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. 

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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

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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.

Metro Dreams at Gabba Gallery

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A powerful opening last weekend at Gabba Gallery brought the exhibition Metro Dreams to the LA art scene through January 30th. Four very different, very riveting artists gave viewers their own dreams, dreams intrinsically tied to the state of the nation, self-image, and inclusiveness. Both artistically and politically important, each of the very different works of these artists form four pieces of a coherent and fascinating whole.

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Above, Moncho1929, whose murals dot LA, works on a smaller scale here, but with a scope of meaning just as large. Using images of freedom and restraint, with colors that delicately highlight his subjects, his pieces illuminate the duality of movement and restriction.

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“I was doing these pieces about motion and constraint, and the narrative started changing. I felt like I was having my own discussion with the works, someone looking at the pieces can also have their own conversation with the series, with the journey. They evolved from color and movement into a social, political commentary. I enjoyed that,” Moncho1929  explains.

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Above, Hero describes his works, whose visceral realism touches on some of the same themes of freedom and limits as Moncho1929. Hero says “When I was putting this show together, the word I had in my mind was ‘inheritance.’ I thought that the next generation is inheriting a lot of social structures, and I wanted to express that, and what they might mean.”

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Above, Hero’s take on the NSA spying on our own citizens. “There’s a slapstick element to it, that someone would actually be listening in on a tin can conversation,” he notes.

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“The girl with the flower basket, the image here is what’s been handed down, and what continues to be handed down and grown,” Hero states.

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His mix of realistic, natural and normal images with weighty subjects and more abstract backgrounds reflects his personal influences. “I have influences from Jackson Pollock to Norman Rockwell.”

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“Fixed,” above, is made with Aerosol on prescription pads and sealed with resin. The medium is, Hero says, a combination between acrylic house paint and spray paint. The subject takes on today’s social and political environment. “Lady Liberty and these prescription pads. I found the pads on eBay, it was easy to get them. The piece shows how easy it is today in this country to be medicated and anesthetized.”

Below, artist Vakseen’s works reveal another all-too-easy capability – to strip away natural imperfections and create plastic images. His work, like Hero’s, also exhibits many influences, including surrealism, cubism, and glossy high fashion.

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“My work revolves around idolizations of beauty. We life in surreal times, where images displayed in print and media are supposed to be trustable but are usually cosmetically enhanced and photo-shopped. We’re teaching our youth, our women, our culture, that you’re not good enough the way you were born,” he notes.

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“After awhile everyone starts to look alike, like a cookie cutter image. In my work, I create a perfect look, I’m like a plastic surgeon. At the end of the day, I want to question the way we look at beauty in our society.” Vakseen notes that at one time he weighed a hundred pounds more than his current weight. “I connect to these ideas of perfection.”

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Amy Smith shares Vakseen’s ideas of the importance of being yourself – unique and empowered. “I want to be empowering and create something rustproof, something that when you see it, you will be inspired.”

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“The words I choose to print in these collages are meant to be a good reminder about how powerful you are as a person,” she says.

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“These pieces are mixed media, using collage, stencil, and acrylics. The collage material comes from old magazines,” Smith explains.

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“I try to inclusive,” Smith adds. “My friends are all ethnicities, I try to bring that diversity to my work. I want to make stuff for everyone, for men and women.”F23C8029

Smith’s art, like that of Hero, Vakseen, and Moncho1929 is all about seeing the world, and life, through new eyes. Come take a look.

Gabba Gallery is located at 3126 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles.

  • Genie Davis; All Photos by Jack Burke