We're starting to really like these internets, as John McCain might say. First Bwana Spoons has a blog, then we find Joe Sorren's, we happily stumble upon Ana Bagayan's and Amy Crehore's, and now Tim Biskup has just announced that his new blog is up and running! In what other time, in what other medium, have we the art-adoring public had such access to the process of art and the mind of the artists? Hail blogosphere, we salute you!
(And mark your calendars! Tim's new print, Tree of Life, a gorgeous 30-color serigraph in a limited edition of 100 is available on October 10th at Flopdoodle.com)
Tim Biskup's Blog
Tim Biskup's Tree of Life Serigraph
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
No matter which presidential candidate you support, if you're reading this blog you are a partisan -- a partisan for great art. And Wednesday, October 1st, some of the greatest artists in the art world will be showing their work in a benefit for Barack Obama at Art for Hope.
This one-night-only benefit will donate the proceeds of the evening ($25 per person at the door) to the Obama Victory Fund. Go to the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in LA from 7-10 PM to enjoy the art of Mark Ryden, the Clayton Brothers, Shepard Fairey, Camille Rose Garcia, Marion Peck, Seonna Hong, and more amazing artists.
Art for Hope
Who says you can't afford anything anymore?! You can afford art at JoeSorren.com. (That is if you weren't completely wiped out by yesterday's Wall Street massacre). And not just any art -- the art of Joe Sorren. Joe Sorren has an amazing 2 for 1 offer on his prints right now!
Just go to Joe's online gallery, order a print, then send an email to email@example.com with your second print choice (of the same price or less), and get it for... wait for it... FREEEEEEEEE!
This is a limited-time offer. Do it now.
Joe Sorren's 2-for-1 Print Offer
Esther Pearl Watson
The Oakland Museum of California is about to do something that no self-respecting Bay Area resident would ever do -- say something nice about Los Angeles. We here at PopDrawer are shocked and awed, and hope this is the beginning of a more unified California. We are not a red state, we are not a purple state, we are a United State.
Okay, we're actually a really blue state, but can't we all just get along?
Beginning October 4th, the Oakland Museum of California will be curating L.A. Paint, "a selective look at the vast and vibrant Southern California art scene via 11 influential artists." Artists include one of our faves, Esther Pearl Watson, as well as the legendary Robert Williams, The Date Farmers (Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez), Brian Fahlstrom, Steve Galloway, Loren Holland, Hyesook Park, Steve Roden, Linda Stark, and Don Suggs.
Go to the museum website for a bio of each of the represented artists. It's a great collection from what many argue is the most prolific region in modern art, the L.A. basin.
L.A. Paint at Oakland Museum of California
Posted by Teddy Tenenbaum at 11:09 AM
Monday, September 29, 2008
My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses has an embarrassment of riches today with posts about the gorgeous work of both Aidan Koch and Catherine Campbell. Don't take our word for it. Go see!
My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses
Aidan Koch's Official Website
Catherine Campbell's Official Website
Posted by Teddy Tenenbaum at 4:41 PM
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Foundation Projects has created a traveling exhibition of prints by well-known artists and graphic designers. The exhibition has traveled across the U.S. and stops in L.A. on September 27th (through October 7th) at Little Birdy Gallery.
The Off-Register exhibition will showcase prints by a collection of international artists and graphic designers associated through the professional practice of commercial print design, but that do not consider themselves printmakers. This exhibition explores the relationship these artists and graphic designers have to printing and how commercial processes may inform more traditional methods of fine art print making.
Artists include Geoff Mcfetridge, Evan Hecox, Steven Harrington, and many more. Meanwhile, the Off-Register website has a store filled with incredible, affordable limited edition prints.
Foundation Projects presents: OFF-REGISTER at Little Birdy Gallery
Off-Register Official Site
When last we left our intrepid interviewer, we read about Portland and its amazing explosion of artists, the best of whom are featured regularly at Grass Hut Gallery. But what about the work of co-owner Mr. Bwana Spoons himself?
PD: You have a new show open every month, but how much permanent space do you dedicate to your art and to Scrappers'? How has owning and operating the gallery affected your output of Bwana Spoons originals and toys?
BS: We dedicate a wall behind the driftwood counter where we sit to both our art. Not too much of it goes out into the main area of the shop. We mostly save that for all the other peeple we love. Having the shop has def slowed down my original output, but not really the toys. The one thing that really gave way was the zines. At first i was pretty sad that I don't have enough time to make my zines, but having a new artshow every month is really fulfilling the feeling that i would get showcasing an artist in Pencil Fight or Moonshine. Not being able to produce art is the one thing that I was afraid of with also running a shop. So far it's worked out pretty good, but I am sure i could do better at either if i gave one up. But right now i'm not giving up jack. I love making art, and showing the earth other peeple's work too much to give up either. Toy production has been pretty easy. I like working on toys at gh.
PD: What considerations do you have as an artist/gallery owner that another non-artist owner might not have.
BS: I think i have to be consious not to throw myself into every show just becasue I might want to be in an artshow with somebody i like. It looks kinda goofy to have a show like, "look, it's a Nara and Bwana show at Grass Hut". You know that would be my fantasy, but it would be just wrong.
PD: How about the advantages of being a gallery owner who's also an artist?
BS: I don't think there are any artist advantages. Owning a gallery and being an artist. Any smart and or sane person would do one or the other.
I guess maybe always seeing lots of OG art up close and personal is a nice advantage. it's very inspiring.
PD: How would you describe your art, and the direction it has grown in the past, say, 5-10 years? There's a distinctive environmental theme in your work. Is there a particular message you're sending out, or a discussion you are exploring visually with your paintings?
BS: I love the earth, and have a belief that no matter how bad we fuck it up, time, matter, and everything in between will continue on. I think in my art I try to show what life could be like if the earth were entirely covered in moss and mushrooms. Over the past years it evolves sometimes becoming more abstract and layered. I love reaching something new with paintings, either with aa technique, or through a new way to compose the piece. I think the whole time i have tried to make sure it is my own and not too much of a current current. So when somebody new looks at it, whether they like it or not, it can't be directly linked to another artist or movement. And for a returning viewer even as it evolves it's still recognizeable as my own work. Does that sound corny?
PD: Is that a trick question? Which answer will give us more time with you?
BS: Right now i love looking and being in nature. Uh... that's nothing new, but i always find something that feels refreshing and new to me.
PD: What's currently interesting you and influencing your work?
BS: The list of artists that turn me on would be endless and dorky. So i won't bother you with that.
PD: Is any or every part of your name your parent-given name? Too personal?
BS: Not too personal, but i want to leave a little to mystery.
PD: And when is your next non-GH show? Anything lined up?
BS: I have a solo show next week in Paris at Artoyz. I am excited and nervous. My goals for the nearish future is to have shows in more galleries about the earth. More installation work, more sculpture. there are some peeples working on a cartoon for me right now too. That's been exciting. As for other shows coming up non GH related- A few of us have a mini show coming up at Outre in Australia, and I'll be back in Tokyo in April as a guest at Superfestival (toygeek paradise), still working out the details for an artshow to coincide with. Oh, and I'm in a group show in Miami this December during art basil at Harold's place.
PD: What about Grass Hut's upcoming shows?
BS: Coming up-
Oct- hut on an island- Islands Fold x grass hut artists collab show + mini show off with Luke Ramsey
Nov- Evan Harris and his father
Dec- Grass Hut show- grass hut artists get together.
Jan- Gargamel Gang- they are coming to portland all the way from Koenji, tokyo for this. I am excited.
Feb- Sasquatchtenial- Ryan Berkeley, Theo Elsworth, Emily Counts, Erik Gage, and more. oregonians showcase eh.
March- Colin Johnson, Kristen Cammermeyer, Dan May, and Elizabeth haide (this one will shred)
April- Amanda Visell, Michelle Valigura, Anna Chambers, and joe Ledbetter (wait, this one will shred)
June- Bwana and Scrappers (maybe)
July- Together Gang
Sept- Itokin park, Martin Ontiveros, Le Merde, and a few others TBA
Oct- lori Damiano either solo or friends.
James Jean, by request
PD: So where do you see GH Gallery going? Any big plans or hopes for the future?
BS: I want to keep GH around for a while. It will evolve, but in what direction we don't know. We want it to evolve naturally. Maybe someday it will be grass hut gallery, shop and teahouse. Or maybe it will remain an art market. My original vision years ago was a gallery called Homecash. You could check out new art and get fresh eggs and milk.
We want to thank Bwana for taking the time to give us the lowdown on the amazing Grass Ht Gallery. And while we LOVE GH, we sincerely home to see a Homecash coming to our neighborhood soon. Don't forget to sign up for the GH newsletter that gives you first access to all of the incredible art GH has to offer.
And here's more on Bwana's Paris show Hunt and Gather, opening Thursday September 25 at Artoyz. "Bwana Spoons was raised in the woods. He likes moss and Lego and monsters. When he was a little one he would draw detailed crayon renderings of all his favorite Star Wars figures.
When he was older he lost them all in a battle with a mildew giant. He likes making zines and comics and paintings and silk-screened prints and designing toys and making things with rainbows and animals. Recently Bwana was bitten by the textile bug. He has designed shoes for Converse, and Dekline, tees for Giant Robot, and MonsieurT., and baby strollers for Bumbleride. This is his first exhibition in Europe, and he’ll be in the attendance for the opening party that will take place on Thursday 25th September from 7PM."
Grass Hut Gallery Feature, Part One
Monday, September 22, 2008
We feature Grass Hut Gallery in Portland, OR here on PopDrawer quite a bit. And for damn good reason. Grass Hut, owned and operated by artists Bwana Spoons and Scrappers, Grass Hut has one of the most diverse programs of intermingling nationally established artists and regional stars with up-and-comers in the country. If that ain't enough, they have some of the most uniquely themed shows around. So we got together (virtually-speaking) with Bwana and got the low-down on the past, present and future of the outstanding Grass Hut Gallery. So without further delay, and for your reading and viewing pleasure (hopefully), here is what we found out...
PopDrawer: Can you give us a little Grass Hut Gallery history and background to start things off?
Bwana Spoons: I have wanted to open a shop for years, but knew i would be getting myself into some trouble. So I didn't pursue it too heavily. Things just happen when they are meant to be.
there was this fellow Tony Nguyen who was interning for me. Young and excited he took the plunge and opened up his own limited shoe shop, Renowned. Only nobody knew who he was so nobody would sell him any shoes, so he went with his backup plan. A Gallery. Tony had great taste and was starting to get a good rep for good shows, but a bad rep for never being open on account of that he still had a regular day job. He was going to close the doors... So I stepped in and helped him stay open. I put my studio in the back of the small space, and all my goodies along with a few other peeples zines and minicomics. I kept one small wall for all my art, and the rest was still dedicated to Tony's shows. It was then renowned/Grass Hut Shop. Six months later and he really quit for good. I took over the space, but still wanted a partner. So I asked my friend Scrappers, and he went for it. From then on we were just Grass Hut, and curated our own monthly shows, put more goodsies out, and by then I had a few toys out too. We stuck with the space until we had an opportunity to move one door over to a space almost triple the size back in march. Craziness, because we had the balls out show and I don't know how we would have fit the art in the old space.
Before "Balls Out" show
During "Balls Out" show
PD: Grass Hut is one of the most original galleries in the nation: the group shows are creative, the participants are diverse, and even the solo shows are incredibly unique. You find a great balance between introducing up and coming artists and at the same time showcasing established artists in new and interesting ways (the Tim and Tigerlily Biskup father-daughter show, the Seonna Hong/Yosemite studio-mates show, and the Andrew Brandou Funk Drawer show all come to mind). Do you have a mission or an overarching ideal that encompasses this diversity? Or are you just out to show your favorite stuff?
BS: the simple answer- Yes, a collection of our favorite stuffs and artists. There is a goal though. We want to show the Pacific Northwest originals that they might not have a chance to see otherwise. And on all levels... it's very exciting to discover (like columbus) and show off a new artist. Taking something we love and to say- hey, looksie at this. Can you believe how rad this art is. With more established artists it's very similar. Peeple [sic] drove for miles just to see our one little James Jean piece, and the folks that came through that had never seen his work before freaked too. It was so fun to sit and watch peeple stop when they got to that Jean piece and wonder what the f was up. So nice and lucky when we can get amazing art up on our walls.
A lot of peeple think GH is a collective. But really it's more like a little family of artists. I think of it as a home. A home for radness and good vibes. We like to show off amazing art, and occasionaly just have a good time. This summer at the gallery we had BBQ, ping pong, a waffle breakfast, and even a summercamp complete with merit pins and a patch. All were free. you just had to show up and have a good time.
PD: Do you think you have an advantage over other galleries in getting established artists like James Jean, Tim Biskup and Seonna Hong because you are a well-known artist yourself?
BS: I think being an artist and knowing these other artists has helped quite a bit. Really from the heavy hitters, only the peeple i already know said yes. If they didn't know me or grass hut they declined.
PD: I have been hearing from various gallery owner friends that times are tough in the art world. I assume the economy is the primary reason. Have you been seeing this at GH or other galleries around Portland? The art at GH is so often ultra-affordable. Do you have any specific guiding theories about the price of the work represented at GH?
BS: Yes, these summer months have been a little slim for us at grass hut. I think it's a combination of things, peeple worried about the economy, but mostly i think it is cyclic. In the fall peeple begin to nest again and start looking at and buying art. In late spring they start to travel and take vacations and break up and go swimming. There is also a gigantor flippin amount of art, artists, galleries, and various places to spread ye olde money pretty thin. There was a time not too long ago whe nthere was only La Luz, and then Tin Man. Now every second and third teer city, Portland included has so many places to view, show, and purchase art. Just here in town we have us, together gallery, Compound, Moshi moshi, and a glutony of other places that could fall into the same frame, all with their works online.
J. Otto Siebold
PD: What the hell is it about Portland that attracts or creates so many fantastic artists?! Is my perception that Portland has way more than it's fair share of artists incorrect? Is it the moist mountain air? The perfect soil for pot growing? What is it??
BS: Portland has def become a Mecca for artists of all types. It's just a nice place to live. At least half of the year. The other six months blow. But really... easy public trans, good bike lanes, lots of trees and greenery, and a fair amount of fun things to do. This was the first place where I saw lots of peeple in my own age range with their own business'. Now i think it would be a little harder (to make it as a local artist or business), just cause there is so much already here.
Grass Hut Gallery Feature, Part Deux!
Friday, September 19, 2008
The economy is hurting everyone, and art galleries are no different. In fact, galleries may be suffering more than many other market segments since art is generally considered a luxury item and only purchased when collectors are flush with cash. (The investment bank industry has fueled the gallery expansion in Manhattan for years. We hate to think of the fallout right now).
So galleries are getting creative to keep business flowing. This weekend a number of excellent East Side L.A. Galleries are getting together for the first ever East of Eden exhibition, a collective showing of work from some of the best galleries in Los Angeles, and arguably in the country.
East of Eden will feature about a dozen such such galleries as La Luz de Jesus, Thinkspace, and Black Maria. According to the press release:
This will be a unique opportunity for patrons, collectors and the public to view and purchase exemplary new works by emerging and established artists who are indicative of the significant contemporary art being fostered in this region. While there is no over arching critical doctrine that unites them philosophically, all the participating galleries are representative of new generation of determining gallery culture and share in an inherent formative energy that has resulted in a significant strain of art in Los Angeles.
All events are free to the public, aside from the Saturday cocktail hour from 6:30-8:00. (We know, that's 1.5 hours. Don't judge too harshly. It's art, not math.) A portion of the proceeds goes to The MOCA Contemporaries, a volunteer fundraising support council of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).
A couple of highlights: Sunday at 2 PM is an artist talk. Saturday from 8PM to Midnight there will be a DJ and catering. And coolest of all, on Saturday FreshPressed will be hosting a project room where visitors can create and customize limited edition t-shirts exclusively designed for the event by some of LA's best emerging and established artists. Cool! See you there.
East of Eden
Posted by Teddy Tenenbaum at 9:58 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Fully Visual ("a small, one man, operation specializing in fine hand cast metal figures and other cool items designed by your favorite artists") is minutes away from dropping their latest metallic creation -- Buff Monster figures!
Today (9/18/08) at 11 AM Pacific, 100 silver figurines will be available at the Fully Visual online store. One lucky buyer will get the randomly-selected gold figurine.
These go super-fast, so better get online right at 11. The two-faced creature goes for $120.
Buff Monster Figure from Fully Visual
Three cheers for Ana Bagayan and Ara Devejian! As if they weren't already giving enough to the world with their beautiful art and design, now they're giving to the children (do NOT snarkily insert Whitney Houston lyric here). Together they have formed the Anra Children's Art Scholarship Contest, a new scholarship offering a total of $2000 to children 12-18 who submit the winning works of art.
The contest, which ends November 28th, asks children to send up to two works of art, in one of a multitude of media, as long as it follows the theme of Dream/Nightmare. There will be two winners in each of the two age groups, 12-15 and 16-18. But isn't everyone a winner when kids with sharp writing instruments are pitted against each other?
But seriously, folks, if you know a talented child, or the parent of a talented child, or an art teacher, please send them to the website at The Adventures of Anra, or download and print the application and rules here.
The Anra Children's Art Scholarship Contest
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Mike at Sketchypad has a very thorough report on Shepard Fairey's newest show, "The Duality of Humanity" on display now at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco. And the photos are plentiful.
It's a beauteous new show (and a huge one at that). Mr. Fairey's work seems to take on new dimensions regularly. The work is rich, both visually and thematically. Go to Sketchypad and enjoy.
Shepard Fairey's "The Duality of Humanity" at White Walls Gallery (via Sketchypad)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Boing Boing has a post on Lynne Naylor's new show at M Modern Gallery in Palm Springs.
Naylor is known for her work on The Ren & Stimpy Show and The Powerpuff Girls. The mood, colors, and composition of this series, titled Arlice's Odyssey, take my breath away. I was thrilled to learn that these paintings are the basis of a three-part illustrated storybook that will be published next year. The show opening is from 7 to 10pm and will feature the live psy-fi sounds of Sir Cosmo Cosmopollus (aka Naylor's multitalented husband, painter Chris Riccardi.)
Boing Boing's Post About Lynne Naylor's New Show
Friday, September 12, 2008
UPDATE! Bwana Spoons' Cosmos Eaton toy will be arriving today at Noon, Pacific Time, and we have a preview of the artwork. Each toy will come with this signed and numbered giclee.
Get in line at Noon, or you might miss out on this close encounter.
Cosmos Eaton at Bwana Spoons' Store
By 2008, weren't we all supposed to have personal robots to help us with our daily mundanities? But of course, the present is always disappointing compared with the past's future.
But thanks to Mike Slobot, the future has arrived, at least in toy form. Mr. Slobot creates unique art robots from a wide array of materials. Each robot has its own story and abilities. Some have LED lighting, positionable limbs, glow-in-the-dark parts. Some can create clean fission energy from trash (well, that's on our wish list).
Take, for example, SLOQEE7b (above). SLOQEE7b "is a deep sea miner robot that spends months and months underwater slowly mining ore for his employer. His greatest hope is that one day he will find a job on the surface helping people, far away from his slave-driving employer." Meanwhile, SCUBA STEVE (below) has a more environmental directive. Scuba Steve “is a shark hunting robot. His chief concern in life is causing humans and sharks to live in peace. If a shark won’t listen to reason, then Scuba Steve pulls their teeth out (but still lets the shark live.)"
Go to Mike Slobot's website and adopt a robot of your own.
Mike Slobot's Official Site
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Not too much info on this yet, but Bwana Spoons is bringing a delicious little toy to Earth this Friday, Noon PDT. His name is Cosmos Eaton. Scratch that. HER name is Cosmos Eaton. (Don't want to be accused of sexism.) (Actually, it could be sexist to refer to a cute little toy as "her.") (Man, we are confused here. What is the appropriate pronoun?!) (We mean, "Woman, are confused here...") (AGH!)
IT'S name is Cosmos Eaton, and it will come with a signed and numbered giclee. Don't know how much it will be, so you'll have to check back at Bwana's store on Friday.
Cosmos Eaton at Bwana's Store
Monday, September 8, 2008
project:gallery in Culver City, CA opened a new show of four up-and-comers this weekend. "Fresh Faces" is the title, and the artists are Nimit Malavia, Yuta Onoda, Dominique Fung and Martha Chan, and the work will be on display for the next two weeks at the gallery, or you can see it now online. There are still some very affordable piece available.
Fresh Faces at project:gallery