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.
I feel like most people dream of falling in love one day, but what if that day turns into a year – and then another? What if the act of falling in love becomes an all-consuming force that necessitates the creation of your own color-coded language? What if your name is Michelle Jane Lee, and this series of ‘what ifs’ has actually been your life for the last three years? The end result of that experience might resemble a thirty-foot love letter and a mountain of other drawings representing your unmentionable thoughts and desires for a woman that would ultimately come to reject you. A hard pill to swallow for most, but Lee seems undeterred in her pursuit of the unattainable. After all, true obsession is captivating – for both artist and audience in this case. Her work is incredibly personal, absolutely honest, and exceptionally beautiful. If you are in or around Los Angeles on April 7th - I recommend that you attend the opening reception of her most recent solo exhibition at Gallery 3209.
Nicholas Alan Cope is a photographer based in Los Angeles. Aside from heavy commercial engagements, he creates wonderful, stark pictures that turn the mundane into extraordinarily arresting figures of motion and texture. He’s recently collaborated with Dustin Edward Arnold (see above image), and the results are mind-blowing. See Cope’s personal work and more Arnold collabs after the jump.
Los Angeles artist Deedee Cheriel explores narrative and conflict in her paintings, drawing influence from the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, east Indian cultures, temple imagery and the punk rock scene. Her works are filled with horse headed figures encountering any number of strange creatures from humans with bird heads, to mammoth sized owls, bears and magical beings. Each piece draws you farther into her unique world with everything turned inside out, but somehow making total sense.
This coming Saturday (Jamuary 22nd), Geoffrey Todd Smith opens up Casual X @ Luis De Jesus. Using the letter X as a jump -off point for his newest suite of paintings, Smith serves up a helping of beautifully big-balled geometric abstraction. More jams after the jump…
I first met Robbie Conal back in 2001 when B/D was just a part time hobby run out of my bedroom. He was one of the first LA artists that I met, and we immediately hit it off. Fast forward a decade, now Robbie is a great friend of mine, and a loyal Cult Of Decay supporter. He is the type of artist that gives his time, energy, and sharp wit to anyone and everyone without thinking about what they can do for him. Over the years we’ve featured Robbie on our cover (you can get a copy here), included him in shows we’ve curated, released videos about his work, and had him write an amazing article about his painting mentor and hero Leon Golub (You can get a copy of that issue here). Needless to say we back him 200%.
Robbie is having a much deserved show opening this week in LA at Country Club. If you’re a fan of what we do at Beautiful/Decay then you must go to this show to support the original King of Postering, and the ultimate Mad Man of Paint. If you’ve only seen his work on the street then this show will be a true eye opener, as all of Robbie’s posters are actually prints of paintings with hundreds of layers of rich paint. So join me, the rest of the B/D team, and help celebrate one of LA’s great artistic treasures.
Robbie Conal:The Missing Link
November 20th-December 22nd 2010
Opening Reception: November 20th 6-9pm
@ The Buck House
805 South Genesse Avenue
LA, CA 90036
We had written about the powerful duo photographer Zoren Gold, and graphic artist Minori Murakami back in May of this year. Now they are back with some new additions to their editorial section and it is just as packed with their wonderfully strong sense of collaborative design as before.
I am really enjoying Los Angeles-based artist Adam Tullie’s recent portfolio of drawings. He uses painstakingly intricate mark-making to create simple shapes, hinting at tribal masks. Adam Tullie recently featured his work in San Francisco, I may just have a friend of mine over there pick up a few of his show’s postcards for my wall.