Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sloan Fine Art opens in NY with amazing group show

Eric White

In the 1990s, one gallery in America influenced and nurtured the modern pop art world probably more than any other -- La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles. Its owner, Billy Shire, has been cited again and again as the godfather of the pop surrealism or lowbrow art movements. If Billy hire is the godfather, then the consigliere would certainly be Alix Sloan.

Alix was the director of La Luz de Jesus in the early 90s, and was a writer on the subject of art in the latter half of the 90s. In 2001 she became a private art dealer, consultant and curator and sold hundreds of works of art as well as managing and curating a number of shows, fine art monographs, lecture tours, exhibitions, publications and events. And in 2005, Alix helped Billy Shire launch his Billy Shire Fine Arts, the premier gallery of its kind. Today she is opening her own eponymous gallery in New York, and it is sure to be the influence in this decade that La Luz de Jesus was in the last, especially if the two part group show is any indication.

Alix has relationships with many of the most important and influential artists working today, and because of that her first group show is a collection of powerhouses. The first part, opening today, features works by Clayton Brothers, Vince Contarino, Nicholas Cope, Elizabeth McGrath,
Kristen Schiele, Aaron Smith and Eric White, while part two will be comprised of works by Andrea Aversa, Jud Bergeron, Marion Peck, Jean-Pierre Roy, Mark Ryden and Joe Sorren. Click here to see the works in part one. We’ve posted a few of the works here.

Every serious collector or anyone interesting in starting or expanding their collection (or anyone who just wants to see some seriously amazing art) needs to visit Sloan Fine Art’s website early and often.

Elizabeth McGrath

The Clayton Brothers

Nicholas Cope

Sloan Fine Art -

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Think inexpensive art: Thinkspace

Alex Garcia

If anyone is answering the promise of bringing new artists to the public at affordable prices, it’s the team being Los Angeles gallery Thinkspace. According the website “Established in November of 2005, Thinkspace is a joint venture between Cannibal Flower and Sour Harvest and is headed up by the husband and wife duo of Andrew and Shawn Hosner (Sour Harvest) and L. Croskey (Cannibal Flower founder/curator).” By offering up works by emerging artists at shockingly reasonable prices for original art, Thinkspace is helping to create a new generation of collectors and advance the careers of a new generation of talented artists.

The gallery has two shows up at any time, in a main gallery and a project room, and offers any unsold art on their website. It’s best to check in as soon as a new show opens to get the best selection, but there is a remarkably rich collection of unsold works on their site at any given time. Sure, many many of the works still show the immaturity of very new artists, but there are lots of diamonds in the rough, and plenty of polished diamonds as well. Something for everyone, as the saying goes. And the prices range from $100 to $1000, for the most part. Thinkspace also offers limited editions of it’s most popular pieces at an even lower rate. Right now - RIGHT NOW -- there are a number of very nice pieces for sale by mail (which is becoming a very common way for major galleries to sell their pieces). Thinking of starting a collection? Start small but smart at Thinkspace.


Jennybird Alcantara

Thinkspace Gallery --
Thinkspace unsold works -

The FuturePast of Glenn Barr


When PopDrawer looks at the work of Glenn Barr, we get two overwhelming feelings -- amazement at the images that are somehow beautiful and ugly all at once, set as they are in a dark world that is both Beatnik and post-industrial all at once, and the desire to stay as far away from Detroit as possible, since that is where Mr. Barr lives and seems to be inspiration for the dingy, erotic world of his works. Mr. Barr has been a favorite in the Pop Surrealism movement for many years, and could very well be considered one of the fathers of the movement. His work has been featured in comics, music videos (including Bjork’s “I Miss You”) and animation, but it’s his paintings that truly inspire.

His next solo show is in June in Los Angeles at Billy Shire Fine Arts, but in the meantime you can purchase some new giclees in his store. The latest are in small editions of just 30 and available for $500. Mr. Barr also offers a great wooden toy and copies of his fantastic book Haunted Paradise. Visit his site for some beautiful decay now.


Glenn Barr -

Sunday, January 27, 2008

UPDATE - Bwana Spoons work available online NOW


Bwana Spoons’ fantastical paintings from his GRNY show are now available online and very affordable. Get ‘em now before they’re ghost!


Bwana Spoons’ available art -

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friends with You!

PopDrawer gets lonely. Sometimes we all do. For those lonely times, it’s nice to know that there’s a place where you can always find new friends. It’s Friends with You!

Friends with You is, in their own words, “an art collective founded by the Miami-based artists, Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval. Since its conception in 2002, FriendsWithYou has continued to promote the two artists' common message of Magic • Luck • Friendship through its various means of creative expression and commercial activity.” In my own words, Friends with You is a great place to buy uber-cool toys for kids... and yourself. (More yourself).

Friends with You has moved beyond the “lowbrow” world to have a presence in the “highbrow” art world, particularly at Art Basel Miami. And they have a distinct presence on our desk. And could on yours, too. Check out their online store for some cheap (less than $25) goodies. Just go to their site and click on “store.” And while your there, check out their fantastic website and their “secret adventure.” We can’t tell you how to find the adventure. It’s a secret!


Friends with You -

Friday, January 25, 2008

Who Needs Groceries Alert - The distorted beauty of Joe Sorren


Without question, Joe Sorren is one of the brightest stars in the modern pop art firmament. Mr. Sorren has been illustrating professionally since the early 1990s and has done professional work for numerous Magazines, including Rolling Stone. In 1995 he had his first solo show, and has had many since at some of the nation’s most prestigious modern pop art galleries, most recently Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City, California. He typically works in paint, although he has recently produced some remarkable sculptures.

Describing his work is difficult. The subjects are usually people, always with distortedly large heads, mismatched features, and grossly misshapen hands and digits. And yet somehow, the people are beautiful. The paintings typically have a very ethereal quality, rich vibrant colors, and realistic settings. His originals only seem to become more and more sought after, and usually hover in the $20,000 to $40,000 range. But YOU can buy his extremely limited edition giclee prints of these paintings for 1/40th of that price. The prints usually come in editions of 50 and after a while sell out. As more and more people discover Mr. Sorren’s work, the prints become harder and harder to come by. Or how about a book of his work for considerably less? Buy it here.

There’s a good interview with him here at Webesteem Magazine.


Joe Sorren -
Joe Sorren’s store -

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You rock! (and your baby does too!)


Here’s an awesome idea that I stole from the hilarious blog Valley Girl, Interrupted. (Full disclosure -- Valley Girl, Interrupted and PopDrawer cohabitate in a legalized relationship). At Rattle-N-Roll you can get a custom made rock-concert-style poster made that doubles as a birth announcement. Or a party invitation. Or a family holiday card. Or a wedding invitation. All with your picture done up in Rock God glory, or even better your kick-ass babies image. The geniuses at Rattle-N-Roll ask for a picture of the subject of the rock poster, you, your loved one, your little bundle of soiled diapers, whoever, and you choose the template or suggest a new design. And voila, a rock star (YOU!) is born.

Rattle-N-Roll will provide a template to choose from for $200 for two posters or $250 for 2 posters and 50 birth announcement cards (for one child -- each extra person is... well, extra), or you can create a custom design for a higher, unspecified price. Above is an example of one of their templates, and below is a custom job they did. This is unquestionably the coolest way to say “look, we had sex and made something other than a mess!”


Rattle-N-Roll -

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cotton Monsters are coming!!

Every week there seems to be a new line of plush monster toys coming out, but Jennifer Strunge’s Cotton Monster is unquestionably three-heads and shoulders above the pack. Cotton Monsters are handmade out of recycled clothes and linens, and each one is totally unique. Once every month or two, Ms. Strunge unleashes a pack of them in her store, and they’re inevitably gone by the following day.

Well tomorrow is that day! (Not the day they’re gone, the day they’re released). Go to the Cotton Monster Store early in the day if you want one. They move as fast as the zombies in 28 Days. Prices hover between $25 and $125 typically, depending on size and complexity. And with V-Day coming up, this may be your last chance to scare your sweetie with a cuddly creature.

Cotton Monster Store --
Cotton Monster -

Monday, January 21, 2008

Luc Latulippe's Awesome T-shirts

There’s a great collective of illustrator/artists in Vancouver who team up for various projects and sometimes show their work together, and among them there is Luc Latulippe, a fantastic illustrator and artist who seems to specialize in hip 50s and 60s style characters, and wonderful monsters. And lucky for us, he prints some of them as t-shirts, including my favorite character Maneki Neko, the famous Japanese lucky cat. The shirts are less than $18, and made of nice t-shirt material. I know, because I wear my Lucky Cat shirt all the time. Go to to claim yours.

Luc Latulippe t-shirts on -

Luc Latulippe’s official website and blog -

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tim Biskup show video

A few months ago, the super-talented Tim Biskup had a sold-out solo show at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City, CA. Tim arranged for Helio to host a preview party at the gallery, and I arranged for Vanity Fair Magazine to host it, and the party was on. It was a great time, with great guests, including Mark Ryden, Gary Baseman, Marion Peck, Shepard Fairey, even Matt Groening. Here’s a short video of the event made by Helio.

Tim Biskup -
Billy Shire Fine Arts -

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cool Hunting's Top 5 Photographers of 2007

Lori Nix

Thanks to Jesse Alexander for this link. Cool Hunting is one of my favorite blogs, since materialism is one of my favorite pastimes. But I missed this post earlier this year. Cool Hunting named its favorite 5 photographers of 2007. I am especially impressed with Lori Nix and Thomas Allen, who fashion tiny dioramas and photograph them in cinematic lighting to create grand dramas. Check them out.

Thomas Allen

Lori Nix -
Thomas Allen at Foley Gallery -

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The best gift I ever gave, and got.

Here’s a gift idea that cannot go wrong. How do you create an heirloom? For you parents, your children, your spouse, your siblings, your best friends? Like this. Find an artist you love, one who includes people somewhere in their art. Then hire that artist to do a portrait -- of your family, of your loved ones, even their pet. It probably won”t be cheap, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. It all depends on the current prices of the artist. Typically the portrait will cost more than the artist’s gallery work, but only a bit. Here’s how you do it.

A couple of years ago, I decided to give a family portrait as a gift to my wife (and me). I showed her the websites of some of my favorite artists, including the amazing Seonna Hong. My wife had seen Seonna’s work before and always loved it. I think she was drawn to the cute, Manga-style little girls who pop up so often in her pieces. I had no idea if Seonna did commissions, but it couldn’t hurt to ask. I emailed her and asked, and she said she didn’t do them often, but she’d consider it. (Full disclosure -- I had met Seonna socially, so this may have made her more likely to accept the commission, but every artist is different. It also didn’t hurt that my wife and oldest son tend to resemble Manga characters in real life). Seonna and I discussed price, and it seemed more than fair. Over the next two months, Seonna and I discussed what should be in the portrait, where the family should be situated, what the style should be. After receiving photos of the family (and the cats) she sent me sketches. She was incredibly collaborative. But be prepared for the artist to be more solitary than this. Remember -- you are hiring someone for their talent and vision -- you will probably have to take a backseat and trust that the final product will be even better than what you expect, which it usually is. Seonna and I decided that a slightly ironic travel poster representing our suburb as an exotic destination would be fun, and Seonna even let me pick out the font for the poster. It was a lot of fun.

And the result? Judge for yourself. The likenesses are very close, but what’s more important is that by asking me a few key questions, Seonna captured a vision of my family that fits how we see ourselves, and now we have a family heirloom that will be passed down to my son and hopefully his children as well. The only problem is that since then we’ve had another baby. So I’m back to finding just the right artist for family portrait number two. I hope we don’t have any more kids -- this could get expensive.

Seonna Hong’s website -

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If you like... number 2. Ronald Kurniawan

If you like Jeff Soto, then you’re sure to like Ronald Kurniawan, Yet another graduate of L.A.’s local genius factory, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Mr. Kurniawan has been showing up in a lot places lately, including covers of the L.A. Weekly. Combining surreal images of gigantic creatures (often enormous letter-monsters) in classic landscapes that remind us of the Naturalism and Realism movements in 19th century American. The result is eye-popping, lush, and often very funny.

Unfortunately I have not seen Mr. Kurniawan’s work for sale many places (he had a piece in a recent group show at Billy’s Shire’s trend-setting La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles), but we hope to see more soon. We’ll let you know right away if he has a show!

Ronald Kurniawan's site -

Monday, January 14, 2008

The futuristic past of Feric

Have you seen the cover of Giant Robot Magazine this month? We have, and it knocked our socks off.

Eric Feng, better known as Feric, is a New York artist who grew up in Taiwan. According to Feng, he started drawing as a child due to “mental problems” that caused him to not be able to express himself in words to others, so he turned to art to express himself. We wish our mental problems had such a beautiful result. His intricate line work merges Chinese and Western arts, but what is more striking is how he creates futuristic images (cyborgs, robotics, visionary vehicles) with ancient icons and both natural and mythical beings (Buddhas, wild animals, fairy-like creatures). As he says, his paintings are like fairy tales. But they are fairy tales of the future rather than the past. And they’re eye-popping. See for yourself.

He sells a select few of his images as giclees on his site, for prices between $100 and $410. Buy them now, because Feric has a bright future ahead of him.

Feric’s website --
Click on EDITIONS for his store.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Postermaking Pair Par Excellence

Certainly one of the most prominent commercial art forms since the 2nd half of the last century, rock posters are also, lucky for us, one of the most affordable. And one of the most exciting creators of modern rock posters were just introduced to me by PopDrawer reader Jeanne O’Brien Ebiri, a film producer in New York (married to writer/director/film critic Bilge Ebiri). Aesthetic Apparatus is the duo of Dan Ibarra and Michael Byzewski out of Minneapolis. Turns out PopDrawer has been enjoying their work for years without knowing them. The bands for whom they’ve done posters include, among many others, Cake, The New Pornographers, Spoon, and The Decembrists. Best thing about rock posters, other than the gorgeous images? Dirt cheap art!! Most of the posters offered by Aesthetic Apparatus are $20. In the future PopDrawer will be featuring more poster artists, but the talented team at Aesthetic Apparatus seem like a beautiful place to begin.

Aesthetic Apparatus -- Aesthetic Apparatus store

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hauntingly beautiful surreal video (and song)

We don’t plan to post much music on PopDrawer, but this video just seems to fit. It could definitely fit into the very loose category of Pop Surrealism, maybe because of the... well, I don’t want to ruin it for you. Just watch. Be sure to stick around for at least 40 seconds! You won’t regret it. Bat for Lashes -- What’s a Girl to Do.

Bat for Lashes official site --

Friday, January 11, 2008

Julie West Rocks Gocco

Julie West has been wowing corporate America with her unique lines, designs, and images, and now it's time she wows you. She's done work for Nike, Flow Snowboards, even Taco Bell (and when has Taco Bell ever made a mistake? Okay, except for the Chalupa?) According to her website she will soon have some toys available, and we can't wait to buy them. Meanwhile, her gocco prints and giclees are outstanding, and very inexpensive for limited editions ($25 to $125). Check out her site and swoon.

Julie West official site -

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bwana Spoons show opening in New York at Giant Robot

Bwana Spoons, one of PopDrawer’s favorite Portland-based artists, has a solo show opening in New York this Saturday, January12th! Here is info from the press release:

Giant Robot is proud to present How to Dig a Hole, an art show by Bwana Spoons.

Spoons is a Portland-based artist whose freewheeling style was developed under the influence of underground comics, '60s rock posters, and Japanese rubber monster movies. Starting out with stapled-and-folded zines like My Friend the Micronaut and Ain't Nothing Like Fucking Moonshine in the early '90s, Spoons has become a regular in the Northwest street art and indie music scene. Endangered animals caught in mid-thought, kung-fu wizards with gravity-defying eyebrows, and swirling psychedelic backgrounds are only some of the elements found in the well-composed anarchy of his paintings and sculpture. He is also involved in the Grass Hut art collective and gallery.

Although the show is called “How to Dig a Hole,” the new paintings, illustrations, and sculptures by Spoons actually address how to get out of one. “What do I fill it with?” he asks. “Blood, guts, tears, dirt, love, and paint.”

Go to the show and show Bwana some love!

Giant Robot Gallery
437 East 9th Street
Between 1st Ave. & Ave. A, in the East Village
New York, New York 10009
(212) 674-GRNY

Bwana Spoons official website --

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"If You Like", number 1 - Art and Ghosts, AKA Louise

We now present the first of an ongoing series, “If You Like...” In this series, PopDrawer will profile an emerging artist by crassly comparing them to two other possibly more well-known artists. So, if you like A and B, we bet you’ll like...

Today’s If You Like -- If you like Dave McKean (covers of Sandman graphic novels) and Marion Peck, you’ll probably like Art and Ghosts, AKA Louise.

In general, PopDrawer doesn’t plan on profiling artists who we know so little about too often, but we are way too intrigued with Louise of Art and Ghosts’s work to pass her by. We don’t even know her last name, but her art is mesmerizing. Art and Ghosts is both a blog profiling the enigmatic Louise’s work, and a shop at selling her wares. She describes her pieces as “fine art prints and photography, digital imagery and collage.” In her words “The majority of my images are inspired by fairytales, dolls and dreams (nightmares, too, are a prominent feature!;)”

Her work is full of haunting, wintery Victorian and Gothic images of little girls, furry animals, and little girls with furry animal heads. It’s somehow frightening and funny all at once. PopDrawer was immediately struck by both the classic fine art technique of her images and the eerie but beautiful subject matter. Here originals are ridiculously cheap at around $50-$60, her limited editions are about $30, and her prints are a steal at $20. But we would go with an original -- where can you get an original for $60?! This is a great way to start an art collection on a budget. PopDrawer predicts a that Louise will be getting a lot of attention in the future. Hopefully by you. Check out her work!

Art and Ghosts official site -
Art and Ghosts Etsy shop -

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hot Cha Cha!

And speaking of the fantastic and ubiquitous (or in his words, Pervasive) Gary Baseman, don’t miss the latest colorway in his devilish Hot Cha Cha vinyl toy series, WHITE. You can buy it on his website, along with a pretty hot lunchbox and some great tees as well. Get ‘em before they’re gone - they’re white hot.

Gary Baseman’s official site -

Monday, January 7, 2008

Can't miss event this Saturday night in LA! - UPDATE!

Saturday, January 12th, from 6 to 11 PM at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, and Simone Legno (of Tokidoki) will be speaking at the Geffen, and afterwards the museum will be open for a rare after hours viewing of the mind-boggling Murakami exhibit. Here’s a quick description of the event from Gary’s website.

“... a special evening of conversation and artmaking inspired by the pervasive work of Takashi Murakami. In a panel discussion moderated by Eric Nakamura, publisher and coeditor of Giant Robot, hear how Los Angeles artists are blurring the lines of media to spread their ideas beyond museum walls. Then participate in a collaborative painting with the artists...”

PopDrawer will be there. Hope you will be too!

"The Devil's Playground" by Gary Baseman

UPDATE - Tunes will be be spun at the event by DJ Alphabeast. What is the secret identity of DJ Alphabeast? For a clue, click here.

Murakami at the Geffen -

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Who Needs Groceries Alert -- Gama-Go offers free wooden Deathbot toy

The first in an ongoing series of Who Needs Groceries Alerts, where PopDrawer alerts you to wonderful stuff you can buy to clutter your home and lighten your wallet.

Gama-Go, the clothing, toy and home accessories company partly owned by the amazing artist Tim Biskup is running a special. Just spend $120 on other Gama-Go goods (shamefully easy for PopDrawer to do) and receive a 5.5” tall wooden Deathbot Suit Wooden Figure (seen here). According to Gama-Go, supplies are limited (although the site doesn’t say how limited) and the figure is worth $60 on its own.

Have little lieblings running around? Check out Gama-Go’s new line for babies and toddlers called Gama-Goo. It’s fantastic stuff -- rare hip and affordable clothes for babies. You know the onesies and shirts are only going to stay clean for a few minutes, so buy in bulk!

Gama-Go -
Tim Biskup -