Since we were flying back Monday we had Sunday to explore & went down to Laguna Beach. Got a chance to catch the "In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor" exhibit at the Lagina Art Museum which was amazing - pretty damn near every important underground/lowbrow/pop surrealist artist out there including Mark Ryden, Alex Grey, Glenn Barr, Tim Biskup, Camille Rose Garcia, Michael Hussar, Joel Peter Witkin, Big Daddy Roth, RK Sloan, Robert Williams, Coop, SHAG, Moira Hahn, Don Ed Hardy, Rick Griffith, R. Crumb, Shepard Fairey, Murakami, Basil Wolverton, Ron English and a ton more.
Most mind blowing was Mark Ryden's "The Creatrix" - I used it as a Xmas card last year so I'm sure many of you have seen it but getting to see the original was amazing - it is HUGE and painted with intense fine detail like a 2 haired brush in early renaissance fashion somewhere in between Botticelli and Van Eyck. And so many amazingly tiny details I'd never noticed before, like how the garland on her shirt forms DNA strands or the tiny jewel like Japanese beetles arranged in a row along the edge or all the weird prehistoric mammals like the giant ground sloth...
And at the other end of the room was an amazing Todd Schorr homage to King Kong called "Ape Worship".
Also very cool to see the original of Michael Hussar's "Self Potrait of Hans Memling", especially as I have the limited print of it :)
Overall I was especially impressed by how many of the pieces echoed back to famous works throughout art history, especially the Italian early renaissance and northern european works of that era. It definitely helps to have a deep knowledge and appreciation of art history to "get the in-jokes" so to speak.
Great selection at the gift shop too with many books on the artists represented - I picked up copies of "Fushigi Circus" by Mark Ryden and "The Magic Bottle" by Camille Rose Garcia - glad to see the Gail Ptocki book in person as I'd eventually like to pick that up. Just wish there had been postcards and/or small (affordable) posters/prints.
Tons of pix on this blog here. There is an exhibition catalog coming out (not done yet) that I have on pre-order from Amazon.
More art geeking to come as tomorrow Paula & I are catching the way-too-early (but cheapest) Amtrak up to NYC to head to the Brooklyn museum for the Murakami show as this is th elast weekend for it. I am looking forward to the trip but not getting up at 5 AM - ack! I am still really tired from last weekend so I think I am going to skip the Alkaline Trio show in Baltimore tonight & instead see an early show of "Hellboy" (which I am DYING to see) and then crash early - I need it.
Blog fulla pix here
June 22 - October 5, 2008
In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor is an exhibition that presents the work of 150 artists and posits that there has been a huge, but unacknowledged art movement taking place in this country for the last 40 years. Since 1994, this ground swelling of lowbrow, surrealistic, pop, figurative, narrative work has coalesced and found a voice in the pages of Juxtapoz magazine published in San Francisco. This rag has become the most widely read art magazine in the US. It is an influencing force on the aspiring artists of Generation Y and the Millennials, who are now enrolling in art schools in numbers never seen before.
Juxtapoz magazine was founded by Los Angeles-artist Robert Williams. The “Juxtapoz aesthetic or lowbrow art” is almost always figurative, and is inspired by movies, TV, advertising, black-velvet painting, psychedelic posters, pulp porn, sci-fi and horror, carnival art, comics books and all things lower- and middle-class. The Magazine has and does provide a voice and validation for a brand of artist, like Williams, who has not been accepted traditionally by the typical art-world infrastructure of collector, curator, and critic. However, since its founding, it has been the clear focal point for having been the inspiration for the creation of its own infrastructure that supports Juxtapozian art with galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, collectors, followed by critical attention, followed by museum exhibitions at adventurous institutions. With it’s growing success Juxtapoz has been a major contributor to the reemergence of painting again as a valid practice for artists since the mid-1990s, running counter to forty-years of art-school canon that focused on the Conceptual practice of context, collectivization, and dematerialization of the art object.
For the last decade the art establishment (collector, curator, and critic) has argued that the idea, or construct, of an art movement is outmoded. This exhibition explores the idea of a “Juxtapoz Factor.” Is it an organized movement operating under a singular manifesto? Or is it a wave of talented overlooked artists who decided to reach out to the public and create their own canon?
This exhibition is organized by Laguna Art Museum and curated by Meg Linton, Director of the Ben Maltz Gallery and Public Programs at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with essays by the curator and Laguna Art Museum director Bolton Colburn.
Ray Martin Abeyta
Clayton Brothers (Rob and Christian)
Einar and Jamex de la Torre
The Date Farmers
Camille Rose Garcia
Jeff Gillette Doze Green
Don Ed Hardy
F. Scott Hess
Michael C. McMillen
Gail Potocki Spain Rodriquez
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
Kathy Staico Schorr
R. K. Sloane
Mark Dean Veca
S. Clay Wilson