Archive for ‘ART’

April 8, 2015

Austin Adventures | SXSW Day Two

Hello Again! It has taken me awhile to get this post up because I’ve been working on this video.
All the footage is from the day I’m talking about below.

DAY TWO – THURSDAY MARCH 19

This is the most exciting SXSW day, because it’s when Dan’s band Flaamingos played their showcase. Bowerbird and I started the day early, and by early I mean 11:00am, heading for the convention center to pick up my wristband. I was all worried thinking we had gotten a late start on the day, but our Lyft driver assured us we were very early. I ended up having to pay $80 for a music wristband, that I’m still not quite certain what it got me access too. But I got a nifty tote bag, and Dan was told he could pick up a free backpack in the artist suite. I’m all about the free swag and really had to encourage him to take advantage of it. We then explored the convention center and wandered into the screen printed music poster emporium. So many colors, so many designs!! It reminded me of when I interned at Myspace and there was a huge wall, more like a hallway, covered in the screen printed posters from every secret show. I thought this must be where they scouted the artists. Next I followed Bowerbird into the gear section, where he made a b-line for the synths. The sound of people jamming out some smooth jazz filled the air, along with the constant buzz of gear geek chatter. We had to wait awhile till a particular synth opened up for Dan to fiddle with – he was in heaven.

Feeling sluggish from a night of heavy food and beer, we walked to the Daily Juice for some fresh pressed veggies and fruit. It’s incredible how much walking can be done in Downtown Austin and I never felt nervous about falling onto a ‘bad street’. Sadly that is the not the case for Downtown Los Angeles. SXSW involves lots and lots and lots of walking.  We headed to the Under The Radar party at the Flamingo Cantina. I wanted to show my support as I used to intern for the magazine many moons ago. The Flamingo Cantina was off 6th street. This street felt like was the heart of SXSW as everything branches off from it.  The cantina was a tropical themed bar and I had caught the party between sets, it was hot and humid inside, and really captured that Caribbean atmosphere. Bowerbird, claustrophobic and uncomfortable, bailed just as we got inside. I said my hellos, but then got an email stating there were some artists finishing up a mural on Barton Springs.

Oh yeah – I decided to turn this SXSW trip into a work trip by getting some coverage of the POW! WOW! Hawaii and SXSW collaboration for the art blog Sour Harvest. You can read the article on their website now.

The mural was going to be finished up within the next hour or two and seeing a great opportunity to interview the artists, I said goodbye to Under The Radar and started walking toward Barton Springs. As I was exiting the cantina, Dan was in line to get back in. I found that to be a little funny. The walk from 6th street to Barton Springs is 30 minutes, fortunately it wasn’t sweltering, so we just enjoyed the exercise and we were able to see what SXSW was doing on the other side of the bridge.

walk from 6th st to Barton Springs

By the time I interviewed the artist and we got a quick snack, it was time to head back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the band and collect their gear. Playing the Levitation Showcase at Hotel Vegas, although I’ve come to realize they were actually playing in The Volstead room, they had to be there at 5:30 for their 7:30pm set time. Levitation also puts on Austin Psych Fest, a festival with a drool-worthy lineup, fingers crossed Flaamingos plays next year – a girl can dream. The outdoor patio was packed! It felt totally electric in that special psychedelic way. With so many people outside the challenge for Flaamingos was to draw people away from the big bands outside and into their small room. And they did it!! I was totally stoked on the crowd that gathered. It’s quite an accomplishment as they’re not a local band, and they had people watching them instead of Moon Duo 😀 We spent the rest of the night wandering around SXSW east part of 6th street, and just enjoying this unique music experience. I also ate some epic Cajun poutine.

sxsw day two art and music

Honorable Highlight:

At some point, the band and I got a shot at the bar to celebrate. As we were ordering our subsequent drinks, an older gentlemen was standing beside me ordering a beer. He told the bartender he wanted to wipe the top of the cans before they were opened. This reminded me of what my Ba-Chan and Ji-Chan would do as they would have soda collecting dust in their garage before bringing it into the house. I told him my grandparents did this, not to say he was a grandparent, but I totally relate to the clean can tops. He then said, “well you know they just sit in basements where rats crawl all over them pissing and shitting on the crates. It’s disgusting.” With a little more banter and chuckles, I walked away with my drink and he with his clean beers… this gentleman is the singer of iconic post-punk band Pop Group. Did not realize this till he was on stage of course, classic Bekka.

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January 19, 2015

Littletopia at Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater

bob bakers marionette theater Saturday night I faced my irrational fear of puppets in order to be a part of one of the greatest art parties thus far in 2015. A gathering of the best artist and gallery owners in the post-contemporary low brow art movement (aka Littletopia at the LA Art Show), coordinated by Greg Escalante, we gathered at Bob Baker Marionette Theater. My invite came from Thinkspace Gallery of course, and at first I turned down the invite because I had another party to go to that night. Using my other RSVP as a nice way to get out of seeing marionettes. It’s not that I think marionettes are lame or not a good form of entertainment, I actually get physically uncomfortable in the presence of animated dolls. Andrew from Thinkspace told me I’d really be missing out and to attend my other party late, and being one that actively avoids FOMO – I made myself go. Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater is on the outskirts of Downtown LA and a stone’s throw away from Echo Park. It had a string of Christmas lights and a garland tree set up out front, still strong in the holiday spirit. Walking in, the ‘party room’ was already packed with gallery owners from Roq La Rue, Red Truck Gallery, Gauntlet, Spoke Art,  and Copro. There was a lot of familiar faces, and those I didn’t know. A few of the artists I recognized included; Natalia Fabia, Lola, Adam Wallacavage, Travis Louis, Brian Viveros, and Casey Weldon. There was a handful of other artist there to, who if they wore a sticker of their work instead of a ‘hello my name is…’ I’d know them too.  Oh yeah Chet Zar was there as well, and everyone was merrily enjoying Two Boots pizza. I might just sound like a total name dropper right now, and that’s ok cause it’s exactly what I’m doing. Saving the best for last, the most honored guest, in a burgundy velvet suit – Mark Ryden was in attendance. The show that was put on was Bob Baker’s Nutcracker. It started with rainbow marionettes, who’s eyes blinked and when they started dancing in a circle I was thoroughly creeped out. I sat safely in the second row, with people protecting me from puppet interaction. The marionettes played with the audience, and Clara the puppet even jumped on Mark Ryden. A queen of candies and cake happily sat upon the lap of Casey Wheldon. They weren’t all nightmare inducing, sparkly sugar plum fairies and pretty flowers who danced the waltz provided a break from my constant humming anxiety. It was a fantastic night to be a part of, and the old 1950’s record with the voices, narration, and music of the show provided another level of delight. When the ‘Tea’ portion of the Nutcracker came on, and the oriental puppets with their incredibly non-pc costumes danced the floor, complete with “ching chong” dialogue; its offensiveness and nostalgia for another time added to the shows unique flavor. rainbow marionettes I never thought I’d say I was happy to have gone to a marionette show, but I’m absolutely thrilled to have seen this performance. I have this philosophy that if you’re not uncomfortable you aren’t growing. Facing fears, and pushing your boundaries are not easy. Sure it might just be an irrational fear of dolls and puppets. But I was about to let my fear keep me from experiencing a night surrounded by such creative and artistic talent. I would have really let myself down. I’m just thankful to Andrew for not letting me say no, it’s another reminder to keep saying yes to life!

January 10, 2015

Love Letter to Thinkspace Gallery

thinkspace gallery

Thinkspace is celebrating their 10 year anniversary tomorrow, January 10, with the opening of ‘La Familia’ and I felt this was the perfect time to share my undying love for this gallery.  Here is my love letter with a personal backstory…

I had studied for 7 years to be a professional actress, and in the fall of 2007 I decided it wasn’t the path for me. This realization came when an ex-boyfriend of mine was signing up for art classes in college, and I was jealous of him because I had to sign up for another theater class. It was painful to accept that I didn’t want to be an actress. I graduated from High School early for acting, it was all I knew. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, except I loved art and writing.  I felt more comfortable at art openings, than I did at film festivals. So I got a gallery internship after not signing up for my regular acting class, and started working at 01 Gallery.

The first Thinkspace opening I ever went to was Sarah Joncas and Camilla d’Errico in January 2008. This was a month after I decided to no longer pursue acting. As I drove away from the show, staring at the illuminated painted install shining out from the front window, I told my friend, “that’s the kind of gallery I want to be a part of.” I started my internship with 01 Gallery the following week, and was with them for 7 months before I knew it was time to move on. It was a Thursday when I sent out my resume to galleries around Los Angeles looking for a new internship; Monkey King, Gallery 1988, CoproNason to name a few. When it came down to Thinkspace, my dream gallery, I decided to call them instead. I think a part of me figured getting rejected immediately from them, would be easier than the torture of waiting for an email response.

thinkspace window camilla d'errico

LC, one of the owners of Thinkspace, picked up the phone and I nervously asked if they were looking for interns. He said he was looking for an assistant and if I could come in that day. I agreed, and jumped in the shower to be a presentable human being. I remember it wasn’t a convenient time for me, but when your dream gallery ask you to come in, you don’t say no.  We chatted, and by the end of the conversation LC told me he was going on a tour for a month, but when he got back we’d get started. I quit my internship with 01 Gallery, and a month later returned to Thinkspace to get started as LC’s assistant. 2 years after being with Thinkspace, LC shared with me that he hadn’t officially hired me that fateful Thursday afternoon, but figured “hey this girl keeps showing up, and working hard…why continue the search.”  For a moment I was embarrassed by my brazen assumption I had been chosen to be an intern, but then that assumption secured me a position with my dream gallery.

thinkspace silverlake

Now 7 years later, I’m no longer a Thinkspace intern, but occasionally a gallery assistant and solid family member. The title ‘La Familia’ of Thinkspace’s 10 year anniversary is so on point, as this gallery really developed a community and family in the ten years it’s been around. I came in a little late, but over the last 7 years I see familiar faces and seen artist grow from small pieces in a group show to practically selling out an entire large room (looking at you Jacub Gagnon). This gallery has helped to shine a spotlight on emerging artist and foster an environment for them to flourish.  I’m not an artist, but at one point in time I was curating art shows and it’s solely due to the conversations I had at Thinkspace. Man I remember the day Audrey Kawasaki said I could do anything I put my mind to, I had the energy for it. I might have been buzzed on beer, but I swear she said it!

familiar faces

I love my blood family, but my art family has really shaped who I am today. I was raised to be incredibly cautious and rational. To not just look before I jump, but to inspect the ground and make sure I have the right permits. To consider what the tax situation is going to be like and will I need insurance. For me, growing up with that kind of pressure paralyzed me from doing anything. It was overwhelming to just think about possibly trying something new, and doing something on my own. LC taught me to just do it. He encouraged me to curate my first art show, along with the other owners Shawn and Andrew. They were incredibly supportive, and always gave me a blast in the Sour Harvest newsletter.  Every Thursday for 3 years, LC listened to my romantic woes while I packaged art, spackled holes, and leveled paintings.  He gave me advice on guys, while we searched for artist to invite to Cannibal Flower. I’d share an idea with him while eating lunch; expressing how I wanted to interview artist with silly questions like ‘what’s your spirit animal’, and he’d just say – well do it. That’s how My Favorite MAOI came to be, and although I’ve moved away from that blog, it taught me a lot as well.  Some of the artist I had interviewed or worked with in my early art shows are now represented by Thinkspace, like Glenn Arthur and Kevin Peterson. What can I say, I think I have a good eye!

glenn arthur 2009

Picture from the show Black Market Sugar I curated at The Lab in Costa Mesa

Thinkspace was the catalyst in my life to a happier, more confident, and fulfilling path. LC, Valentine, Shawn and Andrew will stand in my future wedding photos like the important family members they are. If a terrible Si-Fi movie of my life was to be written and the plot was to ruin my existence, all the villain would have had to do was distract LC and prevent him from picking up my call that Thursday afternoon. I was totally lost with no direction when I landed on Thinkspace’s doorstep, and they raised me up like a stray kitten. I’ve grown and changed so much within the last seven years, and I truly attribute a lot of that positive growth to the people at Thinkspace.

I commend you if your attention span actually read my entire love letter. I could write a 1000 more words about how amazing this gallery is and the ways it has influenced my life, but then I’d really just have my heart bleeding all over this post.  ‘La Familia’ opens tomorrow and it’s going to be crazy, and amazing!

I love my crazy amazing art family.

Xoxo, Bekka

family portrait

sorry David Cooley (he’s being covered by Valentine)

November 15, 2014

ART + MUSIC : El Jaleo with Iron and Wine

I’ve been reading An Object of Beauty and this painting “El Jaleo” by John Singer Sargent (1882) is shown in the book. Immediately the image reminded my of the “Boy with a Coin” by Iron & Wine music video.  Now I will introduce this beautiful combination to my readers, enjoy.

El Jaleo John Singer Sargent  Painting

 

 

October 9, 2014

OKC : Birth of a Dream

womb gallery roadtrip

The saying, if you knew how powerful your thoughts are you’d never have a bad one, really is the best intro into what I’m about to share. Wayne Coyne, singer of Flaming Lips, lives in Oklahoma City and has a reputation for being very nice, giving, and open. A king of the freaks, he welcomes people, if you can find him. Knowing his gallery, Womb Gallery was located in Oklahoma City, Bowerbird and I decided on a whim to just see if we knocked on the door possibly we would be able to stay at the compound.  Unfortunately the freak storm in Oklahoma, caused us to pull off the road 16 miles from the gallery and all my hopes of running into Wayne washed away.

The next morning we went to the gallery, and as Womb is known to have fluctuating hours, I assumed we’d only be able to take pictures on the outside and it would put us 10 minutes behind schedule max. We also had the diamond crater of Arkansas on our list of things to do that day. Instead Womb Gallery turned into nearly an hour excursion and it was better than we could have imagined, we found a different kind of diamond that day.

Driving up to the gallery, there was a group of men taking down an installation of a nose on the outside of the building. I could tell the gallery probably wasn’t open, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from asking. Approaching the gallery manager, we asked if it was open and after explaining we we’re on a road trip from California and wouldn’t be able to swing back for the show, Jake was very kind and offered to give us a tour. Their show Acid Off by artist Isis Fisher opens this weekend, October 11, and half the space was incomplete but the concepts mind blowing.

Glitter floors, fluorescent walls, textural and scent stimulating sculptures; the entire space awakens a creative spark within. Pushing norms, and mixing the absurd with post-modern fine art.  Jake and I geeked out on art, discussing past exhibits with Dalek and Bigfoot. I even shared with him an artist I had worked with before, Alex Chiu that I feel would fit in the gallery perfectly.

***photos and topics after the jump are graphic in nature, Bowerbird’s mom who is a loyal reader will most likely not enjoy the following – so you’ve been warned ❤ ***

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August 15, 2014

FLASHBACK FRIDAY : Artist Glenn Arthur

 

First published on My Favorite MAOI – 6/5/2009

Name: Glenn Arthur
Nickname: Glenny
Sign: Aquarius

Favorite:
Ice Cream: Strawberry
Book: The kind I can color in.
Color: Black (but only until they come out with something darker)

Q1. What animal is your spirit guide?
A1.Not sure. I hope it’s a hummingbird…and if it’s not then I’ll just lie and say it is 😉

Q2. If you had a parrot what would you teach it to say?
A2.”Get off my lawn!”

Q3. What superhero would you make your sidekick?
A3.Wonder Woman for sure. But only if i get to fly the invisible jet!

Q4. What do you admire in a person?
A4.Intelligent vulgarity.

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February 19, 2014

LA ART SHOW 2014

Los Angeles Art Show Vlog

 

I’ve been developing a YouTube channel that is a funnel for my interests, another outlet to share my thoughts and be expressive. My goal is to have a lot more art and music related content posted on the channel, a part from the silly Tag Videos and Haul purchases. An example of this was my Vlog of attending the LA Art Show a few weeks ago, well a solid month ago.

The show was an incredible visual stimulation overload. By the time we left, I was almost completely desensitized. Seeing pieces and galleries we had missed on our four hours of art absorption on the way out, I felt only the slightest tug at my art heart strings saying “turn around and see what you missed” . The LA Art Show CAN NOT be done right in one day. Even if you give yourself enough time to not be rushed, you end up skimming over pieces because something else grabs your attention more. You miss just being with each piece, and taking in all it has to tell you before your brain burns out.

While watching back at the pieces I filmed, I realized I have a strong affinity for mixed media and repurposed art. The structural and three dimensional aspects of the pieces that really grabbed my attention were so well constructed. The artistry was balanced with this technical craftsmanship that was awe-inspiring. Yet there were post modern paintings executed with classic techniques and touched upon today’s society, making them rich social artistic commentary on the world we live in today. There was so much I didn’t get on camera because I was shy. I’m getting better putting myself out there in public, and I just need to remind myself it’s for the greater good of sharing the art and the experience.

Hope you enjoy my LA ART SHOW experience!

More details on the pieces filmed after the jump.

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November 23, 2013

Rabbit Hole Discoveries

One neat discovery leads me to another, and I end up clicking link after link, a process I like to call my journey down the rabbit hole. Here is a short tail…

I love the artist Timothy Karpinksi, his work possesses a cozy whimsy I fell in love with instantly. His piece, “Ready to see my Sweetheart” is the first piece of art I ever bought.  Funny how the man I’m madly in love with, kind of looks like the boy in the piece.

READ_TO_SEE_MY_SWEETHEART

I was searching Thinkspace’s website to see what available work they had of Tim’s and think I found a piece I want to get for Bowerbird and I. But I won’t share that.

On Tim’s site there is a video of him being interviewed for Jackass Television created by a Lauren Graham. The art show featured in the interview is where the piece I purchased was first shown. Poking around Lauren’s Viemo channel I can see she has grown into quite the professional creative director since then. I loved looking through her “live action” look books, but more so I got sucked into following the adventures of her and a friend in an short web-series made 3 years ago.

webseries

I’m seriously addicted to her channel and her talent!

An article I read about Instagram Envy lead me to my next discovery,  an intriguing lady name Ms. Stephanie LaCava. She’s a notable voice in the world of Fashion, writer, and knows multiple languages. Having worked for magazines around the world, she definitely gives an air of mystery. I think imagining Stephanie’s life is more magical than possibly having it. I mean she is real, and undoubtedly lives a life of luxury and glamour. But from my little corner of the inter-web she is only a character, and characters really get to be dolls to your imagination.  She wrote a book I’m very interested in reading, on a cloudy day wrapped in a green cardigan and oversized t-shirt, sitting on a nook with warm tea by my side.

stephanie+lacava+book+review+blog+lifestyle+fashion+paris

I found the above photo on the Sophist blog, looks like a site I could wander around in.  

Oh did you know model Jessica Stam has a Spotify playlist on SkullCandy’s website? Yeah, neither did I, and I haven’t checked it out yet. Only found it cause I need new ear buds, well I don’t need them but I really want new ones.

jessica-stam-skullcandy

So that’s it, those are the highlights of this rabbit hole adventure. Although you will probably see my other finds sprinkled across social media. I do seem to find quite a bit that amuses me.  But here I’ll narrate their tail* to discovery.

*please realize I am purposely misspelling tale!*