ARTIST INTERVIEW: JUSTIN JOHN GREENE

Red Room - acrylic and oil on canvas, 36" x 60" 2009

Los Angeles has always held a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans, but for most it exists in an almost fictional capacity.  Hollywood isn’t a real place – it’s a postcard, a huge sign on the side of a mountain bracketed with strategically placed palm tree silhouettes.  Certainly not a place to call home, but for artist Justin John Greene that’s exactly what it is.  Hollywood is a part of his heritage, and the work reflects that.  Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Greene’s work is strongly imbued with the history of the most romanticized industry in American culture.  In his most recent solo show at Actual Size (an exhibition space he co-runs in the Chinatown gallery district of east L.A.) the influence of the film industry is in full focus.  You Oughta Be In Pictures is a comprehensive installation that utilizes painting, sculpture, and video to create a truly immersive experience for the viewer.  Installation may seem like a bit of a leap from Greene’s primarily two dimensional practice, but a closer look into the artist’s process bridges the gap seamlessly.  His work is a distinctly enjoyable blend of sly historical references, direct compositional tactics, and cleverly applied humor.  If you have the opportunity to see the work in person I strongly encourage you to do so.

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