L.A. the Blog: ‘bright lights & fist fights’ Gallery Show; Next Stop ‘The Art of Coop’

Annie Preece

Annie Preece frames her own painting during the exhibition opening of ‘bright lights & fist fights’ group show at the Rebecca Molayem Gallery in West Hollywood – June 14, 2012

Is Los Angeles essential to the art world at large?  L.A. the Blog can’t answer that question but the scale of art happening in this city on a daily basis makes art essential to understanding Los Angeles.  A city dreamed up from behind a camera with an identity inextricably enmeshed with visual arts making it a tide pool of artists birthing pictures, stories, scenes, music, canvases, books, tunes, compositions, scripts, reality and fantasy; where often as not the creativity becomes harnessed in an art department for film, a stage setting for theater, or a gallery full of stunning visual art.

Better late than never the pictures have arrived!  Arrived for what (as the statement goes?), arrived for another round of art happening in the city of Angeles.

A three-person gallery show opened a few weeks back that spotlighted a diverse young group composed of a street artist, a tattoo wizard and a graphic artist who stepped into roles respectively as a painter, a caricaturist and a furniture sculptor.  At this point some analogy to the Wizard Of Oz keeps trying to escape but that would make this writer either Dorothy or Toto, and the only yellow brick road somewhere hidden along Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard.

The highlight of the show Annie Preece displayed her most recent paintings done in vivid, bright colors of contorted faces, haunted imagery and taboo subjects.  Her art is best described in the statement ‘having too much fun,’ with a mixture of recognizable and iconic images and symbols re-purposed with confrontation, dripping paint and intensity.  Yet as stated all of them rebalanced with the light atmosphere that reds, yellows and bright blues elicit emotionally.  Almost like the perpetual Los Angeles sunshine even makes suffering look happy.  The one painting in the show that is the exception to the bright colors comes from an early series of Annie’s work to a project of paintings, photographs and public art installations entitled ‘Persecution Takes A Holiday In L.A‘, that takes a critical look at the oppression of women in the Middle East.  This exception to the rule simply puts eyes staring from a black surrounding.  By the way Annie do you have any free artwork for us to decorate our headquarters?

Candice Molayem

A series of portrait caricatures by Candice Molayem from the show ‘bright lights and fist fights’ – June 14, 2012

Tattoo artist and painter Candice Molayem showcased a series of portraits keeping with the bright-color motif in classic caricature style.  With 1950’s hair-dos, thick rimmed glasses and jewelry-to-match the words ‘hip and cool’ rise from the dark recess of the subconscious and immediately yearnings for indie rock take over.  L.A. the Blog is curious if any persons posed for the paintings or if the inspiration came from classic comic books.

Jad Dovey

A naked lamp by artist Jad Dovey from the ‘bright lights and fist fights’ show – July 14, 2012

The final artist presenting at the show Jad Dovey subtly created lamps in a style you might expect to find at The Factory during the 1970’s and 80’s.  A wonderful use of color and the nude form, or maybe just ‘found’ mannequins and some electrical ingenuity Dovey created a post-pop art presentation that seemed so natural in the gallery they belonged more to the entire space and less to the name tag that marked them for display.

A fun event basking in the glow of a hot summer ahead, and art definitely worth visiting.  Please see a slideshow below of pictures from the show.  Included in the photos are other artists’ work showing and hanging in the gallery including artists Rebecca Molayem, Lynden St Victor and sculptures by Leon Leigh.  ‘bright lights and fist fights’ is now showing at Rebecca Molayem Gallery, 306 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048 for another few weeks, please check online for the current and future shows.

Portion of a painting done by Coop showing at his book release party – June 16, 2012

Moving right along into the week and arriving at our next stop where well-established artist and instigator Coop partied and celebrated in high fashion for the release of his new artbook entitled, ‘Idle Hands: The Art of Coop.’  So much has been said of Coop (click this link here), so to avoid mundane repetition, and pointless conjecture it is enough to say that even if you haven’t heard his name before you definitely have seen his art.  His images of devils, dames, drugs and cars make pop culture an afterthought and fine art an everyday accessible experience.  Mickey mouse gloves on a drug anyone?  If you can’t relate I am sure Walt Disney and Salvador Dali hanging out making pink elephants would.

Coop’s show took place at a great location in downtown Los Angeles hidden away in a produce distribution factory/building.  Industrial-scale loading elevator and all with a great view of a seedy downtown strip club made the entire experience some strange descent into Coop’s world.  Did we mention naked devil girls cruised the party?  Included in the slideshow below please find pictures from the event held at Studio Servitu, a downtown venue that the L.A. Weekly names the #4 essential location of 2011.

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L.A. the Blog: Graffiti Mural Vine and Hollywood

L.A. the Blog pays a quick respect to the combination of artists who created the graffiti mural on Vine Street just above Hollywood Boulevard.  As a fan of street art, the mural stretches down an alleyway-like go-between situated with The Lexington Social House restaurant on one side and the tall building where Dillon’s Irish Pub cohabits on the other.  The mural is well worth the visit if in the area.

The most noticeable and street-facing artwork was done by Anthony Lister who in the past held some very popular shows in Los Angeles galleries and is well-known worldwide.  In his classic style he painted two faces among the other artists’ murals that are best described as hauntingly beautiful.  With hard lines, subdued colors (even his use of pins seem dark) and the almost unfinished feel of sketches, the emotion in his work is palpable.  Lister you are invited to paint our office anytime.

We have a slideshow below where you can see the different street art along the walls, but catching our eye and of note was the end of the walkway done by West Coast Artists.  A great display of classic graffiti work, and if you click the link above taking you to Trixster’s website you can catch a video of them putting the mural together.

Other people who contributed to the wall were L.A.-based artist Evol (who painted two iconic faces along with Lister, and possibly one kitty …), and The Seventh Letter.  MSK also put up some artwork.  L.A. the Blog salutes everyone who put together such a visually appealing and classy display of art.  Well done.

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UPDATE:  We took this picture below around Normandie and Melrose (we think, our photographer seems to have it unlabled and a foggy memory of where he took the picture), and we are adding it to the mix for kicks.  If anyone can send us information on where it’s at, just leave a comment below.

L.A. the Blog: Crazy Art Cars, 2nd Installment

Adding to the previous and earlier blog about crazy art cars in Los Angeles, we have a few more to add.  You can  check out the original post here.

Back view of graffiti busFront graffiti bus

Side View of Graffiti Bus

We needed to throw in a graffiti bus found down in Venice, for what is an art car posting without the a cool-ass bus in it?

A Peace car, not a pa-lease car.

What do you to with that old police interceptor? You turn it into the Peace car, at least that’s what these guys did. Hey, it’s the peace car, not the pa-lease car.

Pirates in the rape van

Heck we know who these guys are, but in all fun we want to leave it up to the viewer to guess what this picture is all about. An anarchy van, a strip club, masks and a pirate flag? All we can say is they are up to no good …

Wedding

How did this end up here? Oh, well happy marriage you two – Gabe and Bridget get married!!!

UPDATE (5/12/12):

Turbo Lover Van

We needed to add one more crazy art car pick, this van is seen lurking around Hollywood, and we love it for its tribute to those things dead and satanic. Go Turbo Lover we love you!

Turbo Lover Van

L.A. the Blog: Little House On The Sidewalk Prairie

Just off Melrose exists a quiet little home in the middle of a grass partition, we like to call it little house on the sidewalk prairie.  Once again we would like to pay our respects to the creative use of public space …

L.A. the Blog: Persecution Takes A Holiday in L.A.

Call it art!  Call it vandalism!  Call it the protest that its name implies, but whatever it is (maybe I should just ask??) these pics circulating online show once again that making a statement requires little else than a few drops of paint and an idea.  L.A. the Blog applauds “Persecution Takes a Holiday In L.A.”:

PS – If you have more pics send them my way!!!

UPDATE:  Added in June 2012 is some more pics from the project.

 

L.A. the Blog: What’s up with graffiti in Hollywood?

Everyone knows you can get a good look at some of L.A.’s graffiti artist by cruising Melrose between and around Fairfax and La Brea Ave., but if you’re interested in digging a bit deeper, just off the beaten path in Hollywood some real treasures exist.

Los Angeles - street style

For instance not less than a half mile from the well-known shopping area on North Gower Street tucked behind Paramount Studios sits a plethora of industrial spaces transformed from the dull white or gray into something out of the 80’s.

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It looks like most of the wall space along Gower in the area has been taken for all you fledgling street bombers out there, at least all the wall space that hasn’t been painted over or buffed. Of course you can always buff and paint over, but then you risk the wrath of angering some of the most notorious street graffiti crews in Los Angeles: AWR, MSK, and who knows who else …

We Hate All You's

Curious L.A. the Blog sent an e-mail to Paramount to find out if any of the work was commissioned by the studio or of any of it found its way into the movies. We will keep you updated as we plague the studio with phone calls.  Anyway check out the picks below (you win a prize if you spot Filter Magazines office in the pics):

The next hidden street gallery, though only consisting of two real walls that have been exploited is much closer to the Melrose shopping district, on the corner of Melrose and Highland Ave.

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Most notably you can find Buff Monster’s 10-year anniversary piece.  You know Buff Monster, the cute bubbly guy:

Buff Monster 2011

 

Last in this piece (ha, get it piece!) is another new location that is still under work and put up in 2010.  It is at the corner of Edgewood and La Brea Ave rivaling the Paramount spot in breadth and variety.

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The spot is further than the other two location, but definitely worth the drive.  If you go be sure to travel a little further down on La Brea and you can catch MBW’s send off to the Academy Awards (and most likely Exit Through the Gift Shop), Storm Troopers and all.  Before it was a tribute to Charlie Chaplin.

Graffiti

L.A. the Blog is trying to figure out if MBW licensed the storm troopers from Lucas Films LTD.  We will keep you updated.

Please look at a complete set of pictures in the gallery below.  While there are numerous spots in Hollywood to look at great graffiti, we will try to bring them all as we come across them.  Best!

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