Gimme 5 Closes at MuzeuMM


Closing this Sunday, October 15th at MuzeuMM in mid-city,  don’t miss Gimme 5, juried by gallery director Mishelle Moross, and Juri Koll, director of ViCA, the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art which partnered with MuzeuMM on this project.  The international juried show is an exciting mix of mediums and artists, from the photographic to the sculptural, from paintings to drawings.

The extremely well curated, tight show features a wide range of incredible, museum quality pieces – so in short, go to the closing, this Sunday at 3, and prepare to be dazzled.

The longer version? See work such as a stunning slide triptych by Tracey Weiss;  archival pigment prints such as Sacred Steel by Diane Cockerill, and Boy on Trike – Niland, CA by Osceola Refetoff. While Weiss is working in sculptural form, all three artists are using photographic materials to create works that are astonishingly fresh, vivid, and meaningful.

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Catherine Ruane’s astonishing graphite and charcoal work depicting the flora and fauna of the natural world as always amazes with detail and passion, here with Gargoyle. Working in mixed media, Steve Seleska’s Landescapism #2,  above, makes viewers want to literally and figuratively dive into his work.  Frederika Roeder’s mixed media  Power of Sun, dazzles with depth and color, below.

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On the wall, above, Hung Viet Nguyen’s Sacred Landscape #8, is an oil on canvas work, one in a series of spiritually nuanced, brilliantly textured works that evoke something otherwordly as well as a state of grace. Here, the rich aqua of the water contrasts with a dark sky and dark trees. Randi Matushevitz’ Dive In, is a mixed media work that also evokes both darkness and light, with floating faces a potent metaphor for life itself.

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We continue to be impressed with Scott A. Trimble, above, here with a somewhat ghostly, almost ethereal figure in The wants of true #empathy. Glenn Waggner’s oil on panel Pigs in Bumper Cars, charms with a surreal edge; while Steven Fujimoto’s mixed media Scratch Built is an impressive large sculptural work that defies easy categorization. Bryan Ida’s vibrant acrylic enamel and urethane abstract, China Basin (below) and Campbell Laird’s shimmery Rain dream gray no.1, 016, a resin film print are also stand outs. The large scale cast aluminum of Thaddeus Gesek’s Hello & El Jefe, is a terrific piece, full of motion, instantly iconic images, figures that look ready to spring into life.

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With so many other fine pieces too numerous to mention, an encompassing layout throughout the gallery and onto the patio space, and a mix of mediums as varied as the subjects portrayed, this is an exhibit that will resonate long after viewing.

Go on, get out, go see. Gimme 5 will get you at least a million’s worth of artistic pleasure and passion.

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Muzeumm is located at 4811 W Adams Blvd., Los Angeles

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Genie Davis

Abstract Never Is: Muzeumm



Abstract Never Is, an exhibition of both contemporary and historical abstract photography is a vibrant collaboration between The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (ViCA) and MuzeuMM that expands on a smaller scale exhibition displayed at Photo LA in January.


Co-curated by ViCA’s Juri Koll and MuzeuMM’s Mishelle Moross, the works are visually rich and emotionally evocative.  Above, Koll with some of his own haunting images, which shimmer with shadows and shapes.

“Abstract photography is harder to create than an abstract painting,” Koll attests. “You’re limited by the lens in front of your face. But you can’t deny the viability and the emotion of a photograph.”


Above, Osceola Refetoff’s abstract take on the lights of trucks on a highway conjure the highway, the allure of an almost ephemeral destination, and a jeweled blur of light. Below, Refetoff with journalist Christopher Langley, his partner on the project High & Dry,  an ongoing representational project documenting California’s deserts and the people who live there.



Above right, co-curator Mishelle Moross.


Above, artist Diane Holland with her richly colored yet ghostly images. The artist says “I use electrotransfer, otherwise known as color Xerography, and Cibachrome photography to convey the relationship between human beings and the technological they create.”


Artists Lena Moross and Bibi Davidson enjoy opening night.


Above, ripples that could water struck by sunset in a stunning work by Sasha vom Dorp.  The artist says of his works, above and below, “These are photographs of sound encountering light as seen through the medium of water.”


The immediacy of a photograph is somewhat of a myth, and never is that more fully the case than with abstract photography. To create photographic art requires not just a given moment, but preparation for that moment, the dance of both immediacy and planning.



The work of Edmund Teske, above, was an early inspiration to co-curator and exhibitor Koll. “He taught me to be an artist,” Koll explains.

Along with Teske, other artists on display include Fatemeh Burnes, Sasha vom Dorp, Kio Griffith, Diane Holland, Suda House, Juri Koll, KuBO, Maria Larsson, Lawrie Margrave, Stefanie Nafé, Kirk Pedersen, Osceola Refetoff, and Lisa Rosel, among others.




Above, Fatemeh Burres draws viewers into an explosive universe.


Above Kubo Hkla’s shimmering gestational pieces.

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Above, Lisa Rosel takes on familiar and iconic LA scenes in a complex and fresh vision of lines and space.


Above, haunting, light-filled images culled from Union Station by Osceola Refetoff.


Above, ghostly and deep, caves and orifices – Fatemeh Burres.


An astonishing collection of fine photographic art that is as varied as it is representative of abstract technique, this is a “don’t miss” show that makes viewers think as well as enjoy. Discerning meaning is just a portion of the pleasure here: meaning is mutable, images are themselves profound.




Genie Davis with artist Sonja Schenk.


Above, Bibi Davidson


Above, Loren Philip, Diane Holland, Jodi Bonassi.


Above, artists Jodi Bonassi and Osceola Refetoff with Gary Brewer.


Above, artist Diane Holland (left), Brooke Mason, Peter Frank, Susanna Schulten

MuzeuMM is located at 4817 W. Adams Blvd. Los Angeles


PhotoLA – A Snapshot of Time

Photo LA Welling

What the eye sees, what the camera sees, what the eye of the beholder of what the camera sees: that’s PhotoLA.

The art renaissance that is taking place in Los Angeles is coming to a momentous peak this January, with PhotoLA the first in a string of large scale events including the LA Art Show, Fabrik Expo, and Art Los Angeles Contemporary, which are all opening this week.

PhotoLA was held last weekend at The Reef,  the cavernous 2nd floor space at LA Mart in DTLA. The opening night gala, benefiting Best Buddies, was crowded for the event’s tribute to Los Angeles artist James Welling.

The city’s longest-running art fair, PhotoLA ran the gamut of cutting edge pieces, historical photos, stunning landscapes, political art, abstract photos, and pop art. Eclectic panels populated the weekend, too, including provocative subjects such as “The Instagram Effect: How Instagram is Changing the Way We See Photography”; “Robert Mapplethorpe: Beyond Good and Evil”; and “Artists Take Issue: Perspectives and Practices in Activist Photography.”

What was our take? A wide range of exceptional pieces, with a number of standout independent photographers and curated group exhibitions.

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The honoree of the opening gala, James Welling. This post-modern photographic artist has a storied career experimenting with a variety of photographic mediums from digital prints to Polaroids.

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Some visual highlights: below, the haunting and riveting work of Kathy Curtis Cahill, whose art is dedicated to revealing “how fragile young children are, and how everything matters in the home environment.”

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Fascinating historical photos – and the  music of David Bowie.

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Photo Pop Art – the striking and amusing work of Marianne Hess.

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National Geographic landscape stunners – sometimes a straight forward shot of natural beauty evokes feelings beyond what is seen.

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Below: a delightfully different approach to scene: the fine work of Osceola Refetoff, also a panel speaker on activist photography moderated by Shana Nys Dambrot. Refetoff’s work, among other cutting edge pieces, was curated by VICA, the non-profit Venice Institute of Contemporary Art.

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Below: the opening night crowd viewing PhotoLA  – reflected in a San Francisco skyline.

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Artist Jeffry Sklan’s enormous – and enormously beautiful flowers, below. Impressive detail and color.

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Artist Sklan  below – photo by Nina Bonyak

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To sum up: Photo LA presented an international eye on the world, vibrating through the lens of many Los Angeles area curators and artists. What you see is literally what you “get” out of interpreting an artist’s own unique vision of the world.

  • Genie Davis