Monday, June 1, 2015

Serendipity in life and art

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.
- Pablo Picasso

From childhood, when I first became passionate about art and literature, I recognized this instinctively as almost a self-evident - although maybe oxymoronic - truth. Art, a product of the imagination, reveals so much about life and our perception of reality. 

In my constant rounds of the LA art scene, this revelation is continually reinforced. I'm fascinated to learn about the inspiration behind art, the narrative that propels it, and the light it sheds on the world we inhabit. With every art review I write, I gain a new insight. I'm intrigued by the ripple effect of this knowledge. The learning process is cumulative and filled with coincidence. Once I uncover a clue to the symbolism behind one artist's work, it gives me a bit more code to understand the next work I see. 

Sometimes that serendipitous connection is subtle, sometimes almost literal. For example, I'm in the process of writing a review of Julie Heffernan: Pre-Occupations - currently at Mark Moore Gallery (link to be posted on publication). In her dramatic canvases, Heffernan portrays herself as a sort of environmental vigilante, entwined with the trees in a struggle to rescue elements of our natural world. Her work, while very different in style, shares common themes with Irene Hardwicke Olivieri, whose 2013 show at Robert Berman Gallery I reviewed in WhiteHot Magazine of Contemporary Art. Both contemporary female artists concern themselves with climate change, featuring their own self-portraits as the dominant figure in their narratives. Addressing the same concern from a more abstract angle, are the gorgeous multi-media collages of Merion Estes, whose show, Dystopia, at CB1 Gallery, I also reviewed in WhiteHot Magazine - just published a few days ago.

Some of my other recent reviews published recently in WhiteHot Magazine of Contemporary Art:

Carol Es: Exodus at Shulamit Gallery - a review of paintings inspired by the artist's meditative and spiritual retreat to Joshua Tree.

Hung Liu: Dandelions at Walter Maciel Gallery - a review of the extraordinary recent paintings and mixed media work by the California artist, who came of age in China during the Cultural Revolution.

I've also reviewed several exhibits for ArtPulse Magazine:

In Issue No. 22:

Harmony Korine: Raiders at Gagosian Gallery

Laura Krifka: Reap the Whirlwind at CB1 Gallery. 

David B. Jang: A visit to the LA artist's studio to correspond with his exhibit at TUB Gallery in Miami

For ArtPulse Issue No. 23 due to be published soon: 

Charles Gaines: Gridwork at the Hammer Museum

Craig Taylor: En Face at CB1 Gallery

Christine Frerichs: Serenade at Klowden Mann

A longer article on Ed Moses, the iconic Los Angeles painter who has been reinventing his oeuvre his whole career. 

ArtPulse Magazine is a quarterly print publication. Reviews don't appear in the online edition. 

I'm also very excited to announce I will be contributing to Art Ltd. Magazine as of the July/August 2015 issue! 

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