December 5, 2015 - January 24, 2016
East Gallery & Education Gallery
Top of Stairs & Jewel Box Gallery
Wells Fargo Gallery
(Dec 5 - Jan 8, 2016)
(Jan 8 - Jan 24, 2016)
Justin Bower: Thresholds
San Francisco native Justin Bower paints his subjects as de-stabilized, fractured post-humans, a person or entity that exists in a state beyond being human, in a nexus of interlocking spatial systems. His paintings juxtapose how individuals define themselves in this digital and virtual age and the impossibility of grasping such a slippery notion. Bower compares his use of paint to an instrument of dissection and inquiry into the idea of the body as an original prosthetic subject. Flesh acts as the complex layer of biological boundary from externalized technologies; all the while revealing that the same externalized technologies are already inside the body. Bower paints his subjects in a world where humanity and materiality are interwoven symmetrically, where the purity of human nature is being replaced by new forms of creation and evolution. His paintings are influenced by today’s culture that privileges patterns of information by using optical art configurations as the context for most of his artwork. Bower’s paintings open a dialogue of the destabilizing effect and trauma technology has on the individual. He shows this through the technique of doubling features - multiple eyes, spliced noses, melting mouths – and a whiplash-like motion invoked in his abstract expressionist process.
Bower received a Bachelor Degree in Art and Philosophy from the University of Arizona and his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Claremont Graduate University. Since receiving his MFA, Bower’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Ace Gallery in Beverly Hills, Unix Gallery in New York City, and has been part of a group show at Patrick Painter and many international exhibitions. Bower has been the recipient of several awards, among those the Feitelson Fellowship Grant and the Joan Mitchell Award. His artwork has been published by Art Forum, New American Paintings, American Art Collector, Bl!sss Magazine, Modern Painters, Artillery Magazine and the LA Times.
Ronic Stretch: Not Vanity
Roni Stretch has pioneered the dichromatic process, exploring photorealistic under-paintings that emerge ghost-like from a void of color. His dichromatic oil paintings are meticulously created by executing a layering process whereby two different colors are alternately applied and built up over many weeks. The subjects play against a sharply lined border intended to ground each painting in the physical and force a visual meditation. The image is not so much painted over as optically embedded within the multiple layers of the alternating colors. Stretch’s work is a lesson in contradictions: photorealism and abstraction, light and dark, reality and altered states, smooth and rough textures all ultimately leading to an emotional experience.
British artist Roni Stretch grew up in St. Helens, Mereyside, England where he attended the St. Helens College of Art and Design. Stretch has been exhibited throughout California including shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art at the Geffen Contemporary Museum, the Westmont Museum of Art in Santa Barbara and the Cooperstown Museum in New York. His work has recently been included in the permanent collections of the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Museum of California Design, the Cooperstown Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Austin Young: To Be Determined / TBD The Musical
“I am fascinated by identity. Who am I? Who are you? How do we arrive at these conclusions? We all have stories about growing up, making friends and our first loves. These experiences form our relationship to the world and ourselves. Our fears and experiences solidify our identities and make them real. If our identity becomes fixed, it can keep us in a box. Some of us never stop wishing we were something other or more. I continually talk myself out of doing things. For example, I always wanted to make a musical but my fear got in the way. So, recently, I decided to just set up the dates and announce it. I invited the public to join in for a series of workshops where they shared their stories and experiences around the topic of identity and ‘coming of age.’ The call was heard by many amazing people and LA-based artists as we collectively placed emphasis on radical authenticity and spontaneous creativity. For this show at MOAH, I recreate my studio in the gallery, showing behind-the-scenes footage, intimate coming of age stories, notes, photos and final edited scenes from the musical in progress. In short video interviews, participants delve into the stories that formed their identities then sing or act them out in this unusual and revolutionary musical experience.” -Austin Young
Austin Young is a photographer and trans media artist. Young has been documenting pop and sub-culture since 1985 through portraits. Young confuses personality and identity issues in confrontational and unapologetic image-making of people who often mix gender roles or otherwise confound stereotypical constraints of socially-constructed identities. In addition to photography and filmmaking, Young is co-founder of Fallen Fruit, a contemporary art collective established in 2004 that uses fruit as a material for projects that investigate the hyper-synergistic qualities of collaboration.
Young's video works explore pop-culture, celebrity, gender and identity. TBD The Musical explores the new realm of performance, installation, video and public participatory art. Through a series of workshops, Young invites the public to co-create this project alongside him, sharing stories and experiences around the topic of identity and “coming of age.” In turn, he creates an ongoing, experimental, collaborative musical that emphasizes radical authenticity and spontaneous creativity. Young brings individuals who are pushing boundaries in their respective disciplines together, including musicians, dancers, fashion designers, singers, drag queens and the public. As new collaborations take place, scenes are added to TBD The Musical, as well as the documentary and exhibition of behind the scenes footage, photography and notes.
Shana Mabari: Diametros Petals
Shana Mabari is an American contemporary artist working in Los Angeles. Working through the intersections of art, science and technology, Mabari orchestrates light, reflection, color contrast and geometry with the intent to play with and expand the reality and experience of physical space. Through her sculptures, installations and environments, she investigates the ways in which worldly stimuli and phenomena are absorbed and processed through sensory and visual perceptions. Mabari is part of the continuum of the Light and Space movement, which originated in California in the 1960s. Science has fueled her artwork, leading her to collaborate with world renowned scientists at the Institute of Neuroinformatics in Zurich, Switzerland.
Shana Mabari was born in Los Angeles, California. She has traveled extensively and lived in Paris, Northern India and Tel Aviv. Her education includes studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She holds a patent for the design of “Dynamic Spatial Illusions,” a portable version of a visual and sensory experimental environment. She is a recipient of the Center for Cultural Innovation ARC grant. She has exhibited work in the United States and internationally.
Laura Larson: Grace and Glory
Laura Larson grew up in Chicago surrounded by the influence of the Chicago Imagists, a group of artists that were known for representational work that drew references outside of fine art. Her work reflects the dual interests of story-telling and theatrical production – the building blocks for her consistent interest in sculptural installations and narrative Tableau. In the late 1970s Larson moved to Los Angeles where she became a member of a collaborative group of women and men, working with Judy Chicago to create The Dinner Party, a controversial, ground–breaking feminist art piece rendered in porcelain, china painting, textiles and embroidery, recognizing significant women in history who were forgotten or under–recognized. Over the last 10 years Larson’s work has touched on two topics: our relationship between nature and our animal co-inhabitants; and investigations of the cultural, historical and spiritual through lines of the female trinity: mind, body and spirit. Completed through three different bodies of work, Grace and Glory will be the final part of Larson’s trinity.
Larson states: “This serial investigation examines the cultural, historical and spiritual through–lines of the effects of religion – Christianity in particular – on women. Its genesis was my reaction to the Getty Center’s exhibition “Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture.” While Bernini’s gorgeous busts glorified popes, cardinals and kings, I wanted to re-imagine the exhibit by flipping the gender to female – shifting the focus from power and piety to grace and glory, celebrating historical (mythical) women who have shown grace under pressure and who have been bestowed or sought glory for their actions.
This series has been created in opposition to the Baroque artists’ “dazzling virtuosity” and their ability to create a "speaking likeness" from the intractable medium of stone. The faces of these women are made of immobile Styrofoam wig heads. However, each head is treated in a different way to exemplify their life’s situation using various mediums such as paint, modeling epoxy/resin, paper mache, fabric, leather, or beads. The bust in general personifies the woman in a symbolic, rather than expressive way. The materials used have associative powers such as black and white leather gloves, which become hair and headpiece for the Queen of Sheba, and handkerchiefs collected over a lifetime, which become a bouquet of roses for Aimee Semple McPherson."
Laura Larson has exhibited her work extensively throughout Southern California, and has shown her work internationally. In 2004, she received the Artist Resource for Completion Grant from the Durfee Foundation. Larson graduated from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, receiving a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in fine art and theatre arts.
Leigh Salgado: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Leigh Salgado’s sculptural drawings incorporate an organic yet precise process through cutting paper by hand and burning some parts of the composition along with the use of ink and paint. These labor-intensive finished pictures are of abstracted imagery that occasionally morph into recognizable subject matter including lace, lingerie, netting, fabric, clothing patterns and original woven abstractions. Salgado’s current work includes an ongoing interest in subjects and forms that have associations developed during her girlhood and womanhood.
Salgado states: “What drives me: Attraction to patterns, fabric, fashion objects, elaborate ornamentation and respect for labor. My work is about persistence in spite of the impossibility of perfection. My memories, experiences and women who have formed my worldview are present in the work.”
Leigh Salgado received her Bachelor’s Degree in painting, sculpture and graphic arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master’s Degree in clinical art therapy from Loyola Marymount University. After practicing art therapy professionally for several years, she renewed her fine art studies at Santa Monica College of Design in Art and Architecture. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally.
Tina Dorff: Human Story Told
“Some emotive narratives in these paintings can be quite obvious, but most are undercurrents of a story told by the figure. My painting themes run the gamut from darkly emotive to lovely trickeries on canvas. Watch the playful antics of the fuzzy headed girl naked and chatting with a figurine. If you listen carefully the woman in the blue shirt will tell you her special tale. There is a woman standing on a half shell reaching out to you because the self-shame is killing her. Turn again and you see a naked nymph lazing in the grass under the breeze of a fan. The black sweaty torso of a soldier reaching up to the skies in despair on those awful human decisions made. Then there is the 21st century knock off of an Ingres countess with her black lace dress and blank stare.” – Tina Dorff
Tina Dorff’s oil paintings delve into emotional narratives taken from personal experiences and external observations. She uses canvas as a journal and release. Growing out of years of emotional turmoil and disappointments, Dorff uses her work to access emotions and establish a bridge to the outside world. Most of her models are close friends or family, Dorff feels fortunate to have models with a sharp insight into painting. For her, the relationship between the model and painter is powerful and to be cherished, she states “there is always a story behind my faces.” She hopes that when viewers take in her art their sense of reality will be altered for that viewing time and that they can relate to it. She states “I tell my stories through the painted figure for you to interpret...and now it is your story.”
Dorff studied at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Hussian School of Art and received an Associate of Science degree from Temple University. Her work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally. She currently lives and works in Lancaster.
Ted Meyer: Scarred for Life
Ever since he was a small child with a serious illness, Ted Meyer has mixed art and medical images as a way to understand his experiences. Through his art he highlights the emotional impact of pain and healing on everyday people—patients, families and medical personnel. When medical treatments improved his own situation as an adult, Meyer began to work with other survivors of traumatic health issues. Scarred for Life is a multi-faceted project that includes printing on paper from the subject’s body, interviewing the participants about their experiences and photographing the process. The resulting, ever-expanding, presentation of monoprints, narratives and photographs has received press coverage from the New York Times, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. Scarred for Life, has been exhibited nationally, including at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C., New York University School of Medicine, Bravard Museum of Art in Melbourne, Florida, the Museum of Art and Culture in New Rochelle, New York, and at Sierra College in Rocklin, California and Biola University in La Mirada, California. Meyer has lectured on art and health at Yale University, New York University and UCLA.
Ted Meyer is an artist and designer living in Los Angeles. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University. He is owner of and principal designer at Art Your World, a full-service design studio. He is currently an Artist in Residence at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine and Visiting Scholar at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C. Ted has exhibited his paintings and photographs internationally, including at the Chicago Art Institute, the United Nations in New York City, in Osaka, Japan and Istanbul Turkey.