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    NASTY, NOISY, KNITTING, NAKED WOMEN

    Press Release: NASTY WOMEN / NOISY WOMEN / KNITTING WOMEN / NAKED WOMEN 

    Opening: Friday, January 20th, 6:00-10:00pm. 

    Show runs: Friday January 11th to February 11th.

    Join us at Fine Art Complex 1101 for our contribution to the Nasty Women exhibitions happening across the nation when we host Nasty, Noisy, Knitting, Naked Women on inauguration day, January 20th from 6-10pm. This all women line-up of experimental sound artists goes well beyond industrial, aggrotech, EBM, power noize, rhythmic noize, punk, metal and goth to create soundscapes that are unlike anything you’ve heard before. The mix of video artists included in the show are among the most challenging and provocative artists working in the Valley today. The selection of photographic works from the founding members of the arts magazine Femme Fotale are showing pieces that are inspired by their newest issue about the nude, entitled Leafless. All of the groups are supported by the performative knitting action of members from the Fiber Arts Network which has come together to collaborate on the women's initative to knit pussy hats for the inauguration protests as well as our happens here at Fine Art Complex 1101. 

    Running counter to the all-too-predictable noise of Republican rhetoric, this sister show to exhibitions being held across the nation seeks to make the unheard heard, to upend all conservative expectations, and stand out against the background of silence that has accompanied many of the egregious statements made about women this past election cycle. While experimental sound art is known for being a bit of boys club, the sound artists in this show embrace an open politic to the shared interaction of sound, space and the affective capacities of the body. By contrast, the video works included in the show examine the cultural biases, expectations, and the implications of what it means to be a "women" in the early twenty-first century. The photographic exhibition in the main gallery provides another point of access for thinking about issues related to the female body, beauty, nature, strength and vulnerabilty. Between the two sound stages there will be a listenting lounge where kniting and works from an open call by PHX SUX will be on view. 

    In the spirit of equality all the artists in the show will be given equal time and space to perform, and all donations for the evening will go to Planned Parenthood to help support the fight for women’s reproductive and health rights across the nation.

     

    Artists in the show: (Nasty Women) Ashley Czajkowski, A. J. McClenon, Kristen Schneider, Hannah Irene Walsh, Malena Barnhart, Regan Henley, Sammie Aasen, TBA, (Noisy Women) Aesthetically Sound, Althea Pergakis, Chelsea Claire, DJ [Sin]Aptik, Jessica Dzielinski, Elizabeth Parsons, Erika Lynne, Gabbie Washinton, Lana del Rabies,  (Knitting Women) Audra Carlisle, Chelsea Lyles, Emily Longbrake, Molly Koehn, Shannon Ludington, Stacey Kampe, Shannon Ludington, and Chelsea Lyles, (Naked Women) Briana Noonan, Charissa Lucille, Kit Abate and Sirrena Griego, 

     

    PERFORMANCES OPENING NIGHT BY: 

    Aesthetically Sound

    From opening for blockhead to after parties for producers like eastghost, to playing Beat shows all over Arizona at venues like last exit live, Tempe tavern, thirdspace etc, Aesthetically Sound is a DJ, producer, and artist on the come up and has been doing it for only about a year. Ranging from original ambient tracks to twerk, to moombah, to deep house, the range of sounds and feels is broad enough to vibe out for awhile.

     

    Althea Pergakis

    Althea Pergakis and Jennifer Anderson both hold BAs in a made-up subject from a local university. They like making weird shit, preferably in exchange for money.

     

    Chelsea Claire

    Chelsea Claire is an Arizona-based Actor, Model, Punk Singer and Noise Musician. She is currently a part of two music projects, Kill Follins and Fugly Chuds, and she enjoys collaborating with artists in as many mediums as possible, as well as supporting the art community.

     

    DJ [Sin]aptik

    DJ [Sin]aptik spins for fetish, industrial, aggrotech, EBM, power noize, rhythmic noize, punk, metal and goth events for night clubs, radio stations and online stations since 1997, and is the promoter behind Dark Ceremony Entertainment.

     

    E Alo

    E Alo composes melodic, rhythmic, instrumental, stories from scratch. Music has always had a deep emotional effect on her, and she hopes to inspire positive feelings in those who take in her sonic expression. She wants to warm hearts, touch souls, and move feets!

     

    Elizabeth Parsons

     

    Erika Lynne

     

    Gabbie Washington

     

    Jessica Dzielinski

    Jessica Dzielinski is a Phoenix based art and music maker who draws inspiration from colors, patterns, textures, and found oddities, both natural and human-derived.

     

    Lana del Rabies 

    Lana del Rabies is the solo electronic project of media artist Sam An. She creates rhythmic chaos from digital and analog sources. She has work on Deathbomb Arc records and Records Ad Nauseam.

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    NAKED WOMEN

    Opening: Friday, January 20th, 6:00-10:00pm. 

    Show runs: Friday January 11th to February 11th.

     

    Artists in the show: 

    Kit Abate

    Kit Abate was born into the fog of the northern California Bay Area. Shortly thereafter she moved to the radiant Valley of the Sun. In accordance with her passionate pursuit of the visual arts Kit received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from Arizona State University. Kit is a Founder and contributor to Femme Fotale, which showcases the talents of women photographers. She is interested in the division between the public persona and the private self. Kit currently lives, works, and sits on her roof in Tempe Arizona.

    thekitabate.com

    Sirrena Griego

    Sirrena Griego is a visual artist residing in Mesa, Arizona. She received her B.F.A in Photography at Arizona State University in the year 2013. Her interest lie in her personal relationships, both intimate and platonic. Sirrena is one of four co-founders of Femme Fotale;​ a photographic​ book/zine​ ​made to represent women​​ photographers.​

    www.sirrenamgriego.com

    Briana Noonan 

    Briana Noonan is located in Tempe, AZ and graduated with a BFA in Photography from ASU in May 2013. Her work is primarily based within her relationship ties and her own personal self reflection. This includes exploring her own depression, anxiety, and sexuality.  Briana is one of the four co-founders of Femme Fotale, a photographic book/zine to empower women and push them to the forefront of the photographic world.

    www.briananoonan.com

    Charissa Lucille 

    Charissa Lucille is a Phoenix, Arizona based photographer. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 with her Bachelor in Fine Arts. Charissa is primarily interested in photographing to critique the world around us and inspire change. She is one of the four co-founders and contributors to Femme Fotale. A photographic book/magazine promoting women in the arts from local to international communities.

    http://www.charissalucille.com/

    Femme Fotale Mission Statement and Upcoming Projects:

    Femme Fotale is a photographic project by women and for everyone. Responding to a lack of representation for women in the photographic community we countered by making our own spaces. Through the publication of photo books and presenting photographic shows we provide artistic platforms for women regardless of class, education or gender identity. Femme Fotale’s mission is to uplift women and drive their work to the forefront of the arts. Leafless, Volume IV, of Femme Fotale will be released on February 25th at local bar, Taste of Tops. Please visit our website in the upcoming month for further details.

    www.femmefotale.com

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    Knitting Women

    Opening: Friday, January 20th, 6:00-10:00pm. 

     

    Artists in the show: Audra Carlisle, Chelsea Lyles, Emily Longbrake, Molly Koehn, Shannon Ludington, Stacey Kampe, and Chelsea Lyles.

     

     

    Audra Carlisle 

    Audra Carlisleis studying Digital Culture with an emphasis in Art at Arizona State University as part of the Art, Media, & Engineering department of the Herberger Institute of Design & The Arts. Her work is focused on the inclusion of technology as part of fibers work and interactive design, as well as incorporating illustration and visual work into the digital sphere.

     

     

    Chelsea Lyles

    Chelsea Lyles is an artist native to Phoenix, Arizona. Lyles graduated from Arizona State University with a concentration in fine art and specializes in hand-crafted textile work. Her current series, From Whence She Came, focuses on growth and unity, as well as intention while creating the larger piece. The body of work utilizes embroidery and hand-cut fabrics. She currently works alongside other local artists at Lagomm Studios based out of Tempe, Arizona. 

     

    Emily Longbrake

    Emily Longbrakeis a born-and-raised Alaskan freelance artist who combines an omnivorous love of books and science with technology, ceramics, printmaking, and design. Her work often employs patterns and repetition mined from inner and outer landscapes.

     

    Molly Koehn 

    Molly Koehn in an environmental artist based in Arizona. Melding a practice of embroidery, weaving, and sculptural installation, Koehn’s work examines natural systems, particularly the prevalence of “domination” in our dealings with the world around us. Koehn is currently pursuing an MFA at Arizona State University, with an emphasis in fiber arts, and her current bodies of work carry on the delicate, expressive qualities of her background and BFA in drawing. 

     

    Stacey Kampe

    Stacey Kampe is a silk and fiber artist raised in Tempe, AZ, where she still resides with her husband and their 18-year-old son, the last of 6 children still living at home. In addition to recently receiving her BFA in Fibers/Textiles art at Arizona State, Kampe has created a line of clothing with a portion of the proceeds going to aid ocean conservation efforts. 

     

     

    Shannon Luddington

    Shannon Ludington is in her second year at ASU as an MFA candidate in fibers. She uses textiles to investigate the commonalities of women's experience across different cultures and times. Her current work uses the form of bedspreads to reflect on the longing for place and belonging that her cross cultural and peripatetic life have given her.

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    Nasty Women

    Opening: Friday, January 20th, 7-10pm.

    Artists in the show: Ashley Czajkowski, A. J. McClenon, Kristen Schneider, Hannah Irene Walsh, Malena Barnhart, Regan Henley, Sammie Aasen and more TBA.

    Ashley Czajkowski

    Ashley Czajkowski is a photography-based artist working in a number of interdisciplinary methods including alternative process, video and installation. Driven by personal history, her research explores social constructions related to childhood, femininity, and the psychological manifestation of and the human-animal.

    Czajkowski achieved her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in 2009 from Emporia State University in Kansas, and earned her Master’s of Fine Art in photography in 2015 from Arizona State University. Czajkowski’s work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally. Most recently, her work was shown at the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona, The Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, and CICA Museum in South Korea. She currently resides in Tempe, Arizona where she teaches photography courses, works as the sound technician and story editor for the Creative Push Project, and is a member and current President of Eye Lounge Gallery and artist collective in downtown Phoenix.

    See more of her work at www.ashleyczajkowski.com

     

    A. J. McClenon

    A.J. McClenon is a writer, performer and interdisciplinary visual artist based in Chicago. A.J. McClenon’s work sets personal narratives alongside empirical data, leveling hierarchies of truth.

    McClenon works across mediums incorporating aspects of sound, film, video, drawing, animation and collage throughout their work.

    McClenon holds a Masters in Fine Arts with an emphasis in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. McClenon received a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in creative writing from the University of Maryland College Park. McClenon has also studied at Eugene Lang College.

    A.J. McClenon is currently an educator at the Montessori Academy of Chicago and is co-organizer of Beauty Breaks, an intergenerational beauty and wellness workshop series for black people along the spectrum of femininity.

    A.J. McClenon has received numerous awards for their writing and art works. McClenon received the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) MFA Writing Fellowship award in 2014 and SAIC’s MFAW small grant in 2012. McClenon also is also a recipient of the Paula Santan Scholarhip for Art and Stephanie E. Pogue Memorial Award. A.J. McClenon’s writing has been published widely, most recently their works have been published in the South Side Community Art Center Anniversary publication, 3rd Language and Stylus Literary Magazine.

     

    Dressler Parsons

    Dressler Parsons is an artist and writer based in Tempe, AZ. She grew up in the Sonoran desert, in an adobe house her father built. She believes wholeheartedly in the individual and collective powers of words, food, and collaborative making. She has newly-minted undergraduate degrees in Intermedia (BFA) and Marketing (BS) from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University.

     

     

    Charis Elliot

    Charis Elliott is a graduate student in Arts, Media + Engineering at Arizona State University, Research Coordinator and Research Assistant at Laboratory for Critical Technics,  Co-Director of Post-Human Network, and founder/designer for Mother of Gideon. Charis holds a dynamic set of experiences in design of the physical, conceptual and abstract resulting in the design and creation of businesses, nonprofit social enterprises and programs that create new formations in the ruble of modern specialization. Artifacts of this social design work can be found in objects including jewelry, clothing, audio, film, graphics, and sculpture. Charis’ current graduate studies are a continuation of exploration and experimentation in understanding complexities and connectedness from the self to the world while developing a lexicon of both word and creation to communicate and explore this abstract terrain.  Her ambition is to vision out and create new paths leading to understanding our shared world through both the alien of nonhuman and other, and the familiar abstracts of self and each other.

     

    Hannah Irene Walsh

    Hannah Irene Walsh was born and lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a multimedia artist and writer. Her visual narratives of invented mythologies interweave with representations of herself and other empowered female bodies and their animal alter-egos. Her drawings explore the shameless sensuality and primal aspect of womanhood, lavished with hand-carved frames, altar constructions, video installation, and sculptures made from natural and man-made items. Images and objects, imbued with the artist-magician's touch, come together in a ritual space that serves as a stage for her creative and meditative processes. She is currently a third-year Drawing/Painting MFA candidate at Arizona State University. Her graduate thesis exhibition, Altar Spaces/ Alter Egos, will be at the Harry Wood Gallery from April 3-7, 2017.

     

    Kristen Schneider

    Kristen Schneider is an Arizona based, Illinois displaced artist whose focus primarily lies in the themes of intimacy, vulnerability and dependency on human relationships. After struggling to sustain prolonged emotional connections with others, Kristen Schneider turned to using physical intimacy as an outlet for self-expression and communication. Her previous artworks include performances that are gritty, often dealing with sensitive subject matter, and leave her ripped open, with real emotions and experience exposed to her audience. While making use of her own body and femininity, her content looks into private and personal moments between partners, which are recorded through photographs, videos, performance and audio recordings. Occasionally these moments are recreated and represented through sculpture and multimedia.

    Currently Kristen Schneider is assembling a body of work for her Solo Exhibition at Arizona State University’s Harry Wood Gallery in Downtown Phoenix titles, Intimacy. She is investigating human connections through physical contact, and forces her audience to directly acknowledge intimate moments with the goal of pushing her audience out of their comfort zones.

     

    Malena Barnhart 

    Malena Barnhartis a photo-based artist living in Tempe, Arizona. Originally from Maryland, she holds an undergraduate degree in studio art from the University of Maryland and earned an MFA degree in photography from Arizona State University in 2013. Through repurposing mass-culture materials including YouTube videos, children’s stickers, sex toys and party decorations, her work examines the role enculturation plays in the marginalization of women. Her work has recently been exhibited at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (Arizona,) the Israeli Cinema Museum, Morrison Gallery (University of Minnesota,) Salisbury University Gallery (Maryland,) the Hartman Center Gallery (Bradley University, Peoria,) Whitdel Arts (Detroit.) She was a recipient of the Student Award for the Society for Photographic Education, the Juror's merit award for Heat Wave: Desert Photography, and the Sadat Art for Peace award, among many other honors. Her work is in the personal collection of Madeleine Albright, the permanent collection of Northlight Gallery and the special collections at Columbia University. 

     

    Regan Henley

    Regan Henley is multimedia artist and undergraduate Intermedia student at Arizona State University. She is a founding collaborator of the snapchat-based performance art platform SNAP UP ART. She has shown work at the Shemer Art Center, the Icehouse in Phoenix and performed and collaborated with Sanford Biggers’ Moon Medicine at ASU Gammage. In 2016 she debuted her first solo show C@tharsis, exploring the use of digital technologies in the mourning and grieving process, which included several video installations as well as experimental web-based media.

    Samantha Lyn Aasen

    Samantha Lyn Aasen is an artist adapting to the southwest, as she holds on to her Midwestern mentalities.  As a child she had dreams of becoming a writer, as she was an avid read and creator of an active blog at the age of 12.  A car accident left her with a traumatic brain injury when she was fourteen.  This led her to take creative arts classes, which she found helped her communicate her ideas and thoughts in visual representations.   

    Her suburban upbringing has her questioning female relationships and societal standards.  Samantha identifies herself as a feminist artist.  She uses her art as an exploration of her ambivalence of pop culture and desire to protect young girls from facing negative attitudes about themselves or from others. 

    Often she uses lens based media to form her artwork.  Her ongoing body, titled Sparkle Baby, is constructed with photographs and video, using herself as the subject of the imagery she creates.  Samantha also works in embroidery, beading, performance, web processes, and found objects.  The idea or intent of the work drives the outcome of material. 

    Samantha Lyn Aasen has had exhibitions in Indiana, Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, Maryland, and recently the UK.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Photography from Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University and a Studio Art MFA with an emphasis in Intermedia from Arizona State University.  Currently she teaches at the Maricopa Community Colleges, and volunteers with Girls Rock! Phoenix. 

     

     


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    This Machine Kills___________________

    This Machine Kills__________________ 

    Opening: Saturday, November 5th, 7:00-10:00pm. 

    Artists in the show: 

    Mely Barragan (TJ)
    Cindy Santos Bravo (San Diego/LA) 
    Gomez Bueno (LA)
    Temoc Camacho (Guadalajara) 
    Robbie Conal (LA)
    Jeff Chabot (PHX)
    Sean Deckert (PHX/LA)
    Karla Diaz (LA)
    Victoria Delgadillo (LA)
    Veronica Duarte (LA)
    Cristian Franco (Guadalajara)
    Jason Gonzalez (Mesa)
    Olga Gutierrez (Guadalajara)
    Carlos Hernandez (LA)
    Luis G. Hernandez (SoCal/Mexicali) 
    Julio Cesar Morales (Tempe, TJ) 
    Ann Morton (PHX)
    Karl Petion (LA)
    Radio Healer (Mesa)
    Daniel Ruanova (TJ)
    Christopher Vena (AZ)

     

     

    Film Screening by:
    Karen Finley and Bruce Yonemoto (LA) and Rembrandt Quilballo (AZ)

     


    The title of the show directly references American folk legend Woody Guthrie’s iconic guitar text “ This Machine Kills Fascists”, itself a protest piece recreting the musician’s leftist political views. The phrase has been repeatedly adapted by artists and activists, most recently by punk royalty Buzz Osborne of the Melvins for a 2014 solo album named "This Machine Kills Artists". In 2012, journalist Andy Greenberg published a novel titled This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers. A reference to the phrase has also been made in the post-apocalyptic themed video game Fallout 4 in which the words “WELL THIS MACHINE KILLS COMMIES” is etched into the side of a rifle. The title for this exhibition has been intentionally left incomplete, leaving interpretation open to the artist and/or viewer.

    Guthrie originally wrote the “patriotic” ballad “This Land is Your Land” as a social commentary on what he saw as fascism in America. He penned politically nuanced songs but generally sided with Communist ideals. His experiences during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era parallel what many citizens are experiencing in modern day America.

    “This Land is Your Land” contains often redacted lyrics containing references to borders and food lines for the poor. In an untitled song, he criticizes real estate magnate Fred Trump, the father of presidential candidate Donald Trump. The lyrics were written at a time when he himself was living in tenements owned by the elder Trump. Guthrie’s lyrics reflected his thoughts on Trump’s unethical business practices: 

    Beach Haven looks like heaven 
    Where no black ones come to roam! 
    No, no, no! Old Man Trump! 
    Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!

     


    This Machine Kills_____ seeks to explore the relationship between art, music and politics during a volatile election cycle. Featuring artists from Arizona, California and Mexico, the exhibition utilizes the historically significant function of protest art as an opposition to technologically prolific forms of media. Most works will consist of propaganda style posters and prints, though there will be several types of media represented. The gallery will be screening a new film by artists Bruce Yonemoto and Karen Finley in conjunction with this exhibition. 

     


    Opening night performances by Phoenix based art collective Radio Healer.


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    ARTIST BIOS

     

    Bio: Mely Barragan

    Mely Barragán has been exploring the role of identity in contemporary society through her composite musings since the mid-1990’s, utilizing assemblage, collage, painting and various other media forms to comment on social and behavioral norms. Barragán’s is a personal correspondence with entitlement, resonance and composition, making effective use of ingénue properties to satisfy a relationship with independence.

    “I utilize the appropriation of images to resignify their use, upon finding myself in a by-product world where we are inundated by concepts of identity based on consumption, I become empowered by this imagery without playing its game. I search for more honest visual formulas that question imposed visual formulas (industry, society, tradition, etc). I describe my process as reflections on the absurd, obsessive, fateful, grotesque, beautiful and fragmented,” affirms Barragán. Dichotomy becomes autonomy in a homesick, knife-wielding life abroad, a muscular reflection on the notion of imagery and archetypes. Barragán’s wordplay transcribes indiscretion over windows of pinched symbolisms, producing palettes affected by human relationship and time, her philosophy surfacing over found idealisms and broken models. “I learned how to speak in two languages at the same time, my identity is constructed by thousands of copy-pastes. Juxtaposition is natural for border people,” she states.

     

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    Bio: Cindy Santos Bravo

    Cindy Santos Bravo (b. 1978) is a San Diego-based interdisciplinary artist. Bravo explores the language of peripheral cultures repositioning the in-between experience of race, gender and identity in her practice. Working in a variety of formats, she has orchestrated exchanges involving music and dance practitioners, collaborated on sculptural designs with custom boot makers in Mexico, installed wall-scale paintings that consider the mastery of rotulo sign-makers, as well as videos that socially engage with narratives of transition.

    In 2007 Bravo created the site-specific work The High and Lows: Notes on Bronzeville 1943-1945 at LA Artcore in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA. The installation of word play panels incorporated the first of a series of videos interpreting the complexities of improvisation and melody—within the genre of hard bop—to the arrangement of socially constructed space. The video The High and Lows: One Essential was invited to show in the group exhibition Common Ground at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, CA.

     

    Her most recent installation, The Distinctions Remain, the act of forced negotiation is in parallel position with the “frozen” quality of the disavowal examined by Gilles Deleuze as, “the point of departure of an operation that consists neither in negating nor even destroying, but rather in radically contesting the validity of that which is: it suspends belief in and neutralizes the given in such a way that a new horizon opens up beyond the given and in place of it.” The installation space is a two-room experience that draws from hostage negotiation principles, social psychology, and psychotherapy to address human interest in liberation through awareness and affirmations that encourages confrontation and complexity to complete the human experience; the installation offers commentary on behavioral practices of (non)conformity.

    Bravo grew up in Dallas, Texas, received her BA in Painting and Drawing at the University of Dallas, and received her MFA in the Program of Art at CalArts in 2006. Bravo’s work has been selected to show in international and national group exhibitions in Goods to Declare in Tel Aviv, Israel (2006); two Mexicali Biennials (2006 and 2013) in Mexicali and Monterrey, Mexico; Here, There and Beyond (2010) Dallas Contemporary in Dallas, Texas,; Unpopular Inbetween (2012) Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Ejercicio del Diálogo #1, Casa Vecina, Mexico City, among others.​​

     

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    Bio: Gomez Bueno

    Born in Cantabria, Spain (1964). Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from

    Universidad de La Laguna (Tenerife) and Universidad Complutense (Madrid).

    He has lived between Los Angeles and Europe since1988.

    The beginning of Gomez Bueno´s career was marked by very conceptually oriented work with projects that analyzed the way our society functions. He ran for the White House in "GB for President" (1992). In "Padre GB" (1993) he created a fictitious religious cult with real followers in California. "Classifieds" (1995) was a project where he placed personal ads in newspapers around the world.  He choose from more than 500 letters and photos to paint 50 portraits of love seekers which he exhibited next to the actual introductory letters explaining their interests and personalities. As the years passed, Gomez Bueno was interested in reaching bigger audiences and started painting murals, billboards, cars, boats, sails, skateboards, snowboards…etc. From this point forward his paintings got closer to the pop esthetics. His work is complex, ironic, and charged with social commentary. Creating art that is constructed like games, it is at once innocent and perverse, at times the spectator is the subject of the work without knowing it.

    His work has been reviewed in magazines such as Neo2, Vanidad, Swindle, Surfing, Surfer, The Surfer´s Journal, Tres60, Surfer Rule, Heckler, Thrasher, Slap, Glide, Sotileza, Arte y Parte, Relax, Mono, Via, Vogue, Lodown, Juxtapoz, Artweek, SuperX, Relax, Atlántica, Free&Easy, El Europeo, AM, Grab, Tokion, El Punto, Borncelona, La Cruda, Rojo, Coagula, Primera Linea, Big, ABC, New Art Examiner, Grab, Art West, Think Design, LA Times, LA Weekly, and major newspapers around the globe.

    Gomez Bueno's work has been exhibited  at museums including the Museo de Bellas Artes of Santander, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo of Madrid, Circulo de Bellas Artes of Madrid, Centro de Arte of Tenerife,  Centro de Arte La Regenta (Las Palmas), Grand Palais of Paris, Laguna Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), LACE (Los Angeles) San Jose Museum, Chiso Museum (Kyoto) and the Harwood Museum in Taos (NM). As well as at commercial galleries in Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, England, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, China and USA.

     

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    Bio: Temoc Camacho

    Guadalajara, México, 1987

    Artista visual multidisciplinario. Vive y trabaja en Guadalajara. Estudió Artes Visuales en la licenciatura de Artes de la SCJ, le interesa el trabajo en colaboración con artistas o grupos sociales.

    La línea de su obra toca temas como el sabotaje,  la hiperproducción de imagen y la transformación del cuerpo en un sistema económico global.

    Ha colaborado  en  diferentes proyectos  los cuales se han presentado en España, Uruguay,  Argentina, Colombia y México.

     

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    Bio: Robbie Conal

    Robbie Conal grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan. Raised by union organizers who considered the major art museums to be day care centers for him, he spent his formative years immersing himself in art history at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other great local art institutions of New York City. He attended High School of Music and Art, and later received his BFA at San Francisco State University (1969), and his Masters of Fine Arts from Stanford University (1978).

    In 1986, angered by the Reagan Administration’s rabid abuse of political power in the name of representative democracy, he began making satirical oil portraits of politicians and bureaucrats and turning them into street posters. He gradually developed an irregular guerrilla army of volunteers, who helped him poster the streets of major cities around the country. Over the past 24 years, Robbie has made more than 80 street posters satirizing politicians from both political parties, televangelists and global capitalists. He has also taken on subjects like censorship, war, social injustice, and environmental issues.

    Robbie is considered one of the country’s foremost satirical street poster artists. His work has been featured on “CBS This Morning”, “Charlie Rose” and in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, the LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, People Magazine, Interview, and the Washington Post—which dubbed him, “America’s foremost street artist”. He’s received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant, a Getty Individual Artist Grant and a Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Individual Artist’s Grant (COLA).

    Most recently, his work has been collected by–and featured in exhibitions at–LACMA and MOCA in Los Angeles, the San Jose Museum of Art, and his beloved hometown favorite, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. He has authored three books: Art Attack: The Midnight Politics of a Guerrilla Poster Artist, 1992 (HarperCollins); Artburn, 2003 (Akashic Books), and , with wife Deborah Ross, 2009 (Art Attack Press). He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

     

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    Bio: Jeff Chabot

    Jeff Chabot is an artist, teacher, writer, and curator based in Phoenix, AZ. His recent work deals with the landscape, suggestions of human affect, migratory and adaptive sustainment, and the fallibility of technology. Chabot works in various mediums including photography, video, text, sculpture, and occasionally watercolor.

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    Bio: Sean Deckert 

    Sean Deckert was born in Culver City, California in 1984 and moved to southern Illinois with his mother and sister in 1990. He left in 2008 to attend Arizona State University for a Bachelors in Photography. His upbringing in a small town on the edge of a seemingly endless view of locally owned farming plots directly contrasted the impersonal land designation visible in the Phoenix-metro area. After producing work in Arizona for six years he returned to Los Angeles in 2015. His work continues to investigate atmospheric color relative to perceptions of personal and public space. His projects frequently manifest through collaborative efforts with his network of friends ranging from scientists to local community organizers that advise and assist him during the research phases of his work. He volunteers extensively in his local arts community, including his membership with the Artlink, Eye Lounge Collective and In Focus at Phoenix Art Museum. He received the 2013 Emerging Artist Award by Contemporary Forum and Phoenix Art Museum. His work has been featured in Art Ltd, Arid Journal, Photo District News and has been exhibited at the SF Camerawork, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art as well as international locations in Beijing, Jerusalem and Concordia.

     

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    Bio: Victoria Delgadillo

    Victoria Delgadillo works in various forms of visual art (painting, print, digital art, film), but her main art praxis is in engagement and collaboration with collectives and communities through participatory art (Social Public Practice). She believes that by displaying her art work in non-traditional community accessible spaces, she invites the under-valued audience to participate in the art discourse.  Delgadillo is an artist and activist graduate from the University of California, San Diego. In 2003, Victoria’s written account on the curatory process for the first international exhibit on the femicides in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico was published through UCLA press.  For her work on creating public awareness through art, Victoria received awards from the Los Angeles City Council, the University of Sinaloa, Mexico and the Cultural Institute of León, Guanajuato, Mexico.  In 2009 Victoria received the University of California, San Diego's Gracia Molina de Pick Feminisms grant. In 2011, she (and a handful of activists) received Self Help Graphics & Art's first award for saving their studios and programming from permanent closure.   As a presenter and panelist, her body of work has been featured on PBS television, National Public Radio, Salon.com, and Duke University’s publication “Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations,”  as well as numerous periodicals in the United States and Mexico.  Victoria Delgadillo has exhibited in the USA, China, Scotland, Cuba, France and Mexico.  Her work is in the permanent collections of the LA County Museum, Laguna Beach Museum and The National Mexican-American Museum in Chicago, as well as various important Chicano private collections.
    

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    Bio: Karla Diaz 

    Karla Diaz is an artist, and a writer. She was born in Los Angeles and raised both in Mexico and L.A. Her work uses performance and writing to question institutional power, investigate language, and social practices, explore cultural relationships, create collaborations and provoke dialogue. She received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2003. She has exhibited her work in local, national and international venues including MOCA, LACMA, MD2011 Medellin Colombia, Museo Cervantez in Spain, the Whitney in New York, the ICA in Boston, 18th Street Arts Center in Los Angeles, and the Serpentine Gallery in London. She is co-director and founding member of Slanguage Studio, an artist community space/collective formerly located in the harbor area of Los Angeles. Her work has been published in several magazines, books and journals including Artforum, FlasArt, Beautiful Decay, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Radical Actions, and Vice Magazine. She received several awards for her work including a city of Los Angeles Arts Recognition Award and recently an Art Matters award for her “Prison Gourmet” project in which she works with prisoners to recreate commissary food recipes.

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    Bio: Veronica Duarte

    Veronica Duarte is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles. Her artwork is expressed through digital media, and sculptural installations, using archaeology, design and museographic strategies as tools to convey ideas about personal and cultural space.  Duarte earned her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. She has participated in exhibitions which include Managing Modality at PØST, Mexicali Biennial at the Vincent Price Museum, and ‘Heuristic Memories: Intimate derivations and other spectres in the archive’ at Cerritos College Art Gallery, among other.  As an extension of her art practice, Duarte curated “Topical Constructions: Paperworks + Actions,” a binational group exhibition exploring contemporary drawing and the overlapping of artistic activity occurring in Los Angeles and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.


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    Bio: Jason Gonzalez

    Hola! My name is J. Gonzo. I am a Chicano artist who resides in Mesa, AZ, though I was born and raised in Cypress, CA. Artwise, my formative years were shaped by the rigid tradition and Byzantine iconography of the Catholic school I attended juxtaposed with the DIY aesthetic of the late 70s, Orange County Punk counterculture peppered with the bright, bold, Hispanic hues of my grandparents generation. My formal art training began in 1988 when I entered the Orange County High School of the Arts’ Visual Art program, but the seeds of what would become my art style had already been sewn. After high school, I moved to Arizona and attended a trade school receiving a degree in Visual Communications (a fancy, non-university term for graphic design). Commercial Art seemed like a good way for me to earn a living being creative without having to be a clichéd starving artist and/or get a straight day job that I would hate, to support my art on some kind of hobby level. So, as is the tradition of flaky artists the world over, upon receiving my degree, I promptly did nothing with it. I instead began a tattoo apprenticeship and would tattoo off and on for the next six years – supplementing my income with a whole host of menial, second jobs. After the birth of my daughter (the first of my two kids – I also have a son), I decided to dust off my graphic design skills and portfolio and quickly found a job in advertising. I vacillated between full-time and freelance with some of the top agencies in Phoenix and worked in-house as the Senior Art Director for McFarlane Toys/Todd McFarlane Productions. After a brief stint as the Creative Director for an Ad Agency (kind of the high-water mark for someone of my skill set outside of starting my own agency), I made the decision to quit, freelance full-time and focus on art, illustration and the completion of my comicbook project – La Mano del Destino.

     

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    Bio: Carlos Hernandez

    Hola! My name is J. Gonzo. I am a Chicano artist who resides in Mesa, AZ, though I was born and raised in Cypress, CA. Artwise, my formative years were shaped by the rigid tradition and Byzantine iconography of the Catholic school I attended juxtaposed with the DIY aesthetic of the late 70s, Orange County Punk counterculture peppered with the bright, bold, Hispanic hues of my grandparents generation. My formal art training began in 1988 when I entered the Orange County High School of the Arts’ Visual Art program, but the seeds of what would become my art style had already been sewn. After high school, I moved to Arizona and attended a trade school receiving a degree in Visual Communications (a fancy, non-university term for graphic design). Commercial Art seemed like a good way for me to earn a living being creative without having to be a clichéd starving artist and/or get a straight day job that I would hate, to support my art on some kind of hobby level. So, as is the tradition of flaky artists the world over, upon receiving my degree, I promptly did nothing with it. I instead began a tattoo apprenticeship and would tattoo off and on for the next six years – supplementing my income with a whole host of menial, second jobs. After the birth of my daughter (the first of my two kids – I also have a son), I decided to dust off my graphic design skills and portfolio and quickly found a job in advertising. I vacillated between full-time and freelance with some of the top agencies in Phoenix and worked in-house as the Senior Art Director for McFarlane Toys/Todd McFarlane Productions. After a brief stint as the Creative Director for an Ad Agency (kind of the high-water mark for someone of my skill set outside of starting my own agency), I made the decision to quit, freelance full-time and focus on art, illustration and the completion of my comicbook project – La Mano del Destino.

     

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    Bio: Cristian Franco Martin

    Cristian Franco Martin (Tecate BC Mexico, 1980), lives and works in Guadalajara Jal.He studied at the School of Visual Arts at the University of Guadalajara (1998-2002).

    He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, among which are: Soucasne Mexicke Video, (1996-2012), Meet Factory, (Prague, Czech Rep.); Tinnitus and Phosphenes, Zapopan Art Museum; (Zapopan, Jalisco); Cannibalism in the New World, Vincent Price Art Museum, (LA California), The People behind the walls, a project in collaboration with Daniel Guzmán and José Luis Sánchez Rull, Platform Gallery, (Guadalajara, Jal. 2012), Art and Politics, The Cube, Centro Cultural Tijuana (Tijuana BC 2012) Everything must go ', Casey Kaplan Gallery (New York, USA, 2011) Transitio Festival, MX 04 Circles of Confusion: Social Chaos and Fictions Key, Image Center (Mexico City 2011) Evidence Of Absence, Death by Kind Gallery (Melborne, Australia, 2011); MexiCali Biennial, Ben Maltz Gallery (Los Angeles, USA, 2010); Effect Dracula Poplar Museum (Mexico City, 2010) , Empty urban Architecture Triennale (Lisbon, Portugal, 2008) Standing on one foot, Triangle Project Space (San Antonio, Texas, United States, 2007); Performances et performancesvideo, Points d 'Impact (Geneve Switzerland, 2005), Mexico Alight, Albrigtht Collage (Reading, Pensilvanya, United States, 2003). Individually presented: Victor Huerta Carrillo Gil Art Museum (video cabinet, Mexico DF 2012) Respect the rights of others is the ability for the animal organism, Sinaloa Art Museum (Culiacan, Sin. Mexico, 2012), Rural Kaos, Curro & Poncho Gallery (Guadalajara, Jal. 2009), Greatest Hits, Clemente Jacqs Laboratory, Guadalajara Jal. 2005). He received the Young Artists Scholarship FONCA (2011), and young artists scholarship FOECA in emissions (2009 and 2001). His pieces are part of the Jumex Collection, Collection Gilberto Charpenel, Collective Soul Collection, among others.

    Cristian Franco is represented by Curro y Poncho in Jalisco, México and currently lives and works in Guadalajara, México.

     

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    Bio: Radio Healer (Cristobal Martinez)

    Radio Healer is a Native American and Xicano artist collective in Phoenix, Arizona. The collective is Edgar Cardenas, Raven Kemp, Fernando Lino, Cristóbal Martínez, Meredith Martinez, and Randy Kemp. As a group, these hacker-artists create indigenous electronic tools, which they use with traditional indigenous tools to perform indigenous reimagined ceremony. Through their immersive environments, comprised of moving images, tools, regalia, performance, and sound, Radio Healer bends media to position visual and sonic metaphors that make the familiar strange. Radio Healer is particularly interested in the seemingly ordinary semitoic systems that, when observed, become irrational, ineffficient, deceptive, and contradictory. These systems encode assumptions, ideologies in discourses, and dilemmas that concretize the cultural systems that shape notions of reality. The collective's goals are to disrupt these notions by creating environments that provide audiences with opportunities to engage in a heightened sense of criticality about the systems we create, maintain, and adapt. The collective strives to mediate complexity capable of catalyzing public discourse, and to demonstrate indigenous self-determination through an indigenous knowledge systems approach to designs and uses of tools for hacking semiotic systems. Through these goals, Radio Healer performs inclusive re-imagined ceremonies during which the public is invited to reflect on human exigencies and dilemmas tied to obsolescence, acceleration, warfare, borders, hyper-surveillance, land use, cybernetics, market systems, historical amnesia, hi-velocity global multi-nodal networks, and the trans-mediated market valorization of human bodies.

    Radio Healer is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Arizona Commission for The Arts, Artist Research and Development Grant, and is a project in residence at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Radio Healer has performed immersive environments throughout North America, in Australia, and in Namibia. Radio Healer is partners with the Arizona State University, Center for the Art and Science of Teaching, Arizona State University Art Museum, and CALA Alliance.

    Radio Healer acknowledges the important contributions of previous collaborators: Sam Anderson, Robert Esler, Fabio Fernandes, Joe French, J.C. Golding, Zarco Guerrero, Fernando Lino, Aileen Mapes, Meredith Martinez, Ryan McFadden, Jessica Mumford, Stjepan Rajko, Janie Ross, Maritza Montiel Tafur, Lisa Tolentino, Monty Walters, and mac n. zie.

     

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    Bio: Julio Cesar Morales

    By deploying a range of media and visual strategies, Julio César Morales investigates issues of migration, underground economies, and labor on the personal and global scales. Morales works with whatever medium lends itself to a particular project. He has painted watercolor illustrations that diagram human trafficking methods, employed the DJ turntable, produced neon signs, reenacted a famous meal, all to elucidate social interactions and political perspectives.

    Morales’ artwork has been shown at venues internationally, including the Lyon Biennale, France; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Prospect 3 Biennale, New Orleans; the Istanbul Biennale; Los Angeles County Art Museum; the Singapore Biennale; Frankfurter Kunstverein; Rooseum Museum of Art, Malmo, Sweden; Fototeca de Havana, Cuba; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Nordic Watercolour Museum, Skärhamn, Sweden; muca-Roma, Mexico City. In 2016, Museo Carillo Gil, Mexico City will open a solo exhibition of his work.

    His work has been featured in publications, including Flash Art, The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, Art Nexus, and Art in America. His work is in private and public collections including The Los Angeles County Art Museum, The Kadist Foundation, The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, and Deutsche Bank, among others.

    Morales was adjunct professor at The San Francisco Art Institute and associate professor in Curatorial Studies at The California College for the Arts. Morales is an advisor and writer for The San Francisco Quarterly Art Magazine; from 2008 to 2012 he was adjunct curator for visual arts at Yerba Buena Center for The Arts in San Francisco. Morales was a contributing curator for the Japanese pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale and is currently curator of visual arts at Arizona State University Art Museum.

     

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    Bio: Ann Morton 

    After a 35+ year professional career as a graphic/environmental graphic designer, Ann earned her MFA in 2012 from Arizona State University's Herberger Institute - School of Art. Currently, she is a practicing artist and educator at Arizona State University and Paradise Valley Community College in metropolitan Phoenix. Arizona.

     


    Her work has been shown and recognized nationally and internationally – Phoenix Metro area; Tucson; Los Angeles, CA; Golden, CO; Grand Rapids, MI; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Cairns, Australia; Jerusalem, Israel; and Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

     


    The Ground Cover project was selected by the Americans for the Arts, Public Arts in Review for 2014 and received the 2014 Arizona Forward Crescordia award for art in public spaces, and selected Best of Show in the 2015 Surface Design Association international show, Materialities, juried by Namita Gupta Wiggers, American crafts curator, educator and former head curator for the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon.  The Collective Cover Project was selected in the top 5 Juror's picks for the 3D category in the 2012 ArtPrize - Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was awarded the OxBow Residency by Lisa Freiman, former senior curator and chair of the Department of Contemporary Art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art – currently Director for VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art. The Collective Cover Project was featured in a solo exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in 2015-2016.

    Ann's work has been published in FiberArts Magazine, 1000 Artisan Textiles (Quayside Publishing Group), American Craft Magazine, and Surface Design Journal.

     

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    Bio: Karl Petion

    Karl Jean-Guerly Petion uses symbols from Haiti, his country of birth, as well as imagery suggesting the extremes of wealth and poverty which exist there. He holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and an MFA from CalArts. In 2011, he participated in “Debating Through the Arts” at the 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica, and his work was recently exhibited at Lambert Fine Arts in New York.

    Often quoting theoretical texts drawn from Freud, Lacan, Deleuze and others, he refuses any simplistic reading of Voudoun symbology: Marcel Duchamp is stepping on Jean-Michel Basquiat! Petion's depiction of power plays directly invokes the contemporary art scene itself in assemblage and mixed-media sculpture and painting. These pieces issue demands for a new reading of gods and commoners, hope and despair.

     

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    Bio: Daniel Ruanova (bilingual) 

    Daniel Ruanova's irreverent and involved style of border art-making rose to prominence in the later half of the 1990's; his eye-popping statements further cementing his hard-earned reputation as a mischievous, politically-minded experimentalist during Tijuana's exposure boom in the 2000's. Ruanova creates a variety of objects, images and situations that encourage the public to re-think their own position on “everyday politics of aesthetics,” usually focusing in on the pleasures that meaningless violence and aggression create in overindulged societies. He is currently involved in creating greater awareness of border culture, the Mexican diaspora in the United States and vice-versa. 

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    El estilo irreverente y participativo de Daniel Ruanova llegó a prominencia en la frontera como creación artística en la segunda mitad de la década de los 90; sus discursos llamativos consolidaron aún más su reputación merecida como un experimentalista travieso y con mentalidad política durante el auge de la exposición de Tijuana en la primera década del 2000. Ruanova crea una variedad de objetos, imágenes y situaciones que invitan al público a repensar su propia posición sobre "la política cotidiana de la estética", por lo general se enfoca en los placeres que la violencia y la agresión sin sentido crean en las sociedades sobreprotegidas. Actualmente está involucrado en la gestión de una mayor conciencia sobre la cultura de la frontera, la diáspora mexicana en los Estados Unidos y viceversa.

     

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    Bio: Bruce Yonemoto

    Bruce Yonemoto’s work as a video and digital media installation artist, educator, writer and curator (many of the works done in collaboration with his brother, Norman) began in the mid 1970's. The body of single channel video work was created from 1976 to the late 1980's examined the effects of the mass media on our perceptions of personal identity (sexual, ethnic, and political), romantic love, melodramas and soap operas to TV commercials and the electronic metatext (the ultimate products of Hollywood's search for audience identification and manipulation), desired to manipulate audiences while making them aware of that manipulation. Since 1989, his solo work has been exploring experimental cinema and video art within the context of installation, photography and sculpture. He has continually been a strong proponent of the integration of fine arts and media. For the past twenty-28 years he has developed a body work which positions itself within the overlapping intersections of art and commerce, of the gallery world and the television screen. Yonemoto believes that the composition of mass media has become a new historical site of the domination of human behavior.

    His recent work developed with funding from Creative Capital deals with the discovery of the real and poetic convergence between two phenomena specific to Argentina. It is the site of one of the few growing glaciers in the world as well as the last growing Lacanian psychoanalytic practice. His recent photo and video work was developed and produced in Vietnam. He is currently developing a performative project in Taiwan and a project exploring Cinema Novo in Rio de Janeiro. Bruce is currently developing a major work in collaboration with artist, Karen Finley.

    Yonemoto has been honored with numerous awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Maya Deren Award for Experimental Film and Video. In 1999 Yonemoto was honored with a major mid-career survey show curated by Karen Higa at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles Bruce's solo installations, photographs and sculptures have been featured in major one-person shows at the ICC in Tokyo, the ICA in Philadelphia, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Kemper Museum in Kansas City. He has had solo exhibitions at Alexander Gray Gallery, New York, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, Tomio Koyama, Tokyo, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City and his work was featured in Los Angeles 1955-85 at the Pompidou Center, Paris, and the Generali Foundation, Vienna, , the 2008 Gwangju Biennial. Pacific Standard Time, Getty Research Center and most recently an expansive survey show in Kanazawa, Japan.

     

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    Bio: Karen Finley

    Karen Finley is a New York-based artist whose raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has presented and performed her visual art, performances, and plays internationally including at Lincoln Center, Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Theatre Bobino. Her artworks are in several collections and museums including the Pompidou in Paris and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including a Guggenheim Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Art’s Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, two Obies, and two Bessies.New York Times art critic Ben Brantley has praised her work saying “here’s no denying the genuine rage and pain behind her performance, nor her ability to find voices that reflect those feelings in disturbingly visceral ways.”

     

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    Bio: Rembrandt Quiballo

    Rembrandt Quiballo was born in the city of Manila in the Philippines. His family was compelled to leave the country amidst outbreak of revolution. After briefly living in Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands, his family immigrated to the United States. He received a BFA in Painting/Photography and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Arizona. He recently received his MFA in Photography at Arizona State University. Through the moving image, his work explores mass media and its effects on social and political history.

     

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    THE CURATORS

    Bio: Ed Gomez

    Ed Gomez is an artist, curator, and educator who received his BFA in Painting from Arizona State University in 1999 and his MFA in Painting from the Otis College of Art and Design in 2003. Since then he has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally and curating various art exhibitions that deal with the region of California and Mexico as an area of aesthetic production.

    Ed Gomez’s interdisciplinary art practice revolves around the questioning of exhibition practices, institutional framework and historical models of artistic production. In 2006, he co-founded the MexiCali Biennial, a bi-national art and music program addressing the region of the US-Mexico border, which he is currently a director and co-president.  This project serves not only as a curatorial project but also a satirical statement to the abundance of biennials occurring around the globe and the impact they have on the art community.  Mr. Gomez is also the director of G.O.C.A., The Gallery of Contemporary Art, which is a traveling self-contained exhibition space humorously located in his suitcase.  It has showcased emerging and established artists from Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York and Mexico. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at California State University San Bernardino.

    Bio: Luis G. Hernandez

    Luis G. Hernandez is an artist and curator who lives and works between Southern California and Mexicali, Mexico. Hernandez’ aesthetic production consists of sculptures, paintings, drawing, collages, and installations that respond in subtle ways to the space where they are exhibited.  The artist makes provocative, humorous, and many times absurd associations between context, materials, and language, working through these elements as if they were sculptural spaces, and incorporating subject matter that points to art history, politics, and border issues.

    In 2006, Luis G. Hernandez and artist Ed Gomez co-founded the MexiCali Biennial, a non profit that grants exposure to artists and locations often overlooked in the contemporary arts of Southern California and Mexico.  The MexiCali Biennial remains to serve not only as a curatorial/art project, but also as a satirical platform upon which to question the abundance of biennials occurring around the globe and the impact they have on the art community.  The last edition of the MexiCali Biennial took place in 2013 and was held at the Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles; Jaus Gallery, Santa Monica; Mexicali Rose: Centro de Artes/Medios, Mexicali; and Facultad de Artes, UABC, campus Mexicali.

    Solo exhibitions of the artist include: A Temporary Thing, Artere-a, Guadalajara, Mexico (2016); Untitled #53, Proxy Gallery, Los Angeles (2015); Variantes, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, San Bernardino, CA (2012). Recent group exhibitions include: Customizing Language, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2016); Coleccion Elias Fontes: Historia y Relato, El Cubo, CECUT, Tijuana (2016); Punk Povera, WUHO, Los Angeles (2016); REVISION GLOCAL/REVIEW / BEIJING-TIJUANA 2012-2015, Cecut, Tijuana (2015); Acciones Territoriales, Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City (2014).

    Luis G. Hernandez is the current director of Steppling Gallery at San Diego State University-IV Campus. He earned his MFA from Otis College of Art in 2003.

    Bio: April Lillard-Gomez

    April Lillard-Gomez is an independent curator, arts administrator and arts advocate. She has sat on the board of directors and is currently an administrator of the MexiCali Biennial since its inception in 2006. She specializes in grant-writing, media relations and fostering collaborative opportunities between artists and arts organizations. Research topics and curatorial interests include New Americana, the border as a means of aesthetic production and art as protest. Past curatorial projects include Mass Emergencies at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro which focused on crisis and disaster protocols in post-apocalyptic Long Beach and S.O.S. (Save Our States), a traveling exhibition dealing with inter-state relations following the passing of AZ Prop1070.

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    Parables of the Virtual

    Parables of the Virtual. 

    Opening: Saturday, September 17th, 7:00-10:00pm. 

    Artists in the show: James Angel, Lori Fenn, Tovah Goldfine, Mike Jacobs, Lily Montgomery, Dewey Nelson, and Ben Willis.

     

     

    Since the publication of Baudrillard's Simulations and the rise of simulationism in art we have come to accept virutality not only as part of our culture, but also as an increasingly important part of e-commerce, dating, information networks, systems analysis work, scientific projections, health care diagnostics, etc. In other words, we almost no longer know where the virtual ends and the real begins because they are mutually implicated in every aspect of design, art and culture. But just because we are well past our entre into dialogs about the virtual, and nearing its supposed high point with what scientists call the moment of the singularity, this doesn't mean that its naturalization is something we should accept as the status quo. In fact the relations between the virtual and the real are always shifting, or as Deleuze said, the virtual is a line divided by points, and each of these points represents the possibly of a growing divergence with the actual, making potentiality the hallmark of what we call virtuality today. 

     

     

    And it is in this spirit that we examine the works of seven of the valley's most prolific purveyors of virtuality in film, video, dance, performance, painting and sculpture. Whether addressing the submersion of the figure in denaturalized settings, patterns, geometries, or cinematic distortions, Parables of the Virtual seeks to ask questions about how representation functions at the crossroads of concrete referents and immaterial references, both of which are bound by so many different projections of a future anterior to our own, and which seems to have become wholly self-generating as well as infinitely reproducible the world over. The virtual is, afterall, that common substrate of interactivity in all of its given forms, making it the central dispositif of globalization. 

    As such, some of the works in Parables of the Virtual look at the dissonant effects of the production and reproduction of iconicity while other pieces play with the symbolic import of more traditional forms of sign, system and meaning production. Figures and the idea of their disappearance play a central role throughout the exhibition as does the intensification of artifice, color and technological colonization. Genres as different as figuration, abstraction, landscape painting, video art and printmaking are brought together in an effort to understand how artists are pushing those mediums to the edge of their legibility, ultimately playing with mixed media or the post-medium condition as a 'status' that is generally representative of the paradigm of virtuality in art production today. 

     

     

    In other words, Parables of the Virtual proposes that a leveling of medium specificity may also create a conflicted sense of reciprocity between everything real and its mirror image in another medium. Thus, the idea of living a simulacra existence and of the categorical imperative to dive head first into irreal worlds of ever greater depth and complexity is what is at stake in thinking through the implications of contemporary aesthetic experience. Regardless of whether such developments are actually a sign of genuine progress, or simply a symptom of infinite degradability, escapism and diatribes about the utopian impulse, they are now part and parcel of the culture of connectivity. As such, the artists in Parables of the Virtual are addressing some of the central concerns of aesthetic experience today. Despite how conflicted the terrain is that surrounds the idea of the virtual, or how overwrought the debates have become about affect and experience, what the artworks in this exhibition offer is an update to the discourses around dematerialization set forth by Arthur Danto in the eighties, and which continue to gain momentum even today, not to mention the many projected futures we call tomorrow. These images and discourses are not only pictures of a doppleganger reality, but in fact, they are religious experiences of our projected transcendence beyond the human condition. That is why they might be called so many Parables of the Virtual. 

     


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    AfterGlow: Lisa Von Hoffner

     

    The works of Lisa Von Hoffner enter the discourse of fine art by producing a very conflicted notion of space, or rather, they gain their critical purchase by playing with affective delights, subverting bodily pleasures and upending historical references. But how do these seemingly impassable contradictions show themselves in her work? The first, and perhaps most obvious way, is evidenced in how Von Hoffner collides motifs from Opt-Art, the Light and Space movement and Neo-Geo with figurative elements from the baroque period, mainstream illustration and what one might refer to as a 'glitzy' Vegas aesthetic. The second critical element in Von Hoffner's project is that it provides us with a sense of aesthetic distance about themes that have held a place of prominence in the western canon for centuries, such as the idealization of beauty, proportion and mathematical design. This can be seen in the many ways that her figures are 'posed' in various states of undress, moving through her circular framing devices like so many archetypal muses spotlite on stage, and in particular, on a highly artificial stage that reveals the conventions behind the scopophelic impulse. Third, the gestures and compositional choices Von Hoffner makes aim at a critique of pop aesthetics and the drive toward the commodification of form, and especially of forms that are both naturalistic and abstract. Her work does this by exploring the hermeneutics of desire, the encircling of visual entrainment, and the rhetorical use of adornment. In other words, Hoffner's pieces address the idea of style-as-such, or the codification of genres, schools of thought and even certain rendering techniques, ultimately creating a panoply of visual paradoxes that issue from a sense of unlimited permissions. 

    But whether Hoffner's figures are given to us in the act of applying makeup, pealing off their clothes, wandering through virtual environments, or simply challenging the politics of presentment, all of Von Hoffner's images ask questions of us. This is because they are engaged in a dialectics of revealing and concealing, of shimmering surfaces and artificial inlays, of radical abstraction and uneasy realism, where we are left to decode the implicit connections between dissonant categories of form. And the proliferation of these hybrid constructs, which even extends to how Von Hoffner has reformatted the gallery benches, all seam to beg the question: has digital realism subsumed naturalism, and is this condition progressive to the point of erasing the corporeal realities of the body, not to mention the use of more traditional pictorial techniques associated with the conventions of painterly embodiment? 

     

     

    As a response to this much larger set of issues we can say that Von Hoffner's interventions appear to lean in the direction of a kind of self-reflexive repose that makes us stand back to examine the uses and abuses of the figure as both a sign and symbol. This is not only because her format of choice is that of a circle, which is a hermetic allusion to the ouroboros, to cyclical entrapment, to self-devouring tendencies, and to what Freud called the dialectic relationship between repetition and compulsion. And, this isn't just because Von Hoffner often adorns her exhibits with faux teardrops and neon encasements that recall the lurid draw of red light districts the world over, not to mention the pain and alienation suffered therein. And, it's not just because Von Hoffner uses arrow-like geometries to point our attention skyward as well as toward the floor below, ultimately equating the space of the gallery with a kind of materialist purgatory built on examining the drives that circumscribe the libidinal motivations associated with pictorial representation and the re-appropriation of bodies, desires and the dialectics of display. Of course, Von Hoffner's work provides us with a foray into all of these realms of experience, but what is unique to her project is that she does this by playing with so many in-between states where the entire exhibition space is equally activated and wholly resplendent with dancing points of light, feverish chromatic intensities and skin, skin and more skin. 

    And yet, throughout all of these pictorial passions, the real question put forward to us by Von Hoffner's project has to do with understanding the growing levels of abstraction that the female body is subjected to in the early twenty-first century. This is perhaps most directly on display in Hoffner's abstract works which function like glowing gold and silver surfaces, or even as broken mirrors and interlocking puzzle pieces, all of which allow us to reflect on the condition of the artwork in terms of what Melanie Klein referred to as the function of the 'partial object'. And in Von Hoffner's work these partial objects are spread out everywhere, on the floor, leaning against the wall, and even staged within the trappings of theater decor. But more importantly, these material referents point to their psychological correlaries, which is to say, to the piecemeal construction of the psyche as a metaphor for objects relations that include the self, the other and expropriation of intersubjective relations. 

     

     

    Not only that but the halation of glowing neon lights, which attends the abstract works as well as the figurative pieces, only points to the further fetishization of art and the body in the early 21st century. Of course, all of this makes us think that when we enter an exhibition by Von Hoffner that we too are slowly becoming subjects of the 'geometric condition' and the sense of values accorded to capitalist measures, which are anything but equatible. That is because her paintings comment as much on the return to figuration today as they do the neo-aestheticism of the late eighties and 'the return of beauty' in the early nineties, when art became an industry of projected future earnings marketed to the collector class as a way to diversify their portfolio options. In fact, one could say that Von Hoffner's paintings offer us a kind of immanent critique of those commercial conventions as well as the more traditional themes that have dominated figurative painting for the last few hundred years. 

    In this way, Von Hoffner's work points to how the body is perhaps more deeply encoded and overcoded with sign systems, markers, tags, etc., than at any other time in history, and that one of the best ways to understand this phenomenon is through the historical conventions associated with figurative painting. This is because, we are all, in one way or another, constantly inserting our own image into social networks of every imaginable kind, be they work related, for dating, for documenting our day, our likes, our dislikes, our chat room appearances, our blogs, etc. We are all becoming curators of our own image as an object of our personal history, which we paint in rather broad strokes by transforming the record of our lived experiences into the digital footprint of our lives. Rendering a likeness is now a real-time event just as using a filter or making a few adjustments to the image has become a post-painterly practice. Thus, we can say that if the age of mechanical reprodcution allowed the image to become a 'carbon copy' of its former self, engendering a loss of aura, than Von Hoffner's work functions as a paradoxical attempt to bring the singualrity of the image back to a place of prominance by embracing technology, ultimatley juxtaposing what Walter Benjamin would have called an outmoded meduim with the most advanced techniques of the digital age. Only the form of the auratic that Hoffner's work addresses is not just specific to our time but it is transhistorical in the sense that her work embraces thinking about how the female form has often been depicted emerging from a lumnious ether, from disrobed and otherwise disarmed subject positions, or simply how the feminine body has acted as a palette and a surface for so many patriarchial projections.

     

     

    Consequently, we can say that Hoffner's work serves to underscore the fact that the phantasmic construction of femininity has always been subject to the dictates of the virtual since time immemorial, only now it is circulated at a much more rapid pace with variations on every size, type and body shape. In fact, it was Lacan who highlighted the variegated ways that the construction of 'the feminine' consisted of the greatest possible repressions precisely because femininity was the subject of greater symbolic investitures, and it is exactly these kinds of cultural constructs that clearly make up Von Hoffner's appointed target(s). In this way, her works provide us with a space in which to examine notions like allure, glamour, beauty and different types of bodies in a pluralistic context that feels both cross-cultural and meta-historical. 

    While other artists like Kehinde Wiley have done something similar inasmuch as Wiley's images make connections between the implicit language of hand gestures in Renaissance painting and the explicit character or throwing up 'gang signs' today, Hoffner's work goes a step further in its continuity with images that are both past and present. Her work actively seeks out and engages with a more far-reaching set of connections between the body socius, the designs of beautification, and the process of subjectivation. This is because, in adopting motifs from different genres of fine art, and mixing them with a kind of iconography that echoes the recent proliferation of nudes in the work of other contemporary artists like John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage and Jenny Saville, Hoffner is actively producing a series of radical displacements between real and fictional experiences. And, it is this kind of aesthetic intervention that points to the growing problem of evidencing greater and greater degrees of remove from embodied exchange with each passing generation. 

     

     

    Removed from what exactly is the obvious question here but the answer isn't so easy. Removed from real life participation, from authentic relations, or from the idea of presence as the possibility of genuine connection? Perhaps? Or, from self-alienation, aesthetic expectations, and the conflagration of community as 'living' otherwise than what we see projected at us in print, film and commericals? Perhaps. Or, from the endless series of negotiations we call 'living in the real world', in 'real-time' or simply co-habitating as the act of sharing real space together? Perhaps indeed! But all we can really say is that at least this much is clear about Hoffner's work. These are undoubtably the valences around which her imagery operates inasmuch as as the very degree of artifice in Von Hoffner's pieces also suggests that the real remove she is playing at in her work is that of sensate being subtracted from the figurative idioms and the abstract motifs of contemporary life. In other words, Von Hoffner's work adresses the many ways in which we can live at a remove from ourselves as we become subjects of display in the era of remediation, avatars, and so many virtual or 'cosmetic' selves. And of course, her work points to the fact that these kinds of systemic changes in the culture of connectivity are not without an attending loss of dignity, especially when we begin to think about what should be seen and what should remain unseen. The dyads of the personal and the impersonal, the public and the private, the accessible and the inaccessible are now inscribed in what can only be called a permeable barrier that grows ever thinner in the era of big data.  

    Even so, it is not without the use of a deft had and a committed conceptual comport that Hoffner plays our own presuppositions about figurative art against the implications of viewership, visual consumption and the new world of self-documentation. We live in an age of instantaneous portraiture practices, and Von Hoffner's project acts like a status update between the aesthetic discourses of so many futures that are now long past and our present obsessions with the cult of the self, celebutants and the idea of being famous for being famous. Von Hoffner's paintings do this ever so effortlessly, without her work falling prey to becoming raunchy or risqué, which is what allows us to say that she is an emerging artist who is on par with the best working figurative painters in the world today. Not only that, but it is only a matter of time before her confrontation with the cultural imaginary and its symbolic textures will garner Von Hoffner's work a wider audience as well as greater recognition amongst her peers. 

     

     

    Afterall, her images engender a sense of devotion from those who love painting that sits at the crossroads of craft, concept and complexity. That is really what it means to be a devotee of the painted image, and of the spectacular images of the body served up by 'culture' at large from one epoch to the next. We are lucky to have Von Hoffner's works as an ongoing catalog of such changes, of the pressures not only of culturally constructed identities but also of the kind of performativity that gender roles prescribe as a language of presentation and desire. And for that, we owe Von Hoffner a gift of thanks for making the otherwise irrepressible into something wholly re-presentational, and by proxy, into a way of thinking about the relations of the self as a series of di-critical operations in image production. This is, without a doubt, the very condition that circumscribes all human relations because we are dialogic beings, and the way Von Hoffner captures that fact in her reflected and refracted surfaces provides a moment of dialectic contradiction that allows us to think through the implications of visibility in all of its manifest forms. That is the singular achievement of her oeuvre so far, to have given us a picture of pictorial ideation as a suture that combines the logics of representation and abstraction in equal measure, which is a defining theme of living in an era of permeable memes. 

     

    Not only that but the halation of glowing neon lights, which attends the abstract works as well as the figurative pieces, only points to the further fetishization of art and the body in the early 21st century. Of course, all of this makes us think that when we enter an exhibition by Von Hoffner that we too are slowly becoming subjects of the 'geometric condition' and the sense of values accorded to capitalist measures, which are anything but equatible. That is because her paintings comment as much on the return to figuration today as they do the neo-aestheticism of the late eighties and 'the return of beauty' in the early nineties, when art became an industry of projected future earnings marketed to the collector class as a way to diversify their portfolio options. In fact, one could say that Von Hoffner's paintings offer us a kind of immanent critique of those commercial conventions as well as the more traditional themes that have dominated figurative painting for the last few hundred years. 

    In this way, Von Hoffner's work points to how the body is perhaps more deeply encoded and overcoded with sign systems, markers, tags, etc., than at any other time in history, and that one of the best ways to understand this phenomenon is through the historical conventions associated with figurative painting. This is because, we are all, in one way or another, constantly inserting our own image into social networks of every imaginable kind, be they work related, for dating, for documenting our day, our likes, our dislikes, our chat room appearances, our blogs, etc. We are all becoming curators of our own image as an object of our personal history, which we paint in rather broad strokes by transforming the record of our lived experiences into the digital footprint of our lives. Rendering a likeness is now a real-time event just as using a filter or making a few adjustments to the image has become a post-painterly practice. Thus, we can say that if the age of mechanical reprodcution allowed the image to become a 'carbon copy' of its former self, engendering a loss of aura, than Von Hoffner's work functions as a paradoxical attempt to bring the singualrity of the image back to a place of prominance by embracing technology, ultimatley juxtaposing what Walter Benjamin would have called an outmoded meduim with the most advanced techniques of the digital age. Only the form of the auratic that Hoffner's work addresses is not just specific to our time but it is transhistorical in the sense that her work embraces thinking about how the female form has often been depicted emerging from a lumnious ether, from disrobed and otherwise disarmed subject positions, or simply how the feminine body has acted as a palette and a surface for so many patriarchial projections.

     

     

    Consequently, we can say that Hoffner's work serves to underscore the fact that the phantasmic construction of femininity has always been subject to the dictates of the virtual since time immemorial, only now it is circulated at a much more rapid pace with variations on every size, type and body shape. In fact, it was Lacan who highlighted the variegated ways that the construction of 'the feminine' consisted of the greatest possible repressions precisely because femininity was the subject of greater symbolic investitures, and it is exactly these kinds of cultural constructs that clearly make up Von Hoffner's appointed target(s). In this way, her works provide us with a space in which to examine notions like allure, glamour, beauty and different types of bodies in a pluralistic context that feels both cross-cultural and meta-historical. 

    While other artists like Kehinde Wiley have done something similar inasmuch as Wiley's images make connections between the implicit language of hand gestures in Renaissance painting and the explicit character or throwing up 'gang signs' today, Hoffner's work goes a step further in its continuity with images that are both past and present. Her work actively seeks out and engages with a more far-reaching set of connections between the body socius, the designs of beautification, and the process of subjectivation. This is because, in adopting motifs from different genres of fine art, and mixing them with a kind of iconography that echoes the recent proliferation of nudes in the work of other contemporary artists like John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage and Jenny Saville, Hoffner is actively producing a series of radical displacements between real and fictional experiences. And, it is this kind of aesthetic intervention that points to the growing problem of evidencing greater and greater degrees of remove from embodied exchange with each passing generation. 

    Removed from what exactly is the obvious question here but the answer isn't so easy. Removed from real life participation, from authentic relations, or from the idea of presence as the possibility of genuine connection? Perhaps? Or, from self-alienation, aesthetic expectations, and the conflagration of community as 'living' otherwise than what we see projected at us in print, film and commericals? Perhaps. Or, from the endless series of negotiations we call 'living in the real world', in 'real-time' or simply co-habitating as the act of sharing real space together? Perhaps indeed! But all we can really say is that at least this much is clear about Hoffner's work. These are undoubtably the valences around which her imagery operates inasmuch as as the very degree of artifice in Von Hoffner's pieces also suggests that the real remove she is playing at in her work is that of sensate being subtracted from the figurative idioms and the abstract motifs of contemporary life. In other words, Von Hoffner's work adresses the many ways in which we can live at a remove from ourselves as we become subjects of display in the era of remediation, avatars, and so many virtual or 'cosmetic' selves. And of course, her work points to the fact that these kinds of systemic changes in the culture of connectivity are not without an attending loss of dignity, especially when we begin to think about what should be seen and what should remain unseen. The dyads of the personal and the impersonal, the public and the private, the accessible and the inaccessible are now inscribed in what can only be called a permeable barrier that grows ever thinner in the era of big data.  

    Even so, it is not without the use of a deft had and a committed conceptual comport that Hoffner plays our own presuppositions about figurative art against the implications of viewership, visual consumption and the new world of self-documentation. We live in an age of instantaneous portraiture practices, and Von Hoffner's project acts like a status update between the aesthetic discourses of so many futures that are now long past and our present obsessions with the cult of the self, celebutants and the idea of being famous for being famous. Von Hoffner's paintings do this ever so effortlessly, without her work falling prey to becoming raunchy or risqué, which is what allows us to say that she is an emerging artist who is on par with the best working figurative painters in the world today. Not only that, but it is only a matter of time before her confrontation with the cultural imaginary and its symbolic textures will garner Von Hoffner's work a wider audience as well as greater recognition amongst her peers. 

     

    Afterall, her images engender a sense of devotion from those who love painting that sits at the crossroads of craft, concept and complexity. That is really what it means to be a devotee of the painted image, and of the spectacular images of the body served up by 'culture' at large from one epoch to the next. We are lucky to have Von Hoffner's works as an ongoing catalog of such changes, of the pressures not only of culturally constructed identities but also of the kind of performativity that gender roles prescribe as a language of presentation and desire. And for that, we owe Von Hoffner a gift of thanks for making the otherwise irrepressible into something wholly re-presentational, and by proxy, into a way of thinking about the relations of the self as a series of di-critical operations in image production. This is, without a doubt, the very condition that circumscribes all human relations because we are dialogic beings, and the way Von Hoffner captures that fact in her reflected and refracted surfaces provides a moment of dialectic contradiction that allows us to think through the implications of visibility in all of its manifest forms. That is the singular achievement of her oeuvre so far, to have given us a picture of pictorial ideation as a suture that combines the logics of representation and abstraction in equal measure, which is a defining theme of living in an era of permeable memes. 

     

     

    Bio: Lisa Von Hoffner is a contemporary figurative painter from Philadelphia. She received her BFA in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 and her MFA in painting at Arizona State University in 2016. In 2015 she was selected to partake in an artist-in-residence program in Joutsa, Finland where she invoked the richness of contemporary Finnish art to edify her work. Lisa has exhibited extensively in the States and abroad while maintaining representation under Beacon Arts Gallery in Stone Harbor, NJ. Lisa was recently selected as one of only 40 artists out of nearly 1,000 applicants to be published in the New American Paintings MFA Annual.


  •  

    R.J. Ward: Apocalypse A-Go-Go

     

    The recent video works of RJ Ward use different cinematic tropes as their raw working material, which is than transposed into various forms of real-time digital abstraction. Often alluding to lost horizons, targets and grids, Ward's images appear to be in dialogue with painting and the moving image in equal measure. Stretched and contorted, Ward's anthropomorphic pallet issues from slowly twisting and voided referents while his compositional choices make a direct allusion to the distortion of space and time. High key colors emerge in a seemingly spontaneously manner from so many nondescript scenes of iconic film sequences, often giving us the feeling of images run at half or quarter speed. Playing with the erasure of so many itinerant plot points, Ward's video work is both a détourned gesture about absorption-as-distortion as well as a self-referential play of memes that have trafficked in the world of fine art and avant-garde cinema over the course of the last century.

     

     

    Both entrancing and mesmerizing, Ward's interventions harken back to the experimental work done in the late 60s and early 70s which relied on manipulating celluloid images frame by frame. Only Ward has updated this approach to match the constraints of the digital age, making his remediated montages into something of a hyper-self-reflexive loop. When we watch Ward's video works, we are, in a sense, watching a recursive history of formalism and film given over to us through so many psychedelic effects. And, it is not lost on today's abstract painters, that the blur itself, has become a dominant motif in much of contemporary paintings since Richter, or that the course of the twentieth century has been one of increasing vertigo rather than balance and order. Which is to say, it is not only the human world of finance and politics that has become increasingly abstract, but that all life on earth now contends for its place to exist in and amongst the subsumption of capitalist imperatives. But it is not just the theme of abstract motives or the acceleration of disasters that defines Ward's compositional sense but rather, his embrace of op- effects, hard edge lines, and day-glow colors that serve to provide an inerrant sense of visual punctuation to his artistic projects.

     

     

    But what does Ward's recycled cinema tell us about our relationship to re-appropriation, détournement, sampling, remixing and revisiting famous works of historical measure? What does the nearly synaesthetic experience provided by his projects tell us about the twists and turns of narrative constructs in the greater culture of contemporary fine art and film production? What did the politics of liberation and revolution that stretched from French New Wave film to the present, tell us about the matrix of cinematic and post-painterly art practices we find ourselves surrounded by today? And most importantly, is Ward's work properly post-historical inasmuch as it is a form of digital painting or a psycho-geography of filmic sequences that seem to run Godard in reverse, like unearthing what Freud called so many lost or displaced screen memories? And if so, is Ward's archival impulse, or rather, his impulsive archival interventions, caught up in a dialectics of the repressed and the irrepressible, the auteur and the artist as author, the single still frame and the reversibility of the real-time image?

    Undoubtably, Ward's work is all of these in smaller and greater measure. His is a trompe l'oeil effect based on capturing the bravura and cinematic scale of high modernism as so many images of transit, transposition and superimposition. It is, what the art critic and film theorist Richard Dienst would have called a 'still life in real time', an ipso-facto replay of the image machine that not only went on producing pictures because the spectacle of it all had become a value unto itself, but also because the ineluctable modalities of montage became the ground of valuation in the art world and mass commerce alike. And, this idea of self-reflexivity, or of value as a system of relational signifiers, has only become that much more free-floating in the era of hyper-capital.

     

     

    This next to that, one moment against another, one artist overcoming the cult status of a deified director, as well as the never ending debates about medium specificity and post-studio production... all of this has something to do with the 'production value' of art as a montage of sorts that is forever split between the rear and front-garde, in both industry and the industrialized practices of producing fine art. In other words, Ward is giving us so many allegories about the nature of avant-garde practice rolled into divisionist segments, targeted projections, abstract gestures, graphic zips, essentialist geometries and contorted compositions, such that we begin to lose any stable sense of pictorial perspective. And this, in a sense, is the very condition we are all confronted with in the age of remediation, where we no longer think of the readymade as an original thing to be manipulated but as an object of previously encoded meanings and infinitely degradable data transfer. Unlike film and the photograph, which carried the trace of the real within an analogue world, the digital age is a period of unrestricted reproducibility. As such, we are all living in an era of reproducible referents without end, where works such as Ward's play with transference not just as a type of pictorial technique but also as a manifestation of counter-transference that offers us another set of projections for analysis.

     

     

    In this way, Ward's contribution to the contemporary moment is to have given us a fusion of figure and ground, of style and content, and dare I say, of a kind of jouissance in seeing the cinematic image flattened out and stretched to the very limits of recognition, ultimately working two dimensions of experience against each other in a dazzling display of chromatic theatrics. Part special effects, part visual paradox, Ward wants to create a riddle about presence and place that the viewer has to unfold within the temporal constraints of what is offered up as a sample, a slice, a cut and even a delicacy of cinema vérité or what might be more aptly referred to as cinema variable. Of course, such a selection and condensation of experience leaves us with more than a few questions about the destiny of the mediated image. And perhaps, that is the contemporary purchase of Ward's works, which are engaged as much with affective pleasures as they are warped forms and reconfigured spaces. Ward's pieces are, after all, a meditation of sorts on inhabiting space, both in avant-garde practice and in the greater world of the abstract imaginary.

     

     

    Or rather, we could say that his most recent works are a means of charting the abstract imaginary of artistic production that was co-extensive with the rise of the society of spectacle and which still holds sway over our culture today as we enter a period of total absorption, scripted spaces and immersive aesthetics. Only Ward's use of images from a film icon like Godard begs the question of how we can get back to the real in an era of inverted perceptions, where virtual participation has begun to supersede corporeal relations, where interactions have been replaced by transactions and where meeting face to face is being commuted into interfacing. Here, Ward's images present us with an allegory of dissonant registers, of time-lapse and looping effects gone awry, and of the power of the image as it tarries between disintegrative and representational affects. In other words, Ward's works are a kind of commentary on Western culture as it turns to face it own image in the early twenty-first century, a century that has to contend with dissociative affects as much as it does integrative editing, and where the pictures we are left with may be the measure not only of our time, but of how time was constructed in the aesthetic dimension of art discourse that was once known as avant-garde art practice. 

     

     

    Bio:  RJ Ward received a BA in Film/TV from UCLA and an MFA in Studio Art from UC Irvine. He’s a synaesthetic researcher and the founder of film/sound collective Barbwire Cloud. He has worked as a screenwriter at various film studios and TV networks, as a musician/composer and an FM radio DJ. He’s shown his video and sound works at the Room Gallery, LA County Museum of Art, Laguna Beach Museum, Art Ark and many other venues. 



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