Thursday, October 12, 2006

Took a drive out to Los Angeles yesterday to show Jonathan Viner around the city. I picked him up from his Hollywood hotel around 10 and we got going. The 10 freeway had a bunch of Atlas tags, I can't belive that guy still gets up!

First stop was the studio of Camille Rose Garcia. She has a studio in downtown L.A. We were greeted by Camille and her husband Jeremy, and they gave us the tour and a sneak preview of her upcoming show.

First thing you see is this huge squid.

This is the painting area where Camille works on her pieces and sets up installations. She was working on a show that opens in a few weeks at Merry Karnowsky gallery.

Jonathan taking a photo of Camille and Jeremy.

They have a big table to work on drawings and signing prints.

Here's some of her paint. Guess she like Golden acrylics. I'm more of a Liquitex/Novacolor guy myself.

Some drawings.

Awesome polar bear painting.

We talked about how purple is becoming an exciting color to both of us. I love this owl piece.

She has a new giclee out.

Is this a dog?

The artist Richard Coleman rents a room in Camille's studio but he was up in San Francisco. I had a strong desire to look through his stuff because his work is so rad, but I decided that would be innappropriate and disrespectful.

Me, Camille and Jonathan. Thanks Camille and Jeremy for your hospitality!

Next stop was to Thinkspace to drop off Jonathan's painting for their group show.

The painting is called "Close Quarters", we were inspecting the package to make sure the piece was unharmed. There was no one home at Thinkspace, but I took a shot through their window of the setup.

I wanted to see Thinkspace because I get out to LA so rarely, but ah well, there was a Slick piece across the street that made up for it. Hells yeah. Always a Slick fan.

Got some lunch and while walking saw this poster. Pretty cool. Anyone know the artist?

After lunch headed over to Wacko/la Luz de Jesus to see Gary Taxali's show and scope out some art books. Sorry for the lack of photos, they had me check my bag at the door. I love this place, I could (and have) spent hours looking at stuff but we we're on a schedule so we headed out.

We shot down La Brea to Merry Karnowsky gallery to check out the Shepard Fairey show. I was really impressed, I mean I've always been a fan but usually I feel "street" art in general looses some of it's power when taken into a gallery setting. This show felt different somehow, it was more political and thoughtful and pertinant, it felt like work that was made for a gallery setting and it worked. And I think, somehow, Shepard Fairey's work is evolving in an extraordinary way, there's more pattern, more craft, more attention to detail in these pieces. And I loved seeing the rubilith that he hand cut for the screenprints (I have done these before, it's a lot of work).

A giant wall mural.

Hand cut rubilith. Shep's got skillz...

One of my favorite pieces in the show.

We both met Merry Karnowsky for the first time and she was super nice. I've been to numerous shows and never said hi all those years. What's my problem?

Next we went to New Image Art on Fairfax and Santa Monica. They have a Neckface show going on, and I'm always up to see me some Neckface. I'm always on the fence about his stuff, I have a strange fascination about his work. Jennifer said he's either a genius or a psychopath- I think she may be right. I'm not really into his graffiti, but in general I like his paintings. There were a series of ink drawings on paper that were really nice.

I'm not as into his installations. It looked like he built a haunted house, complete with a black stuffed cat on the roof and fake cobwebs.

There was a big tattoed bat guy floating menacingly overhead, with hanging babies attached to his wings. I find a lot of his stuff disturbing especially after having a baby, but these hanging toddlers looked like they were enjoying it (or maybe they just looked evil and maybe deserved it). I like this piece.

I wasn't really feeling the room installation Neckface put together.

A two headed caped monster is pulling a fetus (still attached via imbilical cord) from a horrified looking pregnant mother.

There's blood all over the walls, the sheets, and her. Just seems like shock art. Doesn't offend me or anything, just seemed childish. Too simple, know what I'm saying? I like art that is challenging somehow and this was just gory to be gory. At the same time it gave me an emotional response, and how many pieces of art can do that? I think the real question is, does Neckface hate babies?

Gallery owner Marsea showed us some Date Farmers paintings she has. I think these guys are my new favorites. I've been following their work for a couple years now. They just got the cover of Juxtapoz and I hope that helps spread some knowledge on them. Marsea told me Armando Lerma, one of the Date Farmers, met me a long time ago when we were both in high school. Small world eh?

Back wall with Ed Templeton, and some others..

Our last stop was BLK/MRKT gallery in Culver City. Owners Kinsey and Jana were happy to see us and gave us a warm welcome. There's a Tiffany Bozic show going on right now, it was really beautiful work, a must see if you're in town.

She had this awesome owl painting- funny that two of the great things I saw today were owl paintings.

Mice in a ball. The detail on this was crazy. I thought it was a dimensional piece but it's a painting with carefully controlled values.

I have the next show going up, I hope mine looks as good as Tiffany's!

Jana and Kinsey also collect art- everywhere you go upstairs there are paintings and drawings and art to be found.

David Choe closeup

Jose Parla tag on paper.

The last photo of the night. Alexone from France was staying with Kinsey and Jana.

Exhausted and mind swimming with imagery I dropped off Jonathan at his hotel and drove home. Whew what a day.


Smivey said...

Thanks for the great inside look, once again, Jeff.

WJD said...

"Got some lunch and while walking saw this poster. Pretty cool. Anyone know the artist?"

I thought those were Shepard Fairey's. They're not?

uni said...

the poster of the grenade wit flowers is by 2cents

Matthew Smith said...

I love seeing the California scene, right here in my studio in NYC. Thanks for the tour, I feel like I was there!

rimon said...

muito bom gostei deste blog

Anonymous said...

awesome post, Jeff.

you rock.

Mr.Letterman said...

Wow, I would give me arm to know this three artists together. And there they were... . I have to change my living place to USA.

Memo Pisa el Lodo said...

You can see more of 2 cents stuff here:

Rik Catlow said...

Wow...Great tour of whats going on in LA. Thanks for sharing

krista said...

Ahhh....A day in the life of Jeff Soto. I must admit I am quite jealous!

Jurassica said...

The owl Camille Rose Garcia did is AMAZING !

Jurassica said...

The owl Camille Rose Garcia did is AMAZING !

peat said...

Man jeff you really covered some ground...very inspiring post!
I am sure you returned with a few new ideas...

I feel the same way about neckface...I get a bit Quezy..but I respect his work.

I also have notice a few artist friend incorporating Owls in thier work...strange.

alexouaneuh said...

nice too meet you in real ;-)
it was quickly ;-)
happy to see your work in real on the dave and jana collection ... i don't know if you remember i'm person made the book "Langages de rue 2" with your page inside ...
funny to see your photos ... we made the same places ! just not go to camille rose garcia :-(
good work for your blk show !

Mr. Sean said...

it's like i've wandered around LA & saw a bunch of art from the distance of my undisclosed location in oregon! fun! anyhow, with neckface, i feel that he should be designing plastic stuff for kids, specifically for kids, not for the grown ass adults who buy kids stuff marketed at adults market. i guess if we're going to reassign artists to making stuff, fairey should be designing money for china, or at least canada via adbusters.

Anonymous said...

i cant believe atlas still gets up also what a loser. that slick piece is off the chains.

dan said...

i know what you mean about The Date Farmers. They're my favorite right now for sure. true, pure, and honest art. and they've been at it for some time now. i hope they keep moving on up the ladder.

all your shots were great. thanks for sharing.