The Oinkster’s Burger Week is a Work of Art

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It’s burger week at the Oinkster next week, so let’s take a moment to appreciate what burger week is all about– art. Yes, the creations are all tasty and some of them are likely to be insanely, outrageously delicious, but the conceptualizations around these burgers should be applauded and appreciated as a work of pop art.

Not only does the Oinkster create long lines and incredible buzz around their restaurants, they manage to speak to what a food artisan can do when given free reign and do whatever they fuck they want with food. The spectacle that is created around Burger Week every year rivals anything done by any restaurant of any size anywhere in Los Angeles and likely beyond, creating a “happening” that brings stoners, foodies, homies, bloggers, fatties, hipsters, gluttons, and the curious together.

This year all of the burgers are inspired by pop culture, and also come with special illustrations by Benjie Escobar. Please enjoy these shots of the completed creations along with their in-depth descriptions including the drink pairings that will be available each day. The illustrations by Benjie are at the end (and above)…

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Preview: Art Sux Anyways Photo Show ~ Opens May 30th at Think Tank Gallery

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The biggest challenge in a group photo show is finding cohesive bonds between the various perspectives represented by each photographer. It appears that the people behind Art Sux Anyways have succeeded in curating a show that blends various cultures, including skateboarding, and comes out the other side with shared visions, along with a lot of straight-up beautiful images. The one-night-only show opens this weekend at Think Tank Gallery– be prepared for some top notch photography and for some of the gallery’s trademark surprises…

THINK TANK GALLERY | MAY 30TH | 8PM | 21+
939 S. MAPLE AVENUE. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90015

Keep reading for preview images and more info. Click on any image for a larger version…

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Preview: Gajin Fujita “Warriors, Ghosts and Ancient Gods of the Pacific” @ L.A. Louver

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Gajin Fujita is well-known to regular readers of this website, and he remains one of the most vital artists working in Los Angeles today. His latest show at L.A. Louver opens next week, on Wednesday, May 27th in Venice Beach.

One theme that is always present in Gajin’s work is the concept and application of loyalty. Explicit references to city and crew, combined with inspiration drawn from deep cultural roots, enhanced by literal contributions by friends and other artists to some of the paintings create a unique world that is steeped in unbreakable bonds. Martial loyalty as expressed in Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock art is an enduring theme that finds its continuation in Fujita’s paintings, especially the large scale warriors who each strive to represent their version of loyalty from behind a drawn sword.

The artist’s own code is complex– coming from an era where (graffiti) crews battled using spray cans rather than swords, there is a certain distance and humor given to the idea of life-or-death clan warfare, even as the technique behind the art is deeply serious and intricate. At the same time, Fujita never fails to represent his crew, K2S, linking himself directly to the battles and struggle that have existed in his own life and throughout history. His pioneering success in the art world may create a new reality of its own, but here we see a fierce loyalty to technique, to crew, and to city still reigns in both expression and intent.

“Studying the ukiyo-e woodblock prints and their intricacies, I strive to get close to the Japanese masters, and I want to keep violating people’s expectations” — Gajin Fujita

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Interview with POW! WOW! founder Jasper Wong

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Please introduce yourself to the L.A. TACO readers. Who you are and what you do?

My name is Jasper Wong and I’m the founder of POW! WOW! Primarily a mural festival that has become an art and music school, creative community centers, and more. It’s currently held in Hawaii, Texas, California, Taiwan and Japan.

This year is Pow!Wow!’s fifth anniversary. Congratulations. Please describe what Pow!Wow! was when you first started and what it has now become in 2015.

POW! WOW! originally started as an excuse to bring my friends together and paint. A very simple idea that became much larger in scale over the years. What began as a gallery exhibit became a mural festival with 100+ artists painting 70 murals over a period of a week. We’re now expanding globally and creating related programming with our free art and music schools for the youth.

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Recap: “SEE YOU AT THE TOP” curated by Known Gallery and The Seventh Letter

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“SEE YOU AT THE TOP” was a photographic exhibition curated by Known Gallery and The Seventh Letter that appeared at The Vape Summit in Las Vegas from Thursday, April 30 through Saturday, May 02, 2015. The photography was presented in association with Black Reserve, and included work by: EVIDENCE / ESTEVAN ORIOL / STEVEN PERILLOUX / WILLIE TOLEDO / SABER / ZES / PATRICK HOELCK / QUAM ODUNSI / LANI LEE / GREGORY BOJORQUEZ / DYLAN MADDUX / BRENT BROZA / PEP WILLIAMS / AZIM LAKE / KC ORTIZ / ZANE MEYER

Keep reading for some of the incredible images which appeared in the show, plus photos of the event, the summit, and the installation of The Seventh Letter x Black Reserve booth… All event photos by Pics from Zane Meyer of Chop em Down Films.

First, please check out some of the work on display…

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Pow! Wow! Long Beach is Coming This Summer!

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Pow! Wow! Hawaii is one of the most anticipated art events every year, and now the team behind the mural-centric art happening is coming to Long Beach! Look for new murals to pop up in the city between June 21-28, with a full spectrum of related events to compliment the large-scale art creation by a wide variety of featured artists. L.A. Taco will be covering all the action and have photo and video reports every day. Keep reading for the full artist list, the full press release, and more.

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“Pizza Lovers” New Slices of Art From Benjie Escobar ~ Opens May 9th at Rose City Pizza

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Love pizza and art and wish there were more chances to combine the two? Your wish is Benjie Escobar’s command, as this Saturday he’ll take over Rose City Pizza in the SGV with a pizza-themed show. There will be unique items for sale, there will be custom pizzas to match the vibes, there will be craft beer, and it’s all going down in Rosemead. Full details and preview images below…

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about the show:
Los Angeles-based artist Benjie Escobar debuts a new body of work dedicated to the exploration of everyone’s favorite food: the almighty pizza. Going down at Rose City Pizza, located in Rosemead, CA, where they will be serving custom pizza flavors for the duration of the exhibition. Come thru, have a slice, dudes!

about the artist:
Benjie Escobar is known for his food-related artwork for a wide range of outlets – everything from food-themed art gallery exhibitions, to merchandise for popular restaurants. With a vast background in skate, surf and street wear apparel his art style can be seen on the backs of plenty of people in skate parks or fashion boutiques.

about the venue:
Tucked away in the San Gabriel Valley, Rose City pizza is increasingly recognized and acclaimed for its unique and original takes on pizza, tator tots and other classic comfort foods. They began to showcase more local artists this year with multiple group art shows in the restaurant, and are well known for having an absolutely epic rotating beer tap selection.

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Opens Saturday may 9th, 7pm at Rose City Pizza
3588 Rosemead Blvd. Rosemead, CA 91770

Benjie Escobar can be found at:
http://benjie.us/, or his instagram @benjieescobar

We Are L.A. ~ Rudolph A. Porter

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Welcome to the first edition of We Are L.A., a regular column by contributor Meet Frankie C. This column’s purpose is to introduce you to interesting people living in our city through photography. Frankie C. roams Los Angeles with his camera, looking for stories to tell and visions to share. The results will be published here regularly…

“This is my favorite image. For me, it just highlights our relationship in this one photograph. For 7 years straight… at the time I would perform in the house of Muhammad Ali, who is still a dear friend of mine. This day while he was on the phone I heard a knock at the door, so I leaned over I told him someone was knocking, and you know Ali had a very serious tone to his voice when he spoke. So he umm said “Man, i’m on the phone can you just get the door?!”. You just had to be there, In that moment the housekeeper shot this image.”

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John Kilduff Saves Water For Your Mom

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Everyone knows that California is in the midst of a punishing, merciless drought. Everyone knows moms love flowers, and expect them on Mother’s Day. But everyone also knows that flowers need a lot of water– see the problem here?

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PhD in Los Angeles: What Happens to Mattresses on the Streets of Hollywood?

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Welcome to PhD in Los Angeles, a new series on L.A. Taco where we examine scholarly articles about our beloved city. First up is an essay by native Angeleno Stefano Bloch. Bloch is a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Urban Studies Program and the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown University.

Hollywood as waste regime: The revalorization of a cast-off mattress as film prop is an article originally published in City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action. Dr. Stefano Bloch takes us on a tour of L.A.’s rarely seen or discussed scavenger community– mostly new immigrants trawling the city’s streets for semi-valuable waste, in this case mattresses left on the sidewalk. These stained and soiled castoffs are worth $3-$5 each to recycling factories that strip them for parts and use them to create discount refurbished mattresses for the consumer market.

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The Incredible XXX Cult Posters of Westgate Gallery

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Westgategallery.com is an online original movie poster boutique specializing in rare & outrageous Classic, Cult, Exploitation, Giallo, Golden Age XXX & Horror, with one of the largest selections of painted/illustrated porno 1 sheets and Italian subway posters every collected.

Some of their most amazing pieces will be the subject of a huge gallery show at Lethal Amounts in downtown Los Angeles, opening Friday, May 15 at 8 PM. The event will showcase a large group of fully restored, linen-backed posters the likes of which are rarely available in such pristine form. More information here. Keep reading for a gallery of posters, along with full details of the event…

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