Radical Friend is a directorial duo comprised of Kirby McClure and Julia Grigorian, which makes colorful music videos, commercials, and films that literally rock your socks off. By combining their obvious love for the wildest aesthetics of the late 70’s and early 80’s with the modern technology of interactivity, Radical Friend have been the only ones to really push the boundaries of how to even conceive of, let alone execute promotional standards like the music video. Their uniqueness is seriously unmatched and while a majority of people may not understand what they’re doing now, they will soon be immersed in the kind of things that Radical Friend probably dreamt of years ago. To get a small taste of Radical Friend’s world, I suggest you watch the pieces in this article and then play around with THIS interactive Black Moth Super Rainbow extravaganza.
Not only was Brad Elterman always present at the right time and the right place, but he also has a story to tell about every moment he captured with his camera. From nearly getting beaten up by Robert Plant’s roadies for getting a shot of the singer in his briefs playing soccer, to the moment Joan Jett flicked him off and thus allowed him to get one of the most quintessential late 1970’s images of rock n’ roll. He’s still shooting like crazy and if you follow him on Tumblr, where he’s quite the sensation, you can check out all of his great photos of yesterday as well as today. Brad Elterman’s photographs will also be on display at Kana Manglapus Gallery in Venice Beach from June 28th – September 10th.
Rebecca Manson sent me a text message not too long ago with an image of a unicycle she had just sculpted and an accompanying message that read, “Here’s a sneak peek, his name is Peter.” It was adorable and part of an exhibit she had created at CSULB. But then moments later my phone rang, “Daniel” she said in horror, “the main sculpture in my exhibit just broke.”
Joshua Petker has taken a leap of faith so brave that most artists would rather cower at their easels for an infinitum than ever attempt. Yet, he has not only landed successfully, but also staked his claim on an entirely new ground of possibilities, which proves that one can always reinvent themselves whilst still staying true to their initial spirit. After roughly 4 years of painting the exquisite portraits of women he has come to be known for, he has almost entirely exchanged it all for a deeper, richer, and much more personally satisfying subject matter. So, when you walk through the gallery doors at LeBasse Projects in Culver City, you’re not greeted by a woman, but rather a shipwreck. A metaphor that ignites your imagination into so many realms that it’s impossible to choose simply one, since your eye will follow the ship as it circles round a blackened sphere with a rim of color — entrancing you into a deep meditation. However, the most awesome and powerful piece to me was that of a monster storming out from behind an apple tree. It’s face, drafted in an impressionistic rendering of fat colored lines bursting from a beige canvass. Joshua Petker has done what many would consider to be the impossible, so bravo Joshua, bravo!
Ariana Papademetropoulos’ long last name may be the very thing that inspires her mystic paintings. Or, at least that’s just what I’d like to believe. I saw her work during CalARTS’ open studios and it was definitely some of my favorite stuff on display. Especially, since it deals with spiritualism in a way that’s remarkably beautiful. Just look at her paintings of crystals that have hidden reflections of women and symbols, which can entrance the viewer into a reflective stare. There’s much more going on in Ariana’s work than one’s initial glance.
Mark Todd is an illustrator based out of Los Angeles who’s revered as a mystical figure in the world of zines. His booths are always the most presentable and his work has this well-balanced dichotomy of childlike proportions and lucid clarity, which makes for a fun finished product. When he draws people, like he did in his book BAD ASSES, they not only look like perfect personifications of their originals, but also give off this nostalgic vibe as well. It’s like he’s able to channel the innocent energy of the kid in grade school who was the best artist in the class, while also being able to back it up with a vicious stealth attack. I mean, you try drawing someone random like Geraldo Rivera, getting a stranger to recognize it without giving them any hints, and then repeating it with others — so now the strangers not only recognize your subjects, but also your own style as an artist as well. Mark is a busy guy and when he isn’t influencing the crap out of young minds at Art Center or working on a commercial project, he and his wife, Esther Pearl Watson, run the publishing company Fun Chicken.
Floyd Grey is a fashion illustrator from Kuala Lumpur who is able to draw both from the realms of the real as well as the fantastic. His light lines of proportion sometimes give way for big-eyed girls holding daggers and dressed for adventure. However, his traditional pen and ink renderings [which I assume are done digitally] of beautiful women in designer clothes are his real expertise. The truth is in the eyes of each one of his figures, since they are illustrated in such a gorgeous way that I’m sure it makes the actual models blush every time they see them.
Michelle Devereux’s drawing of a rad rollerblading alien took us all by the heartstrings when it was rampantly shared via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter earlier this year. But before seeing the piece in person at New Image Art, it was impossible to grasp the scale, which is really impressive and bigger than I had initially imagined. In actuality, the drawing is a couple feet tall and has an awesome and subtle texture of colored pencil, which was masked by the digital imaging of the work. The rest of her pieces in the exhibit featured wonderful celebrations of nostalgic-retro-futurism and celebrity crushes, which anyone who grew up in the 80’s or 90’s will find themselves irresistibly attracted to.