Stay FRESH 2016 South Bay Contemporary Fundraiser

Diversions SBC

Diversions FRESH
Looking for some art-action – and auctions – this weekend? Coming up on Saturday, the South Bay Contemporary fundraising gala fits the bill. Taking place the 23rd from 5 to 8 in the courtyard of a Rancho Palos Verdes estate, the event supports events, exhibitions, arts education and more at SBC in San Pedro.

The cutting edge art programs at SBC should be well represented by a live auction of collectible works, performance art, interactive art, live music, cool cocktails, and a catered dinner. Attendees will also get a preview of SBC’s upcoming exhibition Skyline, opening May 7th, as exhibiting artists came up with the table centerpieces for the event – which will be sold at a silent auction.

Diversions SBC

Looking ahead, Skyline features emerging patterns, silhouettes and lines of 3-D sculptures, to form a unified image of a skyline. Curated by Ben Zask, the focus will be on sustainable practice in sculpture, with most pieces utilizing found materials and mixed media. To see these same artists creating centerpieces – and being able to take an original artwork home – makes the gala even more appealing. Hat and brooch making will be offered onsite, too.

Participating artists in the live and silent auctions and onsite during the gala include Cie Gumucio, Cansu Bulgu, Patty Grau, Margaret Lazzari, Seth Kaufman, and Gloria Plascencia.

SBC director Peggy Sivert Zask
SBC director Peggy Sivert Zask

South Bay Contemporary director Peggy Sivert Zask, says the evening is about “unity” as much as it is a fund raiser to support SBC and the culture of contemporary art in the South Bay.

Don’t know where the South Bay is? Well, it’s time to find out. Just drive south of LAX and look for this event. After all, it wouldn’t be a party without the art.

Tickets for the gala are online at The event will be located in the courtyard of the Shriver estate, located at 21 Pomegranate Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Face in the Crowd: Art Share LA Group Show Closing

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Portraits are personal. They also express the utter humanity of people, both individually and collectively. While traditional portraiture is still relevant, so are other forms of depicting the human experience.

This group show at Art Share LA provided a look into the hearts and minds – and faces – created by artists through photography, painting, sculpture, and mixed media pieces. The eleven-artist group show closing this week at Art Share LA offers a wide variety of images, from the deconstructed, self-exposing sculptures of Kristine Schomaker to the wallflowers who threaten to dissolve into the wallpaper of Janine Brown’s delicate pinhole camera photography.

Below, portraits come in all guises: Kenneth Waitrak, Mark Indig, Kristine Schomaker. We look into the soul of the artist and the subject.

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Below, Janine Brown’s handmade cardboard pinhole camera captures ghostly portraits inspired by the idea of “wallflowers” literally fading into the wall – and the juxtaposition of that idea, which first appeared in the Victorian age, with wallpaper, which was popular during the same era.

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Below, Kristine Schomaker’s dynamic sculptures – self expression through powerfully deconstructed works on body image, body culture, and vanity. The bright colors hold a potent message: it’s what we see below the surface that’s really beautiful.

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Artists included in this group show:

Alexis Bolter
Holly Boruck
Janine Brown
Luis Favela
Brett Garamella
Minas Halaj
Mark Indig
Kristine Schomaker
Susan Swihart
Johnie Thornton
Kenneth Waitrak

Political Anime Art: German graffiti artist duo HERAKUT at Corey Helford


“Masters Of Wrong” is a terrific new exhibition of more than twenty paintings and installations by art duo HERACUT closing this week at Corey Helford. Opening night found performance artists and on-going art creations a part of a very busy scene celebrating the work of painter Hera (Jasmin Siddiqui) and graffiti artist Akut (Falk Lehmann).


Very much a commentary on the U.S. political scene, this trenchant installation combined iconic figures like Captain America and Sponge Bob with election-year protest.



Both whimsical and profound, this sharp and spot-on installation piece expertly wove opinion with flat-out fun art.


HERAKUT’s paintings were equally satiric and of-the-moment.


International mural painters, the artists are true storytellers and collaborators. Hera utilizes her drawing skills, Akut paints the photo-realistic portions of their works.



Images of despair, captured in candy-colored, cartoon-inspired stories.


Satire met full-out levity with performances by the Mad Hatter cum political candidate.


Below, Hera, left – a.k.a. Cookie Monster.


Art created on the spot.





“Our way of work is immediate, we have to reflect our present situation. So at this time, the election is very important, and this exhibition is our statement of the actual situation,” Akut says. “The performance artists are friends of ours. Our artwork is usually a dialogue between two people, but we were thinking that in LA it would be good to go a little louder, to use our performance artist friends to bring our art work alive and add an additional dimension.”


Haunting and effervescent. Doomed and inspired. The HERAKUT vision of today’s America.



Above left, Akut, with Pikachu.



Intensely imaginative in their reinvention of figures like Pikachu, above, familiarity with these beloved characters help HERAKUT reach a wide audience and broaden the accessibility of their messages.



Below, “Sailor Mom.” Using beloved anime and cartoon figures to express raw political truths broke down barriers of resistance to political messages, and served as a common rallying point for viewers.


Hera adds “We try to mention social issues by using new heroes, we want to connect kids with the art world. They’re very smart. When we talk to kids, what we hear from them make us feel better about America.”


Above – Akut with Hera. The passion and immediacy of their work makes each piece, as well as the entire room, hum with energy.


Also at Corey Helford: stellar works by R. LEVEILLE & MIHO HIRANO. Leveille describes her works as “images of female identity and sensuality from the perspective of contemporary women painters owning the mid-century pin-up aesthetic.”


The artist’s images, rimmed with gold, remind the viewer of icons. Women, placed on pedestals and stranded there. These are beautiful paintings, but also political ones.




Above, artist R. Leveille. The juxtaposition of “cheesecake” pin-up images with religious icon symbolism and her detailed, vibrant depictions completely re-imagines both past and present roles of women.

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Hirano, below, speaking through her translator, explains her work as “decorating and accessorizing women with flowers, expressing the symbolism of adorning women with nature.”


The delicate colors, peach and blue, render these dream-like women in the shape of sea creatures, ethereal and ghostly.


or forest nymphs…





Above, Hirano and curator Caro.

Corey Helford is on a roll, utilizing the gallery’s large space to contain truly astonishing installations, and capturing moments in our cultural zeitgeist. HERAKUT and each of the artists on display combine beautiful technique with a raw message and a goal of empowerment.

Hurry, get a dose.

  • Genie Davis; Photos by Jack Burke 






Four Solo Shows Connect at LAAA’s Gallery 825




The “4 Solo Shows” now at the Los Angeles Art Association’s Gallery 825 are brilliant parts of a dazzling whole. From Chenhung Chen’s freestanding, exciting sculptures created from wire, cords, and the detritus of technology to Seda Saar’s complex, blossoming  works in colored plexiglass and mirrors, both what we see and what we imagine come to vivid life.


Above, Chen with Entelechy #23


Chenhung Chen’s “Entelechy” is a world built with wires and crocheted metal alloys, with each piece as packed with motion and inside-out exposed imagery as if living creatures have sprung to life from an alchemy of technology and spirit. With each piece vividly different and fluid, the powerful nature of Chen’s vision draws upon the feminine and masculine in each of us, upon the kinetic nature of life itself, humming through our veins as electricity does through wire.  Don’t miss the chance to “plug into” Chen’s compelling work.




Above, Janine Brown



Janine Brown’s “The Wallflower Project” haunts with delicate, almost translucent portraits captured through her self-made cardboard pinhole camera. The idea of a person being a wallflower is the inspiration for her works, an idea which came from a casual remark about her husband’s handsomeness and her own tendency to take a step into the background. The word wallflower was, the artist notes, “coined in Victorian times, a time period in which actual wallpaper was popular.” She started gathering wall- paper samples to create a look in which the subject begins to disappear into the patterns themselves. As her project has evolved, so has her art form, moving from the black and white images in this show, to color images printed directly on wallpaper itself.  The pieces here are haunting, images of the past captured through the prism of the present.


Above, Seda Saar



Seda Saar’s “Polyhedron : Art + Reality Are One” is all about illusion. Saar, who has also worked her magic in theme park design as well as sculpture, pulls viewers into a 3D vision that appears to go on forever, “like the ocean, on and on.” Layering light and color constructions made of plexiglass and mirrors, the trippy through-the-looking-glass feeling of Saar’s work is truly magical. The judicious use of mirrors creates a scene that feels like an alternate reality – figuratively stepping inside, the viewer sees the building blocks of fractals creating an entire universe both light and bright.


Above, Devin Thor




Devin Thor’s “Paleolithic Creatures” are also from an alternate reality, one in which extinct creatures live again as sculptures cut from sandstone. A geologist as well as an artist, Thor’s flat images are tribal in nature, astonishing in their simplicity, an elegy to existence lost, a hopeful monument to better stewardship for our planet. His minimalized approach is purposeful: limiting the number of lines necessary to define his creatures creates a universal reality uniting creatures of all kinds, even humans.

Unifying this exhibition of four brilliant artists is each of their attempts to create a reality that moves and engages. Whether through mirrors, wires, sandstone, or photographic images new worlds are opened, ready and waiting to explore and engage.