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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Check out my friend: Gin Stevens

My good friend, Gin Stevens, has an art show opening this Friday at the La Luz de Jesus gallery in Hollywood. Gin does beautiful scratchboard art and has had several successful shows around L.A. in recent years. He is best known for his stunning portraits of Blues singers, illustrations of African-American Folklore and, most recently, his series of Hobo portraits from his solo show at the Harmony Gallery last year.

His work is evolving. The new series uses a much more lush, almost painterly, sand-paper scratchboard technique that he tints with watercolor. His subject matter has matured as well. He has moved beyond the realm of illustration to a more expressive, individualized vision of narrative portraiture. The new work is a series of tattoos and tattooed people. No longer is he merely illustrating a narrative story, but rather telling you the story through a stark image of a hand, foot, face or torso that is covered in years of history. The tattoos of his subjects are steeped in personal symbolism which give Gin's new series a self-expressive touch that I haven't seen in the past.

This is Gin Stevens biggest, and most impressive show yet. I highly recommend everyone checks it out this month.

December 2nd through Jan 1st at La Luz de Jesus
Opening reception Friday, December 2nd, from 8 to 11 pm
4633 Hollywood Blvd. (in the back of the Wacko store)
Los Angeles, CA 90027

More info at the La Luz de Jesus website: click here.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Two Premieres this week!

1) Channel Frederator Episode #5 came out today- featuring "Don't Pick On Me"!!! the music video I did for The Muffs. Channel Frederator is bundling independent animated shorts into 15 minute episodes that you can download for your iPod or other personal players.

If you register (it's free) with Channel Frederator, you can login, vote, and make comments about the cartoons.

You can watch the episodes online, but now I'm tempted to go buy one of those ipod things... I'm also happy that Episode 5 includes Le Building, a really cool short French cartoon that came out last year. Also Berd and Skwerl is rather funny, but I really love the surprisingly wonderful way that bird is animated.

Click here for episode 5

Click here for the Frederator Blog entry about me!

2) Friday night is the premiere of the new Nickelodeon cartoon "The X's"! I've been a background painter on this cartoon since around episode 3 and it's been a lot of fun. I've only seen 2 episodes so far, but I thought they were very funny, and the stylish design of the show is pretty original. The hilarious Patrick Warburton heads up the voices as Mr. X, the father of a family of super-spies who are always at battle with the evil Glowface. The show was created by Carlos Ramos. And my pal Patrick Morgan is the Design Supervisor for the background art.

Friday they will air 3 episodes back to back in prime time.

Click here for the Nick X's site


Friday, November 11, 2005

The Incredible Shrinking Art Show

I'm in a agroup art show in Long Beach, CA this month. Opening reception is Saturday, November 12th, from 6-10 pm at the Koo's Gallery. The show consists of 19 artists doing small works of art. I have 5 small paintings in the show (pictured here). I don't know much about the other artists in the show, except that my friends Scot Nobles and Levon Jihanian will also be showing some of their work.
Check the gallery's site for maps and info.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New York Report...

I'm back from a great, but too quick, trip to New York City. I saw lots of great things, ate lots of great vegan food, and got to walk around that beautiful city holding hands with my best girl, Mona.

On the first day I was on my own, and I spent it by going to see some art. I met up with my friend, Scott Teplin, at the Adam Baumgold Gallery to see an exhibit of Chris Ware's comic pages for the Acme Novelty Library #16. The Ware show was awesome... it was interesting to go through the show and see how much his thought process and story-structure changes from the drawing phase to the final printed version... I'm also surprised to see that his style is allowing some imperfections now and then... a little bit of broken lines and brush strokes are being allowed in his perfect drawings that I think will be nice when he fully allows it... but at this point it almost seems like a distracting mistake or carelessness, becase he still seems hesitant to let go and allow some human touch into his line-quality... I say DO IT!!! Let go!!! Let me see your dirty lines Mr. Ware!

I had a delicious, but expensive, vegan lunch at Candle Cafe 79.

Anyway... the Ware show was great... but even greater was the Van Gogh Drawing show at the Met! My god!!! SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD! made me wanna cry. But before I broke down bawling at the site of Vincent's beautiful little lines and circles, I ran into my friends, Pat, Chad, Dan and Monty from L.A. who were also vacationing in NYC for the week. They probably saved me from an embarassing, tearful moment among the droves of tourists wandering through the show.

I tried to go to the Odilon Redon show and the Pettibon show while there, but I just didn't have enough time...

As I mentioned last week, I went to the city for the book release party of American Illustration 24. The party was fun, but unfortunately I didn't know anyone, and there wasn't really much of a way to know who anyone was. At some point a nice girl named Anika took pity on my lonely state and introduced herself. She then introduced me to her boyfriend Jacob Magraw who is also in the AI24 book and a fellow illustrator/painter in L.A. I hung out with them for a bit, but the bar-tenders poured my drinks a bit too strong and I probably made a fool of myself.

At the party, they were projecting the images on the walls. They went by pretty fast, but I did manage to get a picture of my paintings projected behind the sea of people. I'm really glad I went to the party, but I'm disapointed by my lack of ability to meet anyone while there- flashbacks of Junior High School dance parties where I was always a wallflower. I did meet a few nice people there, though.

The book looks great, and I'm really happy to see my paintings in it. I received three pages (pictured below)- two of them are full pages of my artwork! There is a lot of other interesting art in the book, but I haven't had time to really go through it and pick out my favorites. It should be available for purchase on the website soon.

Mona arrived and we got to spend all day saturday wandering around the city together. We had a delicious vegan brunch at a little cafe (can't remember the name) in the East Village. We went shopping in SoHo at the vegan shoestore Moo Shoos and some other stores around town. We had another amazing vegan, Korean meal at Franchia for dinner.

We did our one tourist duty and went to the Empire State Building. We had no idea that it's turned into a Disneyland style attraction where you have an endless maze of lines, gift shops and photo booths to trap you into spending tons of money. As they parade you through the labrynthine line, at one point they unexpectedly stop you in front of a cardboard cutout of the building and take your picture. We didn't really know what was going on, and the picture came out kinda hilarious, so we had to buy it.

We finally made it to the top. The weather was perfect and we had a beautiful view of the whole city (see picture at beginning of post). After that we trekked down to Greenwich village in hopes of finding a cool bar to hang out in, but it seems that the area has been overrun with touristy crappy restaurants and sportsbars. So, instead we went back to the East Village for some yummy vegan dessert and wine at Counter. I wish we had had more time there, because we really love that city, but it was good to get back home again. Hopefully I'll have another reason to go back soon.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

New York- here I come!

I'm off to New York City for the Book Launch Party for American Illlustration 24! I'm really excited to be included in this book (that's the cover on the left) and to have an excuse to go to NYC for the weekend. I've got my New York Vegan Restaurant Guide ready to take me to all the delicious veggie-places in the city. I hope to see the Odilon Redon show at MoMA and the Chris Ware show at Adam Baumgold gallery.

I can't wait to see the book, see all the other artists who are in it this year, and see if my paintings look good in print. Four of my paintings (including the one to the right) were accepted into this book. I don't know what to expect at the Launch Party, but I'm hoping to meet some of the other artists and people involved in the illustration world.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

San Francisco Lecture...

I just realized I never followed up on my San Francisco Art Institute Lecture. It went really really well... I was surprised at how well it went, considering i didn't really prepare any speech or notes or anything... It was my first slide lecture, and I somehow managed to talk for nearly 2 hours! Many of the students came up to me afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed it, so i guess I didn't bore them all to death. I presented around 50 slides of my paintings along with 30-40 images of illustration and comics, etc. I also showed a couple of my cartoons. Anyway... thanks to Richard Berger for asking me to give the lecture, and thanks to the students for asking lots of good questions and listening to me blather on about my art for so damn long.


Check out my friends: Part 3

How can I even begin to tell you about
Lark Pien?
She's the bestest, most creative, most prolific, most bestest cartoonist ever! I love her work. I don't even know how to talk about it. Her style achieves effortless perfection that is both quick and expressive but also technically beautiful. The content of her work is both cute and devious and balances that line between being accessable and thought provoking at the same time.

Lark is the creator of the series Mr. Boombah and Long Tail Kitty, as well as countless other comics and stories. You may have seen her work in recent issues of Nickelodeon magazine or on the cover of Scram Magazine. She has a ridiculously prolific output of beautiful hand-made mini-comics, paintings, prints, puppets, etc. She's one of the people I always look forward to seeing at comic conventions, and she always has something new. Check out her website, it's full of great stuff!