M+B is pleased to announce Matthew Brandt: Velvet and Bubble Wrap, the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery featuring new work that explores Hollywood as both a construct and a landscape.
Cocaine, the Hollywood Sign, plush velvet, cheap fantasies, interchangeable personalities, identities of affect, trends, bubbles, stars, and slick surfaces—Brandt directly employs Hollywood tropes and transforms them, prodding and mixing the stereotypical, material signifiers of identity in the Los Angeles landscape.
Matthew Brandt’s images physically incorporate the work’s subject matter into his creative process, tethering conceptual creativity to material production and furthering the read. Starry night skies typically obliterated by city lights are elegantly composed in swirls of cocaine on black velvet. Torsos donning patterned and striped shirts are burned and etched onto fields of pristine white silk velvet. Gaps between the letters of the Hollywood sign are printed in hair dye on bubble wrap, glowing in abstracted scenes.
Matthew Brandt (b. 1982, Los Angeles) received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2004 and his MFA from UCLA in 2008. He was recently featured in Art+Auction’s “50 Under 50: The Next Most Collectible Artists” in the June 2013 issue, and his first solo exhibition at M+B in the fall of 2011 was met with critical attention: selected by Modern Painters as part of “The 100 Best Fall Shows” and reviewed in the December/January 2013 issue. Brandt was included in the “The Top 30 Under 30 in Art and Design” for Forbes by Jeffrey Deitch in 2012 and Art in America included him in their “Top Finds at Paris Photo Los Angeles” earlier this year. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Armand Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Bidwell Projects (Ohio), The Sir Elton John Photography Collection, UBS Art Collection, Statoil Collection, Columbus Museum of Art (Ohio), Brooklyn Museum of Art (New York), North Carolina Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Cincinnati Art Museum (Ohio), Royal Danish Library and Wieland Collection, among others. This fall, the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio will open Brandt’s first institutional solo exhibition entitled Sticky/Dusty/Wet, which will travel to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in the fall of 2014. Recent institutional group exhibitions include Land Marks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Reality Check at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Currents at the Contemporary Art Museum (North Carolina) and Staking Claim at the Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego). Matthew Brandt lives and works in Los Angeles.
The opening reception for the artist on Saturday, December 14 from 6 to 8 pm.
For more information, please contact Alexandra Wetzel at M+B at (310) 550-0050 or email@example.com.
By Jim McKinniss
Korean artist Jee Young Lee has been weaving herself into exceedingly clever dream worlds she creates in her studio… and despite their other worldly appearance she uses absolutely no photo manipulation for the end result. In each image you can find Lee’s young figure hidden among the vibrant details of her carefully constructed, set-like pieces – perhaps a hand poking up from the center of a watery vortex of swirling fans, or her body floating in a lotus as in the picture above (inspired by the Story of Shim Cheong, a Korea folktale as well as by Shakespeare’s Ophelia).
By Jim McKinniss
In its first new exhibitions of 2014, dnj Gallery will be showing traditional black and white photographs by Robert von Sternberg in the main gallery. In addition, “Hydrographics” by R. Dean Larson will be featured in Gallery II.
von Sternberg has been active in Southern California photography for several decades. This exhibition
highlights samples of his black and white work spanning from 1962 through the early 2000s. All of the
images in this exhibition were captured on traditional film. Some are classic gelatin silver prints.
Others are carbon ink prints that were created by drum scanning negatives into digital files, then
printing them with an ink jet printer retooled with special carbon ink jets to produce an extraordinary
range of tonal qualities. Though the photographs cover a range of subjects, together they showcase
von Sternberg’s talent for finding and capturing the exquisite, yet easily overlooked moments of
everyday life. Using humor and wit, von Sternberg’s images ultimately lead his audience to the
discovery that in a world saturated with images there is still a reason to look. von Sternberg states,
“Images exist—waiting to be captured. Subliminally, I’m always looking for them. I encounter them
everywhere—on my commute, while attending events and even while traveling.”
von Sternberg started taking photographs in his early years in Hermosa Beach and sold the very first
image he took to Surfer Magazine. He has exhibited his work since the late sixties and has pieces in
numerous private collections and 45 museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the International Museum of
Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. von Sternberg’s work is
currently on view at LACMA as part of the exhibition “See the Light – Photography, Perception,
Cognition: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection.”
In “Hydrographics” in Gallery II, R. Dean Larson uses digital tools to explore and extend his artistic
vision beyond the capture of a frame. Larson, who taught traditional photography and darkroom
technique for many years, turns to the newer tools of digital photography and Photoshop to emphasize
the distinctive characteristics of ocean waves. This exhibition features photographs of subjects both
before and after manipulation to demonstrate the differences between the captured image and
Larson’s artistic vision. Drawing upon psychology’s concept of Selective Perception, he explains that
he manipulates his images of the ocean in order to “isolate[ ] certain Elements of Design, such as
Form, Color and Contour, and create[ ] a hybrid image of enhanced and virtual reality…In my
Hydrographics series, I have set out to visually illustrate aspects of the ocean’s water.”
Larson taught photography in the Los Angeles Unified School District for over 30 years. His
photographs have been exhibited throughout the Southern California area, and his work has been
published in numerous outlets. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in psychology, a subject that influences much
of his work.
SHOW DATES: January 11 – February 22, 2014
RECEPTION: Saturday, January 11, 6 – 8 pm
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm
dnj Gallery 2525 Michigan Avenue, suite J1, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 315-3551
Web site: http://www.dnjgallery.net
For additional information or images, please contact Cambra Sklarz at (310) 315-3551 or
By Jim McKinniss
The following text was written by David Rosenberg and it appears along with these photos in Slate.com
Although Richard Tuschman enjoys going to the theater, he is slightly more attracted to the sets and lighting than to the drama unfolding onstage.
He was also attracted to the quiet sense of drama found in the paintings of Edward Hopper, and he used them as a launching pad for a personal project he began almost two years ago titled “Hopper Meditations.”
Tuschman has worked predominately as a commercial photographer, but he has a fine-arts background with a focus on painting, graphic design, and assemblage. He had been making dioramas for a while and wanted to use them to create interior scenes where he would digitally include a figure or two.
To do that, Tuschman began by building the dioramas. Apart from an occasional prop taken from a dollhouse or toy train set, Tuschman builds everything to a scale about big enough for his cat, Smithers, to fit inside. He then photographed his models (he used two women and cast himself for the male character) on gray, using Photoshop to create the final image.
“If it doesn’t take me a long time, it’s really not worthwhile,” Tuschman said, laughing about his process. “These pictures are almost mundane in a way. They’re really quiet and have a sort of psychological overtone to them and that was really appealing to me.”
Although the first image he created (Hotel by Railroad, 2012) set out to replicate a Hopper painting, the more he worked on the series, the less he wanted to create duplicates. “The more I did them, Hopper became more of an inspiration rather than something to copy,” he said.
“I have always loved the way Hopper’s paintings, with an economy of means, are able to address the mysteries and complexities of the human condition,” Tuschman wrote in his statement about the work. “The general mood in my work is more somber, and the lighting is less harsh than in Hopper’s.”
As he nears two years on the project, Tuschman said he’s beginning to crave a new direction for his work, though he’s fairly certain he’ll continue to work with dioramas, saying they give him a lot of freedom and a sense of control. “If I start losing interest, it’s a bad sign,” he said. “I don’t want to simply be known as the ‘Hopper guy.’ ”
By Jim McKinniss
With an emphasis on recent acquisitions, Room to Live features selected large-scale works or single-artist presentations from MOCA’s renowned Permanent Collection. Organized by Curator Bennett Simpson, the exhibition will include works in painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, and slide-projection by Fischli & Weiss, Nan Goldin, Samara Golden, Rodney McMillian, Ryan Trecartin, and Marnie Weber, among others. Themes of existential questioning and extravagant subjectivity weave among the individual works, many shown at MOCA for the first time.
This exhibition runs until January 13, 2014
250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
By Jim McKinniss
I’ve known Earl for several years now through a photography group called PADA (Photographic and Digital Artists) that is affiliated with the Palos Verdes Art Center in Palos Verdes, California.
Earl is a very talented photographer who loves to explore the world by traveling to destinations such as Bhutan, Vietnam and Africa where he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2010.
Here is a link to Earl’s Africa trip in 2013.
By Jim McKinniss
I’ve known John Humble since I was his student at Otis College of Art and Design in 2004. John’s photography focuses on American architecture. By that I do not mean monumental architecture but rather the architecture of working business districts, freeways, warehouses and road side businesses.
Here is a brief statement John has written in a bio:
I moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 1974. I intended to stay here for a year, maybe two. I’m still here.
My father was career military, so growing up, I lived in Florida, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, California and Kentucky—as well as Panama, France, and Okinawa.
I studied at the University of Maryland, got drafted, and spent thirteen months in Vietnam as a medic. Went back to college, then got a job as a photojournalist at the Washington Post. Determined to pursue my own work, I enrolled in the graduate program of the San Francisco Art Institute. After the SFAI, I traveled around Europe, through the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, living in my VW van, observing and photographing an amazing variety of landscapes and cultures. After a year and a half, I traded the van for six Turkish carpets in the bazaar in Istanbul, and came home.
So, I moved to L.A. and began teaching and photographing the landscape, one of the most diverse and fascinating I have ever encountered. My images are made with equipment that allows for great detail and minimizes distortion; your experience of looking at one of my photographs should be similar to looking through a window.
Along the way, I’ve done assignments for Time, Newsweek, Life, U.S. News, Geo, Esquire, Elle, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and Harper’s.
Most recently, I’ve been traveling around the United States, photographing the American Landscape. What a strange and wonderful and luminous experience…
By Jim McKinniss
Fernand Fonssagrives – Iconic American fashion photographer of the 1940s and 1950s at Duncan Millery Gallery
One of the highest paid photographers in the world, Fernand Fonssagrives (1910-2003) was linked to the early ‘Design Laboratory’ classes of Alexey Brodovitch, and was a key member of the close knit group of photographers now celebrated as The New York School.
His most memorable work traces the unique partnership he had with his first wife, legendary model Lisa Fonssagrives, a former dancer who went on to marry Irving Penn. A major influence and inspiration to both men, Lisa was responsible for Fonssagrives picking up a camera – she gave him a Rollieflex after his own dance career ended due to a diving injury.
Fernand and Lisa helped to define the natural, effortless beauty that has become the mainstay of fashion photography as we now know it. Lisa’s elegant dancers’ figure and enigmatic look were a constant inspiration to Fonssagrives whether he photographed her dancing in the open air, or experimentally draped in shadows to define the contours of her naked body. When World War II forced them to return to New York, they were catapulted into separate but highly successful careers.
Unfortunately, their careers diverged and the marriage ended in 1950; Lisa was the epitome of fashion, a form of photography Fonssagrives began to resent as too commercial, and which limited to his creative freedom. After becoming disillusioned with advertising photography, he moved to Spain, taught himself to sculpt, and regained his creative independence. Lisa married Irving Penn, and her collaboration with him is an acknowledged landmark in the maturity of fashion photography.
Fernand Fonssagrives died in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2003.
Opening reception, Saturday, November 9, 7-9 pm
Duncan Miller Gallery is located at:
2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11-6 pm and by appointment
By Jim McKinniss
The Fahey/Klein gallery is pleased to present a selection of photographs from renowned photographer Ellen von Unwerth in her exhibition, “Made in America”. The exhibition revels in the uniqueness and originality of Americana imagery by extoling the concept of Hollywood personalities and pop culture icons it has produced such as Marilyn Monroe, Lolita, Bettie Page, and even Barbie and Ken.
Crafting cinematic scenarios for her shoots, von Unwerth of invites viewers to come along on a rollicking adventure. By furnishing each of her subjects with a new persona to inhabit for the day, she allows their inhibitions to melt away. “The atmosphere on my shootings is fun,” von Unwerth said in 2011. “Almost like a party.” (Virginia VanZanten, “15 Years of von Unwerth,” Wmagazine.com, 2011). As any great hostess knows, spontaneity is key. After casting each player in his or her part, von Unwerth simply stands back and lets their tale unfold. “When you put on a pair of leather hot pants and you’re sucking a lollipop with Ellen von Unwerth,” the Canadian supermodel Shalom Harlow once told Vogue, “you’re not the same person that you woke up as in the morning.” (Robert Sullivan, “Working It! Shalom Harlow,” Vogue, 2003).
The exhibition showcases the starlets, musicians, and models making headlines today such as Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Evan Rachel Wood, Elizabeth Olsen, Paz de la Huerta, Madonna, Rihanna, and Kate Upton – all of whom have entrusted Ellen with the task of creating edgier, sexier images with unabashed confidence. “I think that women open up more to a female photographer,” she has said. “It’s like little girls playing around. You can be a bit naughty and do things you wouldn’t do in front of boys. It’s more relaxed somehow. I think it’s an empowering experience.” (Alice Wyllie, “Interview: Ellen von Unwerth,” Scotland on Sunday, 2009)
Like many great contemporary female photographers, Ellen von Unwerth’s introduction to the world of photography began in front of the lens as a model. She transitioned from model to photographer first by taking reportage style shots of her friends, and while traveling. Both of these elements add a depth, authenticity, and originality to Ellen’s images. Her work transcends sexy fashion images and instead begins to represent a modern, confident and totally unique approach to photography.
Ellen von Unwerth’s work has been featured in numerous magazines and publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Interview. Along with creating editorial and Fine Art work, she continues to produce dynamic short films, direct music videos, and create successful advertisement campaigns for Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, and her now iconic work for Guess. Ellen’s latest Taschen publication, “The Story of Olga”, is an erotic photographic story played out with Ellen’s signature provocative images and an elaborate cast of sexy characters.
Ellen von Unwerth’s photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Ellen von Unwerth lives and works in Paris.
This exhibition runs November 7, 2013 through January 4, 2014
Reception for the Artist: Thursday, November 7, 7-9 p.m.
Fahey Klein is located at 148 North La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone (323) 934-2250
By Jim McKinniss
This exhibition features artists Carol Kleinman, Linda Sue Price, Kamil Vojnar
Paris Windows, Carol Kleinman
Windows are her inspiration, the camera is her tool. Artist Carol Kleinman’s latest show, “Paris Windows,” continues her unique work with reflections, merging reality with fantasy. In her new series of photographs on canvas, the Pacific Palisades resident and inveterate traveler captures a mysterious, multi-layered world as it actually existed on windows all over Paris, from the small streets of the Latin Quarter to the 19thcentury covered passages of the Right Bank. Kleinman’s surprising images are not composites, but rather single exposures capturing a complex interplay of light and form. “I want to challenge the viewer to look beyond everyday life. Each of my images existed in the world at a unique moment in time,” says Kleinman. “Nothing is set up or manufactured. What you see … is what I saw.”
Spiraling, Linda Sue Price
Artist Linda Sue Price’s neon art is rooted in nostalgia. Referring to childhood memories of west coast road trips and visions of the animated motel signs and drive-in theaters from Long Beach to Las Vegas, Price’s work pays playful homage to a bygone era. Animation is prevalent in Price’s multilayered work, as twisted acrylic rods, glass and LED lights create vibrant landscapes of moving light. “I play with the glass, exploring and trying different combinations until I settle on a form I want to explore,” says Price. “I mix color, reflection, texture and animation to create a visual experience.” Price specifically designed her latest series to create a gentle, meditative sense of movement, contrasting the traditional use of animated signs as dazzling distractors. Price’s dynamic spiraled designs offer a colorful sense of whimsy while embracing the capabilities of neon as an artistic medium.
Life is a Journey, Kamil Vojnar
Life is a journey for artist Kamil Vojnar. Like pages from a scrapbook, his images document this journey. But rather than cover wide geographical distances, Vojnar travels vertically through the timeless, wistful emotions of the soul and heart. Soft figures float through ethereal landscapes of muted color as birds, balloons and airborne ships become forms of surreal locomotion in Vojnar’s current series. The artist’s scenes are comprised of digitally layered photographs on various papers which stand both alone or are adhered to canvas. Drips of wax and oil paint add touchable texture and simultaneously emphasize nuances of color and shadow. “I like to make a satisfying object,” says Vojnar. “A simple photograph is cold to me.” Vojnar’s collaged images provide a sense of spiritual contemplation, as motifs of wings and figures in flight act as modern relics that are both haunting and familiar.
About TAG Gallery – Established in 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation, TAG Gallery is a member-owned community of approximately forty artists. Through the physical gallery in Santa Monica’s landmark Bergamot Station as well as lectures from exhibiting and visiting artists, TAG Gallery has become a valuable resource for launching the careers of both emerging and mid-career artists based in the greater Los Angeles area. For more information about TAG Gallery, please visit www.taggallery.net.
Exhibition runs October 29 – November 23, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 2nd, 5-8 p.m.
Artist Talk: Saturday, November 9th, 3 p.m.
By Jim McKinniss