FILMIC PAINTINGS BY SETH ARMSTRONG

by Ariadna Zierold

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Seth Armstrong was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.  After studying painting in Northern Holland, he received a BFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Many years later, he left his home in Oakland and moved back to Los Angeles, where he now lives and works.

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There’s a distinctively filmic feel to everything in his work. The depth in Seth’s work is not just in the rich tones and shading he uses but in the narrative, where we wonder how these different characters came to be in the same place together.

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BANKS ENGULFED IN FLAMES BY ALEX SCHAEFER

by Ariadna Zierold

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Los Angeles based artist Alex Schaefer likes to paint canvases of bank branches—most often Chase Bank—engulfed in flames. His method varies: In this canvas there is a Chase Bank engulfed in flames but there is an extra element, the Chase logo with the ironic word “freedom” next to it. Occasionally the burning bank will be obscured by a word salad of protest featuring terms like laundering, terrorism, and crime. In some canvases the target of his pyrophilic approach is Bank of America.

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THE WORK OF MASAMI TERAOKA

by Ariadna Zierold

masami teraoka, watercolor, painting, paintings, japan, japanese, culture, traditional, humor, funny, woodblock, print, culture, america, society, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles based Masami Teraoka‘s early work consisted primarily of watercolor paintings and prints that mimicked the flat, bold qualities of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These paintings, done after his arrival in the United States, often featured the collision of the two cultures. Series such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan characterize themes in the work in this time period. These pieces blended reality with fantasy, humor with commentary, history with the present.

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He has abandoned this style in favor of Western European religious iconography, in tune with his cultural and political critique of contemporary culture, particularly its confessional quality in America society. Teraoka’s work has been reviewed, collected and exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

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RECONSTRUCTED PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSHUA DILDINE

by Ariadna Zierold

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Los Angeles based Joshua Dildine is a painter that repurposes family photographs, using them as armatures for abstract painting. Three different steps in his work are construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction. Construction involves selection of the photography and setting up the emotional context that the image possess. Deconstruction is actually defacement of photography so he could create something new. During this step that last only a few moments Dildine works very quickly to harmonize the photo with paint. Last stage is the reconstruction of the context. Using acrylic, spray paint, oil and UV coated ink, he defaces the image into works of art.

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DAZZLING CANVASES BY NICOLA VERLATO

by Ariadna Zierold

nicola verlato, painting, italy, verona, los angeles, pagan, contemporary, classic, dynamic, unsettling, dazzling, epic, upper playground

Los Angeles based Nicola Verlato was born in Verona, Italy. He started to paint when he was 7, and to sell his paintings when he was 9. His artistic education has been quite unorthodox. He considers himself almost self thought. However, from 9 to 14 he spent every summer at the studio of a monk-painter in the monastery nearby his village in northeast Italy.

nicola verlato, painting, italy, verona, los angeles, pagan, contemporary, classic, dynamic, unsettling, dazzling, epic, upper playground

Verlato’s paintings fantasize the many ways that pagan themes and elements might survive and reappear in contemporary society. Dynamic, unsettling and skillfully executed, his canvases dazzle and bewilder.

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MISCHIEVOUS MICROCOSM BY BONETHROWER

by Ariadna Zierold

david m cook, bonethrower, illustration, skulls, surreal, colorful, los angeles, upper playground

David M. Cook is the architect of a mischievous microcosm. Amicable and unassuming, he hardly seems the “type” to consistently and skillfully crank out such a lewd labyrinth of work, but the cheeky hedonism comes all too naturally. Based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn, but originally from Louisville, Kentucky, David (who also answers to Bonethrower) uses no shortage of fine lines to design a world that is equal parts modern mysticism and memento mori—at the end of the day, it all sinks in like a psychotropic drug.

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DRIPPING INSTALLATIONS BY STERLING RUBY

by Ariadna Zierold

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Los Angeles based artist Sterling Ruby works in a large variety of media including ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture and video. Often, his work is presented in large and densely packed installations.

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The artist has cited a diverse range of sources and influences including aberrant psychologies (particularly schizophrenia and paranoia), urban gangs and graffiti, hip-hop culture, craft, punk, masculinity, violence, public art, prisons, globalization, American domination and decline, waste and consumption. In opposition to the minimalist artistic tradition and influenced by the ubiquity of urban graffiti, the artist’s works often appear scratched, defaced, camouflaged, dirty, or splattered.

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