winners whose work is on display, and her creations are so layered, intricate and complex that  we had to showcase multiple angle photos that still don't do justice to the movement of her mechanized butterflies that recall Fritz Lang's Metropolis by way of Victorian entomology. She recently gave a presentation of her work for a few lucky patrons on Thursday evening, explaining that she warmed to the idea of incorporating insects into her watchbot world after coming across a video of ChouChou, the Japanese electric butterfly –and taking it to the next logical (and slightly gothic) extreme. Her battery powered display stands allow 360° views, but her hand-cranked butterfly wing flappers really have to be seen to be believed.

Click Mort sold a great many of his pieces before the exhibition opened, allowing more pieces to be brought and displayed in their stead. His remixed novelty sculptures reveal a basic creepiness inherent in all table-top nostalgia pieces –but with a true surrealist perspective.

Many of Anthony Purcell's Victorian-style portraits look normal enough until you walk past them, and you realize the sausage pocket watch chains or miniature eyeballs adorning the frames. But even when the twist is as obvious as spaghetti exploding from a hole in the head, the technicality of his brush work keeps you lingering.

Byung's military animals, D.W. Marino's culture bombs, Heather O'Shaughnessy's beeswax reliefs, and Richard Meyer's perplexed pets all carry an element of awesome that demands a second look, too.

And they'll all be on display until September 2nd, so now you've no reason to miss them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Midwestern Mysticism

Some of you may have heard that I drove a truck to Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago. I did it in 40 hours, sleeping for a single hour on the New Mexico / Texas border, and pretty much only stopping for fuel the rest of the way. To keep fuel costs low, I drove the entire way without any air conditioning during the hottest summer on record. Suffice to say that there aren't a lot of people that I would do this for, but Myron Dyal is definitely one of them.

Shauta Marsh of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art contacted me about half a year ago to discuss me acting as a guest curator for an available spot in August. I've been looking for a museum setting for Myron's work since we hosted the original Charon's Pantheon back in February 2011. We were able to showcase this important exhibition in Orange County at the Grand Central Art Center of Santa Ana, and performances of Jennifer Logan's musical score to Myron's sculptures were held at Occidental College and elsewhere, but the opportunity to indoctrinate a completely new audience in a MOCA setting was a dream come true.

We were a little worried at first about how the people in Chick-fil-A, territory would react to Myron's intensely spiritual portraits and sculptures. Since I was unable to attend, I was concerned about not being able to help explain the pieces if things got rowdy, but the press and reviews have been absolute raves. The Indianapolis Star listed the show as a top-five, must-see event, and below is a 5 star review from NUVO's Dan Grossman, who might be the most important art critic in the mid-west. So, many thanks to Shauta Marsh for having the courage to book us, and a warm, hearty congrats to Myron Dyal for getting some serious recognition in a serious space.

From NUVO: Indy's Alternative Voice:

Review: Myron Conan Dyal, 'Charon's Pantheon'


As a child, Myron Conan Dyal's fundamentalist Christian parents subjected him to bouts of isolation and crude forms of exorcism in response to his epilepsy. The visions associated with this condition ultimately inspired a body of artwork that would puncture the boundaries of the religion that he was immersed in as a child.

Dyal's exhibit at iMOCA, curated by Matt Kennedy of Los Angeles's La Luz de Jesus Gallery, is grouped into two parts.

The smaller back gallery features a hothouse of colorful acrylic paintings and painted sculpture like "The Guardian of Male Energy," which seems a hybrid humanoid/flowering plant with a keyboard in hand (Dyal is a classically trained pianist). Paintings like "The Guardian," a chimerical humanoid figure with a ruminant-like skull for a head, suggest an animistic spirituality as well as a hermetic symbolism. Dyal's subjects seem to inhabit a netherworld between the living and the dead such as one might find in the rich rot of a tropical forest's floor.

The modus operandi behind Dyal's larger exhibit Charon's Pantheon, which occupies the larger, front gallery, is not diversity, as in the backroom, but unity. The piece collects 13 life-sized, paper mache sculptures in the forms of human - and humanoid - creatures. Six white sculptures and six black sculptures stand on either side of a "Red Shroud" statue, which remains completely veiled. This veil cannot be lifted physically; it's part of the sculpture.

While the "Red Shroud," by its placement, suggests a sort of birth mother from which the other figures spring, its exact symbolism remains hidden and mysterious, though Dyal offers interpretive clues via his poetry, included on the placards that identify each sculpture. Here and there, the figures bear a familiar countenance: the all-white figure of "As Above, So Below" resembles no one so much as the Virgin Mary.

If you've read your Joseph Campbell, you may know that Mary has her corollary in religious traditions more ancient than Christianity. And as you walk from left to right, from white to black, the figures become increasingly bizarre, chimerical, and foreboding - even primeval
While Dyal believes in conflict and dichotomies, he refuses to credit the black and white (and fundamentalist Christian) conception of good and evil. Like the Charon of Greek mythology, ferrying the dead across the River Styx to the afterlife, Dyal is leads past the boundary of art for art's sake toward his more primitive and all-encompassing vision. Through Sept. 15 at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Are you ready for Disasterland?

The photo at left was taken last night in the back gallery around 9PM. The walls are now all completely arranged and ready for the heavy foot traffic we're expecting tomorrow night.

Rodolfo Loaiza has been covered by Huffington Post, AOL Music, Univision, and about 200+ other media outlets since his Drunk on Love 2 (below) was tweeted by Liberty Ross to Kristen Stewart as a retaliation for the latter's affair with the former's husband, director Rupert Sanders.

Then Lady Gaga's Little Monsters ran images of Rodolfo's Magic Meat Dress painting, and that got picked up by seemingly every remaining media outlet that already hopped on the Loaiza fame wagon.

Well rest assured that there are still many surprises to come! The painter has a very special concept for his exhibition tomorrow night and those who miss it will be kicking themselves blue when they see the feeds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

That doesn't even address the incredible roster of talent in the very steampunk themed second gallery. The mechanical butterflies in Ave Rose's intricate sculptures are sure to garner as much attention as the meme-heavy attractions in the front room –and the costume she's got planned is simply not to be missed. I could go on at length about the work by Click Mort, Heather O'Shaughnessy, D. W. Marino, Byung, Richard Meyer, Christopher Bales and Anthony Purcell, but I'll let their work speak for itself.

The opening reception begins at 8PM, closes at 11PM, and I can't urge strongly enough that would-be attendees get here early. The parking situation is going to be out of control. Bite the bullet and valet at the local restaurants or carpool or take the very convenient public transportation system (we're half a block from the major Hollywood and Vermont bus artery, and one and a half blocks from the Sunset and Vermont metro stop on the Redline). Ride your bike or walk, but do not miss this show which is without hyperbole, the best show you'll see this summer.