Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wonderland Art in Los Angeles

Wonderland Gallery is Kat Von D's latest venture, which she opened in 2010 right next door to the LA Ink space. For those of you who don't know who Kat is - she is an incredible tattoo artist and has become quite a celebrity. Watching some of the LA Ink TV show will give you a better feel for her presence than any words or slick, airbrushed photographs can portray. Adept at realistic rendering, Kat's portraits on flesh are excellent as well as her design sense - she can merge a new image within previous tattoos very gracefully and cleanly. She has a very engaging way about her, a friendly and warm manner, enthusiastic about great art, fashion and music. She is very young to have so much success and the shallow pressures of the cosmetic Hollywood image are taking their toll on her. I hope she can rise about it all and concentrate on what really matters in life, retaining the attitude and integrity that made her unique, a kick-ass woman in a tattoo art world previously dominated by men. 
Tattoo by Kat Von D

Tattoo by Kat Von D

Tattoo by Kat Von D

Tattoo by Kat Von D
"Lady Kat Von D" by Patrushka

The current exhibit at Wonderland is Kevin Llewellyn's - "The Unsaid", which Eclectix previously posted about (link here.) This excellent exhibit has been up for a very, very long time and there doesn't seem to be any news on their site about future shows. Disappointing, as I have been secretly cheering Kat on - to kick some newbrow ass into the LA art world.  The exterior has great circus-like signage (top foto) which looks like it came from an old amusement park, right out of the neon boneyard. The gallery itself is a nice space, decorated in Victorian-vintage-Goth-salon style. Beautiful and lush antique furnishings with incredible frames on all Kevin's  art. A small shop area in the front contains a solid selection of art books, fierce glittering platform heels, taxidermy relics and other one-of-a-kind accessories for the tragically hip.  

The whole ambiance of the space was right up my alley - lots of red and black, velvets, carved gold and interesting, creepy fringe items. We had 4-5 questions about the art and merchandise while we visited - sadly, none of the employees could answer any of them and didn't offer to refer us to someone who could. Wonderland obviously has a creative and imaginative vision behind it, the window displays were a funky and surreal treat and the overall experience was chock full of arty inspiration. Just one last question- Kat, when and what is the next show?
Window display, Wonderland Gallery

Window display, Wonderland Gallery
We ducked into LA Ink next door to check out all the fantastic art on their walls. A veritable gallery itself, the folks were nice enough to let us wander around the tattoo area to eyeball the abundant imagery, lots of great originals by some of our favorite artists. Really loved the "The Four Agreements" text (bottom image) that was gorgeously framed on the wall - wonderfully perfect words to live by!

Friday, June 24, 2011

BURN - Volume 8, Eclectix (Fire related art)

Card art by Neville D'Souza

The new issue is up with art related to fire, smoke and all things hot! Burning Man is coming! 

For the ever-changing weekly posts, featured artists (this week it's Jason D'Aquino and his matchbook art) and exhibit listings go here.

For the permanent online gallery of fire-related art go here.
Dino Muradian

Jason D'Aquino

Charred wood sculpture in Germany of Nelson Mandela

The Exquisite Miz Elsa Mora

Eclectix stumbled on Elsa (or Elsita) Mora while researching paper cut art and we are so happy to have her work on the exhibit card (below)
She seems to be a one-woman dynamo, creating exquisite, impeccably beautiful art while managing  a family, an Etsy Shop and 5 blogs. The blogs are artworks in themselves, cleanly designed, well photographed with incredible, large close-up details of every work. Elsa also creates miniature books and art dolls. Her The HeArt of Papercuts is a wonderful place to get lost, we highly recommend viewing it. 

This is a detail from one of her rings - for your fingers!

Links below for more Mora...

  Elsa’s Etsy Shop LINK

Elsa’s Handmade Doll Blog

Originally posted in the Eclectix Paper & Arts Issue, June 2011 along with the online exhibit of paper arts - LINK

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Hello, Tomorrow" at The Hazel Wolf Gallery in Berkeley

Not being able to make the opening of Hello, Tomorrow, we stopped into the Hazel Wolf Gallery this week. The exhibition contains works which comment on the state of our world - either environmentally, politically or socially. 
The Brower Center asked Bay Area artists to respond to David Brower’s quote: “Have a good time saving the world. Otherwise, you’re just going to depress yourself.” 

We were very impressed by a number of works, especially the above piece by Michael Kerbow, Their Refinement of the Decline
Mark Bryan's Mad Tea Part Duh was a joy to view as well, everybody's in there!
Michelle Water's Global Warning was not new to us but certainly great to see again.
Jeff Long's Farallon is a large and spectacular avian watercolor.
And Anthony Holdsworth's SF garden scene was gorgeous - full of saturated colors and shadows.
Ruth Santee's machine-bug-beetle in pen and ink was wonderful.
There were a number of other pieces (all below), more conceptual, abstract as well as traditional, many mediums and styles. A pretty good view - if you are in the hood, of downtown Berkeley, stop in to see it. The show will be up until Sept. 2nd, 2011.

Artists includeMari Andrews · Timothy Armstrong · Claire Brandt · Noah Breuer · Mark Bryan · Hagit Cohen · Alicia Escott · Lisa Espenmiller · William Harsh · Ryan Hendon ·Anthony Holdsworth · Grant Johnson · Michael Kerbow ·Kimberlee Koym-Murteira · Alexis Laurent · Jeff Long ·Viviana Paredes · Ruth Santee · Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang · Esther Traugot · Michelle Waters · Stephen Whisler

The Collage Works of Alexis Anne Mackenzie

Eclectix first spotted local SF artist Alexis’ works at a little shop in the Mission District of San Francisco years ago. Beautifully detailed and elegantly composed collages that speak of vintage times, organic shapes and anatomical darkness. Her vision progressed to more text and word based imagery which slowly reveal a message. Her newest works ( very bottom piece) are much more abstract and non-figurative with a light airy feel and muted palette. 
Interview with Fecal Face here - LINK

“All of my collages are composed by hand – cut from books I’ve been collecting for years, and painstakingly pieced together as seamlessly as possible. They create themselves through a process beginning with a loose concept, followed by a series of trials and errors, subtle maneuvers, selection/elimination, harmonious unions, and happy accidents. It is a meditative process, and there is a lot of decision-making behind each element involved.
My general intent, throughout all my work, is to portray the world as a flawed thing of beauty – a place that shines brightly, but has a dark side to match."
You can view her works at her website and see some of her more recent efforts at the POVevolving Gallery.

Originally posted in the Eclectix Paper & Arts Issue, June 2011 along with the online exhibit of paper arts - LINK

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WOW! The Tim Burton Show Just Keeps On Ticking...

While in Los Angeles at a family graduation, we made a detour and squeezed in the current Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA (LINK) and very glad we did! Sure, I expected it to be a great show (after all IT IS Tim Burton), but the size, span and depth of the show was unexpected. It starts with the great entrance cave installation (above) and from there opens into room after room of all things Burton.

His childhood and adult influences are represented, college works from his days at Cal Arts, short films, sculptures, doodles, notebooks, movie story boards, oil paintings, character studies and models, costume originals and pieces from his movie sets. There are many pages form his journals and these were some of my favorites, his talent and wit are delightful, a fresh peek into Burton's twisted, lovely brain.
"Persecution Complex", a journal doodle by Tim Burton

Another journal page,  titled "Schizophrenia" ( or maybe "Split Personality"?)
There is also a super trippy black light room with scribbles on the walls and a large, kinetic carousel sculpture floating and spinning in the center of the room. (LINK - to a short vid someone posted on the web) I could have stayed in there all day!

The exhibit itself was somewhat confusing to traverse, it didn't have a great flow and as usual, they were letting too many people in - despite the timed ticket sales. However, it is very worth fighting the crowds for and delivers a lot of Burton art and perspective, not just an excuse for mass merchandising by Disney. In each room, there are fun little windows peeking thru to the next room, giving the viewer a tease to what is coming up. All his movies - from Beetlejuice, Nightmares Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride to Alice in Wonderland - have items on display. A fantastic and honorable exhibition of one very talented and prolific dude! Kudos to the curators for this show, it's nice to know living and offbeat artists can be taken seriously in the museum world.

The coveted leather costume from Edward Scissorhands

Loved all the facial expression models of Jack, they really hammered home all the work that goes into just one character animation...

A fun little inflatable install blows upward at the very end of the show.