Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Frieze Burn (D.I.Y Gallery Seeks D.I.Y. Critics)

SOLD: $750,000 
(Hauser & Wirth)
This past Wednesday the news that Donald Trump's last rival in the Republican primary had dropped out of the race caused the Dow to drop nearly 100 points. Suffice to say that Wall Street is ill at ease with the prospect of a Trump presidency. Wednesday night also happened to be the VIP gala for New York's Frieze Fair, one of the contemporary art market's most anticipated events. Since the fortunes of most invested in blue chip art are also tied up in the stock market, that translated to a less than bullish night at Randall's Island Park in Manhattan's East River.

Which is not to say that there were no sales. In fact, Paul McCarthy’s SC Western Red River, Red (2016), the first work in a new series entitled “Stagecoach,” sold for $750,000.

I want you take a moment and wrap your head around that.

It's silicone, measuring 52 × 32 × 37 in. (132.1 × 81.3 × 94 cm). It is from an edition of 3 with 2 additional artist proofs, so it's not even a unique piece, produced earlier this year and it sold for three-quarters of a million dollars this past weekend.

Paul McCarthy is recognized for his provocative, some would say tasteless, performances, multi-media installations, and sculptures, and so his work is very grounded in what could easily be termed "lowbrow" culture. Now, I'm not a Philistine; I appreciate high-concept work, and I can find the humor (if not necessarily the appraisable value) of his Santa Claus porn videos, Zapruder film reenactment, and even the giant, inflatable, chocolate butt plug. But I would be lying if I confessed to seeing anything deep, meaningful, or pleasing about that red, melted gnome in the upper left corner of this post. This exemplifies the disconnect between the pedantic and the public, and in that respect McCarthy as provocateur is the Donald Trump of the fine art establishment.

There might not be much harm in enjoying an occasional dose of juvenility, but for such work to become the standard bearer of academia... well let's just say there is a danger in that.

Beefy by Mikal Winn
Available for $12,000
This past Friday, right here at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, we opened an exhibition of Mikal Winn's sculpted assemblage pieces. Winn uses taxidermy forms, road kill, damaged antiques and other discarded materials in congress with porcelain, Swarovsky crystals, precious metals and other inherent symbols of opulence to render exquisite creations that address the complexities of life and death in an uncompromising and yet highly palatable presentation. Mikal Winn is everything that Paul McCarthy no longer is (and perhaps never was): a highly skilled technician, whose high-concept work lacks masturbatory conceit and thus lends itself to widespread appreciation. Winn's sculptures are not just conversation starters, they are show-stoppers.

I know that it has become novel to bag on contemporary art, and criticizing the wealthy has always been in vogue–especially as a form of disapproval. But I'm not a classicist. I would no more judge a collector for their bank account than for their race, creed, color, or age. Many patrons of the arts donate significant sums to charitable enterprises, and their disposable income fuels local economies.

Investment in art, however, is mostly a kind of tax shelter, whereby funds that could be taxed if left in a bank can't be taxed if spent on art until the point of resale. By that criteria the more money spent and the smaller the space it occupies, the better. Often, such art is placed directly in a warehouse rather than actually displayed. Best, then, if that art can be loaned to a respected institution who will care for it, store it, and give it additional provenance. In that respect, less expensive art becomes more of a hassle for them since it protects less of their taxable income and occupies more physical space. Investment art starts at $20,000 on the low end, but is generally hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars and those private sales and auction results fuel the rest of the market like a price guide.

Rose by Mikal Winn
Available for $3,200
But if your art collecting is motivated by aesthetic and not by a need to hide millions of dollars in tax shelters, it seems like a no-brainer to me that you would want to surround yourself with well-made things. And something need not be technical to qualify as well-made. The soul-stirring simplicity of self-taught work can be just as evocative as a practiced, learned discipline. While generally less-technical, naive art can be richer in emotion. The beautiful thing about art is the nearly endless variety of styles available to match your specific taste. A healthy collection of contemporary art will often encompass a variety of genres that find context in the presence of other, disparate forms. Too much of one thing can run the risk of appearing to lack perspective. It's fun to juxtapose Rembrandt and Rothko, which is why many private collectors seek to recreate the variety of a museum experience in their homes.

But just as the mainstream news media has been blamed for the rise of Donald Trump, so too must contemporary art critics take a bit of the blame for the meteoric prices we're seeing for banal and poorly executed art. Money is not taste. But if coverage isn't given to good work, money won't find it. I'd rather read a positive review of lesser known art than a complete savaging of a sacred cow, and besides, not covering a big show is more damaging than a negative review.

Mikal Winn & Dave Lebow
If you see an excellent show, blog about it, podcast about it, Youtube it and Instagram it and be sure to tag the artists and the gallery. Your ability to articulate what you appreciate will find an audience and you'll be doing a favor for the people and places you appreciate. Your access to quality being missed by the publications that should know will come to their attention and your ability to identify the voice of the zeitgeist will usurp lazy journalism. And to be clear, there are so many astute and talented writers in the world of art criticism who are shackled by uninspired editors. It's fine to hand in your 1500 words on Jeff Koons for Artnet, but please fill your blog with equal time for the emerging talents in your own backyards.

Thank you, art world.

–Matt Kennedy, May 2016

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Third of the Way Home

It's just a little over a week into THE COASTER SHOW exhibition, and already one third of the pieces have sold! As I walked a fellow curator through the show on his return trip to buy more coasters, we noticed how many incredible pieces are still available from artists whose work is generally very expensive. Some of the still-available coasters are priced far below the ceiling price we set of $250, making them incredible bargains for savvy collectors.

For those of you not in the know, I've highlighted the following pieces that popped up in conversation yesterday, with some others that I'm surprised didn't sell before the show opened:

Dennis Larkins is the official artist of the Grateful Dead.
Try and find a painting elsewhere for under $5,000!

3 of Lucasfilm & Disney artist Steven Daily's coasters are up for grabs.
Stellar draftsmanship that you'll never see at these prices again.

Dave Dexter's work confronts issues of race and stereotype head-on.
He's getting a career retrospective at IMOCA next summer.

Kaz is a true punk rock icon!
When's the last time you saw one available for purchase? 

Danni Shinya Luo's girls are rarely this affordable and always sell out.

Nathan Ota has two coasters available as I write this,
but they'll probably sell by the time this goes live.

At 4" tondo, these are the smallest pieces Christopher Ulrich has ever painted.
The last exhibition piece we sold was $10,000.

Simone Gad recently exhibited at the Hammer Museum
and was included in a Getty Catalog.

Japanese artist Teiji Hayama has beed in Juxtapoz & Hi Fructose
and rarely exhibits in Los Angeles.

Italian Zoe Lacchei is in the collections of Long Gone John & Crispin Glover.
Every piece we've ever shown of hers has sold.

Small work is nothing new for Jasmine Worth.
But at these prices? Forget about it!

Miroslav Pecho is a Slovakian student of the Giger tradition.
His work generally goes straight into prominent European collections.

It would be easy to list several hundred pieces that I am surprised are still available–especially after all the incredible coverage this show has been receiving. But truth be told, these only scratch the surface. There are still many pieces at or below $20, and several museum exhibited artists for between $50 and $150. And the pieces that are at the top of the pricing spectrum for this show are still listed way below those artists' usual retail pricing.

Do yourself a favor: click HERE and check out the online gallery. You are going to find some incredible work. Pricing and description of media is available for every piece. Depending on the size of your browser window, you may need to scroll down after clicking the preview image. It'll say if it's sold, too.

Call me with questions about purchasing and availability: (323)666-7667

Matt Kennedy, gallery director.
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Coaster Show au Go-Go!

We opened the second annual Coaster Show this past Friday night (September 5th), and it was a smashing success. Our partners, LA Beer Week, brought libations from Eagle Rock Brewery and at least three other craft brewers and I'd estimate that somewhere between four and five thousand people showed up to sample the art and the beer. Eric Minh Swenson took some amazing photos on opening night (like the one below) that help verify that estimate.

The exhibition features the work of over 300 artists, comprising over 1,050 unique pieces, which required about 4,000 pushpins to display on the walls. Additional works were pedestalled. We contacted our friends at Mondo Bizarro and Dorothy Circus in Rome, and other galleries in Paris, Tokyo, Melbourne, and elsewhere in order to assemble the most diverse presentation of international Post-Pop artists you are likely to see–at least until we do this again next year!

For those interested in just how long it takes to hang a show like, Lee Joseph of Reverberations Media has put together a neat gallery of installation progress photos on his Flickr page. Above is a shot taken by gallery assistant Misty Zhou of the final touch to this week-long install: director Matt Kennedy and LA Beer Week principal Brandon Bradford removing the backing of the wall vinyl.

Below is a wonderful start-to-finish video by Daisuke Okamoto of one of his pieces featured in The Coaster Show (still available as I type this). Other artists have made similar progress videos that offer a glimpse inside their artistic processes:

There are so many incredible and affordable pieces, that The Coaster Show (only in its second year!) has already established itself as the collector's starter kit unparalleled. Many artists' full sets of coasters were quick to sell out, including Jessicka Addams, Shaun Berke, Frank Forte, Renee French, Aaron Bo Heimlich, Alessia Iannetti, Dierdre Sullivan-Beeman, Christine Wu, and a lot of other well-known folks and first timers. Check out the preview online and, if at all possible, come to see the show in person, as it is a uniquely overwhelming experience; an embarrassment of riches, really!

And not least of all, congrats to Harold Fox for completely selling out his solo exhibition in the front room, On the Fringe of the Mundane. This is a not a very common occurrence, and we're proud to have accomplished this for him. Both exhibitions will be up all month long, until Sunday, September 28th. La Luz de Jesus gallery is opened 7 days a week. Call for info: (323)666-7667.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Profanity Pop Enters the Pop Culture

On Friday, August 1st we opened our fourth solo exhibition of José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros' work, this time titled Profanity Pop. With each exhibition, we've seen his fame grow–from the Liberty Ross tweet of Drunk Love to Lady Gaga's re-postings of Cinderella McQueen & Meat Dress, to a veritable cavalcade of professional animators and celebrity fans (including Katy Perry and Britney Spears). His work has been featured in two museum shows; last year at the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum and next month at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos.

With elevated recognition there comes controversy. While the overwhelming response has been completely positive, local and international media selected this exhibition as a means of discussing equality, tolerance and acceptance–and we couldn't be happier.

Check out the Univision Network coverage below (or click here), and be sure to come see José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros' Profanity Pop exhibition and the Laluzapalooza Jury Winners (Katherine Brannock, Frank Forte, Hueman, Jinx, and Sean Stepanoff) this month at La Luz de Jesus Gallery.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Lesson in Protocol

So you summoned the courage, you familiarized yourself with the gallery’s submission guidelines and lo-and-behold you got accepted! Now what?

Whether it’s a group show or a solo exhibition, you’ll want to contact the gallery director and find out what’s expected of you. Often, the acceptance letter (or email) will outline most of the delivery details, the exhibition dates, and possibly the payment split and return policy. If you don’t have that info, get it before you send or deliver your art. Make yourself as easy to contact as possible. It is imperative that the gallery has your mailing address and telephone number. Otherwise, how can they return your work or send you a check? Even if you’ve exhibited with them before, be sure to include your up-to-date contact info in the same emails as your submission and acknowledgment of show details.

If you are one artist in a massive group show, don’t expect a contract, but at least request an email that outlines everything. If you’ve booked a feature or solo show, you’ll be within your rights to expect a contract or some other form of exhibition agreement. In fact, you should request one. If anything is unclear on the agreement (like payment split, term of sale rights, blackout dates, the number of other artists in the show, who pays to ship or anything else), you should ASK. Many things are likely to be non-negotiable (the payment split is basically NEVER negotiable), but delivery dates can sometimes be adjusted and other exceptions can sometimes be made. If anything in the contract is unclear or makes you uncomfortable, don’t sign it until it is either altered to your specification or a compromise has been reached. Because once you’ve signed that agreement, you are legally bound to abide by the details therein.

Our agreements outline delivery dates for show statements and images in specific sizes on or before specific dates. If the contract states that you are to supply images, then it is your job to do that, and by the date agreed upon. If you are a terrible photographer, it will be your responsibility to find someone to take good photos and to get those photos to the gallery by the contracted deadline. Most contracts require that your work is “wall ready,” which means that pieces intended for hanging must be wired. If the piece is over-sized or heavy, it should have d-rings or a cleat mechanism installed. Think about it: regardless of whether a patron plans to re-frame your work, whoever buys it expects a means to display it that doesn’t involve balancing it on a nail or two–especially out here in earthquake country.

Even if there are no specific repercussions outlined for violating the key points in your agreement, rest assured that your gallerist expects you to meet those deadlines. Deliver when you are supposed to deliver and pick up when you are expected to pick up.  Whether this is your first show or your fifth show, you are expected to do what you said you would do in the contract you signed and returned. I suppose that if you are habitually careless with regard to such things it's as much the gallery’s fault for continuing to work with you, as yours for not complying, but don't be surprised if after a series of mishaps they don’t book you again.
This is what a court summons looks like

And don’t be too surprised if other galleries don’t rush to scoop you up, either–regardless of your success, because word has a way of getting around. Even if galleries didn't talk to each other outright, assistants, interns and anyone within earshot of a loud phone call could just as easily gossip. And bad news tends to travel much faster than good news. I’ve even overheard artists sandbagging themselves at other artists’ opening receptions.

Don’t do that. And don’t be that artist. Don’t be the one that waits until the last minute to paint a show that’s been booked for a year, misses every deadline and delivers wet pieces on the night before the show opens. And don’t put pieces into group shows when your contract specifies exclusivity. Exclusivity is just that: you have the right to show your work exclusively at one gallery for an agreed upon span of months. That includes group shows unless stated otherwise. It might even include commissions.

If you are prior booked for one or more group shows at the time you are offered a feature or solo exhibition, you need to tell the gallerist. In such cases it is common for them to offer you at least one exception, which can (and should) be specified in the show agreement. More than one prior local commitment, however, may necessitate a difficult decision. In such cases it may be wise to remember that group shows are intended to lead to features, so denying yourself a feature exhibition for a succession of group shows is somewhat counter-intuitive. Of course a group show that puts you on a wall next to Mark Ryden is a group show that you really can’t say “No” to, but the odds of that happening twice in a year are pretty slim. That would probably make your new gallerist happy, anyhow. They’re not trying to take bread off your table, they’re trying to protect your career.

Long Gone John Exhibit at Grand Central (courtesy of John Purlia)

Don’t omit any facts that have even the remotest chance of impacting your gallery’s plan. In other words, don’t be shady. You wouldn't want your gallery to hide important details that affect your career, and you shouldn’t do that to them, either.

If your new gallery is cool with letting you exhibit in a group show, don’t assume they’ll be OK with you exhibiting more than two pieces two months before your show with them. They might be ok with three or more pieces in four different shows in various locations, but they probably won’t be and it’s always best to discuss these things. It should probably be addressed in your contract with them, but if it isn’t you should ask.

If you’ve committed to what the gallery deems too many group shows, don’t be surprised if they decline their offer, at least temporarily. If they aren’t too bothered, they may elect to reschedule your show at a later date. This is because they don’t want you to cannibalize your own market. There is a limited number of sales within a region for almost every artist, and it is much better for you to sell all the pieces in your solo or feature show than to spread those same sales over multiple group shows. Everybody remembers when you have a completely sold out show. Few people beyond the buyer recall the one piece that sold among many other pieces in a group show unless it was one of the best pieces you’ve ever done–and you should have saved that for your feature show.

Likewise, you shouldn’t be booking commissions while you’re working on a show. And when you do accept a commission, you should price it well above your standard gallery rate. Why? Well, firstly, because commissions are generally a major pain in the ass–unless handled by your gallery (and thus paid in full up front, with very little interaction with the buyer). I’ve seen patrons make artists jump through a succession of hoops for no other reason than they feel like they can, for the mere reason that you cashed their check. 

What could possibly go wrong?

Secondly, if the public can get you to paint what they want you to paint instead of what you choose to paint and for the same price either way, there’s no real incentive for them to buy your gallery work at all. Why buy something that you kind of like when you can get exactly what you want? Allowing everyone to tell you what to paint belittles the work that you do in concepting a body of work and it diminishes the gratitude that a specialty piece should elicit.

Patrons want commissions because they’re hard to get. The ability to buy one should instill specialness if not an actual, viable sense of elitism. I can tell you first hand that artists who do too many commissions kill their own resale market, because it’s generally less fun being told what to do than it is to realize your own vision, and the ensuing lack of enthusiasm is easy to spot. Additionally, the work can fall outside the usual style canon and be considered anomalous. As a result, when that artist’s prices start to appreciate, collectors will unload these phoned-in pieces that don’t mean all that much to them anymore. By pricing a commission above the going rate of a gallery piece, it generally prevents a short sale because it takes longer for the exhibition rate to catch-up to the commission price and not many people are willing to sell at a loss. 

And let’s not forget that the gallery, by offering you a feature exhibition, is making a commitment. They’re taking a chance based on what they view as your potential within their client pool. That commitment needs to be mutual if the gallery-artist relationship is going to work and grow.

The average industrial rental space

Galleries have more over-head than you can probably imagine. Most artists have not had to rent gallery space, print invitations, supply refreshments, hire security and a publicist, nor are they usually equipped to accept payments other than cash without also accepting a lot of risk. These things all require infrastructure.
If many artists shipped their paintings to collectors packed in the same fashion as delivered to the gallery, there would be a lot of refunds happening. Shipping supplies take up room and cost money, too. When all is said and done, most artists who hold pop-up shows end up with less than half after all the deductions, and they rarely do it twice. Most galleries withhold 50% of the total sales but wind-up netting only 30% of the gross.

Some artists subsist on commissions alone, but there is no price history without gallery or auction sales, which lowers the ceiling on pricing because it annexes investors and speculators. That might not sound like a bad thing, but even entry-level collectors want to believe that what they buy will increase in value, and that appreciation is based within the market: on public sale history, not on word of mouth. Referral from your client base is great, but these potential new clients want the reinforcement that a solid and verifiable sales record will provide. The fact that your work hung on a gallery wall is a basic provenance unto itself. Without that, you need to have a marketing plan that constantly targets new buyers, and may take as much or more time as it does to actually create the work. That lost time is lost quality of life.

Don’t get me wrong; commissions can be great. When handled in tandem with a well-thought-out gallery strategy, commissions can be a key factor to building your career. But if everyone who wanted one of your paintings already has one come show time, you are going to go on record with a massive failure. It only takes one total bust to sideline (if not completely kill) a career. Stifling your upward trajectory can be more psychologically damaging than never achieving initial success.

If the gallery that you’ve worked hard to get into gives you advice, take it. This relates to pricing, editing out pieces, and possibly subject matter and color palette. If you don’t trust their judgment, why are you showing with them? They’re not telling you what to do for any other reason than their experience gives them insight that caused you to want to exhibit with them. They know their clientele base better than you do. Hopefully they understand you and your work. If they discover you a bit ahead of the curve, they’ll bring you back if they believe in you–even if you don’t sell anything. If the advice you’re getting from your gallery runs counter to your world view, you’re either talking to the wrong gallery or you’re due for a rude awakening.

Chuck Connoly was once the biggest artist in NYC. Ever heard of him?

Failure is a luxury that long-established galleries have and which start-ups do not. Veterans can program shows that are outside the box because they’ve got enough clout to carry them. They can present the art that they want to show because they feel it deserves to be seen, not based on projected sales. If you have a good relationship with your gallery, you can survive a weak reception. If you constantly jump from gallery to gallery, you’ll be susceptible to fair weather and the likely possibility that you will trend out.

The gallery’s job is to showcase your works and hopefully expand your customer base. That’s it. Your job is to create the art, and to work with, not against, your gallery. Getting materials to them when they need them is just as important for the success of a show as making the art. You can’t blame a gallery for not doing their job if you haven’t done yours.  

“The big pay-off was to work as an artist and gain some shred of respect from your friends, who were also artists. But there was never any notion that you could make a living out of art. On the rare occasions you had a gallery show, and sold a little work, well, that was just gravy.” ­–Edward Ruscha

There are important things to treasure about being in a vocation that allows you to profit by doing what you love to do. Odds are that it chose you, and not the other way around. It is more likely than not that being a creative person requires a great deal of support (financial and otherwise) from the people around you. Appreciate them–all of them. Most gallery artists have other jobs that help pay the rent. Many artists have parents, spouses or significant others that carry most of that burden so that they can follow their dream. These other people aren’t martyrs. They are willing to pick up the slack because your happiness is their happiness, too. It’s copacetic, but don’t take that for granted.

Award winning author (and cult of personality) Neil Gaiman gave an inspirational address to the University of the Arts Class of 2012, in which he revealed his secret to working in a freelance world. It is truer than it perhaps ought to be and worth repeating here:

“People keep working… because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don't even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They'll forgive the lateness of the work if it's good, and if they like you. And you don't have to be as good as the others if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you.”

I believe quite strongly that the statute of limitations to being able to be a complete bastard and still prosper has reached its logical conclusion. Misery may love company, but it won’t continue to find it. This is an industry of relationships. I know that as I get older, my tolerance for bullshit goes down. I don’t care how good you are; if you are a dickhead I won’t keep working with you. In the long run, the cumulative effect of unpleasantness is that it will negatively affect the work. Your mindset will manifest in the work and people don’t want to live around a constant reminder of your bitterness.

Likewise, if you are very sweet and talented, but constantly late, it’s more stress than any gallerist will tolerate for very long. At a certain point you really just have to get your shit together.  


British film director Jimmy Sangster was fond of asking the question, “Do you want it good or Tuesday?” In exhibitions that have been booked a year or more in advance, there is no excuse for it not being good and on time. But it is much better to annex a piece than to rush it into a time frame that disallows proper completion. That one piece will lower the standard of the entire show. If every individual piece on the walls of your show isn’t exactly what it’s supposed to be, what’s the benefit of exhibiting it? It is the work that matters, after all. When it’s all said and done, it’s your signature on the piece. Do you want your name forever connected to a disappointing piece? The gallery will recover. Will you?

“Works of art often last forever, or nearly so. But exhibitions themselves, especially gallery exhibitions, are like flowers; they bloom and then they die, then exist only as memories, or pressed in magazines and books.” –Jerry Saltz

Nobody is perfect and neither is your gallery. In a perfect world, your gallerist is your best friend and the economy is always on your side, but there will be hiccups along the road. Many of my closest friends are artists, but not every artist I exhibit is a close, personal friend. A respectful acquaintance is really all that is needed for the relationship between artist and gallery. You don’t have to love a gallery to show there, but you should respect their programming and they should understand your goals. It may not all gel perfectly in your first exhibition, but as long as there are no misunderstandings and the work is a good match for the space you can expect a certain level of stability.

'Lady Snail arrives late to the Palace'
by Francisco Toledo

Epilogue: a word about lateness.

Most people are oblivious to the impact of lateness. Deadlines are not arbitrary, so tardiness causes problems. One should never assume deadlines are padded–even if they are. It's the thing that most artists take most for granted and scheduling, by definition, is the most calculated component of gallery exhibition. Every missed deadline upsets the schedule for the entire gallery. Arriving late for a meeting at an appointed time means that everything scheduled around that time has to be moved, and some tasks aren't easy to reschedule. Late physical drop-off of the art means we can't hang it when we planned to, and since installations require scheduling additional employees, that's not just wasted time, it's wasted pay. Late pick-up affects how the storage area is arranged, requiring a lot of additional and unnecessary heavy lifting. Late file delivery may necessitate using a less perfect image for a show or not including one or more artists on an advertisement. Magazines have their own deadlines so not getting show statements delivered on time means the show doesn't get coverage.

Most artists aren't cognizant of this and I know it's not intentional when they do these things. That doesn't make it ok. It's common for artists to get stressed out and lose sleep as they cruise closer to their exhibition openings, but a successful artist will have maybe one major exhibition booked every one to two years. I don't think anyone realizes just how much sleep gallerists lose every month because their artists don't stick to contractual protocol.

Odds are that by the time you get out of bed, your gallerist has been awake for hours, rewriting show statements, checking emails, designing ads, organizing show previews and brainstorming about how to sell your art. Like you, if they didn't love art, they probably wouldn't be doing this.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Come get your coasters!

The coasters that will serve as the medium for all the pieces in our 2nd annual COASTER SHOW will be here on Friday, June 20th. Any artist who has previously exhibited will have an opportunity to pick up a few coasters on which to draw, paint, silkscreen, assemble, sculpt or otherwise create their art.

If you’ve never exhibited here before and want to be considered, just shoot us an email with “Coaster Show Candidate” in the subject line. You must include a link to (or examples of) your artwork, a telephone number and your mailing address. If we like what we see, you’ll have the opportunity to come and get some coasters.

  • The DUE DATE is August 20th for ALL completed pieces.
  • Don’t frame the work.
  • Make each piece an individual, stand-alone piece. It’s ok if they function as a series, but each piece should also function on its own.
  • The retail price of each piece can be anywhere between zero and $250.

This time we’ll be partnering with a handful of prestigious foreign galleries in order to include more international artists. This allows us to present work that our patrons might otherwise never get a chance to collect, while granting exhibition space to artists we couldn’t otherwise showcase.

Patrons with a purchase history will get advanced pre-sale privileges. So, if you’re a potential buyer who’s had an eye on something we’ve exhibited earlier this year, there’s still time to close out a sale and get on the preview list.  

The COASTER SHOW presents the rare opportunity to obtain multiple works from a variety of recognized fine artists at incredibly affordable prices and with very low shipping fees. International postage is generally $25, and domestic postage is rarely more than $10. But once the show is over, these pieces are gone for good–so don’t miss out!

We’re currently moving our site onto another server, so some galleries may not be visible. Please bear with us during this transition. If you have a question about a piece you saw on the website or in person, just shoot us an email and we’ll send you photos and info. The current June exhibitions are all on our facebook page, too.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Taxidermy Class

Last night we opened our 3rd Biennial Taxidermy Show. The first and second were sponsored by the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, and curated by Robert Marbury. These seminal exhibitions helped to change the perception of the art form and elevate the work from "crafty hobby" to fine art. This year Robert was completely occupied with putting together The Rogue's Guide to Taxidermy book but we got his blessing to go it alone and curate our own show. Still involved are several members of the original M.A.R.T. collective (and when the book is published we will absolutely be hosting a signing party), and veteran attendees will recognize some familiar names alongside a few people who are making their gallery debut.

As a sort of show-within-a-show, we've chosen to highlight the work of Ave Rose, who we've exhibited in several group shows and at least one feature exhibition. Bestiary of the Automata is solo show worth of pieces (17 total), most of which are motorized or otherwise utilize movement as part of their presentation. Check here for a video.

Today being Saturday, May 3rd, in less than an hour we'll start the Live Taxidermy Demo! Three of our artists will be working together to make a wonderful, chimerical creation live before your eyes! It's a bit of a process and we're setting aside three hours for observers. Call the gallery with information requests or to make a purchase. (323)666-7667.

More info here: http://laluzdejesus.com/the-3rd-biennial-taxidermy-show/http://laluzdejesus.com/the-3rd-biennial-taxidermy-show/