Conceptual art—well, maybe all art—should sock you in the gut and then hypnotize you. In that order. Eric Yahnker’s work is a one-two emotional/intellectual punch that combines immaculate craftsmanship with a brain of intimidating powers.
Witness <0 - 101 (above), a work that combines various media with numerical titles into a sequential order from “Less Than Zero” to “101 Dalmatians”. Or the artist’s colored-pencil commentaries on dianetics and Lance Armstrong. Or the beheaded John Wayne in tennis gear.
Yahnker’s work deals with death, neuropathology and the mucky vicissitudes of life in a manner that combines high-concept trickery with immediate visual appeal. Go forth, wanderer, and click heedlessly.
Come join me at master illustrator Albert Reyes’ solo show, Never Dies the Dream, at Mastodon Mesa tomorrow night! His maze will reel you in and then his illustrations will melt your mind. Deep in the recesses of room B210 at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center, you will have a one night only chance to enter a world of mystery, beauty and despair.
Epic Supreme is the nom de design of Gregory Coats, a designer who roves among media like a hunter through the dark reaches of a magical forest. As it happens, magical forests figure into his arsenal of design inspiration, as do metallic inks, laser beams, and heavy metal.
We love the posters and screen prints on Coats’ website, and we especially dig his book design for ‘The Diamond Net” (above), an artist catalog featuring the work of Kara Tanaka and Richard Turner.
Los Angeles-based Derek Albeck is 90% deaf in one ear, enjoys the belligerent and skilled music of Lightning Bolt and is most productive early in the morning and late at night. He would describe his work, if asked by a stranger, as “drawings from phorographs of family and surroundings. The drawings are somewhat autobiographical and serve as memory maps of shared stories and experiences.”
This is all gleaned from the artist’s interview at Fecal Face, which we recommend checking out as well as his website. Albeck’s got some neat prints, books and zines on sale on there, and a whole bunch of crazily meticulous drawings that we think are just great.
Direct from the shimmering ether of a distant galaxy, Mia Doi Todd’s voice visits Earth to humble us humans. It is a voice that exudes an aura of fascinating fragility underlined with titillating tempestuous tones.
Pairing Todd’s velvet vocals with director Michel Gondry’s whimsical aesthetic brilliance, the music video for “Open Your Heart” is a feast for the senses. With the help of a marching band from Riverside, a carefully considered wardrobe color palette, and the beautifully bland Los Angeles cityscape, Gondry’s video accompanies as much as it elevates the dreamlike tune. We’re a month or two late for the frenzy of blog postings about this clip, but even if you’ve already watched it, take the time to revisit Gondry and Todd’s casual genius.
Joseph Lobato of TOLA! (not a made up word, just an acronym for “Take Over L.A.“) made this majestic little video of Hernan Montenegro and his bike. Really, I’m just posting a video of someone riding a bike. But it’s such a blissfully visceral video. Doesn’t this just look like fun? Let’s go ride bikes.
Watch the official video for it above and stream the entire record by going to thelocalnatives.com. They just earned a “best new music” over at Pitchfork and are hitting the road starting this month headed all the way into June so be sure to check them out.
“Hey, do you want to draw a picture together?” That’s the core question of Sumi Ink Club, and of course you do. You musn’t hold back. Embrace your desire to be a part of this ongoing two-dimensional performance piece, pick up a brush, and join the club. Founded by Luke Fishbeck and Sarah Anderson of the oft-participatory band Lucky Dragons, Sumi has fostered collaborations in museums, bookstores and art galleries across the globe since 2005.
Tomorrow from 1-4pm, Highland Park’s raddest new gallery– THIS Los Angeles with Little Paper Planes– hosts the latest meeting of Sumi Ink Club. The invitation is open to you (and all your family, friends, and also your enemies) to play, interact and put your imagination to work as part of something bigger than yourself. Go get ink on your hands.
When I first heard Active Child’s “When Your Love Is Safe” it was a race to figure out where I could get it. Turns out Active Child is the project of Los Angeles based Pat Grossi. A wonderful mix of 80’s synth pop, with haunting and beautiful chorale vocals creating a temporary escape within an ephemeral space.
This song was released on the Sun Rooms cassette tape which came out on Mirror Universe earlier this year (which has since sold out.) Active Child just released a new 7″ single called She Was A Vision that you can check out here and I’m told there are more releases on the way.
You can listen to more at Myspace and see him live March 9th at El Rey with Big Pink in Los Angeles and he’s performing at SxSw (probably more than once.)
Trees have it rough in major metropolitan areas. There’s pollution, traffic, unfriendly elements and an often tree-indifferent population to contend with. It’s a wonder they manage, especially in Los Angeles. Lucas Reiner’s new book Los Angeles Trees is a collection of the artist’s tree portraits that feels like a cross between a yearbook, a landscape, and a metaphysical exploration of what it takes to survive in a hostile environment.