And Now, For Something Newd

[ I’ll be exhibiting at And Now, For Something Newd, a unique show curated by artist J. Michael Walker. Held at Avenue 50 Studio in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, this uncommon group exhibit will showcase artworks that portray the nude human figure. I’ve long appreciated Walker for his impeccable draftsmanship and commitment to craft, so when he asked me to participate in a show he was curating I was immediately interested. Walker’s concept for the exhibit was deviously simple - pick established artists not known for doing nudes, and challenge them to depict the unclothed human form. I saw the proposal as an opportunity to put myself to the test, so I accepted Walker’s offer without hesitation.

I turned to my love of printmaking and created monotype prints for the show. My expressionistic paintings of a female figure were painted directly on glass with oil paints, and then hand rubbed to pull the impressions. While the works are figurative, I was striving to generate images full of spontaneity and gesture - compositions without the level of detail I’m known for. I’m pleased with the outcome and it will be a genuine pleasure to exhibit my prints alongside the artworks of Diane Gamboa, David Botello, Frances Dunham Catlett, Raoul De la Sota, Cici Gonzalez, Sergio Rebia, Reyes Rodriguez, Kevin Hass, Irene Fertik, Don Normark, Tomás Owen, and of course - J. Michael Walker. The official Press Release for the Avenue 50 Studio exhibit follows: ]

Monotype print by Mark Vallen

[ Mark Vallen, Nude, 2006, Monotype print. Click here to see a larger image. ]


Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park excitedly (yet respectfully) directs your attention to its new exhibit, featuring the works of thirteen contemporary artists, in homage to the human figure. And Now, For Something Newd ranges widely across media – including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture – to consider the undraped form with affection and skill. Los Angeles artist J. Michael Walker, known for both his historical series All the Saints of the City of the Angels and his depictions of The Daily Life of the Virgin of Guadalupe, guest curates the show. As Walker explains, “The human figure is granted little respect in contemporary depiction; more commonly it is demeaned or exploited, fetishized or treated ironically. Yet the nude has historically been a template for our hopes and dreams, as it is also an intimate record of life’s journey. I wanted to see how - or whether - contemporary artists could create significant works of art acknowledging that legacy.”

“These are artists for whom I have great respect, and most have never attempted or exhibited a nude. Hence the show’s playful title,” Walker relates. “For example, David Botello, a founding member of East Los Streetscapers, concentrates on socially conscious public art; Frances Dunham Catlett and Cici Gonzalez typically paint nonrepresentational lyrical works; Raoul De la Sota creates luminescent, mystical landscapes grounded in pre-Columbian myth; Mark Vallen is a strong and skillful political artist; Irene Fertik is a widely-published documentary photographer; and Don Normark is most widely known for his photographs of Chávez Ravine.”

“Only Diane Gamboa,” Walker continues, “exhibits nudes as a significant part of her oeuvre, which tends to be both edgy and graphically elegant. All the more reason I am keen to see the result of her meditation on the nude. I have given these artists only one directive: Make the work both thoughtful and gorgeous. I am confident each will surprise and surpass my expectation.”

The Artists’ Reception will take place on Saturday, February 11th, from 7 to 10 pm., with the exhibit running from February 11th through March 12, 2006. Avenue 50 Studio is located at 131 No. Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA., 90042. Click here for a MapQuest map. For more information, contact gallery director, Kathy Mas-Gallegos, at: (323) 258-1435, or view the gallery’s website, at: www.avenue50studio.com

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