LA LUZ DE JESUS GALLERY
4633 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90027
323-666-7667 Fax: 323-663-0243
Scott Harrison, Sam Saga, Thomas Wargin
May 2 – June 2, 2008
Artist Reception: Friday, May 2, 8 pm – 11 pm
Online press release with images:
SCOTT HARRISON "UNDIGESTED KERNEL"
Scott Harrison is an internationally recognized tattoo artist, infamous for his peculiar cartoon imagery, twisted and appalling tattoo design sheets and lack of finesse. He has tattooed all over the US as well as Europe and Japan. His clients have included such diverse celebrities as Master P, Kiki Smith, Tony Fitzpatrick, and a good chunk of the cast of Miami Ink. Harrison's paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums around North America and Europe. He has an MA in illustration, and taught cartooning at New York's School of Visual Arts. Harrison currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. The exhibition features 14 original 12" by 16" ink on paper originals from his upcoming book "Undigested Kernel" (La Luz de Jesus Press) will be released in June 2008.
"Scott Harrison is the hyperactive love child of Aubrey Beardsley and Basil Wolverton. Imagine if you can... Definitely not for the faint of heart." ---Thomas Woodruff
SAM SAGA "ARCHITECTUAL MONSTERS"
"Architectural Monsters," Saghatelian's recent, evolving series of drawings, sketches, and paintings in multi-media (acrylic, ink pen, watercolor with Indian ink on wood panel, board and archival paper) is a study in the phantasmagoric mutation of the human form into architectural monstrosities. As it develops, the series will also comprise sculptures and installations. Saghatelian draws inspiration from the outrageous kitsch emblematic of the nouveau riche, particularly in developing nations, which often manifests in newly built palatial residences or commercial towers that scream power, individuality, and a scale that aims to eclipse the rest of the metropolis. In devising the central theme of the series, Saghatelian also taps into Japanese monster myths and horror movies featuring mechanical leviathans.
Whereas architecture serves as a concretized expression of a given culture's zeitgeist – its artistic aspirations, collective concerns, fears, and positioning vis a vis the future – the architectural monsters which Saghatelian references are disconnected from their milieus, pointing at a grotesqueness that both subverts and transcends prevalent values and delimitations. These monstrosities – the human machine bolstered by mortar and steel – ultimately come into being as statements of pure ego, intent on rocking the boat but also wrenching control of it. Saghatelian is interested in seeing the boundaries of respectability and taste being pushed as far as the imagination can accommodate, revealing a fascination with the sheer creativity involved in ostentation, extravagance, and garishness. Thus his architectural monsters can be not only ridiculous and pathetic, but at turns cute and even touching in their follySaghatelian also explores the possibility of actually building the monsters portrayed on his canvases. Were these human-shaped structures to be constructed in the real world, Saghatelian believes that they would symbolize the essential, prowling monstrosity of the postmodern psyche: a state of sustained loneliness and uncertainty redeemed by selfishness and rapacity, often culminating in an unprecedented level of grotesque chic.
Sam Saghatelian (Sam Saga.) graduated from Yerevan (Armenia) Institute of Architecture and pursued a career in architecture. In 1988 at the brink of the collapse of the USSR and Armenia's independence, he changed directions and began his journey as an artist. In 2001 Saghatelian represented the Armenian pavilion in the 49th Venice Biennale in Italy (Plateau of Humankind). In 2002 he was awarded a Fellowship for Arts Link (New York) and Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, one of the largest international artists' and writers' residency program in the United States and had his first solo exhibition there. Saghatelian currently lives and works in Los Angeles and is the chief curator at Black Maria Gallery.
Inspired by the rich history of art and design and his background as a designer for Harley Davidson Motorcycles, sculptor Thomas Wargin uses bronze and aluminum to convey his view of the human experience – the merger of man into the modern world. "I am driven by the history of art and design and am inspired by some of the great masters; Michelangelo's love for the human form, Leonardo Da Vinci's exploration of machines and mechanisms, and Pablo Picasso's extraordinary influence on the modern movement. All these and many others have laid stepping stones of ideas that have influenced my own work and a continued urge for excellence," states Wargin. Blending old and new technique, Wargin begins his creation with sketches, which evolve into clay or carved 3-dimensional forms. Using various molding techniques, resin models are created and are hand packed into flasks with casting sand, ready for the casting process. Wargin then melts aluminum and bronze. After cooling, parts are assembled for rough fit and positioning. Meticulously he either welds or drills, tap and screw every component together to check for form, fit, and overall composition. Some pieces are then disassembled to be polished or sandblasted. He completes the desired finish through high polish buffing or patination. Some of Wargin's art adds a diverse mixture of materials both raw and manmade such as: various woods, stone, glass, or even original drawings. With the combination of these materials, Wargin's goal is to compliment not compete in the composition and make it more inviting. This type of processes and materials allow his work to be spontaneous and assures each piece an original. Thomas Wargin earned his BFA at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.
La Luz de Jesus is located at the Soap Plant/Wacko building, in Los Feliz at 4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday: 11am – 7pm, Thursday – Saturday: 11am – 9pm and Sunday 12-6pm. For high resolution jpegs, interview requests and more information contact: Lee Joseph Publicity, 359 E. Magnolia, Suite F., Burbank, CA 91502, email@example.com, p (818) 848-2698 f (818) 848-2699.
LJP for the Visual Arts
818-848-2698 (p) 818-848-2699 (f)
Black Maria Gallery
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Bigfoot Lodge LA
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La Luz De Jesus/Billy Shire Fine Arts Press