Preview: Mear One “Urban Analog: The Monotype Collection 2003-2009″ ~ Opens Saturday at C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice


This Saturday at C.A.V.E. Gallery, artist Mear One will present monotypes from 2003-2009. You could call this a retrospective, but the themes Mear focused on in that period are just as relevant to Los Angeles today. Unlike many in the street-art world, Mear’s success hasn’t changed his political outlook or desire to make change in the world through his art. Keep reading for some more preview images, the artist’s statement, and a video of the process.


Artist Statement
This series of monotypes titled Urban Analogue by MEAR ONE was created over a seven year period between 2003-2009 with the late great Southern California master printer, Pat Merrill. Each work from this series is unique. They are based on the artist’s subconscious exploration of his everyday structural and psychological environment growing up on the streets of LA. The spontaneous and liberating process of experimentation and execution inherent in this art form allows ad-libs of thought and subversive irony to flourish and which feature prominently in these works. Though more like his Live Art (see Live Art Retrospective) than his Graffiti or Tagger Art, MEAR ONE draws from both practices to bring to this series a certain energy, speed, and fluidity from the streets that translate into remarkable movement, texture, and abstraction onto the surface.

“As an artist one of the many interesting aspects of this personal journey is the ability to explore different mediums, and a great teacher recognizes these abilities and helps you do exactly that. Pat Merrill understood my natural affinity for the graphic arts and language that resonated seamlessly with monotyping. In printmaking you have to think outside of the normal realm of color, shape, shadow, and light gradients because everything becomes limited and decisive. Pat confronted me with several technical challenges, stripping me down of my traditional process, providing a new palette and tools, which in this case gave birth to the discovery of mark-making by scraping and removing as opposed to adding and applying. Through this reductive process I recognized in this medium something special and unique unto itself that even my studio paintings could not achieve.

Art In Response To A World Gone Mad

It was only when I accepted it couldn’t be like my paintings, that I decided to make my printing reflect my process. With finished works you don’t want to show people your process, but if the intention IS the process itself then it suddenly makes the work far more exciting. And that’s exactly the point. If I’ve created something new and unique that no one was expecting, and that isn’t necessarily referenced by me, then I’ve done my job. Otherwise everything becomes a monotonous montage of what you are used to and nothing sticks out, nothing is spectacular. But Pat was insistent that I get outside of myself, find new ways of doing what I already knew so well, if only to renew and refresh the spirit.

Pat Merrill was a master printer, artist, curator, teacher, scholar, philosopher, Vietnam veteran, a critical mind, an advocate for the peace movement. We shared similar worldviews that allowed us to vibe off one another throughout the creation of this series, and in many ways that dialogue is captured in this work. The end result, what it does for me as an artist, when I come back to my paintings it amazingly improves my realism, my structural design, or my understanding of the physical form so that there exists a symbiotic relationship wherein one supports the other. When Pat passed in 2010 he left behind this legacy of discovery. With the recent passing of another great master printer, Richard Duardo, a huge hole in Los Angeles culture was exposed and it is to these great teachers I dedicate this exhibition.” – MEAR ONE


Tune of the Day: Ruckazoid – Money

You know the Trapgod, but do you know the Scratch God? This track by Ruckazoid is created only using turntables. Be amazed, it’s also a free download.

Preview: Mtendere Mandowa “Overgrown” ~ Opens March 14th


Mtendere Mandowa, known to many as Teebs, first got onto our radar as a musician. His otherworldly music and unique sense of time and space within sound was mind-unravelling. As soon as we heard him play at Low End a few years ago, we knew he was on to something very special.

Back in 2012 he agreed to do an interview with LA TACO and while researching him, we discovered that he was an exceptionally talented visual artist. Many creative people excel at various forms of art, but it was still surprising to see just how accomplished and interesting his painting was, even back then at a fairly early stage.


Afrika 47 x Bisco Smith Mural presented by #SmileSouthCentral

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Smile South Central is a mural movement in South Los Angeles that brings street artists & muralists to an area of Los Angeles that is often overlooked by the city as a whole. Last month I was invited to check out the latest mural being erected on 47th & Main Street in South Central. South African artist Afrika 47 aka Ralph Ziman and L.A. based artist Bisco Smith. Here is description from Smile South Central’s Instagram page about the concept behind this mural:


Los Angeles Dreamscapes by Anthony Samaniego


These four limited edition prints are by Anthony Samaniego and available via Slow Culture. Click on each image to experience it in a larger size.


Out of Body ~ Underground Dance Music at Complex in Glendale this Weekend

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Event Link:

New Mural: DourOne presented by Do Art Foundation ~ DTLA

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Spanish artist DourOne is taking up residence here in Los Angeles, and has added a new mural to the expanding South Park District. This mural is located on 12th & Hope near the Metro’s Pico Station and two blocks from Staples Center. Measuring longer then a basketball court and two stories high this mural features a black, white and grey color scheme with an illustrative depiction of Los Angeles. I was able to see this mural from outline to finish which took the artist & crew close to 8 days to complete.

Ceramic Street Artist Zenka Takes on Virtual Reality

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LA based ceramic street artist Zenka will be doing a virtual reality art show at the District Gallery in the downtown arts district this Saturday, March 7 from 7-10pm.

She will be showing off her humorous collection of 30 virtual reality heads from 1965-2015. There will be DYI ceramic street art plaque kits and wheat paste posters as well.

Zenka puts up her ceramic street art sculptures all over the world without permission. Sometimes they are taken down right away, other times they become beloved parts of the urban fabric. Her interest in Virtual Reality, and especially the history of the format, lead to an entire show being done on the subject which will explore not only her art but the entire concept of VR.  Keep reading for some preview images, and insight into the show…


My Favorite Taco ~ The Most Best

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The Echo Park collective known as The Most Best make catchy electronic pop that can be either chill, or danceable and are winning new fans in LA and worldwide thanks to the single “Gold” (stream below). The band plays TONIGHT at Lot 1 in Echo Park, and on March 10th at Harvard and Stone. They also really know their tacos, as we found out below…

Tortas+Art+Music+Craft Beer: MAN ONE Mural Unveiling at La Chuperia ~ Lincoln Heights


What if I told you there’s an old school spot on the Eastside combining my four loves—tortas, street art, music and craft beer all in one place? Would you believe me? You should.

The Torta Spot in Lincoln Heights is flipping the script by continuing it’s tradition of serving up some of the tastiest tortas in the city (since 1990) and supporting dope local art. What’s new? Well, they are now offering an inspired selection of craft brews through it’s newest incarnation: La Chuperia (Spanish for “the drinking place” or “a place to get your sip on”).

Preview: Paper Cut at Subliminal Gallery ~ Opens March 7th

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Paper Cut is an ambitious group exhibition featuring artwork by six artists who cut into, tear into, and deconstruct the humble, traditional medium of paper to explore the terrain of their subject matter. The show opens on March 7th at Subliminal Gallery.

The exhibiting artists are: Adam Feibelman (San Francisco, Calif.), Aurel Rubbish (Paris, France), Bovey Lee (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Gregory Euclide (Minnesota River Valley, Minn.), Nicola Lopez (New York, N.Y.), and Swoon (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Each hails from a different city, drawing inspiration from distinctly different places and translating their ethos in dramatically unique and signature ways.

Keep reading for previews, and information on each artist.