When a caterpillar enters its chrysalis stage, it begins transforming from an immature, inactive larva into a beaming butterfly. Myron Tobin, a 57-year-old South Central native, entered his chrysalis stage in 2013 when he was released from prison after 33 years.
Kicked out of Hollywood and put under investigation by the government and on no-fly lists meant for terrorists after posting a photo on Twitter last year with a "bloody" Trump mask in her hand, comedian Kathy Griffin has recovered amazingly quickly, and turned a terrifying experience completely on its head with her sold-out U.S. tour, which will be in Los Angeles on July 19 and 20.
Cleon Peterson's new exhibition at Arts District gallery Over the Influence, "Blood & Soil," is that rare gem of political discourse — violently honest, fearless in its message, powerful in its emotion, sharp in its wit and, above all, beautiful to behold.
Peterson's new series of small, large and very large acrylic-on-canvas paintings is augmented by a pair of new bronze sculptures and a fiberglass sculpture that in its scale and content is really more of a monument. In fact, the language of public, civic and governmental monuments, statues and landmarks is a recurring motif throughout this aesthetically luminous, polemically dark manifesto of an exhibition.
Peterson's unique style of death-metal deco often depicts frank, painful scenes of violence, debasement, exploitation, crime, punishment, corruption, addiction, police brutality and sexual oppression. His high-octane palette of red, white and black includes references to a kind of Soviet-ish propaganda as well as being innovative in its graphic contours and the vectors of its complex compositional tableaux.
He's been developing this voice for many years, expanding his lexicon of materials to include bronze, cast resins and neon. So he was ready, in a way, when a new wave of corruption, racism, misogyny, police misconduct and governmental corruption hit the headlines. One painting depicts apparent lynchings on the White House lawn; another imagines the so-called pee-tape scenario; and even Vladimir Putin and Robert Mueller make appearances.
That the currently dismal state of national and global affairs has produced such gorgeous works of art is bittersweet, to say the least. But here we are, the paintings seem to say, and we cannot risk becoming numb, or pretend things are otherwise — so we may as well make art about it and try to stay human.
Over the Influence, 833 E. Third St., downtown; (310) 921-5933, overtheinfluencecom. Tue.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., through Aug. 5; free.
At an L.A. City Council meeting on Tuesday, Joumana Silyan-Saba, a director in Mayor Garcetti’s office of public safety, could barely get through a sentence without interruption from a gallery of people who had come to protest a $425,000 federal counterterrorism grant. The protesters contend that the grants target and stigmatize Muslims, marginalize communities and pose an acute threat to civil liberties.
Angelenos took to the streets of downtown L.A. once again on Saturday, June 30, to protest the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents. The nationwide rallies, collectively dubbed Families Belong Together, also protested the administration's stance on DACA and seeming indifference to human rights within the United States. A number of celebrities and politicians addressed the crowd, estimated to be in the tens of thousands; among them were L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, state Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, as well as Laura Dern and John Legend.
All photos by Ted Soqui.
At least 700 marches, rallies and sit-ins are planned across the country on Saturday, June 30, to protest the ongoing illegal separation of children from parents. Currently more than 2,000 children are sequestered in prisonlike containment facilities (with less oversight then we give to the facilities housing the chickens that produce California eggs,) with no answer to when they might, if ever, see their parents again.
To kick off the Saturday protests, a rally and toy/clothing/basic necessities drive, organized by the nonprofit Women's March Los Angeles, was held outside City Hall on Thursday, June 28. Over and over again the speakers repeated the necessity to VOTE this November.
If you're interested in helping flip the House, go to the webpage email@example.com. This website helps people to volunteer, donate or otherwise work to flip vulnerable congressional seats, so if you live in a firmly blue area, you can help the cause elsewhere in the nation.
Currently on June 30 there are protests planned in Long Beach, downtown Los Angeles, Burbank, Pasadena, WeHo, Redondo Beach, Malibu, Claremont and Valencia. To get more information on a rally or march near you, go to moveon.org or click here.
All photos by Star Foreman
Follow her on instagram @starforeman