Great new exhibit opening next week at Riverside Art Museum…

The Riverside Art Museum keeps cranking out the quality exhibitions. Opening next Mon, June 22nd is ‘Strips, Scripts and Scapes: Contemporary Comix in Southern California’.
Opening Reception: Sat, June 27th 7 – 9PM

Exhibition runs June 22nd – August 22nd

Since the turn of the century, a heterogeneous cadre of artists has been churning out contemporary comics (often referred to as comix) in their basements, bedrooms or studios to a hungry fan base with an insatiable appetite for their work. Flying below the radar of the general public only familiar with superheroes in long-underwear, this uncategorizable scene of visionary artists have no guidelines to delineate their work beyond their interest in the intersection of contemporary art, storytelling and flirting with comic strip conventions.

Today’s contemporary comix grow from a diverse lineage including but not limited to George Herriman, Will Eisner, Charles Schultz, R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Spain Rodriguez, Harvey Kurtzman, Art Spiegelman, Harvey Pekar and Gary Panter. As the contemporary art world has tended to focus on increasing inclusion of up-to-the-minute technology, many of these artists still rely on or at least reference the handmade mark-making process. In recent years, much activity has centered in Southern California, with standouts including the Comicon convention in San Diego, Giant Robot magazine and store, Family Store, Hope Gallery, Ooga Booga and numerous one-off events and zines.

Work exhibited in ‘Strips, Scripts, and ‘Scapes’ comes from an umbrella cast of artists influenced by or working in the Southland, but it is by no means comprehensive. It serves as a tasty sampling of printed, hand-drawn and collage comix art, in addition to sculpture and installation work by artists working within the vocabularly of comix.

The exhibition features the work of:
Sammy Harkham, Johnny Ryan, John Pham, Mike Bertino, Travis Millard, Rusty Jordan, Souther Salazar, Brent Harada, Walt Holcombe, Martin Cendreda, Mary Fleener, Taylor McKimens (pictured above), Roberta Gregory, and Megan Whitmarsh.

Riverside Art Museum
3425 Mission Inn Ave in Riverside
(951) 684-7111

Our art adventure continues… Megan Whitmarsh opening + B/D party…

After taking in the KAWS solo show and Natalia Fabia‘s solo (both in Culver City), we saddled back up and set off to catch a few more shows.

Next up was Megan Whitmarsh‘s solo show over at New Image Art in West Hollywood…

Upon entering the gallery you were met by a huge pile of “The Crap Of Life” (the show’s title) – made up of handmade stuffed plush items of everyday objects ranging from Sharpie pens to VHS cassettes to all matter of food packaging… just stunning the detail and time that went into this.

The show was exceptional and showcased Whitmarsh’s numerous talents. Her trademark needlepoint works (seen above) were on display, as were works from her new plush ‘bling’ series (see below) and several works on paper as well…

Megan Whitmarsh was in the house (seen below with Shawn from Thinkspace) and had autographed copies of her new book with Rojo, Yeti Logic, on hand for patrons to pick up. As we were leaving, Megan’s trademark lifesize cardboard robot was about to make it’s appearance during the special performance from Dolphine Force… alas, we had to get going and hit the road…

To get over to the Beautiful/Decay ‘A to Z’ show over at Kopeikin Gallery that helped to celebrate the release of issue Z. In celebration of reaching issue ‘Z’, Beautiful/Decay curated a special show featuring 26 artists including the likes of Robbie Conal, Gary Taxali, Skwak, Aya Kato, Aaron Noble, Jacob Magraw, Suntek Chung and many more – see some of our favorites below, of note the epic piece from Robbie Conal that greated patrons in the main window facing Melrose Avenue (in some places, the paint was well over 2″ thick on the canvas)…

Robbie Conal

Robbie Conal (close up shot)

Gary Taxali

Jacob Magraw

Aaron Noble

Ended the eve running into a bunch of good friends (seen above L-R: artist Andrew Hem, Shawn from Thinkspace, aritst Michael Alvarez, collector Amanda Erlanson, and artist Tessar Lo).

Recommended openings to catch this weekend…

Matt Furie (@ New Image Art this Sat)
Opening on February 19th (Noon – 5PM / $10 admission)
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd in Los Angeles / 310.440.4500
“ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age Of Comic Books 1938-1950” – guest curated by Jerry Robinson, part of the original Batman team and a lifelong professional cartoonist
(On view through August 9th)

Sat, Feb. 21st 7-10PM
Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Blvd in Culver City / 310.287.2340
“Hooker Dreamscape” featuring new works from Natalia Fabia
(On view through March 14th)

Sat, Feb. 21st 5-7PM
Richard Heller Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave, Space B-5A at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica / 310.453.9191
“Molten Kin” – new works from Rachell Sumpter
(On view through March 21st)

Sat, Feb. 21st 6-8PM
Honor Fraser
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles / 310.837.0191
“The Long Way Home” featuring new works from KAWS
(On view through April 4th)

Sat, Feb. 21st 6-9PM
Kopeikin Gallery

8810 Melrose Ave in West Hollywood / 310.385.5894
‘Beautiful/Decay A To Z’ – issue Z release and special exhibition in celebration of reaching issue ‘Z’, Beautiful/Decay has curated a special show featuring 26 artists including the likes of Robbie Conal, Gary Taxali, Skwak, Aya Kato, Aaron Noble, Jacob Magraw, Suntek Chung and many more – come on out and give B/D some well earned love and support.

Sat, Feb. 21st 7-10PM
New Image Art
7908 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles / 323.654.2192
“Yeah, The F*cking Crap Of Life…” featuring new works from Megan Whitmarsh plus new works from Matt Furie (*pictured above) and C.F. in the project room with a performance from Dolphin Force
(On view through March 21st)

fresh stART opening night feeding frenzy…

Just back from the fresh stART event over in Santa Monica. What a night – just packed with art lovers and the works were FLYING off the walls. Insane sales. When we arrived 20 minutes after doors opening, there were folks already streaming past us with purchased works wrapped, and headed out for the eve. Inspiring how much work was selling, and all for a great cause.
Opening night crush

Guest curator Seonna Hung in front of her beautiful wall installation
(our lil’ purchase from the show – watch for her show at New Image on Feb. 21st)

Mark Todd

Matthew Rodriguez

Ana Serrano

Saelee Oh

Esther Pearl Watson

Brooks Salzwedel

When we left at 8:30, the place was still packed, and art was still flying off the walls. Easily more than a good 1/3 of the art sold in this huge group show. fresh stART is held each year to benefit the arts programs at the Para Los Niños Elementary Charter School and Middle School as well as provide therapeutic arts programs for the Youth Development Services which offers current and former youth in foster care, between the ages of 14 and 21, one-on-one tutorial services, life skills training courses, mentoring services and access to all of Para Los Niños’ program. An inspiring evening to say the least, as so many were out enjoying and buying art, it served as a nice lil’ escape from the current state of things out there.