First Run Through LA Galleries

The sensations of journeying arose as the sun began lowering behind buildings in preparation for Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk. Food trucks parked in lots and stretched down the streets preparing for a busy night. Before the eyes were fed with what the destinations on the map were delivering, a pastelito by VCHOS Food Truck with chicken and carrots swathed in a creamy sauce all beneath a crispy folded and pinched then fried circle of masa gave much needed fuel. The fairly large parking lot was only a block or two from the concentration of pedestrians trickled onto the sidewalk.

After inhaling and coming to terms with not drinking the remaining salsa, the studio of Miguel Osuna was the first stop coming from the north end of Spring Street. Inside canvases lined up like books as tall as the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the 4th Street intersection. The artist’s technique with a rubber palette and with the exactitude of a ballpoint pen elicited a serpentine dance effect in grand proportions. Choices in color and use of light were like laying eyes upon a thick ribbon flowing through winds.

Howard Griffin Gallery was the next destination where Broken Fingaz landed in Los Angeles from Haifa, Israel using sharp and bold characters with form nodding to Japanese Shunga art. A rectangular fixture with comic book strip layout blared perhaps a message on regression while serving as a comedic shield with a blinding bulb illuminating a regressive birth of a mustachioed bald man. While several other depictions of statuesque focal points filled the gallery, the sun hadn’t completely gone away so the journey continued down Spring Street.

Just outside of Le Petit Paris Boutique, a craftsman of stationary by the name of Hundred Acre Works displayed an assortment of cards. Juxtaposition was the theme, which used tranquil landscapes as background for humorously compromising situations among characters like Batman and Wonder Woman. A few steps south was a painter whose gift with acrylic gave the illusion of being created with oil pastels.

It was off to a nomadic start and I couldn’t help but feel thankful for the space I live and very aware of those whose crafts(wo)manship was indoors and outdoors were connected to the transient phenomena of this coast. After another intersection, Art Walk Lounge had people crowding inside and spilling out so I made my way through a narrow passage leading to an enclosed and brightly lit space at the opposite end. On the way stood Urks Design presented digitally enhanced portraits of models whose porcelain skin fanned into floral accouterments and broken ceramic graphics.

Deeper in the lounge was the octagonal chamber where paintings by Diego Cardoso gave a perspective of movement through a city in consistent evolution. His paintings resembled photographs inspired by decades of planning land use, housing/redevelopment and transportation in Los Angeles. Telephone wires lining the sidewalks where bicyclists and dog walkers were bystanders of busy traffic was one of many vivid snapshots he painted. When I pulled the Art Walk map out to check for my next destination, the very same piece was used for this month’s promotional map and pamphlet.

Closest to the Lounge was the Gloria Delson Contemporary Art Gallery, one of the featured galleries of the month, which hosted the riveting “Femme Fatales” on display just two weeks before the August Art Walk. The title for this run was “Double Vision” and cohesion in doubles or more seemed to be a prevalent theme of the gallery’s opening. Closest to the windows were fine oil canvases highlighting glass texture in its uniform yet curving complexity by Mark Brosmer. Judy Gittelsohn left a message of perspective with “Something Cup” and “Nothing Cup” with a warm color scheme.

In the furthest portion of the gallery, I was struck by three rectangular pieces by Fran Santelli because the marriage of acrylic and collage formed a curious delivery begging for more details from the artist. “Reading Rainbow” held hand-painted geometric fantasies of colors and shapes forming symbiotic rhythms in front of a starry night sky. Excitement flooded when I crossed paths with the artist upon exiting the square space with her work exclusively on one wall. It was she who clarified what seemed like collaging was in fact her own ability to fine-tune the use of a brush while giving a textural and vibrant appeal.

As people flocked to her work, I bid her farewell and luck with selling to patrons of the gallery but the ambiance of The Hive Art Gallery and Studios felt like the most appropriate endpoint of the walk. The vast assortment of artists filled narrow allotments of wall space with respective eyes for detail. Meeting DavidR XV after catching a glimpse of his work prior to the event was as much a surprise as meeting Ryan Patterson whose eye for detail went as far as accentuating the eyelashes of his female model with clumps of mascara caught in the eyes framing porcelain skin and a perfect bone structure. Fusions of bold graphics and timeless black and white oils of cinematic poses by Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass left the heart warm and full as passers continued in and out of the gallery and through the streets of downtown Los Angeles.

Magnetism of a Muse

Photo courtesy of Robert Sestok
Photo courtesy of Robert Sestok

In a portrait of Detroit muse Andrea Perez, Robert Sestok highlights a stoic poise with a method contrasting bold colors and textures across many submissions for the Big Paintings exhibit at The Factory of 333 Midland. Black lines amplify shadows, clothing, demeanor and tattoos but force speculation as to what inspired Sestok to create this enormous piece. The answer: body art.

When Andrea first decided to mark a revolution of body and mind, it was on a walk-in basis and she left after forty minutes with fresh ink and in a tizzy of her next tattoo. The process of conceptualizing and acquiring tattoos to cope with life’s chaos became an insatiable craving, which Andrea took great care to satisfy. Although the urge did not subside, she was keen on selecting creators based on merit, which guided her to a variety of talented individuals who have left their mark on the canvas of Andrea’s body.

Photo courtesy of Robert Sestok
Photo courtesy of Robert Sestok

Artist Alana Robbie—who relocated to Portland, Oregon—fashioned El Corazón in Chicago in honor of Andrea’s father and her Mexican heritage as the image mimicked a playing card of lotería, which is a popular game resembling bingo. Matt Lambdin was another image-maker who was fortunate to experience Andrea’s influence after studying art at College for Creative Studies. Creating a likeness of the Mexican painter was outside Lambdin’s comfort zone but after gaining Andrea’s trust with the direction of his three other tattoos, something about her tactics of eliciting exceptional work influenced an accurate yet distinct representation of Kahlo. In addition to the portrait of Kahlo, he also fashioned depictions of a pigeon, bee, and a rose compass.

Enchanting the minds of people who sharpen their inventive blades happens very naturally but the Ferndale resident’s professional life entails delving into her love of books—also illustrated on her body through effervescence of hardcovers—as a facilitator of library sciences in Westland. Although she was uncertain about posing as the subject of a grand painting, it wasn’t until after she accepted Sestok’s invitation when Andrea realized the significance of participating in Detroit’s art community—the same community in which Sestok has remained an admirable proponent.

Photo courtesy of Robert Sestok
Photo courtesy of Robert Sestok

As his time is not exhausted on working with his fascinating muse, Sestok has been developing City Sculpture, which will comprise a retrospective of his work on Alexandrine near the Lodge Freeway. When he spoke of his plans for the sculpture park, permanency resonated brilliantly and justifiably for an artist who has witnessed and participated in a broad scope of transitions in Detroit. During our conversation, the idea of a larger than life sculpture of Andrea arose, to which Sestok’s energy shifted with excitement beneath his opaque lenses. It completely verified Andrea’s power as a creative provocateur.

with Ghesquière in mind

As a new month begins, making transitions
between cities, embarking on journeys of
professional and artistic endeavors, or
progression with relationships one has with
others, while finding centered moments and
learning to thrive with a third guiding force
of intuition on not only significant matters
but sustaining peace and helping others
achieve the same awareness, seems like
exceedingly practical goals to accomplish.
These days many people seem to be
overextending their skills because they can
identify elements in need of support while
accomplishing requirements of one’s position
but are unmet with support from superior
authorities of seemingly less creativity-inclined
mindsets. The interview with Nicolas Ghesquière
proved the vitality of recycling the feeling of
empowerment within a place of work.

What was clear was the disintegration of
language juxtaposing the eerie immediacy
of information, which one cannot refute
as a sort of ambiguity in establishing
how one can grow when the original
responsibilities of one’s occupation
no longer carry the same intensity while
moments of reflection demonstrate the
cloudiness masks an abusive demand for
one’s skills. Is this the plight of all
creative entities? Perhaps, however, as
aggressively as the wind pushes against
bare tree branches, it seems one must
navigate through cumbersome hierarchies
in pursuit of support for successful
achievement with exceptional stamina in
order to overcome rigidity of tradition.
I wonder how long it will take for Playboy
to move beyond the impediments posed in Goa.
If change incites skepticism from occupied
positions of power, how do creative gusts
of wind garner enough momentum to motivate
a wholesome and effervescent evolution?

finding a voice

“The way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea, the memory of all that, no, they can’t take that away from me.”

As this song drifts in my mind, I can’t help but think about how to show an interest in the Charlotte culture when I have so many memories of the past floating in my mind’s eye. Everywhere I look, thoughts race through my brain and make no sense as I try to slow the stream. It’s like I’ve reverted to the days I scribbled notes of madness in the journal given to me by my brother as a gift a few years ago. I can’t help but smile and chuckle a little bit because avoiding the mess of contemplation no matter how hard I try to organize my thoughts is rarely a possibility. The pursuit of fulfilling employment has proven vital the organization of thoughts as I search for a space of my own where I can thrive in finding a voice in literary mumbo jumbo.

Twas the night before…too dated and season specific.
As I find myself sitting…too existential.
In all of my days, one never seemed so…I’m onto something.
Slow movement in the right direction never hurt a soul except for the impatient…closer.
Begin with a J and continue with the medicine of frivolous behavior…so I’m Mary Poppins?
Scribble some notes and be on your way, damned wrinkled thing of a brain!…am I summoning Dr. Seuss?
Make the impossible one of reality’s closest relatives…this requires an intoxicant or two.
Find peace in thy mind, twas there no better time to establish tranquility…no words.

After taking stabs at a few voices, I find the challenge awkward, redundant, silly and occasionally enlightening. A balance must be required when trying to rationalize diction, tone, speed and clarity in addition to making characters move through time and space. I wonder though, as I sit in a room with a partial view of the buildings of Charlotte and a rather intrusive view of a living space encased by pink windows, why does this difficulty seem most imperative to resolve during moments of uncertainty, restlessness and debauchery?

[written in February 2012]

fascinating times at Common Market

As I transcribe the words
of a person sitting on my right at the
outdoor area of Common Market,
I find the content of his speech
rather superfluous for his companion.
I realize in my desire to capture
distinct surrounding affects,
I need not rely on conversations
of others in order to animate
the mind. Many would likely
avoid wasteful contemplation of
those in close proximity since there
are many who bask in bromidic cordialities
that impede understanding the depths of
consciousness with which we crave
acquaintance. I hate ending a
sentence with a preposition
but the help of this grammatical
crutch can be extremely advantageous.

It’s been over a month
since I arrived in Charlotte
and I am learning my patience with
verbalization, despite the veil
of interest that can be used
to extract what it means
to be, is dwindling.
However, I still crave
listening to stories that
cultivate one’s mind during
today’s economic and political
chaos of American and global
societies. Then again, with
coverage of frivolously
lucrative charades,
political dras, and
artistic hoorahs,
it seems easy to fall into
ignorance of positive impacts
on marginalized and disturbed communities,
which ones who live in bounteous bliss can incite.

As I end my second glass of Merlot,
I find my mind traveling further
from reality while male and
female voices around me
seem progressively foreign.
Perhaps the speakers’ blaring
99 Luftballons alters a comprehension
of brogue more so than Bordeaux merriment.
I also arrive at the point of intoxication
where the validation of inquiring for a
cigarette is inevitable and I cannot
avoid laughing at my laudable
expenses, which contradict
saving money to address
the financial obligations
accrued during unique
educative journeys.

But what of bodies
of legislative, judiciary
and executive exploits, how
are college graduates expected
to fulfill repayment standards
when governing bodies, both
domestic and abroad, seem
incapable of setting
a positive example?
This thought bubbles
after taking heed to the
perspective of a commentary
created by an insightful minority
as does the influence of social
networking on conversations
enjoyed when in public.
How can online sensations
serve as points of elaboration
for those in close company while
jointly transforming into pivots of babble?

First, with how much wine should I fill another glass?

finding a muse

To what extent does one need to go in order to find the person, place, animal, fictional character, or specific area within a country, that inspires the creative self lurking within one’s being? This seems extremely difficult to ask because one should incessantly pursue stimuli that fully intrigue our creative beings. When one reads about John Galliano’s pursuit of becoming acquainted with his muse, it is clear there are methods that vary in order to appease a muse’s gestation in the mind’s paths. Is an artist’s pursuit of a muse different from that of a wordsmith? How did Isabella find inspiration for her projects?

like a fire hydrant

Is life something like a moment
bombarded with the intrusive presence
of a brightly colored fire hydrant
protruding the ground with gloriousness,
while one knows of its capacity to assist uncoordinated moments?
How many people would it take to complete a project,
one with proportion and slow motion,
while others get in the way of a spot
in perfect avoidance of an extremely bothersome
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eurhuejkvbaueneoinvr ieeirov orehv 8ho3ihv owperhv
oerhv oruhv ouvh fbiubvaei rubuabvoeua rvbavoi
urioerh gioaeng aerlnbv ouerbv ejrbvlkenbo
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may I help you find a new artist?

Thanks to Google, the search for galleries around Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills has been a slightly enjoyable experience as I learn the geography of an area of Oakland County. The search has also been filled with brief conversations with directors and gallery employees who sound less enthusiastic about gaining access to the unique perspective of a local artist and more concerned with preserving the exclusivity within the walls of their galleries.

I spent about an hour taking notes of different galleries in Birmingham, eventually taking notes on galleries in Troy, and calling these galleries to inquire about the interest in showcasing the work of an artist that I currently represent. It was a task that quenched my compulsion to make lists when I feel stress or boredom but the inability to get a direct answers regarding the ability to submit some of David Csaszar’s work made the ease of my compulsion diminish quite rapidly.

Below are only a few intriguing pieces from David Csaszar’s diverse collection that will soon be accessible to audiences in the Metro Detroit area.

The Link
Motion 2
Abstract #13

Click here to learn more about David Csaszar.