Richard Chow’s Photography Converges at the Neutra

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Get ready to evolve. Convergent Evolution, a solo show by photographic artist Richard Chow at the Neutra Gallery in Silver Lake is a beautifully evocative mix of black and white images and a vivid color palette that show a wide and evolutionary range of Chow’s work.

Exhibiting images from radically divergent bodies of work, Chow takes bold risks in presenting disparate images that transcend beauty or social commentary, stimulating, challenging, and engaging the viewer in dialogue with the art.

Curated by Dulce Stein along with Chow,  the work here features predominantly black and white images, making the vibrant full color photographs in Chow’s “URBANSCAPE” series a striking focal point.

IMG_3481“A New Angle,” above, is a strong example the artist’s exploration of how color and form can be reimagined within the construct of the urban landscape. Bold use of color is an essential component here, and it seems as if Chow is painting with his camera, using his surroundings as a palate.  The intense colors and tight compositions that are characteristic of this series create compelling, dynamic images with an abstract modern aesthetic.

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In sharp contrast, images from Chow’s more recently developed body of work, “Distant Memories,” are an ethereal black and white, crafted by inserting secondary lenses between the subject matter and the camera.  In the series, the artist acts as curator of visual memories, questioning how they influence our individual humanity. Although the images, like the recollections they depict, are softy diffused and rely heavily on the use of light to convey emotion, the compositions are classic and strong.

“Memories,” Chow says, “are the result of a subconscious sifting through life experiences filtered through our emotional response. This process leaves them fragmented, somewhat indistinct.” The works, set against backdrops that are fertile ground for memories, explore subject matter that spans the emotional spectrum, triggering the viewer’s own memories.

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Chow’s most recent body of work, “Into the Light,” returns to his architectural roots, but features black and white photography. These images, frequently larger in scale and devoid of color, allow the artist to plumb the depths of light, form, and function, exploring the urban landscape in relationship to those who inhabit it. While the series shares subject matter with its architecturally based predecessor, “URBANSCAPE,” here the photographer uses light, not color, to convey tone, atmosphere, and context – resulting in compelling images with an abstract modern aesthetic. No less vibrant and engaging for the absence of color, these images show Chow’s  progression as an artist, the works becoming more experimental in nature. Chow makes extensive use of geometry to add structure and organization to images that are more abstract than his earlier works. These compositional techniques allow him to quite literally lead viewers into the light.

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The exhibition closes Sunday, so add it to your weekend list. The Neutra is located at 2379 Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake.

  • Lisa Broadway with Genie Davis; photos courtesy of artist

Fantastic Art Auction at Lyme Away Fundraiser

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March 19th 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – save the date. Lyme Away: Help Nicole Saari Win the Fight Against Late Stage Lyme Disease

The beautiful art you see throughout this article are just some of the incredible pieces donated by artists for this event. 

Fundraiser Kristine Augustyn Heavenly Bodies $250

LA area residents, we invite you to a free art party/birthday celebration and most importantly of all, fundraiser, at The Neutra Museum Gallery at 2379 Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake. There will also be delicious home-made Mexican food, store-bought cake :), cocktails, wine, and beer.

Fundraiser Susan Lizotte Mercury $900

The goal: to help raise funds for young mom and songwriter Nicole Saari’s treatment for Late Stage Lyme Disease — Nicole is the daughter of this ezine’s publisher, Genie Davis.

Fundraiser Robyrn Allatore Inverted Nipple $900 start $150
The event will feature an incredible collection of local artists, along with food, drink, music, silent auction items, and plenty of fun. Neutra curator Dulce Stein’s birthday is the 18th, and Genie’s is the 20th – and in lieu of gifts or lunches, we want YOU to come check out the fun, buy some art or a silent auction item, have a few drinks and dinner! 

Fundraiser Tracey Weiss

We have some absolutely incredible art donated by a wide range of wonderful artists – each of whom will be featured here in upcoming weeks. But of course, if you have art to donate, we would love, love, love to include your work, too.

Fundraiser Bibi Davidson Don't Tell Anyone $450

Please come and enjoy the evening, and if you’re not in LA but want something awesome to hang on your walls, please reach out – online purchases can be made, and careful shipping accomplished.

Fundraiser Aline Mare Darker Matters value $500 start at $150

Donations can also be made at https://www.gofundme.com/help-nicole-beat-chronic-lyme

Fundraiser Diane Cockerwill Stairway to heaven $200 bid $125

In Nicole’s own words: “I have a dangerous combination of tick-borne infections that have become chronic and incredibly difficult to treat – severely weakening my immune system and affecting every part of my body. Without knowing it at the time, a tick bite on a backpacking trip six years ago caused me to become infected with Lyme disease and the co-infections Babesia (a parasite) and Bartonella (a bacteria). For some people, typical presentation does not immediately occur and these illnesses can slowly wreak havoc destroying health over the course of years, as was the case for me. Due to my now compromised immune system, I also have a deeply rooted chronic staph infection called MARCONS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci), a digestive bacterial imbalance called SIBO, multiple types of mold (yes, mold) colonization within my body, Candida enteritis – a chronic fungal infection in my digestive system and other areas (which also tested positive for an unusual resistance to most typical therapies), as well as severe allergies which now require me to carry an Epi-Pen. Although I still look OK, these illnesses have at this point left me disabled in a plethora of ways, as I continue to lose strength and the ability to power through my day as time goes on. I can no longer hike, surf, dance, take long walks, or do many of the things I love best. Even playing my instruments for too long results in painful hand cramps. The scariest part is that it will only continue to get worse if left without prompt and proper treatment.

Fundrasier Dani Dodge Shared Grace 300 bid 75

Chronic Lyme patients can develop fatal cardiac infections, brain damage, increased risk for cancers and more. Symptoms change and spike in severity giving me some good days where though I don’t feel well I can push myself hard to do things and other days where I can’t get out of bed at all.To give you an idea of what this is like, just a few of the symptoms I battle with include: insomnia that prevents me from sleeping more than a few hours without interruption (even with medication), severe bone and joint pain, crippling fatigue, speech problems that come and go, nerve pain, difficultly breathing at times (which has forced me to carry an inhaler), painful rashesand itching (especially in sensitive areas,) memory loss, feeling “foggy” all the time, low white blood cell count, digestive hormonal imbalance, depression, anxiety, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, hypothyroidism, menstrual pain and abnormal cycles, muscle twitches and cramps, inability to heal fully from injury, severe and longer lasting infections from other ordinary illnesses, and more.My health is quickly getting worse and it is imperative that I start treatment as soon as possible. Considering the complexity of the situation, I’m seeing a leading specialist on tick-based infections who will craft a custom treatment plan to tackle everything in the best way possible, step by step. Unfortunately, this condition is not yet recognized by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and as such, we’ve been told that little to none of the treatments are likely to be covered by insurance.

Fundraiser Robert Costantza untitled

While we plan to pursue every resource and assistance program at our disposal, the treatments and medications could cost more than $1,000 a week upfront, and the doctors have told us it will take at least two years to beat this. Due to the difficulty of diagnosing this particular set of illnesses, we’ve exhausted our limited savings just getting to this point, so we are hoping and praying for your support. You truly can help save my life – every donation helps, no matter how small, as does sharing this page with your family, friends, and colleagues.Thank you so much for your time, your love, and all your support and generosity. Any help whatsoever that you can provide is truly a miracle and a blessing to our family!”

Fundraiser Dwora Fried Las Mayas $450 Fundraiser Chuka Susan Chensy Blue Marilyn $400, $150 bid Fundraiser Alana Marcelletti Fundraiser Terry Holzman Sailors Delight $75 value $35 start Fundraiser Samuelle Richardson Fundraiser Frederika Beesemeyer Roader Eaton Canyon July Afternoon $250 Fundraiser Glenn Waggner Bad Directions Value $150, bidding $100 Fundraiser Kate Carvellas What Goes Around $300 open $100

 

Fertile Infertility: Eva Perez at the Neutra

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Eva Perez has created a profoundly beautiful show about a hot-button topic: fertility. The end result of six years of work, the 50 pieces that fill the Neutra Gallery in Fertile Infertility through February 12th exude wonder and loss, and give birth to an intimate self-portrait of the artist.

Her mixed media works give viewers a look at an unusually personal and taboo subject with delicacy, grace, and hard-won wisdom.

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The show, Perez says, is “informed by images of my own blastocyst embryos, photographed while undergoing fertility treatments.” The intrinsic beauty of the images afforded Perez the realization that “this work in spite of such personal content, needed to be shared to a larger audience.” She says that “Because art can only ask questions, my goal is to establish conversations with both women and men about issues that are relevant to the times we live in.”

Fertile Infertility does so with wit and grace; creating abstract and representational art that arrests the eye and inspires the spirit. While she was not able to establish a positive pregnancy, she did indeed establish that “in spite of my biological limitations as a creator of life, I am still a creator of ideas.”

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Perez works here as a sculptor, a painter, and a video artist. “Throughout my career I’ve explored multiple mediums. I love the plasticity of clay and the application of wax over canvas, but one of my favorite mediums is working with ink. Every single one of these mediums has been successful according to the piece and its intention,” she says, adding that she “will always be open to explore new mediums.”

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Her deeply moving video installation, “Do You Have Kids?” is told in dialog, taking on the shockingly personal question that seems to crop up in virtually any social interaction. Both humorous and painful, the film is all about getting pregnant – or not getting pregnant. Why the question is allowed but the subject considered unpalatable is one of the most poignant elements of the show, which deals with Perez’ own attempt to have a child, fertility and age, and what became for the artist an “obsession with biology.”

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A large number of works, whether 2-D or 3-D, are sculptural, such as “Silver Lining,” a rich, voluptuous and textured work created with aluminum leaf. The shiny silver that creates a jagged line down the center of the piece is like an electric shock – it defines the context of the work, which features a repeated pattern of multiple human eggs. Perez describes the work as a “part of the journey. There is always something beyond the suffering of the moment,” she relates. “Frozen Eggs 2″ turns to gold leaf over acrylic paint on paper. With this piece, and the others in the “Frozen Eggs” series, the artist offers a whimsical prize, a golden egg, a stand-in for a fertile egg, a roulette wheel for the gestation of life.

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Working in wax and resin, Perez’s “Petri Dish” series and her “Eggs with Babies” series both feature glowingly alien attempts to create a new life. “Material literally informs a piece for me,” Perez explains. “I’m a sculptor and I love these materials. I was working in a different way with resin.”

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Working simply with ink on paper, the artist’s “Ovum #4″ resembles a mandala of sorts, hypnotic and kaleidoscopic.

From plastic babies to cloth eggs, the works on exhibit are otherworldly and magical. Perez has created a mysterious and fascinating journey of gestation as if it were a universe frequently observed but rarely explored.

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According to Perez, “This project proposes to function as a vehicle for dialogue with viewers and among viewers…expanding awareness of the complexities surrounding this topic, which even in this day and age is still considered a taboo.” The artist feels that the most salient and important aspect of her work is the conversation generated by it.

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Certainly at last Saturday’s opening, Perez’ work created a buzz as to its beauty and its topic.

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Guests listened to live musical performances and noshed on ceviche and chips, but the art itself provoked a thoughtful contemplation. What we create, what we bear is our legacy, whether it is great art or the beauty of a newborn child.

Perez got started as an artist from an early age, when she was exposed to drawing, painting, dance, and music. “Ever since I can remember I have always been engaged in the art making process. My mom encouraged us to be creative and use our imagination. As I was growing up, I studied ballet.” With movement and flow such a strong element of Fertile Infertility, Perez’ dance background makes perfect sense.

Later, she studied sculpture with Mexican artist Francisco de Leon. She became de Leon’s apprentice, and studied at The National School of Painting, Sculpting and Printmaking of The Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City.

From her early work until now, the artist’s work has changed dramatically, she attests. “I was trained as a sculptor, my work used to be mainly three-dimensional figurative abstract sculptures. As I grew in my practice, I’ve learned that art does not have to be linear but materials follow the form and function in support of ideas.”

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Perez’ current works incorporate all previous aspects of her art from drawing, sculpture, and painting, and both the figurative and abstract approaches. “My latest artwork is not bound by past uses of materials but it’s taking a multi-disciplinary approach in support of one cohesive and central idea.”

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Explore Perez’ unique world and provocative vision at The Neutra Gallery through February 12th. An artist’s talk will be presented at 5 p.m. The Neutra is located at 2379 Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake.

  • Genie Davis; All Photos: Jack Burke

Robyn Alatorre: Artist’s Talk Closing at Neutra Gallery

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Sunday’s closing of Robyn Alatorre’s first solo show A Clandestine History of Art at the Neutra Gallery included an artist’s talk which DiversionsLA led.

Some highlights: Robyn calls her work “feminist, subversive, and obsessed with color.”

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Alatorre remarks that a critique of her work included commentary that her art looked as if it were done by three different artists. We discussed the themes that carry through work that reflects classical art with a modern/surrealist twist, pieces such as her “Nipple” series that take on a single element and magnify it, and her smaller, ironic works that play with images such as illustrations from children’s literature, and subvert them.

“In each work, I’m looking at color, at light, at the idea that we are all sexual creatures, that’s who we are. I’m looking at the objectification of women, the unnecessary sexualization of the breast, of girls. I’m taking a conventional idea and making it different,” she says.

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Other discussion topics included how Alatorre began her path of turning the traditional inside out. “I’ve always done that. I’m not going to paint dogs and horses. I take images and look at them in unexpected ways.”

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And how does she create the true, glowing sense of light in her works, even in her darkest palettes or subject matters? “I work in oil, and I layer, and I layer, and I layer. Any artist who works in oil will tell you that it’s difficult to stop painting. That continuation helps to build depths, light beneath darkness.”

We also discussed the fact that her “Nipple” series could, if not so named, look as if it were depicting the cosmos, worm holes, universes. “It’s interesting you say that,” she remarked. “I was originally going to title the pieces ‘Constellations.'” Alatorre looks at the nipple as what sustains life, succors it, creates, in a way, the ability to sustain life.

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Alatorre’s vibrant, political, and brilliantly twisted works are not to be missed. The Redondo Beach-based artist will be exhibiting her epic revisions of traditional art and helping to support the universe one painting at a time in new LA-area exhibitions later this year. Look for her.

  • Genie Davis; photos: Jack Burke