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Jeffrey Gillette Studio VisitAs if a window into a post-apocalyptic future, Jeff Gillette’s colorful and chaotic paintings reveal our societal demise in honest interpretations of our world. Each of his provocative pieces include different vantage points of a crowded, chaotic and sad wasteland of what our world looks like today. With bits of popular culture showing through the wreckage, the viewer is caught peering into a scene that is oh-so-familiar and yet, unknown to our eyes. His “slumscapes” include references to existing places Gillette has visited, and most also include reference to our gluttonous society, using remnants of corporate American greed to contextualize his scenes.
Justin Bowers InterviewNewly represented by Unix Gallery in New York/Miami, and finished his Miami debut of multiple new works, including an 11-foot painting, Justin Bower has been nearly dominating the contemporary painting market for going on almost three years. This philosopher turned painter is steeped in art history and larger than life influences, but his paintings will knock you to the floor with powerful and disarming reflection. As he is preparing a new few pieces for the LA Art Show in January, and looking to expand into the European and Asian art markets, he reflects on his intentions and purpose in creating these stark and haunting portrayals of humanity. I got to pick his brain for an article I was writing for LocalArts.
Bret Price Studio VisitPrice’s artwork has graced many notorious collections across the globe, and his signature style of bending metal like play-dough is a gorgeous exploration in three-dimensional expression. Price’s sculptures can be seen in many different Southern California areas, and all over the world, including our own Brea, Malibu, Orange, Pasadena, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Claremont, Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, Santa Monica, Burbank and more. I sat down with Price for a studio visit at his new space in Santa Ana, as I was writing a feature about the new Logan Creative Art Center for LocalArts.
Pacific Triennial at OCMA and OC - David Michael LeeThe Orange County Museum of Art is hosting its first ever Pacific Rim Triennial, with the help and leadership of newly appointed Chief Curator Dan Cameron. The museum has enlisted some of the most well-known university art galleries in this countywide exhibition to help involve all the communities in this awesome event. "The Triennial will continue to position O.C. as playing a significant role in the international art community," says participating gallery, Grand Central Art Center's Director and Chief Curator, John Spiak. "It also reestablishes the important history of OCMA and its decades of contributions to the art world, with important exhibitions throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s." In conjunction with this event, OCMA asked many galleries to participate, including local university art exhibitors: Coastline Community College's Art Gallery, Chapman University's Guggenheim Gallery and Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center. The artists involved with Coastline Community College Art Gallery's Triennial exhibit of three Pacific Rim artists in one gallery space -- from Los Angeles, Guatemala, and China -- touches on similar notions of the unseen, but in very different ways.
Phillip K. Smith InterviewArtist Phillip K. Smith created Lucid Stead, an experimental art installation on a jackrabbit homestead out in Joshua Tree. We interviewed him for a cover story on this crazy artwork for Inland Empire Weekly.
Samira Yamin studio visitIn the heart of the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles are dozens of strange, derelict-looking warehouses, seemingly quiet. Inside one of these large warehouse building is a the shared studio of Samira Yamin, a young Iranian-American artist who’s intricate artwork has been catching the eye of the art world for the past couple of years. Her studio is clean and white, with tall drafting tables, lots of light and countless books. Images of war-torn countries, books on colonial paintings of the east, and Time Magazines can be found in neat stacks all around her white-walled space. The room gives off a perfect balance of energy—such clean white walls and all white working space, skylights and creaky, painted-wood floors help to calm down the chaos of the inherently intense content of Yamin’s fascination.
Tom Swimm Studio VisitLiving somewhere between the setting for a picturesque love story and a blissful life of leisure, Tom Swimm’s created world exists. His paintings are explorations in finding beauty in even the smallest of things. A primarily photo-realistic painter, Swimm’s creations are mesmerizing. Often replicating small boats, figure-less scenery and bayside towns, his work evokes tranquility and inspiration, playing on the beauty of travel, the ocean and an old fashioned appreciation for creativity in life. Bright colored buildings don the water’s edge in a town that seemingly has no people—unsure of whether the coastal community is in Italy or California, Swimm’s appreciation for the natural light in both areas shows through in his detail-oriented care and composition.