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2019 LA Art Show: In Review

 


Photo Credit, Moira Cue, 2019, LA Art Show, 2019.
VIP GALA

I am one of the few people who has attended the VIP Gala of the LA Art Show every year since it was first held in the LA Convention Center in DTLA instead of the Santa Monica Barker Hangar. In one sense, it’s the most important night of the show. Celebrities are sighted, including hosts of the annual St. Jude Children’s Hospital Research Center Benefit—This year’s hosts were Gavin Rossdale and Kate Beckinsale. And, as the Bruce Lurie Gallery’s Instagram page reminds me, sales are made.

I wonder every year if the Gala seems different because I am not the same person I was 365 days ago. The way I dress changes, what I eat, drink, or don’t eat and drink changes. This year,  no alcohol, and no animal products. Ironically, Pink’s Hotdogs served one of the better vegan options with a full sized vegan hotdog. There was also an all-vegan bruschetta station by Vespaio, a lovely restaurant on Grand Ave, right next to The Broad.

Opening night—which certain years has had all the theatricality of an Elton John concert circa 1973—felt calm, subdued even. They say when you buy a blue Volvo, suddenly the streets are full of blue Volvos.  A normally functioning brain filters out so much superfluous information every day. But I only saw a handful of women draped in sequins, glamourous feathered headgear, and stilettos; and this year no one was wearing the equivalent of a human scale plushy onesie or full-body latex appendage.

What stood out to me was the number of attendees, male and female, wearing the same thing that I settled on: a neutral tone business suit paired with high-end, funky lifestyle sneakers. Silver sneakers, striped sneakers, neon sneakers; even a little girl in a velvet party dress with blinking lights on her sneakers. Of course, some men just wore men’s suits with regular dress shoes. Some guys never change.

There were roughly 220 galleries from 18 countries participating this year, according to the cheerful lady who introduced herself as Kim (Martindale’s) “other sister.” She lives in Alaska, and therefor rarely attends the show. Kim Martindale has been the LA Art Show owner for 23 years, and is a major figure in the exhibition of tribal art nationally.

CATEGORIES

This year’s exhibit space defines galleries as members of several different sections: Core, Modern + Contemporary, DIVERSEartLA, Featured Programming, Roots, Ink Painting, Littletopia, Dialogs LA (a slate of talks and panels), Project Space, Works on Paper, Ethnographic Art, and LUXURY pbsg. Whew. Each of these sections has its own vibe and criteria and some galleries fit more than one category. To learn more about the groups, click https://www.laartshow.com/about-the-show/.

For the purpose of this review, we’re going to talk about things I like. That may mean that great work in some categories isn’t covered because I just didn’t see it.  Some sections are more prominent than others, and sometimes great work is missed because it’s hung in an interior corner with a lot of other work, or because of traffic patterns. To make sure you don’t miss out, you really need to go more than once, ideally at different times of day, and different days of the week.

BLACK AND WHITE CALLIGRAPHY:                                                     JAPANESE ARTISTS AT KAMIYA ART

The Kamiya Art booth is the first place I was drawn to. My recent influences include calligraphic as well as black and white work, and I have always found the balance between a minimalist palette and expressionistic brushwork in more contemporary Japanese calligraphy to be very appealing.

Kamiya Art; Photo Credit, ©2019, Moira Cue; LA Art Show, 2019.

I discussed the quintessentially Japanese ideas of kanji (vertical lettering derived from Chinese character) and koan (sometimes explained as a nonsensical riddle that can expand the mind) with Kei Takahashi, while exploring the work of Morihiro Hosokawa, who also happens to be a former prime minister of Japan. During Hosokawa’s tenure as prime minister, from 1993 to 1994, he is known for statements acknowledging Japan’s role as an aggressor during WWII. According to Wikipedia, “Hosokawa’s acts toward China and Korea inspired Russian president Boris Yeltsin to apologize to Hosokawa for the Soviet detention of Japanese prisoners of war in Siberia.”

The gallerist explained to me that the stark black and white folding screens, very nicely installed and displayed, did not make “sense.” The word “hell” was next to the word “Buddha.” “Oh, but that’s the life. That’s the human condition,” I said. We smiled, and laughed when I mentioned that George Bush has also turned to painting, but it’s not as good. (Though to be fair, the paintings of George Bush Jr. have a certain “Howard Finster reincarnated as trust fund kid who went to art school and learned a few sloppy shortcuts” naïve-ish charm. However, I don’t expect to see them selling for six figures at an international art fair any time soon. You can, however, see them online here. https://www.designboom.com/art/george-w-bush-exhibit-painted-portraits-04-07-2014/

Kimaya Art also displayed the calligraphic art of Yu-ichi Inoue (1916-1985), who is said to be the father or liberator of modern Japanese calligraphy. For Western audiences familiar with Cy Twombly, his work would be the closest analogous example: sensitivity, great emotion, vulnerability and transcendence are concentrated into the expressive form of text. Inoue is said to have “liberated” calligraphy in the modern Japanese art world from a formal, stylized expression to a human expression of great feeling.

Kamiya Art, Photo Credit ©2019, Moira Cue.

 

 

While Hosokawa, born into one of Japans’ noble families, has an almost militant energy—Yu-ichi, who was without the financial means to pursue his art full time until his retirement from teaching at the age of 60—shows in his lines a poignant longing that only those who have endured deprivation and worked, patiently, diligently, quietly, toward their own liberation, can fully understand.

Yu-ichi Inoue was born into an impoverished family. At 19 he became an elementary school teacher, and was eventually assigned to teach an advanced calligraphy class, which inspired him to take calligraphy seriously. When attacks on the Japanese mainland began in 1944, Yu-ichi was sent to the country with 35 6th grade boys. The children were ordered to return to Tokyo with their instructor after they graduated March 3rd, despite Yu-ichi’s pleas to keep the students out of Tokyo. When they returned, Yu-ichi found his parents’ house had been destroyed, so he volunteered to serve as a night watch at the school.

On March 10, 1945, the Great Tokyo Air Raid took place, and there were around 1,000 casualties at the school, including most of his students. Yu-ichi himself fell unconscious from heat and smoke, and barely escaped death after several hours of artificial respiration. Decades later, he would create multiple-character works inspired by this memory. His single character works include, notably, letters of the name of a female teacher, 28 years his junior, with whom he developed an intense infatuation that he would later confess, with shame, to his wife.

Yu-ichi Inoue is known as a founding member of the group Bokunjinkai, who published a magazine called Bokujin, with the intention of liberating calligraphy from binding tradition to embrace the naked human spirit. Calligraphy, in East Asian culture, is said to be the highest of all art forms. But it is poorly understood in the West.

The life of Yu-ichi Inoue is filled with poignant anecdotes. In his thirties, he was evicted from an apartment for staining the floors and walls with paint. He spent his life’s savings to purchase a house, but after buying a lot, nothing was left for construction. In his forties, he garnered critical acclaim, for example, being selected for the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1957 and subsequently included by critic Herbert Read in his book, A Concise History of Modern Painting. But Yu-ichi was not able to concentrate fully on calligraphy until 1976, when he retired from teaching at the age of 60.

I have asked myself many times if, in painting, victory deferred is sweeter. I admire artists who bend the world to their will; artists who succeed; artists who are compensated for what they do. It is not an easy task. Yet the artist who faces obstacles, who is delayed acclaim, who collects energy for his art rather than expending it on a public persona, is sometimes the one who creates work that endures, work that will nourish the viewer again and again, over a long journey.

PART TWO, CRITIC’S CHOICE: LA ART SHOW 2019

CHINESE ARTISTS AT MICHAEL GOEDHUIS

I was delighted to meet Michael Goedhuis himself and his assistant from London. They were, of course, charming people. The pamphlet provided by the gallery, “Chinese Contemporary Ink Art: Why Buy Now?” is an exemplary piece of cogent marketing, and makes most of the arguments I would make in favor of purchasing calligraphic work in general and from this gallery specifically.

And so, there is little left for me to say. A critic should not simply parrot the gallery; she should add something of her own, she should not pass on inferior ideas unworthy of the art they are linked to or regurgitate specious but stylized and prolix arguments that only serve to foist off an inferior product with fireworks and trendy mental gymnastics.

But there is an exception to every rule, and this is it. Mr. Goedhuis a rare man who is as good at writing about art as he is at curating, displaying, and selling it. Just read this pamphlet.

https://www.michaelgoedhuis.com/media/GoedhuisMedia/publications/publicationsDocuments/20151022143250_8whybuynow.pdf

Goedhuis makes a clear and compelling argument in favor of buying work by a handful of contemporary Chinese calligraphic artists. These arguments include the direction of the market, the annihilation of traditional Chinese architecture, the rise of China’s investor class, and culturally-specific value that is hidden only because of the distractibility and attraction to bright shiny objects that afflicts certain minds in the West.

Many people are frightened to buy art, because they don’t want to be taken advantage of or look like a fool or risk being seen as having bad taste. (Those who have truly awful taste are immune to this fear.) Art is expensive, art is personal, and there is a strange code that says we should tell inexperienced people that art is never to be purchased as an investment. But if you give no thought to the trajectory of the art’s value before you purchase it, you are failing to benefit from the mind-enhancing powers of art; just as Goedhuis asks the reader to  “… understand that art for the Chinese is part and parcel of their concept of morality and how to live one’s life and how to order society” I would further add, and ask, the buyer to understand that buying art is a cognitive development tool which requires deep thinking (get your mental workouts in) about the direction of human society. It is like placing your paper boat on a current.

–Moira Cue

An internationally recognized multi-media artist, Moira Cue attended the Master’s Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  A prolific artist, she resides in Los Angeles, with works in collections world-wide.

This content is (c). 2019, Moira Cue Multimedia, Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.

Hollywood’s Iconic Image Maker: Anthony Richmond

Image: On the set of the 20th Century Fox motion picture “Men of Honor,” pictured left to right; Russ Engels (gaffer), George Richmond (camera operator), Chunky (focus puller), Anthony B. Richmond (cinematographer), and Robert De Niro. Also starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Charlize Theron. Image used with kind courtesy of Mr. Richmond for The Hollywood Sentinel, 2018, all rights reserved.

ANTHONY B. RICHMOND A.S.C., B.S.C.  

Director of Photography

One of the world’s most accomplished cinematographers, Anthony B. Richmond’s career spans over five decades.  Born and raised in London, Anthony Richmond worked his way up through the ranks to his current position of Director of Photography. He began at the age of 16 as a messenger with Associate British Cinemas and later with Pathe-News, where he was promoted to the camera department. He next worked as Assistant Cameraman on films including; Call Me Bwana, From Russia with Love, Devil-Ship Pirates, The Gorgan, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451, and David Leans’s Dr. Zhivago.

Image: Jean Luc Godard with Cinematographer Anthony B. Richmond. Image used with kind courtesy of The British Film Institute, and with kind courtesy of Mr. Richmond for The Hollywood Sentinel. British Film Institute: http://www.bfi.org.uk/

Mr. Richmond also served as focus-puller on Casino Royale and on Far From the Madding Crowd for Director John Schlesinger, for who he also later served as Cinematographer for the documentary; Israel: A Right To Live, made just days after the Six-Day War.  Shortly afterwards, Mr. Richmond began working as Director of Photography on feature films, with his first being the 1967 motion picture; Only When I Larf directed by Basil Dearden.


An award-winning Cinematographer, Anthony Richmond has had numerous collaborations with Director Nicolas Roeg who recently passed. Lensing five of his the legendary directors films including; Don’t Look Now – for which Richmond won the prestigious BAFTA award, The Man Who Fell To Earth, starring David Bowie, Bad Timing, Heart Of Darkness, and Full Body Massage for Showtime.

Some of Mr. Richmond’s additional credits include; The Sandlot, the cult classic horror film Candyman, based on a Clive Barker short story, Stardust for Michael Apted, Playing God, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Rough Riders for John Milius, Silver Bears for Ivan Passer, That’s Life, and Sunset for Blake Edwards, The Eagle Has Landed for John Sturges, and The Greek Tycoon for J. Lee Thompson.

Anthony Richmond  also served as Director of Photography on Tony Goldwin’s directorial debut Walk On The Moon, Sean Penn’s directorial debut Indian Runner, and Anjelica Houston’s directorial debut Bastard Out Of Carolina, collaborating  yet again with her on: Agnes Brown, and Riding The Bus With My Sister.

Anthony Richmond was also responsible for iconic photography for much of the seminal British music scene of the late 60’s.  He shot the Rolling Stones classic, Sympathy For The Devil (aka One Plus One) for the legendary Jean-Luc Godard, with which he then collaborated with Michael Lindsey Hogg on The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus, and also, The Beatles’ Let It Be.  Mr. Richmond’s additional   rock and roll credits include: The Who’s The Kids Are Alright, as well as the documentary Glastonbury Fayre.

His most recent credits include; Good Luck Chuck, The Comebacks, Shade, Havana Nights, Legally Blond, Ravenous, Men Of Honor, The Sweetest Thing, Someone Like You, Just Friends, John Tucker Must Die, Autopsy, Sex and Lies in Sin City, The Rocker, Alvin the Squeakquel, Coffee Town, and The Assets for Peter Medak.

Most recently for the past two years, Mr. Richmond has served as Faculty Chair of the Cinematography Department at The New York Film Academy in Burbank, California.  Here, Mr. Richmond  teaches the next generation of Cinematographers,  and frequently collaborates with other creatives outside of the academic community to development significant relationships between his students and industry professionals.  Mr. Richmond is fulfilled in  mentoring aspiring filmmakers and enjoys meeting students to discuss their goals.

In addition to giving back as a teacher and having a legendary career as  widely esteemed, and prolific Cinematographer,  Mr. Richmond  additionally a member of the Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (A.M.P.A.S), British Academy of Film & Television Arts (B.A.F.T.A), American Society of Cinematographers (A.S.C), and British Society of Cinematographers (B.S.C).

The following is an exclusive interview with Hollywood’s legendary image maker; Anthony Richmond, for The Hollywood Sentinel:

Textual content; official biography of Anthony B. Richmond courtesy of Mr. Richmond.  Textual editing, title and audio content are  ©2018, Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.

Dare to Be Great!

Be who you are, and dare to be great. Greatness comes in many forms, from the greatness of art, the greatness of nature, of beauty, of music, of a film, of a humanitarian, or of an idea.

The world through the eyes of media is a dangerous place. The world through the eyes of truth is a place of love. Through the words of politicians and pundits, danger is around every corner, a tragedy waiting to happen at every moment. In reality, most people are basically good.  A benevolent force of love is behind the universe and all creation. Happiness is your birthright.


Hollywood Sentinel was created to celebrate life, through our love for all areas of the arts, which are the greatest and most important gift any society could have after nature and the ones we love. Fashion, Beauty, Film, Dance, Poetry, Literature, Music, Art; these are some of the greatest things of life, and what gives our sprit a chance to open up, shine, and be free.

We hope you enjoy our new issue here, with our tribute to the outstanding singer Dua Lipa pictured above, and much more. Explore all of the pages with the Table of Contents tab, and let us know what you want to hear and see in a future issue.  And remember, never let anyone stop you from being who you were meant to be.

–Bruce Edwin

Dr. Terry Cole Whittaker has dedicated her life to successful living, and to spiritual growth.  Visit her official website here below, and check out her amazing work:  https://www.terrycolewhittaker.com/

This content textual content is copyright, 2018, Hollywood Sentinel. Video used with kind courtesy of Dr. Whittaker. Image of Dua used with kind courtesy of the publicity office of Dua Lipa.