Mark Todd’s solo show ‘Covered’ opened on September 2, 2016 at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery. I’m not particularly familiar with the comic book scene but I still found Todd’s playful interpretations to be delightful. Many of the pieces in this show depict recognizable well-known characters, even for a novice like me. Cheeky nuances like textspeak and ‘purposeful mistakes’ are fun to decipher, however, the use of a primarily grayscale palette makes the work a little hard to read. Todd explains, “I decided to go with a muted, bleak, almost colorless approach to see if I could keep it interesting by focusing on line-work. I usually mix paint as I go but this time, I’ve created my own gray-scale by mixing up about 14 different shades of gray going from a light, almost white to a dark, almost-black. A small amount of bright color pops in here-and-there, like an exclamation point. I’ve bordered these pieces with a glowing fluorescent pink edge to unify, and added contrast.” The highlight of the exhibit is a series of vinyl action figures. Produced and packaged just as you would find in the store, these figurines are clever and warrant collecting.
If you’ve ever wondered what a ‘bazillion’ pieces of art looks like, you need look no further than the La Luz de Jesus Gallery. Okay, there probably aren’t actually a bazillion coasters in the 4th Annual Coaster Show but there are a LOT. My personal relationship with coasters tends to revolve around one or two cold ones and slipping a couple of the absorbent little bar room staples into my pocket to take home in remembrance of a great night. But La Luz de Jesus takes the beloved bev nap to a whole new level. Somewhere around 300 artists including painters, illustrators, animators, tattooists, sculptors, and collage artists were each given a 4” tondo coaster and complete freedom to rework, reconstruct, rebuild, rearrange, and revamp them into consummate works of art. The sheer volume of coasters, there are over a thousand different versions, is impressive. Make sure to make more than one pass around the gallery as you will surely miss some great ones if you don’t.
All coasters are affordably priced below $250 making this a great opportunity to create a unique collection. Contact gallery director and show curator Matt Kennedy to make a purchase: (323)666-7667 firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember a few weeks back when those statues of naked Donald Trump went up around New York, LA, San Francisco, Cleveland and Seattle? Most of the statues, produced by the anonymous art collective Indecline and created by Las Vegas artist Ginger, were immediately removed by the various cities. But not before an onslaught of media coverage, social and otherwise, raised the collective interest of everyone from HuffPost and Rolling Stone to the national network news. Soap Plant & Wacko, which houses the La Luz de Jesus gallery, was the site of the original Los Angeles installation. They collected the very naked “The Emperor Has No Balls” statue from the street and re-erected him smack dab in the middle of the Coaster Show. There’s not a whole lot to see here, if you know what I mean (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). In fact, in one of those art imitating life imitating art scenarios, I found that watching people’s reaction to it was way more fascinating than the statue itself.