Apr 032024
 

Summer Wheat created this mural, Foragers, in 2020 for the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it remains on view today.

From the museum about the work-

This monumental “stained glass” installation celebrates the resilience of North Carolina’s community of makers and providers and creates a space where our present-day Charlotte community can gather for contemplation and inspiration. Collaging sheets of colored vinyl, Wheat has created a towering, prismatic composition that fills all 96 windows of the Mint atrium with female figures of varied sizes, ages, shapes, and races performing acts of labor: fisherwomen, beekeepers, hunters, mothers, caretakers, farmers, bankers.

Following the tradition of stained-glass windows found in places of worship, Wheat offers a narrative of hope and resilience that can be enjoyed in a few minutes or studied over hours. Wheat says that “Foragers presents a tradition in which women were the original hunters, technologists, and artists. This array of women connected by geometric patterns echoes the psychological space of women supporting each other. They are marching together, connecting to creatures from land and water, demonstrating their inherent link to natural elements and to the intricate depths of the unconscious.”

The women in Foragers also call attention to the underrecognized populations who have cultivated the land that we now call North Carolina, from the indigenous tribes to the colonial settlers to the enslaved Africans and all those who have followed. The region is home to myriad traditions-ceramics, basket weaving, quilting, furniture construction, textile production-and The Mint Museum specifically celebrates that legacy through its collection and exhibitions. Foragers salutes North Carolina’s history of creativity and industry, both by those whose names we know and those who remain anonymous.

Her latest exhibition, Fertile Ground, is currently on view at Nazarian/Curcio in Los Angeles, closing on 4/6/24. It includes new paintings and three stone mosaic sculptures.

Jan 192024
 

Pictured above is Drossos P. Skyllas‘ painting, Wisconsin Ice Cave, 1950, part of LACMA’s 2018 exhibition, Outliers and American Vanguard Art.

About the artist from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. where the exhibition was also on view-

Drossos Skyllas achieved the exquisitely detailed, jewel-like surfaces of his paintings with tiny brushes he fashioned himself. He applied miniscule dabs of luminous oil paint in a pointillist manner, which gave his subjects a petrified yet shimmering quality. His refined technique and adherence to the academic genres of still life, landscape, portraiture, and mythological scenes demonstrate his knowledge of art history. And inspired by the old masters, he perfected the difficult depiction of reflective surfaces, including gems, mirrors, water, and ice. At the same time, his uniform clarity of detail, imposed symmetry, and sense of frozen time create a dreamlike mysteriousness reminiscent of magic realism. In addition to high art sources, Skyllas likely drew upon commercial illustration and photography. Untitled (Roses) resembles both traditional floral still lifes and midcentury advertisements for jewelry and flowers. Wisconsin Ice Cave relates as much to northern Renaissance landscape painting as to mass-produced picture postcards.

Born in Greece, Skyllas worked in his father’s tobacco business before emigrating to the US shortly after World War II. He settled in Chicago and devoted himself to becoming a professional artist, though he had no formal artistic training. Supported financially by his wife, Skyllas produced thirty-eight paintings from the late 1940s until his death in 1973. Some of these he submitted to the annual juried exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago and Vicinity, which featured his work in 1955, 1967, 1969, and 1973. He also sought commissions to paint portraits, but with asking prices as high as $30,000, he never found any patrons.

Skyllas’s work was discovered after his death by Chicago gallerist Phyllis Kind, who added him to her roster of self-taught artists in 1974. He was likely known to artists Jim Nutt and Gladys Nilsson before this, as they had exhibited alongside him in the 1967 Chicago and Vicinity exhibition and are enthusiastic collectors of self-taught artists (Wisconsin Ice Cave is in their collection). The meticulous finish of Skyllas’s paintings, which simultaneously evokes advertising art and Renaissance illusionism, appealed to Nutt, Nilsson, and fellow Chicago imagist Roger Brown, whose art collection also included the self-taught Greek master.

 

Dec 142023
 

Mirror House, 2016 by artist Paige Jiyoung Moon was one of the paintings in her 2019 exhibition, Days of Our Lives at Steve Turner in Los Angeles. Her works are all of scenes from her life, painted from memory.

She is currently part of Hammer Museum’s most recent biennial, Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living, its sixth iteration, on view until 12/31/23.

The house in the painting, Mirage, was created by Doug Aitken for Desert X in 2017. On the fictional television series, The Curse, created by Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie, the main characters are building houses with similar look.

Nov 272023
 

Tonight is the penultimate full moon of the year, so it seemed like a good moment to post this painting, The Real Realities 2, 2013, by Friedrich Kunath. It was on view in 2019 at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles which after abruptly closing due to a labor dispute, appears to have reopened.

The Art of Surviving November, Kunath’s inaugural solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler’s London location, and consisting of a new body of paintings, is on view until 1/6/24.

 

May 212023
 

The above photos are of Sanford Biggers’ sculpture The Oracle when it was located at Rockefeller Center in NYC in 2021, where it was part of a multimedia installation.

It now resides outside the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, on the new outdoor sculpture pedestal on Wilshire Boulevard and Glendon Avenue. It will be there until March of 2024.

From the Hammer website about the work-

Anchoring this corner is Oracle (2021), a cast bronze figure weighing 7.64 US tons (15,280 pounds) and standing at 25 feet tall. This monumental commission from Biggers continues his “Chimera” series that hybridizes the canonical figures and gestures of Greco-Roman sculpture with an assortment of iconic African objects from the 14th–20th centuries. Unlike Biggers’s other “Chimera” sculptures that are made in marble, Oracle is cast in bronze. The seated figure in Oracle is a depiction of the statue of Zeus at Olympia, while the head is a composite of several masks and busts from different African cultures, including the Luba Kingdom and the Maasai.

Biggers sculpturally patchworks historical depictions of the body and their subsequent myths, narratives, perceptions, and power. Biggers is intrigued by the recent scholarship about the academic and historical “white-washing” of classical Greco-Roman sculpture simultaneously intersecting with the early twentieth-century “black-washing” of various African sculptural objects. Oracle challenges the associated cultural and aesthetic assumptions about their source material while acknowledging the often dubious origins of the original objects themselves.

 

Sep 182022
 

Unity, was created by Hank Willis Thomas in 2019 as part of the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program. The 22.5 foot sculpture is a replica of NBA player Joel Embiid’s right arm.

From the artist on the work (via Downtown Brooklyn)-

“The sculpture is an homage to and celebration of the unique and multi-faceted character of the borough of Brooklyn. The spirit of Brooklyn has always been about upward mobility and connection to roots. The large-scale sculpture of a bronze arm pointing toward the sky is intended to convey to a wide audience a myriad of ideas about individual and collective identity, ambition, and perseverance”.

Thomas will be speaking with UCLA professor and author Robin D.G. Kelley today (9/18/22) at 2pm The Broad Museum about his art practice, his activism, and his piece in the museum’s current exhibition, This is Not America’s Flag.

The program will be live-streamed on The Broad’s website and their Facebook page.

Jul 282022
 

Going back to 2015 for this mural by Wildlife and S.C. Mero, who still create work in the area. Also check out Mero’s other page, where she highlights neighborhood (DTLA) events, people and art- including work by Wildlife.

 

Jun 172021
 

Bluff, 2019

This painting is from Jarvis Boyland‘s 2019 solo exhibition, On Hold at Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles.

From the press release-

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Boyland navigates intersections of black identity through portraiture. His paintings focus on queer men of color within intimate spaces. Boyland sees the domestic space as the foundation of social ideologies and an incubator that molds the facade of masculinity. Based on photographic images that the artist reconfigures to create specific compositions, Boyland’s paintings sensitively highlight the nuances of these complex interpersonal relationships, identities, and locales.

The idea of comfort is a recurring theme in Jarvis Boyland’s work. The complex intersections of blackness and queerness shape his delicate renderings of the black male body in repose. The figures in On Hold: dream big and beautifully, yet they are fully grounded and aware in their leisure. Boyland’s palette suggests stillness in the digital age of app culture that shapes modern interaction while evoking David Hockney’s 1970s California and the coolness of Barkley Hendricks. Black bodies are not welcomed in cyberspace but are privileged in Boyland’s paintings. Expectations, aspirations, and dreams that infuse queer experiences come into focus. Situated within domestic environments, Boyland’s paintings emphasize limpness through intimate gestures of distant closeness, overlapping satin garments, and a seemingly shared vanishing point. Coy yet cocky, pretty and promiscuous, commanding yet chaste––luxury is embodied by the three figures waiting on the phone with varied expressions in these slumber-party-themed works. There is tense correspondence, a deliberation about relationships within the group of artists pictured, all of whom grew up in the American South: D’Angelo Williams, Cameron Clayborn, and Jarvis Boyland. Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture brought these artists together and influenced the tone of this series. On Hold: expands Boyland’s oeuvre of queer relationships. Through his aperture, Boyland’s group and individual portraits collectively depict an idyllic sensibility towards reality.

 

Nov 052020
 

Throwback to this work outside of HVW8 Gallery in Los Angeles from their Anxiety Group Show in November of 2016.