On Nov. 14, Los Angeles' art community lost Justin Van Hoy, 31, to a long bout with cancer. Van Hoy was an artist, designer, curator, a husband and most recently, published author. He was nicknamed the “Dutch Giant” because he towered over most people at a height of 6'5, punctuated by a shock of crazy ginger hair.
Justin loved art, basketball, good food and orange cats. He designed grafitti books for Roger Gastman, Swindle Magazine illustrations for Shepard Fairey, logos for RVCA, Vans and the Oinkster, answered the phone for Mark the Cobrasnake and even helped us out here at LA Weekly when we asked nice.
Most recently he co-founded THIS gallery in Highland Park, staging shows like the series of monumental group exhibits called “These Friends,” which included hundreds of works of art that hung from floor to ceiling, and got himself the job curating the bathrooms at Gagosian in Beverly Hills (currently displaying installations by Sage Vaughn).
His most recent accomplishment, and, very sadly, his last, is a beautiful coffee table book titled Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California, released on Nov. 3 (full disclosure: this writer contributed an essay). It's an oversized, hardcover survey of artists hailing from our neck of the woods, featuring painters, photographers, zine makers and sculptors with graffiti, surf and skate culture backgrounds.
Justin was an inspiration to many while he was with us, a genuinely kind man with a slight southern drawl and a calm demeanor who saw talent in folks who may not have realized it themselves at the time. He passionately supported the community by always attending openings and by offering opportunities. His young life and super stealth talent made an impact on everyone he touched, proven by the attendance of over 400 people at his memorial.