Recap: Boo Hooray’s “Religious Observance”

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This past Thursday night was the opening of Boo Hooray’s “Religious Observance”. The small, house-like gallery featured photography from Ray Potes, Andrea Sonnenberg, Jerry Hsu, C.R. Stecyk III and Tobin Yelland. Sonnenberg’s photos of Detroit gave you a closer look that you wouldn’t be able to get without actually going to visit the city, and perhaps not even then. Ray Potes’ set of photographs painted the perfect picture of a crazy ass weekend in the Bay area. Potes’ photos are un-boring in the extreme, and make you laugh and wonder how he gets to see so many interesting things. Jerry Hsu’s photographs had the feeling of a trip far from home where life exists on the back of a moped, going place to place without a destination.  Each section of photographs on display were unique and full of life, whether it be a dark moment or a bright unforgettable one. L.A. Taco’s Desilu was there for the opening view the gallery for a full photo recap.

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The Intro opens March 28th ~ Beverly Hills

Exclave Gallery is proud to present its inaugural exhibition THE INTRO. This showing will signify the birth of Exclave Gallery and mark its position as Beverly Hills’ premier outpost of artistic subculture. THE INTRO is on view from March 28th to April 27th. The exhibition will be Exclave Gallery’s first public show and will feature 11 uniquely themed paintings by different artists.

Exclave Gallery was conceptualized from the raw and underexposed iterations of artistic expression generated from the narrowing chasm between the classical foundations of fine art and the contemporary explosion in street art. This burgeoning creativity that has been looking for it’s place in the art world now has a home in one of the most prestigious locales in the United States.

Featured artists for this opening: Sunny Phono, Steve Martinez, SINER, MACHO, Anthony Cox, TANK, BREK, PUNCH, Nathan Smith, DREYE and Teddy Kelly

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Taco Run: Day Two of Paint Phoenix 2015

Sunday morning was check out time. Leaving the hotel we headed to the go-to taco spot in Phoenix, Taco Mich on McDowell & 16th. Listed as Best Tacos Phoenix 2014 in the PhoenixNewTimes.com website. I highly recommend the al pastor, sorry readers no pics. After a great lunch we have a little under 5 hours to check out the artist still going strong for Paint Phoenix 2015.

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Flip & Kween 897 made the trip from Texas.

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From right to left: Tato Caraveo, JB Snyder and unknown artist.

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Keith Harring x ANICE collab that could make it’s way to LA so be on the look out.

While exploring 16th street, a throughway for street art & murals in Phoenix I was able to capture painter, printmaker and LATACO friend Douglas Miles’s contribution to Paint Phoenix 2015. Catching up with Douglas we discussed the importance of art in his city. By inviting artist from other cities and countries this influences local artist to push their own creative process.

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From left to right: Hawaiian artist Mung4Chun and Hong Kong based artist Caratoes flew in to Paint Phoenix. They both painted at Pow! Wow! Hawaii 2015 last month.

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This wall in the alley behind Barrio Café features various muralists in the city of Phoenix.

As the clock reached 4pm we decided to make the trek back to Los Angeles. We said goodbye to our host Niba DelCastillo and Breeze One and thanked them for their hospitality. We met allot of great people and hope to see them again next year for Paint Phoenix 2016.

Preview: C.Finley at Superchief Gallery ~ Opens March 21st

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Superchief Gallery is very proud to present The Divine Distractions- a solo show by C. Finley, running from March 21st – April 4th.

The entire warehouse gallery will be taken over by her large scale, vibrant and beautiful psychedelic images of women in classic, divine poses. Paintings that are 12ft tall and one that is 48 feet wide, we’ve never shared something on this scale, you’d be foolish to miss this installation.
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The Photography of Rick Rodney

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Rick Rodney is a Los Angeles native who grew up in the Valley and toured the world as the frontman of hardcore band STRIFE. He began documenting the moshpits, stages, and people he met on his travels and back home in Los Angeles. The quality of his compositions and his ability to find something special everywhere he looked led to photography taking over his life and becoming both his passion and his job. We’ve long admired his work for its tenderness, attention to detail, and no-compromise style no matter who he’s shooting for.  Plus it’s always a lot of fun to see the madness and brotherhood of a really good mosh pit. Please enjoy this interview along with a selection of recent works. 

Favorite taco spot?
I love the homie Steven Arroyo’s spot Esquela for the restaurant vibe. His food is insane, authentic Angeleno, and he has the best taste aesthetically. And the refried beans are the best I’ve ever had… Seriously. There used to be a truck called Tacos Tamix right by my building near Macarthur Park that make my favorite Al Pastor but they had to split (I think they’re down near Pico/Union now).

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There is a Battleship in the L.A. River

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Artist Wild Life has an obsession with the Los Angeles River. He and collaborator Calder Greenwood hung a spider from the Sixth Street bridge so it stared down at the river below. Also with Greenwood, he put a surfer in the river which thousands came to gawk at. And now Wild Life has (allegedly) created a unique mural of a battleship, which should be dubbed USS Wildlife. It sits at the base of the 6th street bridge and was rumored to be done completely freehand.

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Taco Run: Day One of Paint Phoenix 2015

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Driving through Palm Springs at 5:20 am on Saturday morning I’m wide awake, excited about making it to Paint Phoenix 2015 in Arizona. I found out about this event via Instagram through some desert friends I made here in Los Angeles. Sent a few direct messages and made some phones calls to get more details, and suddenly I was making plans for a two day road trip.
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Free Palestine by ABCNT

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These posters by ABCNT are up in the streets, but also for sale on his print shop.
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Preview: Mear One “Urban Analog: The Monotype Collection 2003-2009″ ~ Opens Saturday at C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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:

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