Friday, April 27, 2007

Andy Haynes at The Venice Contemporary

Jeesh, it's taken me all week to write about last weekend's openings! My last entry is from our last gallery of the evening, The Venice Contemporary. Yet another new gallery for me, it's part art gallery, part uber-hipster party spot. We actually saw Ryan Gosling there. It's heartening to see an opening full of young-ish people, and a lot of them were actually in the gallery, not on the back patio where they could be smoking and listening to the band.

Of course, there was a great reason to linger in the gallery - it's full of really great works by a bunch of emerging artists who are up to their eyeballs in talent. The show features work by four artists, and you can read all about them here, but the one I really clicked with was Andy Haynes.

Just a wee lad of 25 years old, Haynes already shows a technical skill that I expect to see in much more experienced artists. His figures live in hazy dreamscapes that are at once creepy and beautiful, mysterious and whimsical. This image, Skipping Stones, is a great example. A girl, wearing a horned hood, standing beneath a stormy sky and at the edge of an ominous body of water, holds a book whose tattered pages transform into moths that fly through her windowed body. Cool! I love Haynes' work, and can't wait to see what lies ahead in his artistic career.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Matt Adrian's work

More on Matt Adrian's work (kinda sorta started in the post below). There's perhaps no better work to be a part of an LA billboard project - Adrian's depiction of cars wildly flying off the highway is an excellent depiction of what many motorists must fantasize about on a daily basis. The works are a bit dark but also a little cheeky, painted in bright, chipper colors (love the bubble gum pink train!), and with their fair share of whimsy. No LA smog to be found in that bright blue sky! Even their titles carry a certain mirth - this one is entitled "Cancel my 4:30." He also has a great series of bird paintings. These portraits of the wee creatures are really engaging, and also have that tinge of humor. I love this one, "I'm West Nile Positive."

Billboard Art at Eco-Logical Art

So, back to last Saturday's gallery bonanza. We hit the opening for a very cool show and concept at Eco-Logical Art, a gallery I'd never heard of until I met Matt Adrian through Etsy. He and his girlfriend, Kim Bagwill, are two of many artists who participated in OFF THE WALL 3, which is, in the words of the gallery, a "unique indoor/outdoor experiment in renewable imagery." Essentially, the artists' paintings were printed on recycled billboard vinyl, and these billboards can now be seen all over Los Angeles. You can see one of the billboards, actually sitting atop the gallery, in the image above. That's Kim's piece on the far right. Click here to read her great blog about her own process in this project.

I love this concept! Not only does it get out into the public - even better, along highways, where too many Angelenos spend too much art-deprived time - it's recycling used materials, and the art is very cool, to boot.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Maritta Tapanainen at Couturier

I had a gallery trifecta this weekend - three openings, three GREAT shows. I was a kid in a candy store (aside from the driving-all-over-LA part. Oy.). I'll start with the Maritta Tapanainen show at Couturier Gallery.

Somehow, this was my first time to Couturier. I'm familiar with their work, mostly from their booth at the LA Art Show. They always have some wonderful pieces by Jorge Marin, an incredible sculptor from Mexico. His figurative bronze works are so poetic and beautiful.

But on this night, the featured artist was Maritta Tapanainen, a collage artist (*over simplification alert*) from Finland. I'd seen her work on the gallery's web site and just had to see it in person. Tapanainen works in hazy, dreamy black, white, gray and earthy tones, meticulously piecing together, in her words, "extractions cut-out from plant forms, microbes, organs, and obscure mechanical objects." A viewer can easily get lost in her work, staring at a single piece and deciphering what each little component could possibly be. This work Kutsu, from 1999, is a perfect example: somehow at once organic and mechanical, and altogether hypnotic. The show is up through May 26.

More to come on the other two shows...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Shooting at the Korakia

Have I mentioned how much I love the Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs? Eric and I stayed there during our honeymoon and recently returned for our third anniversary. It's so tranquil, situated at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. It's dreamy for photography, lots of earthy colors and weathered, rustic architecture. And oh that desert light! Fabulous. This fountain shot is one of the new ones at my Etsy site.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Steven Janssen in Palm Springs

We had kind of a crazy weekend in Palm Springs - what was originally going to be a quiet get-away to celebrate our third anniversary turned into going out en masse (in a limo!?) with our friends who also happened to be there. I'm so glad, because we actually made it to a cool art opening at Steven Janssen gallery, and the opening was for Steven's own work. It's cool stuff, colorful and energetic, totally abstract. The friends we were with own some of his work so they were like kids in a post-modern candy store.

The works I really loved aren't on his site, though many other great works are, like this one, "Mantrap". In the ones I was really drawn to, he used enamel paints to create big, smooth, round vibrant bulbs of color, layered over an acrylic painted background. They were really lovely in a sort of organic way.

Must give a shout out to one of our all time favorite hotels, the Korakia. Even though it appears to no longer be a secret (lots of poolside peeps there!), it's still one of the most peaceful and beautifully designed places we've stayed. We even got the same room we had for honeymoon. Ooh la la.