Gabba Gallery Wishlist 5 – Art Wishes Granted

Gabba Wishlist

Gabba Wishlist

Opening this Saturday, November 18th, Wishlist 5 at Gabba Gallery is a holiday cash and carry show that promises its annual eclectic mix of amazing local artists. There’s a sentence you’d best not say too quickly, but what should be done quickly is go to the opener. The show runs through December 16th, but you won’t want to miss the hot-on-the-walls works of artists curated by gallerists Jason Ostro and Elena Jacobson. Including the work of over 70 local to international artists, works are all priced under $1000, and buyers can take the art home immediately – something new and artistically amazing will appear in its place.

IMG_6504 IMG_6505 IMG_6506 IMG_6507The evolving exhibition includes works by:

8333, ÷–x+, Alex Achaval, Douglas Alvarez, Balloonski, Allison Bamcat, Cody Bayne, Terri Berman, BIOWORKZ, Nicholas Bonamy, Clinton Bopp, Nicole Bruckman, CANTSTOPGOODBOY, Kate Carvellas, J. Scott Chapman, M. Christy, L. Croskey, Bibi Davidson, Dcypher, Keith Dugas, Carly Ealey, Joey Feldman, Jaq Frost, Rene Gagnon, Anyes, Galleani, Peter Greco, Mike Habs, Patrick Haemmerlein, Cloe Hakakian, Mary Hanson, Hero, Cyrus Howlett, Warren Jacobson, Jspot Jr., Nagisa Kamae, Kate Kelton, Leah Knecht, Jennifer Korsen, Andrea LaHue, Leba, Stephen Levey, Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass, Moncho1929, Morley, Mr. Melty, Max Neutra, Henry Niller, Jeremy Novy, NvrAlone, Jason Ostro, Judy Ostro, Phobik, Valerie Pobjoy, Olga Ponomarenko, Patrick Quinn, Christina Ramos, Christine Rasmussen, Red Dahlia, George Rivera, Roaming Elephant, Phil Santos, Septerhed, Shawn Sexton, Jeffrey Sklan, Amy Smith, Bisco Smith, Mable Song, Spacegoth, Hannah Streety, Skye Amber Sweet, Matthew Steidley, Ten Hundred, Tatiana Tensen, Toshee, Gilberto Ulloa, Vakseen, Em Wafer, Sebastien Walker, Christine Webb, Pastey Whyte, wrdsmth, Mimi Yoon, Erin Yoshi, Meg Zany, Essi Zimm, among others.

We know this work will be mind-blowingly cool – we’ve attended all four previous iterations of Wishlist. And, we were thrilled by the exciting, visceral work in the gallery’s October-November four-solo show exhibition, which is now closing, featuring Hero, Collin Salazar, Lucas Raynaud, and Dcypher. 

Gabba Reynaud 2

Gabba 4 6 Gabba 4 5

Above, Lucas Raynaud

Raynaud described his dimensional work, Growing Up, as an escape from today’s social and political reality. “My last show was very political, but I felt like this could be an escape, something fun, something that brought back memories of a better time, when I was a kid in the 80s. It’s my way to escape what’s going on right now.”

Gabba Hero

Gabba 4 10

Gabba 4 12

Gabba 4 2

Above, Hero

Casey Courey-Pickering, who goes by the artist name, Hero says, that in the last eight years of political “hope,” shadows have come to the surface “much like how forging steel brings the metal’s imperfections out.”  Here, he is melding those shadows against hope for the future. Hero’s thoughts on his street-art exhibition of stenciled paintings, Shadows of Hope: “When I created these pieces, for a long time I knew the images but not the messages. The title of the show highlights my own personal experience. The shadows have always existed, but particularly now, I wanted to have inspiration.”

Hero will also have work in the upcoming Wishlist 5.

Gabba Salazar

Gabba 4 3

Gabba 4 4

Above, Collin Salazar

Collin Salazar’s Outer offers a visual equivalent of lucid dreaming – semi-psychedelic images in lush dripping colors, as in “Electric Feel.” He is looking to create “an expression of self-awareness…impactful abstract portraits.”

Gabba DCypher

Gabba 4 8

Gabba 4 9

Above, Dcypher

Dcypher’s Fiction City 2 gives viewers a beautifully detailed rendering of a dystopia that is both delicate and tragic. Influenced by both graffiti and architecture, the artists notes “This is a series of work built from the understanding that nothing lasts forever. From destruction comes creation… everything comes full circle.”

gabba american stripes

Gabba Gallery also recently released their first print in collaboration with Judy Ostro and Sugar Press. In short: Gabba is growing.

Gabba 4 7

Wishlist opening night reception: Saturday, November 18th from 7-11pm. DJ Jonathan Williams spinning. Bar sponsored by Original New York Seltzer. Free parking at 3000 Beverly Blvd (enter off Reno) or street parking or Uber/Lyft. Gabba Gallery is located at 3126 Beverly Blvd. Wishlist 5 will be on view through December 16.

Val Kilmer: His Latest Role as an Artist in Gabba Gallery Pop-Up


val 2

Most people know Val Kilmer for his film and theater roles, but there’s a new part in Kilmer’s dramatic quiver that is less familiar to his fans – that of artist.

“I’ve developed strong and nuanced themes in my art from acting and performance that relate to iconic images or ideas – so there’s a thread of the icon and the Iconographic throughout the exhibition,” Kilmer said of his four day pop-up at Gabba Gallery in late July.

unnamed (2) unnamed unnamed (1)

While the artist’s renown certainly piqued interest in the exhibition, the power of his work more than stood for itself. In Icon Go On, I’ll Go On, Kilmer creates a series of icons – iconic characters he portrayed; icon-like abstract images with a strong spiritual bent, and words representing and directed at the icon that is “GOD.”

Val 12

The exhibition title itself refers to lines in Samuel Beckett’s 1953 novel, Unnamable — “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” Kilmer, who resides and has a studio in New Mexico, is making his own existential declaration, having survived and healed from a run in with oral cancer. While healing, he created art.

Val 11

Divided into three main sections, the work was highly spiritual in nature. Using metal panels as canvas for his acrylics and laser cut works, some images are representational, some abstract. All in all, there were over 100 works on display, including sculptural pieces.

According to gallery owner Jason Ostro, “There is a lot of meaning to his work. Val is a very deep guy.  Super kind and extremely creative, it’s been a pleasure to work with him,” he notes.

val 3

val 4

First up were a series of representational works with himself as a character  – Doc Holliday, Batman. Using stencils, he depicts these mythic images in an easily recognizable way, yet somehow the images are deeper than what we see on the surface. There is something otherworldly about them, as if the person who was portraying these figures were hovering just beyond the visual frame.

Val 10


Kilmer’s abstract works were beautifully colored, evoking images of the universe seen through a telescope, the stuff of ethereal, vivid dreams. Painted on metal with a black background, the shiny base of these layered, richly colored works pulls the eye deeper into the painting. Described as having a “blackhole” quality by Kilmer, there is the sense of seeing into another dimension. If the artist’s depiction of his character personas felt as if another being was hovering “off camera,” here, the viewer feels as if a different spiritual plane was floating just out of reach.

Val 9

The third section of the exhibition featured large laser-cut metal panels of the word “GOD.” Individual panels were grouped together, inviting viewers to viscerally see and connect with the word and the meaning of God. Groupings of some sixteen of these panels were paired with individual panels; others featured personal, handwritten thoughts, meditative exercises.
Val 7
Val 8
There was even a neon piece created by Kilmer, a kindly commandment.
Ostro relates that the show came about when a patron of the gallery who loved the energetic vibe of the space brought the gallery to the attention of Kilmer’s staff. “One of Val’s ‘people’ came to initially see the gallery, and after a few hours of talking and laughing, they loved it. I was told if Val was interested, he would be at the gallery sometime the next day.  I opened the doors at noon, and he was standing there eager to check out the space.  After talking for a few hours he said he’d get back to me, and a couple days later, we were planing his art show for July.”
val 1
Above, gallerist Jason Ostro.

Kilmer fans and art lovers take note: the new exhibition opening Saturday August 12th at Gabba, Cratedigger 2, features several works by Kilmer in the second iteration of a terrific show that pays homage to the art of the record sleeve. Over a hundred international and local artists will be exhibiting.

Ostro adds that a smaller, solo show of Kilmer’s is already being planned for 2018.

  • Genie Davis; photos: courtesy of Gabba Gallery and by Genie Davis


Gabba Gallery: Can’t Shake the Bunnies

Gabba Gallery will be opening a new show, Wishlist, November 12th, and you mustn’t miss it. There is always a fresh take on art and the meaning of art as discourse at this east side location.

We hope you caught the terrific four solo exhibitions that ran late September to mid-October here – if not, these are artists you should or will know, and most have appeared at Gabba in other shows.

Cratedigger: The Lost Art of Album Cover Art




Above, “Trunk” by Skye Amber Sweet

There’s music in the art, or art in the music. Anyway you look at it, Gabba Gallery’s Cratedigger: The Lost Art of Album Cover Art is a visual song. The wide-ranging group show features the work of 85 artists who have created 12 x 12 album art for both real and imagined records.


Above, Vakseen works his vivid magic.


Above, a taste of delicious smoked rum “Stolen” by Gabba’s great bartending crew.


Above “Love is Strong,” a tribute to Otis Redding, and yes, love, by curator and artist Jason Ostro.

Featured artists include ÷-x+, 8333, Sarah Elise Abramson, Africa47, Alex Azripe, Bandit, Cody Bayne, Nick Bonamy, Clinton Bopp, CANTSTOPGOODBOY, Kate Carvellas, Brett Crawford, L. Croskey, Baha Danesh, Lisa Derrick, Keith Dugas, Dytch66, Carley Ealey, June Edmonds, Eerie Pop, Joey Feldman, Karin Lindberg Freda, Rene Gagnon, Terry James Graham, Peter Greco, Raphael Grischa, Gumshoe, Mary Hanson, Teale Hathaway, Himbad, Khalid Hussein, Jesse Jacobellis, Warren Jacobson, Paul Juno, Jay Kantor, Kate Kelton, Christopher Koneki, Kophnz, Jennifer Korsen, Kozyndan, Kub aka Julien Hirn, Andrea LaHue, Jonathan Lamb, Leba, Devin Liston,  Steven Lopez, Stone Malone, Colette Miller, Bobbi Moline-Kramer, Moncho1929, Morley, Jules Muck, Max Neutra, Ugo Nonis, Nvralone, Michael Ortiz, Jason Ostro, Nate Otto, Pastey Whyte, Antonio Pelayo, Phobik, Valerie Pobjoy, Dave Pressler, Christina Ramos, Sergio Robleto, Phil Santos, Otto Schade, Kristine Shomaker, Septerhed, Ariel Shallit, Jeffrey Sklan, Amy Smith, Bisco Smith, Spacegoth, Hannah Streety, Tatiana Suarez, Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman, Skye Amber Sweet, Teachr, Ten Hundred, thrashbird, Toshee, Self Uno, Vakseen, Em Wafer, Christine Webb, Woes, Jason Woodside, wrdsmth, Lauren YS

Take a spin around some of these artistic turntables for some incredible hi-fidelity art.

IMGP3948 IMGP1001

Photography artist Jeffrey Sklan presented two images: the pink flower is titled “Pink at Rembert Studios,” the green image “The Lotus Eaters.” Each is a limited edition of 5 printed on aluminum.
Sklan notes “There was almost a perfect correlate of interest determined by gender. The green attracted men, the pink, women.”
Peter Greco says he usually creates “Gothic calligraphy and gothic flourishing. I studied classically, but my work here is more abstract.” Of his pieces in the show, he remarks “‘Silver Winged Rabbit’ is the title of my brother’s garage band in high school.” His “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”

reflects “experimental, trippy music built around recorded material such as chanting or late night radio.”


Phil Santos’ “Stray Katz” takes it’s logo from the actual Stray Cats album. “It’s a play on words, something funny and satirical I wanted to play with.”



Ajax created two covers which “pay tribute to forgotten street artists of the 90s, using two punk rock album covers as their starting point. The works are done with water color and copy paper. Chaka and Phantom Street Art were both left out of the big street art show at MOCA, and I wanted to give them the recognition they did not have there.”


Brett Crawford created covers on both panel and aluminum. His Jango Reinhart (far right) reflects the myth of the musical artist: he died in a fire and disappeared, in a classic story of good and evil. “In my painting the cat is his guardian angel, the serpent represents temptation or selling out.”  Crawford’s second cover (near right) is a shiny aluminum Blondie.

F23C0215 F23C0217

Kristine Schomaker’s “Train: the White Album” is a work that plays with recycled elements from another exhibition about trains, she says. “It just came to me that the train element could become an album, and it’s a play on the Beatles’ White Album,” she says.


June Edmonds’ two works were inspired by listening to the radio. The brightly colored “Giant” was taken from the words of Cornell West. “He said it was going to take giant steps and love supreme to get us out of the mess we’re in these days.” She was listening on July 17th, the date on which John Coltrane died. Her Coltrane tribute, far right, uses the colors black and blue – with blue representing a spark of life and hope.




Kate Carvellas is a huge fan of David Bowie. “I was still feeling his passing when I heard about this theme show. Ordinarily theme shows intimidate me, because I usually work so unconsciously, but this was different. It hit me to do something about Bowie because his music resonated with me so much.”




Skye Amber Sweet has three pieces in the exhibition. “‘Trunk One and Two’ have to do with water, and trees, drought.”


“My Bernie Sanders piece, ‘Berning Sanders,’ is a reaction to how really terrible I felt about what was happening politically. I made it before all the Hillary and the Democratic party news came out, but my idea was that she was trying to cool Sanders off, that’s what the ice cream cones I used are representative of.”


Can’t Stop Good Boy created an album cover for System of a Down. “I’m the only artist that didn’t listen to the 12 x 12 requirements for the show,” he laughs.

Dytch66 says “‘Chosen by Shiva’ and ‘Back in 1985’ each represent musical eras.  “Heavy metal, speed metal, that’s what ‘Chosen’ depicts. ‘Back in 1985 embraces the 80s boom box era, breakdancers, graffiti,” he says.  “That piece is ink on metal. My style constantly changes – because I work as an illustrator, I can go with any different style.”






The Cratedigger celebration of record sleeve art plays on through September 10th. Crank up the volume and enjoy.

Gabba Gallery is located at 3126 Beverly Blvd., and is open Wed-Saturday noon to 3 p.m. and by appointment.

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Jack Burke (Jeffrey Sklan works provided by the artist)