Thursday, April 21, 2011

New James Jean Works, in Los Angeles Thru April 30th

We peeked into the Martha Otero Gallery in LA for James Jean's new exhibit, titled "Rebus". 
From the web - "rebus (Latin: "by things") is a kind of word puzzle that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words. The term rebus also refers to the use of a pictogram to represent a syllabic sound."

Hadn't been to this gallery before, it is a nice space kinda tucked away on Fairfax, right above Melrose. James had painted most of the walls, before installing his works, with a wonderful light whimsy of free flowing organic narratives. The images made me feel like I was in Tolkien's hobbit land. Most of the large paintings are more abstract and symbolic; less representational than his prior works. They crossed over into a wonderful, dreamlike surrealism with a more ambiguous nature; a daring and ballsy exhibit, straying far from his more commercial earlier works.

Of the paintings, the mainly black and white -"Recumbent" (below) was my favorite by far, a masterpiece of sensuous smears of paint and emotions.

The drawings (below) were our overall favorites from the show, we stood in front of them for a good long time and enjoyed every errant graphite stroke. They had a warmer, fun freedom the paintings didn't convey. The show is up thru the end of April, 2011, so check it out if you can. 

For all the pictures from the gallery click here.