Doug Harvey

Credit: PHOTO BY KEVIN SCANLON

Amanda Ross-Ho: Trick-and-Treater

One of the frequent critiques heard from working artists regarding the gallery-and-museum model of art distribution, second only to not getting paid, is the system's unwillingness or inability to capture the tumultuous, synergistic creative energy of work seen in vivo — as incubated in the artist's studio. Token institutional attempts......
I Put Out My Hands; Credit: PHOTO COURTESY OF PAT O'NEILL

Movies Gone Bad

Artist/filmmaker Pat O'Neill's 1989 Sundance Grand Jury Prize–winning experimental feature Water & Power — a sort-of Chinatown-meets–Koyaanisqatsi-on-nootropics dealie — is rightfully recognized as one of the signal artifacts of late 20th century L.A. culture, not to mention a radical turning point in experimental cinema. Since making that splash, after a......
Credit: DAVID HOCKNEY

Representing Mother******s

In the year 867, a new portrait mosaic of the Virgin Mary & Son was unveiled in the apse of the Hagia Sophia — the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church in Istanbul (then Constantinople) — homilized by the Armenian-born soon-to-be–Patriarch Photios as a victory over Iconoclasm: the almost-century-long......
Credit: RACHEL WHITEREAD

The Power of Negative Thinking

Negativity is underrated. In her most recent book, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, commie gadfly Barbara Ehrenreich does an admirable job skewering the salesman culture–rooted legerdemain of The Secret, breast-cancer teddy-bear profiteers and the greed-driven delusionarium that used to be the American economy. (One......
Credit: GARY PANTER

Residents Artist in Residence

Pasadena City College is renowned for its lengthy tenure as one of the best community colleges in California, spawning ground for Dennis Cooper and Van Halen (as well as artists Betye Saar and Liz McGrath) and home to the mother of all swap meets. It also boasts a remarkably strong......
Mercedes matter

Matter's Most

Some people have it rough. Born into the East Coast cultural aristocracy in 1913, Mercedes Matter began life as a beloved and privileged artistic prodigy. Her father was Arthur B. Carles, a pioneer American abstract painter who studied with Matisse, showed at Alfred Stieglitz's 291 gallery and exhibited work in......
Credit: MARK TODD

The Bish, The Fish and The Fantastic Four

Ginny Bishton is an artist who defies expectations. Or rather, completely dismantles them, leaving their components arranged in neat rows. One of her UCLA grad-school works consisted of a wall full of hand-copied bread recipes with the instructions left out — inventories of ingredients with the mixing, kneading, fermenting and......
Chris Burden’s 747 (1973)

There Go the Zeros

Was that really a decade that just sputtered by? Granted, everyone was numbed to the teeth for a couple of years after 9/11, but aren’t decades supposed to be demarcated by some sort of discernible content, like techno music, the civil rights movement or cocaine abuse? What can the Zeros......
Xavier: Renegade Angel

Dreaming of a Day-Glo Xmas

I’ve been looking around at all these Top 10 Art Books of 2009 lists, and geez, it’s no wonder everyone thinks art is so boring and stuffy. The upside is that if some rich, misguided relative actually buys you the $600 six-volume edition of Van Gogh’s complete letters the cognoscenti......
Sean Duffy

Sean Duffy: Signs of Intelligent Life

Since his first solo shows at various L.A. project spaces in the late ’90s, Sean Duffy has produced a series of quirky, interdisciplinary bodies of work that address the ways in which masculinity is constructed in contemporary visual culture, and how these constructions are used to define the boundaries between......
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