We are incredibly proud to announce the opening of LALA Gallery on Saturday, April 21, 2012 where we will be presenting LA Freewalls Inside.
LA Freewalls Inside is a group show featuring over 40 artists who have helped make Downtown Los Angeles one of the biggest and most recognizable public art spaces in the world, including Shepard Fairey, SWOON, HOW and NOSM. Keep a lookout as we unveil the final line-up over the next two weeks.
So spread the word, bring a friend and help us break-in the space for the first of what will be many, many, more events.
New Image Art is excited to present “High Five,” a group-show featuring six artists with six very distinctive styles and voices beloved by New Image Art. Alia Penner, Ashley Macomber, Curtis Kulig, Deanna Templeton, Maya Hayuk, and Vanessa Prager will be filling the gallery with new paintings on paper and canvas, as well as a photography installation.
While remaining anomalous, Ashley Macomber’s thought-provoking paintings pay homage to the female surrealist movement and offer a nod to the technical styling of René Magritte. In a similar acknowledgment to the feminine surrealist movement is work of self-taught painter Vanessa Prager. Prager’s highly saturated works give way to a false sense of reality; her study of the universe feels accurate. Her portrayal of human behavior scratches at life’s emotional ups and downs, and the contrast between the bursts of color in the foreground and stark backgrounds reflects this natural turmoil. Curtis Kulig, maybe better known for his moniker “Love Me;” seen freely scribbled in a calligraphic-style both as graffiti and over canvases of solid fields. Focusing on the beauty of the line and word his signature leads the viewer to ponder the implications of “Love Me.” Is it the artist’s own insecurity or is it our own? Either way the honesty of the simple phrase – the desire, makes us smile and wish! And on the topic of Love, the psychedelic and geometric paintings of Maya Hayuk when boiling the combined components of light and dark, punk, and folk, can be reduced to reveal their truth, which is none other than Love. In the artist Alia Penner‘s eyes, everything looks better covered in rainbows. Not girly, pastel rainbows, but brilliant acid hues that bring to mind Peter Max and Sonia Delaunay. (Extract from NY Times Magazine) Documentary, and internationally acclaimed photographer, Deanna Templeton will be installing her iconic photographic images in a network of evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines that will read as a single unit.
Ahhh, spring. Birdies, jellybeans, the smell of tulips, lavender hyacinth, aerosol paint. Cyrcle is putting up a new royally purple piece to celebrate the change of the season at LA Freewalls and Carlos Gonzalez was there to catch it in bloom.
Our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring AVOID, Boxpark, Dan Witz, Gilf!, Jaye Moon, Kosbe, Love Me, bunny M, Power Revolution, Pure Evil, Rae, and some new stuff in London from guest photographer Geoff Hargadon.
Los Angeles based Street Artist and graff writer RETNA has his own alphabet when it comes to writing on walls. We occasionally meet someone who says they can read it, but I’m suspicious that they may also be the kind of clairvoyant person who is able to divine water that lies underground with a wooden stick in their hand. Hell I’m dyslexic with standard English so I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I can figure out what RETNA’s secret language is. But that’s not the point of this story, is it?
Photographer and BSA contributor Birdman captured this new work by RETNA, on the side wall of the soon to open LALA Gallery, as he worked with a monochromatic palette of grays, silver and black. This is the first phase of this wall as the artist will be adding more work in the future.
Says Birdman “Dunno what it says but its in Spanish, tried to get a translation but it didn’t happen”. Can you tell us what it says? Any interpreters online today?
“Back in the day, there were these old buildings in downtown Los Angeles on Broadway Street that were abandoned, but they were so beautiful. Zes and I wanted to climb them no matter how high they were, just so we could write on them. They might not have been paintings, but to me, they were still works of art.” – RETNA
Known Gallery is proud to present Excavated Revelations, a dual exhibition featuring new work by Los Angeles-based artists ZES and RETNA. Introduced in their youth by their mutual friend AYER, ZES and RETNA led parallel lives through an upbringing in graffiti. Utilizing a fluidity and precision they mastered by painting some of the most coveted walls in the city, their refined technique is now exemplified in this fresh body of abstract work.
ZES began his career at the young age of thirteen and gained recognition for his determination to climb some of the city’s most challenging locations, stealthily navigating the streets of Los Angeles and commandeering its obscure walls at night. Growing up in the heart of the city, by the age of fifteen, ZES became one of the youngest members of the legendary MSK crew and has helped define the contemporary graffiti movement. Widely respected for his innovations to West Coast wild style, his determination to overcome the obstacles the nature of graffiti presented resulted in a fervent approach to his modus operandi. His longevity has allowed him to produce a substantial amount of work on the streets, making him one of the most influential and recognized graffiti artists not only in the city, but also internationally, along with his contemporaries AYER, REVOK, and SABER. He has traveled from coast to coast in search of new environments that challenge him to climb higher and paint pieces that express his creative intensity. To this day, ZES can still be found on rooftops, ledges and fire escapes.
RETNA is always brimming with new ideas. This past year alone, his work has been spotted everywhere from tail wings of jets to the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art. RETNA continuously pushes personal, artistic and physical boundaries as demonstrated in Excavated Revelations. In this exhibition, he challenges himself with various methods including etching, the most esteemed technique used for master printing. The age-old process utilizes zinc plates, produced and manipulated through washes and resists and placed in a bath charged with an electric current that physically “etches” the plate. An impression is then printed by running the plate and a sheet of paper through a press at about 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. The result is beautifully embossed into the paper.
On Thursday March 1, 2012, Siren Studios’ artist series platform; Rooftop Sessions will present Gregory Siff | There & Back. Having just come down from his first, and highly successful solo show with The Site Unscene, Gregory is back with a new body of work. In There & Back, Gregory reveals the private moments of his journey through the past two decades, exposing his range of emotions as well as those who had an impact on him along the way. Gregory’s unique technique and application of ink stains, spray, marker tags, knife etchings and poetry, visually express the maps of his reality; drawing from experience, conquest, loss and love. There & Back follows Gregory’s struggle of coping with the fracturing of a dream and the transformation to something greater once that fracture heals.
Most recently collaborating with street legend and artist Risk from The 7th Letter. Gregory has been commissioned by The Standard Hotel and The De la Barracuda Wall; has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, London, Dublin, Italy and Vancouver; and has appeared at MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch’s Art Parade, in Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Paper Mag, LA Canvas, Complex and Glamour. An exclusive Twelve Bar tee shirt, designed by Gregory, will be available the night of the show.
For There & Back, Gregory will also be collaborating on an installation with students from Communities in Schools, a non-profit organization that works within the public school system to determine student’s needs and establishes relationships with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, and parent and volunteer organizations to provide needed resources. Gregory is a dedicated supporter of planting success in children through the arts and will donate 10% of all proceeds from There & Back to Communities in Schools.
Siren Studios is located at 6063 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, CA. For Gregory Siff’s There & Back, Siren Studios’ Rooftop Session has teamed up with curatorial director Eli Consilvio of The Art Reserve as well as curators JB Jones and Wil Atkinson from The Site Unscene. Siren Studios created Rooftop Sessions, a periodic artist platform that extends their current contribution and support to the art scene in Los Angeles
A History of Queer Street Art opens for its month long engagement at Physical Goods
Gallery in the heart of Hollywood, CA on February 9th and will run through February 29th 2012. Originally curated and exhibited in San Francisco by SF based street artist Jeremy Novy, the exhibit is re-imagined and brought to Los Angeles by LA’s own Homo Riot.
A History of Queer Street Art, first presented in 2011 at the SOMArts Center in San Francisco, documents the work of queer and pro-queer street artists from around the world. Spanning more than two decades of work, the collection includes pieces by notable queer street artists as well as showcasing present day street activists.
At the heart of the History of Queer Street Art is a timeline of works collected by Novy which incorporates prints, stencils, stickers, photos, street pasters and even the gallery’s walls — creating a “street art experience” from a queer perspective. The Los Angeles version of the exhibition, produced by Homo Riot, will also feature new works by well-known European street artists like Paul Le Chien, Adrian & Shane, as well as American mainstays like Prvtdncr and Jilly Ballistic, and many other young and emerging queer street artists. Homo Riot has curated video presentations as well as art installations throughout the Hollywood gallery to further enhance the experience.
“It was important for me to bring this show to Los Angeles. Not only is LA one of the most
influential cities in the world when it comes to street art but historically, the city has been the site of many central movements in the struggle for LGBTQ equality. I hope this show will be seen as an important milestone in the queer artistic history of LA.”…Homo Riot
“It’s important to celebrate our history and to know the outstanding LGBT artists past and
present who are bold enough to express themselves in public. I hope this show inspires future artists to create art for the world to see,” Brian Meiler of Physical Goods Gallery.
The streets have been seeing an uptick in socio-political messages recently, whether because of the Occupy protests, or because artists are exercising their speech in low cost, low-tech, person-to-person methods. The very personal nature of this kind of messaging actually feels impactful when it catches your eye with a sense of intention, grabbing you by the ear and making you think. This week we have Street Art commentary about housing, class inequality, the abuse of poser, erosion of privacy and fears of a police state. It makes sense that art on the streets is reflecting us back to ourselves.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street; this week featuring Buff Monster, Cash4, Cope, Dirty Teddies, Ema, Enzo & Nio, Essam, Faile, Hush, Ment, Shiro, XAM, and XXX.
Last month photographer and video artist Carlos Gonzalez tagged along with Street Art duo Dabs & Myla in Los Angeles to do a bit more than the typical mural project. Following them through the steps of their own tradition, Carlos captured some of their humanity along with their serious skillz with cans. Since illuminating different angles of the creative process that provide you with more insight is always a BSA value, Carlos has appeared on these pages many times as photographer and videographer. This time he’s thinking his newest project is a documentary. Let’s see what you think.
Brooklyn Street Art asked Carlos a couple of questions about his experience shooting on the streets and how many arms he would like to have:
Brooklyn Street Art:You like both stills and video. How do you divide your time when shooting a new installation between still photography and video. Do you wish you could have eight arms to cover everything that happens?
Carlos Gonzalez: I still lean more towards still photography even though I have a background in film and graduated from film school. I like the concept of freezing a moment in time. That’s something you can’t capture in video. When one remembers a certain moment from the past, it’s always an image or a single moment that comes to mind. It’s hardly ever a scene playing out entirely. At least that’s my experience. So I feel like photography captures moments that will never happen again in a more honest way.
Of course this complicates things when making a video because in essence, I have to choose between capturing those moments in stills or filming the moment. The best approach: Be ultra aware of everything that’s going on so when the special moment happens, you’re ready to capture it before it’s gone. What’s really interesting about this Dabs & Myla video, and one factor which didn’t hit me till later on, was how uniquely close the mural footage looked to my photos. In this instance, it was just a matter of predicting when those moments would happen and capturing them as soon as possible. So yeah, it’s a balancing act and at times, I do wish I had multiple cameras all running at once from 5 different angles. But even then, I’m sure I would still kick myself for missing out on a small human expression, a certain movement, a wink or a smile. Case in point, the shot where Myla’s hair is blowing amidst the wind. I wish I had photographed that moment as it happened. I still look back and think, “how did I not get that shot?”
Brooklyn Street Art:You begin the video with the artists going to a grocery store and debating over purchases. At the end we find out what they are used for. Can you talk about the experience from your perspective?
Carlos Gonzalez: The experience was really interesting and I felt privileged to be a part of it, mostly because I understood how important this tradition is for Dabs Myla. Before the mural even took place we got together and talked about the tradition, their reasons for doing it, and I even saw early sketches of the mural. From that moment I understood how special this project could be and it simply came down to capturing the whole experience in the most honest way possible. The entire process really came down to capturing as much footage as possible. Sure there were ideas of how to edit the video. But those concepts are always changing so you don’t worry too much about those technical aspects in the start. At least with this video, which I treated like a short documentary, I was just concerned with making sure I filmed moments that feel unique and that have a human element that we can all relate to.
I never once asked Dabs Myla to replay a certain moment just for the camera. I basically asked them to go through their routine as usual and pretend that I was never there. This feeling definitely comes through the video. From the second they walk into the grocery store to the final shot of the film, it’s all real emotions and actions bursting through the screen. So in a way, this video is not so much about a mural, but rather it’s a story about helping one individual with street art as the backdrop. The last part of the process was to edit the footage in such a way that put a question in the viewers’ minds about what the tradition may be and you keep their attention till the very end so there’s an emotional payoff.
Brooklyn Street Art: When you’ve hung out with artists creating murals on the street, have you had occasion to meet people who live there?
Carlos Gonzalez: I have had the chance to meet individuals whose properties or walls are being painted on. And they’ve always being very supportive of the art. I’ve only had one instance where certain people or neighbors feel like street art is affecting their neighborhood in a negative way. So yes, there’s a bit of stigma still attached to graffiti and street art, but it’s clearly changing and it’s more acceptable now than it ever was. And hopefully videos like this one and others can change more people’s perspective about how this kind of art can have a much more positive aspect across different communities.