The Hole heads to LA – Facemaker

Ben Jones

Get ready for some irony: Jeffrey Deitch closes Deitch Projects and leaves to be director at MOCA in LA, Kathy Grayson aka Deitch’s right hand woman at Deitch Projects opens The Hole in NYC to fill the hole left by Deitch’s departure and now The Hole has a show opening in LA this Wednesday night to coincide with MOCA’s Art in the Streets show.

The Hole are putting on a show, Facemaker, at Royal/T in Culver City. Basically, Facemaker is a portraits show. Despite one of the silliest press releases I’ve read this month (“The show will explore interpretations of the most universal element of human perception: the face.”), the show looks to be something worth seeing. The line-up is beyond impressive. Here it is:

Ben Jones, Barry McGee, Kenny Scharf, Joe Grillo, assume vivid astro focus, Tomoo Gokita, Eric Yahnker, Jane Moseley, Olaf Breuning, KAWS, Ted Mineo, David Shrigley, Shepard Fairey, Eddie Martinez, Taylor McKimens, Francine, Speigel, Avery Newman, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Robert Lazzarini, Aurel Schmidt, Kembra Pfahler, Rivas & Tullie, Aaron Johnson, Brian Belott, Matt Leines, Swoon, Allison Schulnik, Clare Rojas, Jules de Balincourt, Michael Williams, Takeshi Murata, Anders Oinonen, Justin Samson, Misaki Kawai, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Dennis Tyfus, Katherine Bernhardt, Todd James, Matt Greene, Stefan Bondell, Spencer Sweeney, Nate Lowman, Mat Brinkman, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Billy Grant, Adam Tullie and FriendsWithYou

So regardless of a crazy press release, this is still something to get excited about. I’ll be there Wednesday at the opening (8pm-midnight) and the show runs through June 30th.

Image courtesy of The Hole

PRISM: Come As You Are

PRISM, that crazy-awesome gallery in LA, has what might be their best show yet opening on Thursday. Come As You Are features work from artists like Clare Rojas, Os Gêmeos, Ed Templeton and Dennis Hopper. The New Image Art blog has some photos of two new Os Gêmeos artworks that will be in the show.

Barry McGee and Clare Rojas museum show

Barry McGee

Husband and wife artist duo Barry McGee and Clare Rojas opened a show together last week at the Bolinas Museum in California. McGee and Rojas installed the shows together, but they have separated them into two segments: McGee’s Leave it Alone and Rojas’ Together At Last. The show/shows are open until August 1st. The Art Collectors have a good review of the show, much more articulate and intelligent than whatever I would have said. Here are some pictures anyway:

Barry McGee
Clare Rojas
Barry McGee
Clare Rojas
Barry McGee

And it looks like McGee has already moved on to his next project. He is painting some murals in conjunction with the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, but not everyone in town to happy about that, graffiti as art and all…

Photos by fresh888

Clare Rojas in the UK

C.H, 2006

This month, Clare Rojas’ show We They, We They opened at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, UK. For whatever reason, this hasn’t gotten as much attention as it deserves. It took me a while to warm up to Rojas’ paintings, but now I’m definitely a fan.

Red Feather Flower, 2006

Ikon presents the first UK museum exhibition by American artist, Clare Rojas (b. 1976, Ohio, lives and works in San Francisco).  Best known for her folk-inspired practice, Rojas uses a wide range of media, including painting, installation and printmaking.  Her work is characteristically made by using flat areas of colour betraying her origins as a printmaker, its naïf, homespun style thrown into relief by a knowing subject manner.  Thus Rojas challenges, with humour and irony, stereotypical representations of the sexes.

The exhibition at Ikon, comprising much new work, marks a shift in Rojas’ practice. Paintings of empty domestic interiors suggest people have just departed, leaving clues of their identities, subtle revelations of gender and class. In other paintings, images of women are increasingly abstracted and yet retain a deceptive playfulness. Stacked conglomerations of shape, colour and pattern evoke figurative presence – a crescent of hair, a waist of a figure – all rendered in Rojas’ distinctive, flat style. It is as if she is reclaiming tropes from early modernist masters, visual languages that were particularly focused on feminine subjects such as the cubism of Picasso or the surreal biomorphism of Miro.

Rojas’ paintings will form centrepieces in a larger installation that is the entire exhibition, walls of the gallery covered by a patchwork of painted panels akin to a quilt.  Some are focused on particular imagery; others are assemblages of colour and pattern. They combine to recall a myriad of references from West Coast modernism, to Latino folk or Native American craft, outsider art and street graffiti.

Ikon’s Tower Room will contain paintings on antique banjos, drawing together Rojas’ musical and literary interests where lyrics describe relationships, sometimes with tenderness, sometimes with pointed humour.  Around the time of the exhibition opening there will be a concert in which the artist will perform songs taken from her albums released under the name of her alter-ego Peggy Honeywell.

A publication will accompany the exhibition; a children’s story illustrated with  images of new work.

In collaboration with Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco.

I’ll probably try to make a trip up to Birmingham in the next few weeks. This looks like it could be something really special.

Untitled, 2007

Photos courtesy of Clare Rojas and Ikon

Welcome to Miami


Seth and I haven’t even been in Miami twenty-four hours yet, but I wanted to quickly share a few of the things we’ve seen so far. There’s still time to buy a plane ticket if you haven’t already – this year is going to be one of the best yet and you don’t want to miss it. The piece above is by Nina, one of the artists participating in Deitch’s Wynwood Walls. osgemeos are beginning their work alongside her below (that’s Otavio in the pic).

Nina and osgemeos

A block away is the Barry McGee building.

Barry McGee

Barry McGee

Then Shepard’s wall, the first of several he’ll be working on in Miami.

Shepard Fairey

Then there’s the main complex; when we were there last night, Nunca, Aiko and Clare Rojas were hard at work.




Clare Rojas

Then there’s SCOPE, not too far down the street. This is the Vandalog fair! Gaia’s piece is looking amazing outside.


And here’s a peek at our booth, #127. Just waiting for Nunca’s piece to come back from the framers, then we’re ready to hang!

Carmichael Gallery - booth 127

American Realities @ New Image Art

A very exciting show opens at New Image Art in LA next week. “American Realities” opens March 28th and is a group show with Clare Rojas, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, and Lydia Fong.

From New Image Art’s blog:

Opening reception Saturday, March 28,
7 to 10pm
Musical performance by Peggy Honeywell and comedic act by Andrew Jeffrey Wright

Clare Rojas, Barn with ghost

Clare Rojas:
San Francisco painter, singer, and filmmaker Clare E.Rojas is not a folk artist. In Clare Rojas’ works, women, men, nature and animals are strong and weak caring and connected to one another in their struggle to find harmony and balance. She celebrates women for their traditional and most basic differences and strengths. While the characters are often imbued with feelings of loss and nostalgia, one gets the sense that they will not back down. They will ultimately beat their predators at their own game.

Rojas’s appropriation of folk imagery addresses contemporary female social concerns “The feeling of loss in my work, is my feeling of loss of hope. The struggle to find the good and the beautiful and represent it is my challenge. Understanding the ugliness that finds its way into our culture is crucial.” Rojas’s beautiful uses of allegory and of an imagined cultural landscape in her paintings act to subvert our current accepted perceptions of women. It allows the spectator an engagement with an alternate evocative world that is both funny and sad and that points to the complexities of being a resilient female in the twenty-first century. Rojas often depicts women alone, standing amid a flattened forest landscape, but this is not to suggest that they are lonely. No, Rojas’s women exist in their own reality, feeling peaceful, protected, and quiet.

Selected exhibitions include a group exhibition with the Luggage Store, San Francisco in 2003 for which she won a Louis Comfort Tiffany award. In 2004 Rojas had a solo show at the San Francisco Art Institute and at the Belkin Satellite Gallery in Vancouver. Her work was included in the travelling exhibition, Beautiful Losers. She has exhibited at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, and was most recently a featured artist at the Prospect.1 New Orleans Biennial.

*Partial Text Credit to : Dietch Projects, and Katie Geha Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

AJW, triangles

Andrew Jeffrey Wright:
Andrew Jeffrey Wright is a current and founding member of Philadelphia’s Space 1026 art commune. He has a BFA in Animation. The collaborative animation “the manipulators”, which he made with Clare E. Rojas, has won the top prize for animation at the New York Underground Film Festival and the New York Comedy Film Festival. Wright’s highly limited edition handmade books have gained an international following. His works include painting, animation, drawing, collage, photography, sculpture, video, installation, screen printing and performance. He has shown at Lizabeth Oliveria(LA), New Image Art(LA), Spector(Philadelphia), The Luggage Store(San Francisco), Lump(Raliegh), The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts(Philadelphia), ICA(Philadelphia), Giant Robot NY(NYC) The Corcoran(DC) and Foundation Cartier(Paris). He has shown with Barry McGee, Paper Rad, Leif Goldberg, Clare E. Rojas, Marcel Dzama and Michael Dumontier.

Lydia Fong
Lydia Fong is a multi-disciplinary artist
from Shanghai.