Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Metal Thrashing Mad!

My adolescence was primarily spent in my friend Kevin Maloney's basement listening (to) and playing heavy metal.
Our post-elementary years (1983-1989) were the golden age of Thrash, which was a style of speed metal born in Los Angeles as a response to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that really took hold in the San Francisco Bay area.

Tomorrow night, indie publisher Bazillion Points will host a signing here at La Luz de Jesus Gallery for Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew's MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter. There are incredibly rare pics from the scene including shots of Slayer in make-up and the original McGovney and Mustaine line-up of Metallica. Liner notes from some of the lords of the scene (Exodus' Gary Holt, Testament's Alex Skolnick, Vio-lence frontman Rob Flynn, and legendary DJ and Metal Mania publisher Ron Quintana) greatly enrich this thorough headbanging history.

Author Brian Lew will appear in person to sign copies of the book.

Mustaine, Hetfield & Ulrich 1982

There will be a pop-up display of photographic prints from this and two other amazing books.

METALION: The Slayer Magazine Diaries was the zine that chronicled the Norwegian Black Metal scene as it was happening. The highly satanic, church-burning actions in Norway made international headlines in 1993 when a beef between rival band members of Burzum and Mayhem resulted in murder, the discovery of which also shed light on other scene murders and serial arson. These unfortunate actions helped launch extreme metal worldwide, and the dress and affectations of a core group of die hard metalheads would be appropriated by mallrats all over suburbia. Fans of LORDS OF CHAOS need to see the rare pics from Jon Kristiansen's collection.

Of course without the California Hardcore scene, it's hard to imagine the crossover genre of Thrash ever taking root. WE GOT POWER! presents Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980s Southern California. Included are images from the seminal Black Flag and Circle Jerks shows at The Church, and follows the scene as it was originally documented in the zine of the same name. Authors Markey & Schwartz will be present to sign copies and discuss the pics on the book and on the walls.

DJ Adam Bomb will be spinning punk and metal records live.

The event is on Thursday, November 8, from 7-9 PM. The pop-up exhibition will last until Saturday afternoon, when we host a pop-up and signing for Peter Moruzzi's CLASSIC DINING.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Killing Big Bird

Tonight we open two shows that have been two and three years in the making. Bob Dob's Mouseketeer Army features a mural-sized American Flag composed of 76 inter-connected paintings that function as well alone as they do together. They are being sold individually for as little as $250 each!

Bob is also debuting two, lifesize, fiberglass Luey statues (each from an edition of only five figures), and a preview edition of badass Mouseketeer toys that come with hand-screened prints (from an edition of only twenty total).

Among the panels that completes Dob's flag is "Death of an Icon," which depicts the killing of Big Bird. Ironically, this current hot-topic, political meme was completed almost ten months ago lending an air of prophetic coincidence to an already stellar show.

Bob is quick to admit, "Well, I killed him for a completely different reason..."

In the front gallery on the grey walls is the triumphant return Nathan Ota. His Pop! Goes the Weasel indicates his revitalization through a chance encounter with a childhood friend. Ota got his start in the arts as graffiti writer, and after reconnecting with spray can allstar RISK, the two embarked on a body of work that changed each of their individual methodologies.

The centerpiece of Nathan's new exhibition is a five foot by four foot, two-panel collaborative piece, titled, "Rest When You're Dead," but his old Cooz tag is all over this show. By finally bridging his two identities, Ota has moved his work forward into a new, completely relevant direction that is as exciting to the artist as to his fans and patrons.

Both Dob & Ota are featured in Morphik's line of wearable art wristbands, and one of each of their lucky patrons will win a wristband with the art tile of their choice. They are available for purchase as well, so really, everybody can be a winner.

We'll also be giving away 100 free posters tonight, so get here early and enjoy the most exciting presentation of homegrown, southern California art.

Friday, November 2nd. 8-11 PM.
Exhibitions run through December 2nd.