LA Art Show 2018

Review by Moira Cue 

Antuan Rodriguez Left or Right.

There may be a little personal bias going on, but this year—2018— was my favorite year at the LA Art Show. The modern, contemporary, art and design objects, China, jewelry and Old Masters sections were all combined into one open floor plan, with greatly widened aisles. The result was less elbow-to-elbow pushing and shoving and more room to breathe.  Additionally, gone were some of the more theatrical, over-the-top shock artists. With installations like Antaun’s “Left or Right,” and his partner Luce, there was a focus on healing.

Antuan Rodriquez is a Cuban artist whose installation of lightweight red punching bags allowed visitors to punch their favorite dictator. Along with notorious butchers, despots, serious control freaks, and murderers, the artist included the face of two recent Republican American presidents.  One of whom was extremely popular as a punching bag, in stark contrast to the many artists who were inspired in 2008 to create iconic, positive images of Barack Obama.

I met Antuan’s partner, Luce, in line near the espresso bar and again in front of two of my paintings which made a brief appearance at Bruce Lurie Gallery. I didn’t know they were part of the programming, but I was drawn to their all-white clothes and the gold temporary tattoos Luce was wearing on her face and below her clavicle. I described the positive intention of my paintings—to emanate abstract virtues and stimulate cross-cultural conversations—and Luce told me she was a medicine woman, and invited me to be a participant in a performance on Sunday, the closing day.

Participants in white chanted “om” and proceeded through the gallery to the punching bag installation, where we played Tibetan singing bowls, chanted some more, and then watched a man named Ceasar perform a Latino version of the whirling dervish dance, spinning on his head with a biker’s helmet on. The intention behind the performance was to offer an alternative to the aggression and male dominance symbolized by the punching bags.  (note: I do not believe Luce was listed separately in the programming, so I don’t know if I am correctly crediting her or her full name).  The piece was listed as a part of Antuan’s installation.

This was a year where women and people of color had a greater presence than in some previous shows, and that is definitely a positive and led to the opportunity to have some real conversations. Jane Szabo, a photographer and conceptual artist, chided me about my sky-high heels. I wasn’t even wearing them when we met, but carrying them while trekking with my flip flops. In years prior, I received odd looks for ‘not’ wearing them rather than direct comments that I should just ditch them entirely instead of soldiering on as long as possible. I’m glad she started a conversation because I was able to learn more about her work.

Szabo discussed with me photographs of objects that related to memory, aging, and loss. “I read a novel with a line that stood out to me,” she said. “The last thing your parents teach you is how to die.” Szabo is currently dealing with her parents’ aging as an emotional source of contrast in her still life. The work suggests domesticity and the passage of time with an intimate but ultimately inaccessible urgency. My favorite image is “Secrets” from the Family Matters series. It is a diary with a padlock, covered in rough grey stones. The image is iconic and powerful.

Another super cool artist I was able to meet was Chukes, an Altadena- based sculptor who was present with his wife Rhonda. I started up a conversation with Chukes about the work of one of his friends, Tim Washington; whose work utilizing found objects and kitsch (placed on the outer parameters of the gallery) is funky, whimsical, and yet deeply spiritual. Chukes’ figurative work I was fortunate to have described to me celebrates womanhood and exposes the psychological limitations placed on African-American men culturally as illusions. That is not to say that we don’t all have cultural expectations that can be harmful; it is to say that we are free to move beyond what is expected of us. If we realize we have the choice.

More LA galleries, and more downtown LA galleries, made strong showings this year. Chris Davies, director of Fabrik Projects, is not only running an art publication (Fabrik Magazine) but also made a very strong showing with the project space and a lot of consistent, great work. BG Gallery from Santa Monica was everywhere. And the quality of downtown LA galleries, which used to be spotty with a few bright lights, is becoming an undeniable force. Gallerist Renee Warren of Ren Gallery and Luke at Cordesa Fine Art were approachable, smart, and both located in DTLA. Cordesa had a tightly curated group of artists whose work was both conceptually and technically precise; I particularly enjoyed Martin Machado’s psychological aquatic landscapes with a contemporary psyche and an antique etched feel and the brightly colored wood relief sculpture of Sean Newport.  Ren Gallery had mandala-themed works on sale that caught my eye immediately on entering the hall from an artist named Aiseborn, who was creating a mural in residence on opening night.

On Wednesday night I met a woman named Chakra who also knew Aiseborn; she met him when he knocked on the door of their loft/commune and asked if he could tag their wall. Chakra discovered that Aiseborn was homeless, and the group decided to provide housing for Aiseborn for a year and a half. The artist is now in the Getty Museum collection and doing very well. His work also has a spiritual vibe, with titles like “purity” and figures that seem influenced by Mayan and Incan artifacts. Although he is a street artist, his work looks more like the socially conscious murals of the sixties and seventies than work inspired by graffiti and urban music.

Art All Ways represented smaller scale work by hot L.A. street artist Retna, along with a very popular installation of ceramic donuts by Jae Yong Kim and giant candy bars by artist Daniel Allen Cohen, who brought his adorable bulldog to sit at the booth one evening. Performance artist Pandemonia, outfitted head to toe like a plastic doll, attracted a lot of attention.

There was texture by ceramic artist Sharon Hardy, and neuroscience-inspired projects on empathy and synesthesia, and a ballpark with a trio of alternate selves; a Skid Row-inspired cast of characters in a staged postmodern reference to the Death of Marat, also titled Death of Marat, by Daniel Joseph Martinez, who was also in attendance Wednesday night and surrounded by curious patrons.
The newly discovered Gil Cuatrecasas work was prominently represented, with a highly professional team working to give the artist the support and recognition he deserved while he was still living but didn’t receive until later. I absolutely love this work.

The work that the gallerists do on behalf of artists is not easy, and often overlooked. One quality of a great art dealer is bonhomie—a general goodwill toward people—and spending more time at the Bruce Lurie Gallery this year, I was impressed by the Lurie brothers’ openness and general good nature toward the show attendees. It’s no wonder their booth was always full of people. Pop artist Nelson De La Nuez showed some new works on custom-made paper; created by the same folks who bring us spiral bound notebooks, but in a giant size. Andrea Bonfils showed highly technical mixed media works with a floral theme that looked like candy-colored floral holograms. Michael Gorman’s colorful, expressive work elicited a lot of interest, also.

I was excited to find the Paris-based Galerie Bruno Massa, exhibiting the work of Gilles Teboul. Teboul’s work was described in the gallery’s literature “in the purest archeiropoïetic tradition …. (a) Greek term (that) means ‘not made by the hand of man, miraculously.” The artist demonstrates mastery of the surface reflection through poured resin over gorgeous, crepuscular color fields of a halcyon dream. The entire collection clearly belonged in a museum.

On a final, upbeat note, the Lincoln Navigator on display was there not only to turn heads but to support St. Jude’s. For every person who gave her personal information, the company donated $50 to St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital. And then they gave you a box of truffles—a sweet reward for a simple act of kindness.

Moira Cue is Art and Literature Editor for The Hollywood Sentinel, a fine artist, singer, songwriter, and actress who has appeared on numerous TV shows and major motion picture.  Visit the official Moira Cue website at www.MoiraCue.com 
This content is (c). 2018, Moira Cue, Hollywood Sentinel.   Contact Hollywood Sentinel at 310-226-7176. 

The Brilliance of KIMBRA

Rarely does there come along an artist such as KIMBRA.  Sincere, down to earth, intelligent, sophisticated, complex, brilliant, beautiful, talented, daring, and innovative in a world of imitation, Grammy Award winning KIMBRA has styles ranging from pop, jazz, blues, dance, acid house, rock, and beyond.

Seeing clips of KIMBRA perform live, you will soon discover what a genius this woman is; with not only perfect vocal control and an amazing, soulful, elegant voice, and a brilliant songwriter and performer, but also, as a live audio engineer, instantly dubbing and mixing her voice and beats in front of the crowd.

KIMBRA extends this innovative talent to her website, and now, her next video too, with a brilliant website where fans can create their own beats on their keyboard through the interactive site, record them, have them emailed back, and enter them to be considered for KIMBRA to mix into her next song, as well as taking video clip submissions from fans to create her next video. Meanwhile, referencing a unique bit of trivia concerning David Bowie, in her letter below.

In addition to staying in touch with her fans on social media like some artists do, with most having their assistants do this, KIMBRA uniquely types out personal letters to her fans, and has them emailed out directly to everyone on her email list, which is a nice touch of a kind gesture from this sweet, and genuine, great artist.

A letter from Kimbra to her fans: 

So I am currently writing to you from Wellington, New Zealand (Aotearoa) where I am stepping into quite a new territory! Not in a landscape sense of course (NZ will always be my spiritual home) but I am starring in a movie out here! It’s a film that is set in my hometown of Hamilton (anyone out there from The Tron?!) and I play & perform a lot of the music in the film (which is made up of classic New Zealand songs that we grew up with) plus a little bit of dialogue, so it’s a new adventure, learning the ropes of a film set and learning so much, I’m all wide-eyed like my first day on a new job. When these sorts of opportunities come up I’m sometimes really good at coming up with a bunch of reasons to say no but it was liberating to realize the only reason that would hold me back from saying yes, is fear.

I’ve spoken a bit about jumping straight into your fears as a way to transcend them. Although acting isn’t completely foreign for me (it was in fact an early love of mine before music!), it’s out of my comfort zone and requires me to let go and serve the vision of the director as opposed to being very hands on as I am with my music videos. It’s such a good learning process, to be one instrument in a larger symphony. The movie is called Daffodils, not only will it have a bunch of amazing music which is performed throughout, but I think it’s gonna be a little tearjerker. And it’ll give you a VERY good insight into the New Zealand life aye bro! ;)

I get back to New York next week & I’m pretty excited to get back into some domestic life for a hot second before we begin another long run of dates. There are so many shows coming up & you’re the first to know ALL the new dates! Check them out!!

Sat 4/21 BALTIMORE, MD @ Light City Music & Arts Festival
Thu 4/26 WASHINGTON, DC @ The Anthem # with BECK
Fri 4/27 ST LOUIS, MO @ The Pageant ^ with ODESZA
Sat 4/28 INDIANAPOLIS, IN @ Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn ^ with ODESZA
Tue 5/1 CHARLOTTLESVILLE, VA @ Sprint Pavilion ^ with ODESZA
Thu 5/3 PITTSBURGH, PA @ Stage AE ^ with ODESZA
Fri 5/4 CLEVELAND, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion ^ with ODESZA
Sat 5/5 BIRMINGHAM, AL @ Concert Hall @ BJCC # with BECK
Wed 5/9 RALEIGH, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Thu 5/10 CHARLOTTE, NC @ Charlotte Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Fri 5/11 LOUISVILLE, KY @ Iroquois Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Sat 5/12 NASHVILLE, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Mon 5/14 ATLANTA, GA @ Terminal West * with SON LUX
Tue 5/15 NEW ORLEANS, LA @ Republic * with SON LUX
Thu 5/17 DALLAS, TX @ Trees * with SON LUX
Fri 5/18 SAN ANTONIO, TX @ Paper Tiger * with SON LUX
Sat 5/19 AUSTIN, TX @ The Mohawk * with SON LUX
Mon 5/21 SANTE FE, NM @ Meow Wolf * with SON LUX
Tue 5/22 DENVER, CO @ Bluebird * with SON LUX
Wed 5/23 SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ Metro Music Hall * with SON LUX
Fri 5/25 PHOENIX, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom * with SON LUX
Sat 5/26 SAN DIEGO, CA @ Belly Up Tavern * with SON LUX
Tue 5/29 KANSAS CITY, MO @ Madrid
Wed 5/30 ST LOUIS, MO @ Delmar Hall
Thu 5/31 COLUMBUS, OH @ A&R Bar
Sat 6/2 MONTAUK, NY @ The Surf Lodge
Fri 7/6 MONTREAL, QC @ Festival International De Jazz De Montreal
Sat 7/7 OTTAWA, ON @ Ottawa Blues Music & Arts Festival

These shows are gonna be a blast!!

What an honour to tour with such amazing acts, BECK, ODESZA, SON LUX. Can’t wait to share the stage with these guys. All my upcoming dates are for sale at my WEBSITE!

It’s been a second since I announced the Hi Def Music Video Submission comp so I trust you creatives have been buzzing about making sweet art, I can’t wait to see them start coming through. REMEMBER – it can be just 10 seconds of the song if that’s the bit you love & have a visual idea for it! Don’t have to come with something for the whole song, ha!! Now that I’m working on a film set I recognize how much time goes into even one minute of footage so don’t burn out & just send me something short & sweet! The submissions will close on the day of album release (April 20)!!!

You can access the submission directly by just heading to my WEBSITE also!

So, since you guys are working hard on making stuff, and your interest in my collaborative gestures mean so much to me, I thought I’d return the gesture by setting myself a challenge….. remember the Primal Heart Interactive WEBSITE? Remember the sweet beats you made by triggering audio samples form the SITE and making your own groove that you could share or have emailed to you? Well, I’ve decided to pick my favorites from the beats you made & make a new song out of the sweet new grooves you made using my sounds! I’m planning on editing up a bunch of them and creating a new lyrical / melodic piece to work over the beats you made. FUN RIGHT?! I love you guys and want to make you something special, can’t primrose it’ll be genius but I’m gonna try to make something dope and you’ve already done half the work! ha.

In terms of lyrical direction, I’m thinking of maybe even sampling words from the record itself on a random selection process and recreating sense (or nonsense) from the various jumbled words. I remember Bowie used to close his eyes and point at a word in the newspaper then repeat it multiple times until he had a random selection of words which would then turn into a sentence and eventually a somewhat psychedelic or incredibly mundane springboard to a new song! Haha. Brilliant.

As you know I released a new song and music video last month called “Version Of Me”. It’s really moved me to see how many people have been impacted by the lyric and the video. It was quite emotional to create but it makes it all worthwhile when I know have I reached someone going through something similar. It also helps that I worked with people i trust so deeply, it was such a safe environment to explore something so tender. Here’s a video to show you a little more of how the day went.

(see her official website for the video and sign up)

Well, I better get back to this movie set but I’m sending love to all of you who are following these emails and taking the Primal Heart journey with me. I can’t believe the album comes out next month! so soon!!! I have so much planned for you.x

Till next time.
Love,
K I M B R A

Visit the Official Kimbra Website at:

http://www.kimbramusic.com/splash

Textual content  by KIMBRA and image of KIMBRA;  (c). 2018, Warner Bros. Records. Words by Hollywood Sentinel are (c). 2018, Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved. All KIMBRA music is (c).2018, Warner Bros. Records, all world rights reserved.

Cara Delevingne Takes Music World by Storm

One of the most beautiful, daring, sexy, cool, and talented models of our time, Cara Delevingne is one of the highest paid models today. Also now an accomplished actress, Cara now adds singer to her already legendary resume.  She recently released her new single, “I Feel Everything,” and she sounds terrific.  Is there ANYTHING this goddess cannot do?

Visit Cara’s Official Instagram at:

https://www.instagram.com/caradelevingne/?hl=en 

This textual content is (c). 2018, Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.