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Creativity Without Limits

School of Photography

Visit to learn more about total costs, median student loan debt, potential occupations and other information. Accredited member WASC, NASAD, CIDA (BFA-IAD, MFA-IAD), NAAB (B.ARCH*, M.ARCH), CTC (California Teacher Credential). *B.ARCH is currently in candidacy status.

School of Visual Development School of Illustration

Student Artwork By Kristen Grundy, School of Photography

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Sam Friedman Untitled (8) Acrylic on canvas 16" x 20" 2014
















































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JUXTAPOZ ISSN #1077-8411 FEBRUARY 2015 VOLUME 22, NUMBER 2 Published monthly by High Speed Productions, Inc., 1303 Underwood Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124–3308. © 2015 High Speed Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Juxtapoz is a registered trademark of High Speed Productions, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the author. All rights reserved on entire contents. Advertising inquiries should be directed to: Subscriptions: US, $29.99 (one year, 12 issues) or $75.00 (12 issues, first class, US only); Canada, $75.00; Foreign, $80.00 per year. Single copy: US, $6.99; Canada, $6.99. Subscription rates given represent standard rate and should not be confused with special subscription offers advertised in the magazine. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Francisco, CA, and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 0960055. Change of address: Allow six weeks advance notice and send old address label along with your new address. Postmaster: Send change of address to: Juxtapoz, PO Box 884570, San Francisco, CA 94188–4570. The publishers would like to thank everyone who has furnished information and materials for this issue. Unless otherwise noted, artists featured in Juxtapoz retain copyright to their work. Every effort has been made to reach copyright owners or their representatives. The publisher will be pleased to correct any mistakes or omissions in our next issue. Juxtapoz welcomes editorial submissions; however, return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts, art, drawings, and photographic materials if they are to be returned. No responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. All letters will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject to Juxtapoz’ right to edit and comment editorially.

FEBRUARY, n169 $6.99

Cover art by Sage Vaughn Ring Cycle II Oil, acrylic, ink, and velum on canvas 60" x 60" 2010

Juxtapoz Is Published by High Speed Productions, Inc. 415–822–3083 email to:

Keith Haring, Untitled, 1982. Vinyl paint on vinyl tarpaulin. Collection of Sloan and Roger Barnett. Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation






ISSUE NO 169 “...I had taken painting completely apart, and found myself essentially with a set of possibilities and a set of questions and with absolutely no way of answering them.” —Robert Irwin, in an interview at University of Colorado, about his time after art school HOW FITTING THAT ROBERT IRWIN IS SAGE VAUGHN’S favorite artist. After all, the seminal documentary about the artist is called Robert Irwin: The Beauty of Questions. And right now, and for the past year, Sage has been asking a lot of questions about his work. Sharing similar backgrounds, they both grew up in Los Angeles, left university and found themselves immersed in scenes with talented friends, each spending a respectable amount of time honing their craft and deconstructing their talents as painters and artists. Granted, Irwin’s growth was at a time of Abstract Expressionism and Vaughn’s in the heart of what we will all probably backdate and call a Street Art/DIY era. Sage is now here, in 2015, with a new set of possibilities, a new direction in his paintings, a new family life, and more questions that he happily applies to his art practice. I’ve known Sage Vaughn for years and seen his oeuvre evolve from children and birds painted upon faded urban landscapes, to the stunning circular butterfly patterns. He allows the 10 |


viewer to examine his process by continually producing works on manila envelopes, an insight into the direction of the paintings that follow, as well as the fundamentals of a consistent studio practice of trial and error. When I was lucky enough to write an introductory short story for Vaughn’s book of envelope work, Message, I couldn’t help but think about my own process, and the development of any sort of youthful expectations I had in my life in regards to appreciating art. I loved that practice. I loved that Sage asked me to participate in that exercise of questioning. In his feature, the full spread of skull studies illustrates that process beautifully in purposeful repetition. Here, Sage Vaughn is now working on a new crop for the garden, pushing himself to ask questions about his approach to painting. With Sam Friedman, VIZIE, Jaybo Monk, Peter Shire and Maria Kreyn all in this issue, painters with a bounty of new stylistic directions, February 2015 is a proper way to look into a new year of endless experimentation. Enjoy #169.

Envelopes by Sage Vaughn


SAGE VAUGHN You’ve arrived at the office of Gary Burbank, Private Investigator MY STUDIO IS ON THE ONE DODGY STREET NEAR OLD Town Pasadena. There’s a Salvation Army Men’s shelter down the block, a junkie-infested park a block away (with lawn bowling), and a homeless service office just on the other side of us, so I have a pretty rad zone in the midst of a very consumer-driven shopping extravaganza. I know all the dudes pretty well, but most think my name is Kyle, and I don’t have the heart to correct them. This studio has floor to ceiling windows on three of the walls, and as soon as I acquired the spot, I immediately covered them with drop cloths. The sign out in front of the studio gate says Burbank Investigations, and I’m now listed in the Pasadena phone book as “Gary Burbank, Private Investigator.” It has the perfect ratio of coffee and lunch spots within a short drive. Of course, there are things that make it a little incomplete. I wish it had a bigger bathroom or a kitchen, and the parking 14 |


here is terrible because it is right next to a car wash. Sidenote: you’d never realize how many people actually work at a car wash. I once heard an artist say, “It’s terrible if you have an idea and then lose it while you’re looking for the right tools.” My studio may never be that clean, but it’s always really organized.

Sage Vaughn has a solo show at Judith Charles Gallery in New York City in spring 2015 For more information, visit and


Photography by Dan Monick


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SOUTH BEACH SCOPE Honoring print, and the continuing madness of Basel week THE LOEWS HOTEL SWIMMING POOL IN MIAMI’S SOUTH Beach was in the midst of a renovation at 3:00 AM on the morning of December 4, 2014. The architects were artists Swoon and Monica Canilao, who, throughout the evening, dove to the bottom of the gigantic pool to build an underwater installation dubbed Rare Sea. Generally, major hotels wouldn’t be so keen on allowing a large percentage of their pool to be taken over by ornate, temporary coral reefs. But this is Basel Week, and art takes precedence over just about every inch of South Beach. What happens when half the world has been blanketed by the winter blues of early December, and the biggest art extravaganza of the year comes to the warm, toasty shores of South Florida? Well, you get parties. And glitz. Perhaps a little glamour. For Juxtapoz, our curation the last two years has been centered around creating an experiential encounter with the culture surrounding the art we cover for 18 |


both readers and artists. The 2013 edition saw us team with Chandran Gallery for a full Beach House installation, surf shack and live concert. For 2014, Converse and Juxtapoz worked with Scope Miami Beach 2014 to fabricate two site-specific installations that both celebrated our legacy as a print publication and an epicenter of emerging art. A project long in the making, we teamed with Brooklyn-based artist Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer and his Doubleday & Cartwright agency to recreate the artist’s June 2009 Juxtapoz Newsstand cover as a physical, functioning newsstand in the center of the Scope fair. Our second installation involved taking one of the most riveting images of the year (from one of our favorite cover artists), Cleon Peterson’s Paint the Town, and working with fabricator Pretty in Plastic (see page 74) to transform it into a massive 3D sculpture at the entrance of Scope before it took up residence in Swizz Beats’ Dean Collection.

Juxtapoz Newsstand by Grotesk Scope Miami Beach 2014 Photography by Alex Nicholson


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A little further down the strip, at the aforementioned Loews Hotel, along with supporting Chandran Gallery, Algae Miami, and We Came In Peace for the Rare Sea installation, Juxtapoz once again teamed with UNIV for the second edition of our Surf Craft charity series. Kevin E. Taylor, Beau Stanton, Brett Amory and others painted on surfboards that, like in 2014, will eventually go to auction to benefit the Waves For Water charity that brings clean drinking water to areas of the world in need. Amidst the backdrop of immense art commerce taking place throughout Miami, fostering social consciousness becomes a necessary component to our curation and participation in Basel week. Of course there are parties to attend, fairs to see, and people to meet. Walking through the Art Basel Miami Beach fair is like a series of open doors to one museum after another, and we love seeing the likes of Ed Templeton, Shepard Fairey, and Eddie Martinez on the walls of some of the world’s most blue chip enterprises. We’re gratified that 20 |


at Scope, our newsstand could herald the announcement of the January 2015 cover by Dan Witz, as well as the work of fellow publications Victory Journal, Inventory and VNA to honor the world of print. With the hyperactivity of events that occupy the week, it’s a joyful opportunity to be on a team that ensures the art we want to see gets its deserved spotlight.

Thank you to Converse, Scope Art, Grotesk, Doubleday & Cartwright, Cleon Peterson, Swoon, Monica Canilao, Ty Williams, Thinkspace Gallery, Chandran Gallery, Loews Hotel, Edition Hotels, Liquitex, Ronnie Flynn, We Came in Peace, Algae Miami, ONLY, and Jon Le for all their support of Juxtapoz


above Rare Sea Party, Loews Hotel opposite (clockwise from top left) Jenny Morgan, Driscoll Babcock, Miami Project Monica Canilao, Rare Sea install, Loews Hotel Geoff McFetridge, Joshua Liner Gallery, Miami Project Surf Craft, Brett Amory and Beau Stanton, Loews Hotel Ed Templeton, Nils Stærk, Art Basel Miami Beach


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Japanese artist Mr. delivers neo pop to the northwest EVERY COUNTRY HAS MOMENTS THAT DEFINE a generation of its people, and thus reflect in that particular nation’s art, culture and music for the years that follow. September 11th, the Orange Revolution, and the Arab Spring all helped to forge cultural aesthetics and artistic viewpoints in their aftermath, for better or worse, effective or not. But there was something about the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that altered the output of some of Japan’s most famous artists in ways that both provocative and therapeutic, and very personal to the people of Japan. Takashi Murakami, perhaps Japan’s biggest artist, opened the landmark In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow exhibition at Gagosian in NYC In November, a show that captured the energy of the quake as both mythic and science-fiction. Mr., a protégé of Murakami, has always championed a particular Japanese aesthetic, otaku, with his massive paintings that look like still-lifes from popular anime and manga cultures. And Live On, Mr.’s first solo US museum exhibition organized by the Seattle Art Museum, contains a majority of this work, over 15 years of the artist’s career that has helped define contemporary Japanese pop art. 22 |


Looking deeper, the bright energy of each work captures a darker aspect of Japanese culture, one that the SAM notes is “Japanese youth subculture, and its rebellion against authority and political engagement in favor of fantasy and virtual experience.” It’s, to borrow a title, a bit of a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy. The centerpiece of Live On is Mr.’s response to the March 11th disaster, a massive installation of everyday Japanese objects surrounded by his paintings. Created as a representation of the debris that “blanketed the Tohoku area” in the aftermath of both the tsunami and earthquake, the installation represents the frustrations of a people overwhelmed after such a defining event, and the fear of the government’s suppression of facts in the midst of death and loss. It may look bright, but storm churns right behind.

Mr.’s Live On will be on display at the Seattle Art Museum/Asian Art Museum through April 5, 2015.


Making Things Right Acrylic on canvas 177" x 118" © 2006 MR./KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD Photo courtesy of Galerie Perrotin

K R 3 W D E N I M . C O M


CAPTURING THE BRONX Stephen Shames is still on the journey DURING GAME TWO OF THE 1977 WORLD SERIES AT Yankee Stadium, an aerial camera panned to a building on fire only blocks away, and the sports broadcaster, sharp and outspoken Howard Cosell, was attributed with saying, "There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.” Ronald Reagan would later use this phrase on a trip to the Bronx to illustrate how politicians had failed to address the extreme crisis confronting the borough. The same year, Stephen Shames was assigned to shoot a photo essay in the Bronx by Look magazine, subsequently igniting a 23year long photographic endeavor chronicling the lives of young boys in the area. Occasionally terrifying, as described by the photographer, Shames says the Bronx could also feel like home. Having an abusive father, Shames could relate to the pain of his subjects and was able to gain trust and unfiltered access through his empathy and devotion. The emotionally captivating images, entitled Bronx Boys, exhibit the poverty, addiction, violence and despair the boys endured, while inversely portraying the innocence, joy, bonding and romance that occurred. More penetrating than a blanket portrait of the entire community, Bronx Boys was personal, and Shames reflects that, “These are pictures of friends I met as children who became my family, as well as people who stepped in front of my camera once and disappeared forever. I watched my friends grow up, fall in love and have children of their own. The boys in the original ‘crews’ are 24 |


now in their forties. Their children are becoming adults. A few, including my two godsons, have made it; many others are dead or in jail.” Originally published in 2011 as one of the first authentic digital photo monographs, Bronx Boys was released this year in paper form from the University of Texas Press. Throughout the photographer’s extensive career, which includes eight monographs, several prestigious awards, fellowships and grants, with countless museums and foundations including his work in their permanent collections, Shames’ focus has stayed true: to use his photography as a humanitarian instrument to raise awareness of social problems, predominantly focusing on the issue of child poverty. Shames established L.E.A.D Uganda in 2004, a non-profit educational leadership initiative for children affected by AIDS—orphans, former child soldiers, abducted girls, and child laborers in Uganda. The initiative provides education to transform the lives of the children and to benefit communities where they can thrive. —Austin McManus

For more information about Stephen Shames, visit


Teen boy, an orphan, sits in the window of the abandoned building where he lives. 1982 – 1983

13-year-old Martin flirts with a girl. Decatur Avenue. 1982

Tony flirts with his girlfriend, who he married. 1983 – 1984

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Poncho and Tony cool off in water from the pump (fire hydrant) on a hot summer night. 1987 – 1988

Boys play basketball, using the fire escape ladder as the hoop. 1987 – 1988


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Rafael (13) jumps from one building to the next, eight stories up. 1977

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“Pilo Wall”. Teenage boy with toy gun. His son is at left. Two teens kiss. 1985





Echo Park sculpture legend Peter Shire on sex, socks and ceramics FAMOUSLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE MEMPHIS GROUP, the influential design collective founded in Milan, and currently working out of his Echo Park Pottery studio in Los Angeles, Peter Shire has been around the block a few times. Unique “post-pottery” pieces, drawings and public sculptures have been among his highly coveted objects of innovative design since the early ’70s. The artist recently told me his dirtiest joke and generously answered my questions for what was likely his millionth interview. Kristin Farr: You’ve lived in Echo Park your whole life. What has kept you there? Peter Shire: Echo Park always presented an aspect of privacy, yet was like Cairo after World War II. If you stood on the same corner, sooner or later, everyone in the world would pass by. After all, these are the roads and paths where my memories reside. In your mind, what’s the difference between art and design? This is one of those commentaries that the minute you say one thing, you think of something else that’s just the opposite. Perhaps art addresses feelings through objects of transient worth. And design approaches objects of necessity to give them aesthetic and even ephemeral worth. That’s a perfect definition. What motivates your practice and keeps you disciplined? Notions that it’s really a romance. Did any particular ceramicists influence you early on? Absolutely. In high school, Marguerite Wildenhaim, the Natzlers, and all that Austrian, Euro, pre-war elegance that people now think of as the ’50s. In art school, of course, it was Mason and Voulkous, Frimkess and Price. But about mid-way through, Domus magazine gave me vertigo. And 32 |


a book called Objects U.S.A. came out, and there was this guy Ron Nagle and his cup. His presentations were not only beautiful, they had the gestalt of everything we cared about at that time. The portrait of Ron Nagle in the upper corner was some mystery, some giddy malaprop of an out-of-focus guy with no teeth. It was so funny and fantastic. After art school, my Aunts Peggy and Jane started The Body Shop in Berkeley, and my brother Billy and I went up to help them expand it. Richard Shaw and Robert Hudson had a show at the San Francisco Art Museum that simply phenomenolized me. That was it! That was the vision, combined with the shapes and absurd relationships that Ron Nagle developed to function. What is your relationship to cars? Super intense. Which eras or cultures inspire you? Perhaps the ones that don’t will be a much shorter list. Of course, Japanese, Italian and French. In these nations, the aspects of movies, futurism, Mingei, food and food attitude, good looking women and homely men are things that have captured my imagination, as well as ideas of romance and the adventure of what a life could be. And of things that stir atavistic memories. Why do you think humor is important in life and art? Boy, that’s a good one. Ok, what’s your favorite joke? Sometimes a joke will be funny for months. It could be told and told, and all of a sudden, I tell someone, and it’s not funny. It’s like it has a lifespan, an arc. There’s one joke that’s so wonderfully stupid that I can depend on it, one that my father used. And it even got me more than once. Here it is—"Do you want to hear a really dirty joke? It’s the dirtiest

clockwise from left Sumimasen Part of the “Hokkaido Story” series Stainless steel, bamboo, hinoki, enamel 38.25" x 15.5" x 26.5" 1992 The No Doc Loans Come Home Gouache on paper 8.5" x 11" 2008 Ostrich 06 clay and glazes, copper 11" x 17.5" x 9" 1976

joke I know." So now you’ve got the listener’s attention. The punch line, upon demand, “A white horse fell in the mud!” Oh yeah, that’s a good one. Tell me about The Memphis Group. Were you the only American member? Memphis started in 1980, and Michael Graves was there. Another American who dropped in briefly was James Evanson. From 1980 to 1987, I was the only American who did work every year, although as an artist, not an architect. All those Domus magazines had seeped into my skin, and somehow there was a very extreme connection to the things I needed to see, and the things we were all doing. What can you say about your days at the Chouinard Art Institute, which is now the California Institute of the Arts? Chouinard connects to the socio-economics of the pre-war and the immediate post-war Southern California scene. That scene was one of a very humanistic, non-commercial infatuation with very high ideals of the “art way.” To be there at that time and catch those values was a realm apart of what we know today.

Why do think you’re attracted to sharp angles? Because I’m also attracted to round and sensuous shapes, especially boobs. What would black be without white? Heads without tails? Mutt without Jeff? Coffee without mugs? What’s the last piece you worked on in your studio? Gargantuan replicas of our Echo Park Pottery mugs. They are really silly. They could probably hold a half gallon of coffee. This is one of those things we do, where the wonder of a good joke can’t be resisted. What has inspired your cup and teapot innovations? What significance do you attribute to those forms? You can only imagine how many times I’ve been asked this question. Let’s see if there’s some ancillary vein that hasn’t been tapped… it’s funny, a teapot being a sculpture. Or a sculpture being a teapot. It appealed to my sense of absurdity. Really, it probably has to do with being a baby boomer and having working class sympathies. >> DESIGN JUXTAPOZ

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Here’s another one you’ve probably heard: what’s been an epic career moment that made you want to pinch yourself? Pinch myself? Before or after? It’s always nice to have someone doing the pinching for you. Maybe it’s like the difference between masturbation and actual sex. Whoa! Can you tell me about your “teapot house” instead? Well, everything is a teapot. True. What’s your relationship to color and why do you like working with it and being surrounded by it? Something so flabbergasting and mysterious, it defies description or dissection. It’s simply an emotion. What does your sock drawer look like? Sock-it-to-me. Just like the jokes… it goes in various arcs. Sometimes they are rolled up, and sometimes they are stretched out. There are four drawers, and sometimes they are ordered by striped and solid. And sometimes by soft and firm. And sometimes by purpose or origin. Italian socks are really beautiful, yet they lose their elastic quickly, so you have to wear them at times when you don’t mind if they fall down. Never discount the importance of how they interact 34 |


with whatever the T-shirt of the day is. Pants are the neutral, or the modifier between the two. Hence, depending on the season, certain socks are more operative. Why do you like messing with the line between art and function? Now, let’s get down to it. Fun. We’re Californians, we’re baby boomers, we’re in for fun, absurdity, exhilaration and intoxication, which doesn’t negate a quest for meaning in life and a questioning of what is real and what makes things real.

Public Work, Lines of Desire: Peter Shire is on view at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles through January 31, 2015, and he’ll be showing his Italian influences at the Italian Cultural Center in March 2015. For more information about Peter Shire, visit


left Laurel Part of the MEMPHIS/Milano series Steel, anodize, enamel 9" x 14" x 14" 1985 right Giotto Made for the Tops series, Galleria Milano 19.5" x 5" x 10" 1989














POP ON YOUR FEET Andy Warhol takes over the Chuck in a new collaboration with Converse AN ARTIST ONCE REMARKED THAT IF ART HISTORY were a competition, Andy Warhol would be the undisputed champion of the 20th Century. This isn’t hyperbole when considering not only the artistic impact, but also the cultural, musical, and pop aspects of Warhol’s career. He redefined what the role of the artist could be in a society.

of an original piece of art that Warhol created on a pair of Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers in the mid-1980s, the left sneaker famously reading “chicken” on the medial and “SIN” on the lateral side. The right sneaker features the word “meat” on the one side and an image of Jesus on the outside.

This may be old hat to some, but there are still legions discovering art, as well as aficionados who ruminate about the controversy and influence that Warhol has had over the world since the 1950s, even years after his death. In January 2015, Converse is set to release the Chuck Taylor All Star Andy Warhol Collection, a series of nine All-Star styles and three T-shirt designs.

On the occasion of these special releases, we speak with Damion Silver, Converse All Star Design Director, regarding Warhol’s direct and ancillary history with the brand, the dynamics of working with an icon, as well as the special exhibitions around the collection.

The centerpiece of the collection is the limited edition Converse First String Chuck ‘70 Andy Warhol sneaker, with only 200 pairs to be sold in the US. The pair is a replica

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Juxtapoz: Is there any indication or documentation that Warhol liked and wore Converse? Damion Silver: Andy Warhol famously created art inspired by American pop culture icons who surrounded him. He was a pioneer in utilizing the Chuck Taylor All Star as

a blank canvas and platform for self-expression. The original sneakers that he painted on are currently at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. In celebration of the cultural icon, we created a collection that brings to life Warhol’s distinct vision and creativity through the Converse lens. Was there a deliberate iconography that your team wanted to capture? Warhol may be the most famous artist the world has ever seen, but he doesn't have, say, an eponymous Mona Lisa that everyone identifies. Andy Warhol was a visionary and iconoclast who continues to inspire artists everywhere. We wanted to make sure the collection captures a cross section of his work, ranging from his iconic silkscreen pieces to the lesser known drawings and paintings. As the collaboration between

Converse and The Andy Warhol Foundation evolves, you’ll see an expanded portfolio of his artwork brought to life on our sneakers. What is the significance of the work that is featured on the shoe? The text is quite impactful, so there must be some history to it. The new collection features iconic Andy Warhol prints like the Campbell’s Soup can, newspaper headlines and motorcycle pop art imagery-adorned footwear and apparel for men and women. The collection also includes a limited edition Converse All Star Andy Warhol Chuck ’70 sneaker, which is a near replica of the sneakers that Andy Warhol painted on during the mid ’80s. The original sneakers feature images of various ads taken from the ’50s and includes graphics such as motorcycles and cold war


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maps. The original piece of art titled Sneaker, CA (198486) is currently featured at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. Only 200 pairs of the Converse All Star Andy Warhol Chuck ’70 sneaker will be available for purchase in North America. Describe the process of working with the Warhol Foundation. How collaborative can the process be? The Andy Warhol Foundation has been an integral and collaborative partner throughout our work together. They gave us access to their archives and we spoke in depth about Andy Warhol’s work. We continued to maintain a consistent and open dialogue with the foundation, sharing ideas back and forth, and building from Warhol’s work and techniques. In the end, we created an impactful collection that celebrates his legacy and inspires others to push the boundaries of creativity. In a similar vein, how different must it be to work with an artist’s foundation, rather than a living, commercial artist? 38 |


Truthfully, each artist collaboration is distinctly different. But for this collaboration, our goal was to create a collection that was true to both Warhol’s imagery and aesthetic, and the Converse brand. I believe we achieved that. How will the collection be presented? We’ll be hosting an intimate event in New York to debut the collection, including an art auction at the Joshua Liner Gallery.

For more information about the Warhol x Converse collection, visit



SHANNON CANE AND JORDAN NASSAR Printed Matter’s art book fairs are in good hands For nearly a decade, Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair has been one of the most celebrated annual events focusing on the growing and dedicated community of artists, curators, editors, and publishers in the art book world. From January 29 – February 1, 2015, the third edition of the LA Art Book Fair opens at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, and director Shannon Michael Cane and coordinator Jordan Nassar are behind one of the great art events of the year. Print does matter, and these guys set the stage. SAY THE WORD Shannon Michael Cane: I find this whole idea of print being dead a bit of a joke. Obviously the people who are saying that did not go to the NY Art Book fair this year. 360 exhibitors from 29 countries attracting a crowd of over 36,000 in three days, and this is a free event! I think it's a rumor started by Condé Nast to sell more online subscriptions. Since starting the NY Art Book Fair nine years 42 |


ago, there has been an international splintering of homage fairs. Berlin, Vancouver, London, Tokyo and Bergen, to name a few. We have also just been invited to two inaugural Art Book fairs next year in my homeland, Australia. The reason it hasn't died is because no matter how far technology takes us, we, as humans, will always have a need for tactile interactions, and books give us this. It's the perfect way to share and collate ideas. People with the gene for collecting will always want to put books on a shelf. THE EVOLUTION OF THE ART BOOK FAIRS SMC: AA Bronson ran the fair on an invitation basis and when I took over from him, I decided to open it up to an application process. Through the Printed Matter storefront in Chelsea, we have so much exposure to the independent publishing community, but I wondered who we could be missing as exhibitors. The LA fair currently has about 260 spots available, and this year we had over 700 applications. If you do the math, that's a lot of people we have to say

Portrait by Cali DeWitt

clockwise from top left Mark Gonzales, Thurston Moore and visitors to NYABF 2014 Photography by BJ Enright

no to, which makes my job as curator hard sometimes. It definitely has become a lot more competitive to get in the fair over the last few years; there are so many small presses starting up who are making really amazing books. WHERE IN THE WORLD? Jordan Nassar: Each year, we have a focus on a specific country at the NYABF, and each year it's different, depending on the country and the supporting institutions involved. The Norwegian Consul General in New York, who was an extremely generous supporter of the Norway focus this year, facilitated a dream trip to Norway in which Shannon and I were able to sit down with dozens of Norwegian publishers, artists, institutions and gallerists, and really carefully make a selection based on exposure and familiarity. We'd love the chance to work so carefully on such presentations every year! Outside of the focus rooms, we travel a good amount due to the fact that Shannon and I also run the Printed Matter booths at art fairs around the

world. This past year we did Art Basel Miami, Material Art Fair in Mexico City, Paris Photo LA, Art Basel Switzerland, and others. THE COLLECTION KEEPS GROWING SMC: I buy books every week, I can't help it. We have stock coming in from all around the world every day. I tend to collect a lot of out-of-print publications, ephemera and artist editions. Over the last few years, I have been obsessively seeking out publications from the NYC downtown scene of the early ‘80s. I feel like that this was a time when the NYC art scene was at it's most inspiring. Collectives like ABC No RIO and Colab, mail art artists like Ray Johnson, and east village artist David Wojnarowicz are just a few of the many people I'm interested in—such an amazingly rich history from that time. MISSING PAGES SMC: One thing my collection is living without is a copy of INFLUENCES JUXTAPOZ

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Gordon Matta-Clark's Wallspaper from 1973, it's one of my favorite examples of an artist book, and apparently the only artist book he ever made. I have been eyeing a copy in the store for the last six years but at two thousand dollars, it's a little out of my budget. JN: Being around all these rare out-of-print books all the time, there are many that I covet: Autobiography by Sol Lewitt, Babycakes by Ed Ruscha, and basically all of Dorothy Iannone's artist’s books. A BIG MENU JN: This year, in addition to the 250+ exhibitors with tables, we've got a whole bunch of special projects and exhibitions that are worth mentioning. We're putting on the exhibition of Dorothy Iannone's artist’s books that we first staged at NYABF14, but expanding it to include lots of ephemera and some multimedia as well. Onestar press / Three Star Books is doing their Book Machine project, which was previously staged in Paris and Houston. It pairs artists with designers and they collaborate on a book project at the fair 44 |


throughout the weekend. It culminates in a presentation of the resulting publications. Gagosian is planning a project room with Urs Fischer and his chef; KARMA has a secret rotating-display in store; Boo-Hooray is staging an exhibition of the punk/hardcore and beach photography of Spot, as well as an exhibition of work by Ed and Deanna Templeton, and finally Cali Thornhill Dewitt is doing a huge wall installation and an LAABF Fundraising Edition for us. The CABC (Contemporary Artists' Book Conference) is back with two days of programming; David Senior's Classroom is filling up with great talks and presentations; plus an outdoor stage with musical performances curated by Printed Matter, KCHUNG and Kill Your Idols... so much to see!

For more information about the LAABF, visit and It runs January 29 – February 1, 2015 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA


Parra’s mural at LAABF 2014 Photo by Vaan

LA Art Book Fair 2015 Fundraising Edition by Cali Thornhill Dewitt

SAGEVAUGHN The constant gardener of the 110


I’M IN SAGE VAUGHN’S CAR AS WE APPROACH THE ON-RAMP of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, heading from Silverlake to Sage’s studio in Pasadena, when he turns to me and says, “This is the oldest freeway in the United States. Actually, I don’t know that. I may be lying. Actually, this could be the first in a string of lies today.” To be fair, it is the oldest highway of record in the West. As for the rest of this story, I don’t know, but that’s the fun of it. Sage is taking me on a tour of the Southern California that he knows best, from his new home north of Downtown, to his studio in a private investigator’s former office in Pasadena, and over to his father’s home within lunar rock formations at the northern rim of the world famous suburban sprawl known as the Valley. The Arroyo, the 110 by definition, is a like a thread that connects much of Sage’s life. Today we follow that path, and I’m along for the ride. 46 |



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“There’s a lot of things I want to say that I don’t want to say in paintings.”


AGE VAUGHN HAS GONE THROUGH many transformations in the past few years. There have been the stunningly beautiful butterfly paintings, tapestries, envelope collages, and a wonderful and seemingly unlikely collaboration with wildlife photographer Michael Muller. His work has been exhibited at Lazarides in London and Mike D’s Transmission LA show at MOCA. Most importantly, Sage and his wife are now parents, changing the direction of not only his creative energy, but the contents of his work. I’ve been lucky enough to know Sage for years, lucky to have had the special opportunity to see works before they hit the gallery walls. And here I am in conversation with him in front of his new works, once again, a vast departure from what I have seen from Sage in previous years. There are large canvases of flowers, small drawings of skull treatments, studies in abstraction and daily tests on envelopes. They are beautiful, and Sage is candid in his new confidence. Yes, these new works are meditations on gardens and our ability to manipulate and control beauty. But other possibilities arise. These works find meaning in the patterns of personal life, the unseen mappings of our universe, and how we find ourselves connecting dots and moving forward without losing a sense of self. There is truth in this process.

have a skull or flowers in them, all these Flemish paintings in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries about the fragility of life. I really love it, and in my research, I started to do really expressive skull paintings, almost one a day. And then I started thinking about burial grounds and all the weird stuff about them, and it brought up a lot of questions for me. I didn’t really want to figure anything out, I just wanted to ask the questions and do the work. I was happy. So I started doing these pieces with the flowers, and underneath them, the patterns the flowers and gardens form are maps. This one [pointing to a massive painting in the corner of his studio] is a map of the neighborhood where I grew up. I want to lay out these flowers in a way that’s organic. I mean, I hate to use that word, but I want them to grow… they’re all wild flowers in a pattern that doesn’t look prescribed, not a curated rose garden or anything like that. But it’s really hard to do a random pattern, so I thought, I’ll start with an image and start building on that, like an image of my neighborhood. I started doing these pieces with constellations and would build flowers on top of that. I did one of the constellations Leo and Pleiades. For me, it’s a weird, interesting new style of painting.

Sage and I met up in Pasadena and drove across the Valley talking about Flemish art, his son, and finally getting over on Alexis Ross.

I had so much less time in the studio this last year because of the kid. So there’s more time making work in my head than ever before. I would take iPhone photos of cool little details of my big paintings,and started making paintings of those details. With the skulls, the gardens, and these paintings of paintings, I was getting as close to abstraction as I could without actually being abstract. I was breaking up these things, but there are still recognizable forms in them.

Evan Pricco: Let’s talk about the garden. Sage Vaughn: At the time I started this new body of work, I was getting into the idea of flowers on graves. This idea of mortality. I’ve been doing a lot of paintings on the subject of vanitas, which is an old still life. The works usually would

The diptychs are a beautiful, new way for you to juxtapose imagery, as opposed to butterflies over cityscapes or figurative scenes. Your contrasts are side by side. I like to get that dialogue going, but somehow, on these new ones, it’s distilling the two images and then just putting

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Landscape (Old Neighborhood) Acrylic, ink, and vellum on canvas 70" x 70" 2014

them together again—asking questions as opposed to forcing the answer. It’s been a duel investigation on both sides in terms of content: this exploration of mortality, the garden and wild flowers. When you were painting the butterfly series, there was a life cycle component to that work. Talk about jumping from that to this new, controlled chaos, cycle-of-life work. It’s as if you are saying that we as people spend all this time in life controlling and working in the “garden” and then get to be buried underneath it when it’s all said and done. How does the butterfly cycle differ from this garden cycle? You just said it perfectly. That was good. I’ve always felt mortality has been a big part of your work. Is it heightened now that you are a father, the changes in your life, and the fact that you got to take a year off? Here’s a weird thing with having a kid: up until the moment you have one, you never know where your life is going. But I look my kid now and I think I know what 38 years of life looks like. I’ve experienced that much. So my kid will have 50 |


38 years of life that I can sort of understand and know what that time can look like. I don’t know what’s exactly going to happen to him, but I know by that time I’ll be 70… uh, oh I’m dead, and he’s 38... It’s not vulnerability, but it is thinking there is a limit to time on earth. And I think that is a great way to think about life. What kind of style are you most attracted to now? In our conversations, you mention names like Lucien Smith, and that’s more in the conceptual realm. You work conceptually, but you also do a lot of figurative work within that frame. My favorite artist is Robert Irwin and I just love the amount of mental dialogue I can have with his work. For guys working right now, I’m a huge fan of Dana Schutz, Nigel Cooke; Daniel Richter is incredible. I like painters who revel in the medium they use. They do it in such a great way. I like looking at Jonas Wood’s paintings, which are both enjoyable and almost tactile for the eye. We were talking about “bad stuff” earlier, and how bad art is good, in a way, in that it allows us to really think about

left Vanitas 02 Acrylic, oil, and enamel on canvas 36" x 24" 2014 right Star Map (Pleiades) Acrylic, ink, vellum, and collage on paper 60" x 38" 2014

what we like. Also, though, it allows us to think about the simplicities in art that we really appreciate, and how style can really matter to the viewer’s own personality. I remember Jason Dill telling me that. I remember when everyone got super teched-out on tricks in skateboarding, like doing an ollie kickflip down 17 stairs. And Dill’s not going to do that. He’s old as shit. But he’s like, “If I can do a rad line, that’s my personality and style.” It’s going to be brilliant in its masterful simplicity. For me, I’m not trying to do what everyone else does. I’m trying to do what I do the best I can. There is something that I really wanted to touch on because it happened since the last time you were in the magazine. You did this crazy, subversive and perverse tapestry thing before a lot of other people started getting into wovens in their gallery game. That Known Gallery show in 2012 was so clever. That was killer. I love tapestries. So the more of them out there, the better. I found that resource at Petco. There was a thing that said “get a photo of your cocker spaniel on a blanket.” So the first thing I did was a picture of me, Dill and

Dash Snow from back in the day in an old studio holding weapons. And I’m pretty sure Dash had just passed and I made one for myself, one for his lady, and one for Dill. I thought it was a good thing, like wrap yourself in your friends. I was feeling pretty sad then. But then I figured, “Well, I can probably do some other cool shit.” The quality was good? It was good! Good enough! You could tell it was us. And I started sending the printers all this collage stuff I was working on. I really liked the idea of taking a collage with repurposed magazine content that I liked and then seeing how that translated into this woven medium. But they wouldn’t do anything when I sent them porn. I sent them these great tits. It was this ad from the first Oui magazine, and it was this girl with an amazing ’70s body, and I put a really colorful sail over her face. Then I cropped it just above the nipples and the printers were like, “Ok, we’ll do it.” Yeah right, like a little old man in the back is saying, “I don’t do tits!” It would’ve been the best job he’s had. Right? Casey from Known Gallery had asked me to do a SAGE VAUGHN JUXTAPOZ

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opposite Coyote Mixed media 9" x 13" 2014 above Vanitas 01 Acrylic, oil, and enamel on canvas 60" x 40" 2014

show around this time, and I don’t think I had any paintings, so I thought I could try this tapestry thing as an experiment. So we did it, and every one of the three editions sold out in an hour. We were like, “Holy shit! That’s awesome!” There’s just so much more art in the world now, and that was rad. And I’ll go to my collectors’ houses and there will be a blanket on the couch for the dog, and some people have them as a huge piece of art on their wall. That’s cool too. I love how it works out that way. One of my favorite things you do are the envelope collages. I loved writing that odd little poem as the intro to your book of collages, and I’m worried that with the new direction of your work, you are going to stop doing them. Are you done with the envelopes? No. Never. I’ll never be done. I like humor in artwork, but it doesn’t fit in all of it, and the collage stuff was an easier way to inject some of my sense of humor. Is collage a practice that helps with art making?

Yeah, there’s years and years of them in my studio. Every December, I’m stoked because there’s a stack of them on my desk, and that stack gets put away and we start new. But it’s just a place where I can put stuff down, try ideas; there’s a lot of things I want to say that I don’t want to say in paintings. Was it weird to show those for the first time? I was so stoked on this idea of going from a kind of unintentional art making to this very intentional art. There’s a research mechanism to collaging. Fully. And there can be unique approaches to it. It’s such a weird practice that everybody does—it’s like printmaking. When you go to the print floor at the MoMA in New York, you look at a Damien Hirst print, a Giacometti print, and you look at all these people where there’s an even playing field to the medium that everyone approaches differently. It’s really cool. I feel like collage is like that, too. It’s this rad zone where everyone comes together and does it their own way. SAGE VAUGHN JUXTAPOZ

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Can I play a game with you? If you could metaphorically kill one band in history, doesn’t matter how good they were, but in offing them would destroy all the spawn they created, who would you kill? Dude, I was just having this conversation with my friend Brett [Gurewitz] who’s in Bad Religion and he was talking about how he might kill his own band. I kind of want to kill Pearl Jam. What did Pearl Jam bring that was bad? Creed. [Laughter] Yeah, dude, fuck! I know you have a good story about David Hockney. I love that guy right now. Relentless. Paints all day long, constantly, doing different shit, on his iPad, massive works in his studio, videos... I was so inspired after I saw a lecture of his last year. He’s a really smart painter. He’s in the wheelhouse of artists that I grew up with. My grandmother has a couple sketches by him. He would do shows here in LA at this place called La Louvre Gallery in Venice. My grandma would take me to those shows when I was a little kid, and I met Hockney. I mean, he didn’t know me, but my grandmother would be like, “David! This is my grandson. I’m taking him to your art show.” And I remember going on a school field trip once to the LA County Museum and his Mulholland Drive painting was there. I remember going, “Wait, you guys knows about this guy too? I thought this was someone only my weird grandma knew about!” You’re not a trained painter? No. I didn’t go to school for it. But you know your art history. Yeah, self-taught and full of insecurities. My mentor was a conceptual artist, really fucking smart dude. He used to sit in front of this giant bookshelf, like a wall of books, and he’d be like, “I’ve read all these books. Let’s have a discussion.” So, don’t enter a gunfight with a knife. I didn’t learn a lot about art in school, so I read a lot. I’d look at art like it was my job. It means a lot to me, something I like reading a lot about. It’s such a reflection of our human condition since there are so many facets that can really speak to you at different points in your life. For example, I’ve never liked Matisse, but now more than ever, he’s getting to me. It’s a great feeling, like when you open this door and you’re able to finally understand why you have this room. This is a great room. Tell me the story about Alexis Ross, our cover artist from May 2014, and Pricasso. Pricasso paints all his paintings with his penis. He’ll do portraits of people, and then he’ll send you a video of the portrait being made, and he wears a big top hat, and that’s it. Very tan. No tan lines, no pubes, nothing else. Blonde hair on top. I had a painting commissioned of Alexis Ross, and Alexis is the hardest guy to get over on. His mind’s always working, capping some dude. 56 |


previous spread Various Skull Envelope Works All mixed media All 9" x 13" 2013 – 14 opposite Please Forget You Knew My Name Acrylic, Ink, Vellum, and Collage on Paper 25" x 48" 2014 above Vanitas Study 03 Acrylic, oil, and enamel on canvas 24" x 16" 2014

So I commission a portrait by Pricasso of Alexis Ross and what comes with the painting is the DVD of him painting it. Pricasso is a really sweet-hearted exhibitionist who just wants people to look at his fucking junk, you know what I mean? And he’s figured out a way to do it. He can paint better portraits with his penis than I can paint with a projector. So Alexis comes over and I pull up my computer, just telling him I wanted to show him something on YouTube. Instead I turn on the DVD, and Alexis was all “Oh, whatever, I think I seen that shit in 2005.” Like, no big deal and then the painting starts to form and it’s his, Alexis’ face, and he’s like “Yo, yo, yo wait… how’d you get… that looks like…” You never get him like that, and all of a sudden, giftwrapped, I have the painting, he opens it up and he was so touched by it. He was so happy. It was the best present I think I could ever give him. The video shows Pricasso using a penis to

put a highlight on the tongue of Alexis, and the sparkle in his eye. And it was only $200. It’s like 30" x 40". I am commissioning three. Alexis, Cali DeWitt, and maybe my son. So, on your son’s 18th birthday, you give him a parting gift when he goes off to school, and say, “I win, son.” Yes, but I think it’s important for a dad to lose to the son.

Sage Vaughn will open a solo show at Judith Charles Gallery in NYC this spring. For more information, visit



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WORKING WITHIN A SYSTEM OF HIS OWN DESIGN, Sam Friedman has been on a steady streak of creating images that have an astronomical impact on the eye. Colors pop and landscapes dance as his paint moves around the canvas spontaneously. He works intuitively, but there is a layer of control, an effortlessness that can only result from a balance of flow and restraint. You will see what you want to see in these paintings because their dialect is ambiguous, but be aware that nothing is exactly as it seems. Nina Gibbes launched our interview by asking Friedman about his new exhibition at Joshua Liner gallery, and then I dug into more of the nitty gritty. —Kristin Farr

“There is an appeal in going to the edge of the world, and just looking out at the distance, and trying to relax and play.”

Nina Gibbes: What’s the story behind the Happy Place series? How did it begin? Describe the symbolism you are working with. Sam Friedman: I meant for the Happy Place series to be able to function as individual pieces, but to initially be presented as one large grid. I feel as though each painting can stand alone as a strong work in itself, yet I build each painting to be able to work off of the others. To do this, I worked with a very consistent color scheme, a consistent scale, both of line weight and of form, and a predetermined list of representational elements. Once decided, I used these constraints to dictate the building blocks I was working with in order to make each picture. Ultimately, the paintings are almost entirely about painting itself. The subject matter exists, but it exists more in the way subjects exist in a Bob Dylan song. By this I mean that while they are representational, the pictures are not about what they represent. The representational elements are there as a means to make a painting. This is not to say that the subject matter is arbitrary or irrelevant, just that it stands entirely secondarily to the paintings, which are about color, form, line, paint, texture and the history of painting itself. The choice to use subject matter that is representational in my paintings has more to do with making them initially approachable to any viewer. The elements shown are all from my own life, yet I did my best to strip away their distinctly biographical qualities and reduce them to more 60 |


universal ideas. They may not portray reality that is 100% universal, but they represent reality that hopefully engages a broader audience about their own lives, rather than just telling my own personal biography. The woman shown is meant to be my wife, Laura, yet her faceless head allows her, for the viewer, to be the idea of a woman in general. She is love and companionship, but she is not just mine. The lobsters are similar to the beaches. Lobsters are a symbol of living well and not having financial worries. It is a decadent food, and my personal favorite thing to eat. Additionally, the lobsters I paint are not what you would find in Florida or Haiti. They are the lobsters of the Northeast, the lobsters of New England, the lobsters of happy times in my childhood on vacation with my family. In this way, they become regional symbols of my own personal aspirations to be able to make a living and support my own future family. The colored walls are an element that I introduced about two years ago. Their function was a way to combine my entirely abstract painting with my representational painting. By placing a freestanding mural wall in a natural environment, I was able to create an image that used both of the directions that my paintings were going in simultaneously. These freestanding walls are always meant to depict a 16-foot-tall by 20-foot-long wall. Those specific dimensions were chosen because they are the same dimensions as a standard New York City handball court wall, which is an homage to some of my earliest introductions to

Happy Place (4) Acrylic on canvas 16" x 20" 2013

large-scale paintings: the murals painted in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s by writers like Lee, Seen and others. This handballwall scale also dictated the dimensions of the paintings themselves, but instead of 16 by 20 feet, each painting is 16 by 20 inches. The bongs are relatively self-explanatory in that they are about my experiences with marijuana that started in my early teens. There is also a love letter quality in there, in that my first date, and many dates after that with my wife, consisted of bong hits, drawing and sex. How do you make your paintings? Are they projected, masked off or entirely freehand?

All of my paintings are done entirely freehand. There is no masking or projection, and I rarely use rulers, straight edges, or pencils. Instead, I prefer to go straight to paint. The plans for each of these paintings started by doing small compositional sketches on 3 x 5" postcards cut down to match the scale of the paintings. Each drawing consists of little more than a rectangle, a circle and a few lines. Having been introduced to commercial art and illustration, do you think those skills have had a major influence on your work as an artist? In what ways has this informed your fine art career? I'm not really sure. I chose to study commercial art in college out of a fear of not being able to support myself SAM FRIEDMAN JUXTAPOZ

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in the future. The idea of making a living off of paintings seemed far off, and at the time, I felt like commercial art could be a happy medium, a compromise where I would still get to make pictures for a living, and not have to work a completely menial job. As it turned out, I hated doing commercial work. I hated art directors, and I hated feeling like I had to do what they said. I do, however, love looking at a lot of commercial work throughout time. The aesthetics and speed that have characterized commercial art throughout history have dramatically influenced the way I think about picture making. If someone were to ask you about this new exhibition, how would you sum it up in one sentence? This body of work is about the complex process of trying to create a great painting and the simple universal themes of normal life. 62 |


Kristin Farr: Do your landscapes represent specific places? The beaches are based off of the ones in the northeastern section of the United States. I have never allowed myself to paint plants or natural scenes that do not exist in this geographic region, as I have never personally lived outside of New York State in my life. You won't find palm trees or tropical elements, as they do not relate to me. With that said, I still believe that they are approachable in the universal appeal that the ocean and sunsets have for people all over the globe. My initial start with beach paintings came on August 3, 2008, while spending my wife's birthday at Rockaway Beach with her and some friends. While we were there, the idea of these Sunset Beach paintings came to me, and within the next three weeks, I produced the first four of the series that is still ongoing. Since that time, I have also made multiple references to a beach on Block Island, Rhode Island that I have been visiting for years.

above Happy Place (6) Acrylic on canvas 16" x 20" 2013 opposite top Untitled (16) Acrylic on canvas 48" x 48" 2014 opposite bottom Untitled (14) Acrylic on canvas 48” x 48” 2014

It’s impressive that you make landscape painting feel new again. What do you like about abstracting nature, and do environmental or other concerns inspire the way you represent them? I still find a comfort at the beach. My father described the beach as a place where people go with a common goal, to get to the edge of the world, to get away from things that people have created. I'm sure I'm paraphrasing, and maybe even getting it wrong, but I think there's something to that. There is an appeal in going to the edge of the world, and just looking out at the distance, and trying to relax and play. I imagine that I will try to make time to do that forever, so if I keep getting pleasure out of being there, I imagine it will keep giving me plans for paintings. Sometimes the abstract pieces look like details of patterns found in nature. Is that something you consider? My paintings exist as representational and abstracted works, and frequently, they are somewhere in between. What kind of art do you like to look at, and what kind of art are you least attracted to? I tend to look at people that draw and paint. The rest of what happens under the umbrella of the term “art” might intrigue me at times, but I’d rather watch a sport that I play. I make images, so that’s what I look at. Are you obsessive about painting? I like to be painting for the bulk of the time that I am working, and I like to be working a lot of the time that I am living, so yeah, I think I paint a lot. For me, the painting is the whole process, not the final solution. By this I mean that I don’t have a fully realized idea thought up, and then execute the painting after the fact. The bulk of my time isn’t spent on conceptualizing an intellectual idea, it’s spent moving paint around. The next idea is almost always realized by making, not thinking. For this reason, I think I find explaining my paintings difficult. They aren’t images built in the language of words, then converted to paint, then explained later in words. They are built in the language of paint and painting from the get-go, and I am not quite bilingual enough yet to translate. That makes sense. Do you make things besides paintings? I love drawing and making collages. They are great activities to keep my hands busy while watching a movie with my wife, traveling, or any other time when there is a potential to feel restless. Your process seems fairly spontaneous. The painting that I made directly before the one I am working on usually leads to the following piece. It has been a long time since I can remember not having another painting that was ready to start by the time I was nearing the end of the piece directly in front of me. Each painting leads to the next. Who are some other artists whose work you feel is in dialogue with your own? Roy Lichtenstein, Philip Guston, Willem DeKooning, Tom SAM FRIEDMAN JUXTAPOZ

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Wesselman, John Wesley, Frank Stella, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, William Copley, H.C. Westermann, Kee Van Dongen, Ralph Bakshi, Kaws, Todd James, Ed Roth, Lee, Japanese edo period printmakers, Sol Lewitt, Jack Goldstein, Ed Pashke, Thomas Hart Benton, Tom of Finland, Namio Harukawa, Saul Steinberg, Peter Saul, Nick Atkins, Dan Santoro, Ned Vena, Alex Katz, Henri Rousseau, Fernand Leger, Jean Dewasne, Eddie Martinez, Josh Sperling, Dondi, Noc167, Ghost, Chain 3, Rate, Louis Wain, Stuart Davis, Ray Johnson, Max Ernst, George Grosz, Otto Dixx, Sven Lukin, Andy Warhol, Kenneth Noland, Ralph Fasanella, Blade, R. Crumb, Tomoo Gokita, David Hockney, Henry Darger, Elie Nadelman, Chris Johanson, Howard Finster, Tadanori Yokoo, Paul Gauguin, Misaki Kawai, Al Held… the list could go on and on. That was a nice, hefty list. What type of reaction do you

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hope your work evokes? That varies a lot from piece to piece, but the most common would probably be to bring the viewer in, and take the viewer away. I find a sense of humor in your work but I don’t know why. Is it there or am I imagining it? Yeah, I’d like to think so. Thanks. What are some questions or issues you try to work out through your art? How to make the best painting that has ever been made, or how to make a painting that can hold its own when given the chance to be in the mix with history. The same questions that I imagine all painters are asking the picture in front of them.

left Happy Place (5) Acrylic on canvas 16" x 20" 2013 right Untiled (5) Acrylic on canvas 24" x 36" 2014

Have you always painted figuratively? I think I started painting nudes in 2012. I was looking for new compositional forms to break up the landscape images, and the nude allowed that. I started painting nudes based on my wife. Sometimes I would draw her from life, but then I would redraw those drawings again and again until they turned into the images I was looking for.

you want to make, and they are selling. This is allowing you a happy place to go to sleep and eat some good meals with your family, while also providing the means to keep making more paintings. To be successful in death, you’ve made the paintings you wanted to make, whether or not you have gotten to enjoy it. If you do it right, and get a little bit lucky, I guess you get to do both. That’s what I am trying for.

What’s the biggest piece you’ve ever painted? The largest painting I’ve done was 19 feet long, and the longest mural I’ve done was about 150 feet long. I feel most comfortable working at a larger scale.

Gallery January 15 – February 14, 2015.

What makes you consider a painting successful, and what constitutes a successful art career, in your opinion? I think a successful art career has two phases, life and death. To be successful in life, you are making the paintings

Sam Friedman’s exhibition, Happy Place, is on view at Joshua Liner

Fore more information about Sam Freidman, visit



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An exploration of German Expressionist cinema comes into focus at LACMA INTERVIEW BY GWYNNED VITELLO // PORTRAIT BY DAVID BROACH WHEN HISTORIAN ANTON KAES DESCRIBES AN ART form as “shell-shock cinema” the effect is more than visual, it rattles the mind in an arresting way. Haunted Screens: German Cinema of the 1920s at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art reflects the disturbed, distressed and obsessive elements of this distinct film movement which drew from a range of artists, including architects and product designers. Exaggerated lighting and acute angles probe the mind in indelibly pointed images, a style that foreshadowed Film Noir, Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone. Imagine how the seemingly simple movie title M evokes such power and foreboding. Describing the genre as “Rebellious, anti-realist and reliant on exaggerated gestures and primal emotions,” LACMA curator Britt Salvesen sheds some light on a haunting subject.

different look than what I consumed with my popcorn at a Saturday matinee. Even as a kid, I sensed unique elements of lighting, angles and mood. As a starting point, can you give a short definition of German Expressionism? Britt Salvesen: The distinctive features of German Expressionist cinema emerged in the 1920s. Filmmakers of that period were adapting an avant-garde style that already had its heyday before World War I in traditional media such as graphic art, theater, music, and poetry. In all media, Expressionism portrayed a retreat into the inner self as a means of coping with trauma, combating authority, dealing with modernity, and tapping into primal impulses. With its dramatic visual hallmarks, Expressionism could convey many different emotions and moods, from fearful paranoia to ecstatic liberation.

Gwynned Vitello: Before I was ever aware of the concept of cinema style, I could see that many German films had a

Assuming the so-called Golden Age of American film occurred in the 1970s, due in part to the counter culture of

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the previous decade, would you say that the democracy of the Weimar Republic influenced filmmakers? Definitely. This was a liberal era when Germany embraced modernity. The cities were growing exponentially. Creative types gathered in bars, cabarets, and cafes; political radicals stirred up riots in the streets; criminals took advantage of the growing disparity between rich and poor. Filmmakers were allowed to address social realities and they often did so quite explicitly. However, this began to change in around 1930. As the Nazi Party gained influence, they imposed censorship. Evidently the economy actually had an influence on the look of the films. In a sense, did the filmmakers use certain techniques because they didn’t have budgets for something more elaborate? The incredibly inventive hand-painted sets of Dr. Caligari 68 |


were inspired partly by economic necessity. The German economy had not yet recovered from World War I, and filmmakers had to make do with limited budgets. By the mid-’20s, people were flocking back to the movie theaters and production companies, especially the company UFA, were able to build huge sound stages and support bigbudget films. In contrast to Dr. Caligari, these later films, for example, Fritz Lang’s The Nibelungen, have elaborate naturalistic settings, all built on sound stages. How did the growth of cities contribute to the look and storytelling? While many Expressionist films transported audiences to faraway or imaginary places and times, others were rooted in present-day urban reality, as demonstrated in the section “Cities and Streets.” Berlin’s population rose to 4.24 million, making it the world’s third-largest metropolis,

above Unknown photographer, set photograph from The Nibelungen: The Death of Siegfried (Die Nibelungen: Siegrieds Tod), 1923. Gelatin silver print. Directed by Fritz Lang. La Cinémathèque française. Photo courtesy Cinémathèque française opposite Hermann Warm, set drawing for The Student of Prague (Der Student von Prag), 1926. Pastel. Directed by Henrik Galeen. La Cinémathèque française. Photo courtesy Cinémathèque française, France, Paris Unknown artist, poster for M, made for Paramount release in Los Angeles, 1933. Lithograph. Directed by Fritz Lang. Courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library previous spread Installation view of Haunted Screens at LACMA

and the growth of German cities during the Weimar period led to housing shortages, unemployment strikes and demonstrations. Cities teemed with automobiles, streetcars, advertising and pedestrians. The resultant sensory overload, anxiety and alienation was captured on film. With Fritz Lang pronouncing that “Perhaps never before was there a time that sought new forms through which to express itself with such reckless determination,” would you say that the film community had a kind of mission? The directors must have had much in common. Definitely. Filmmakers such as Fritz Lang, F. W. Murnau, and Josef Sternberg considered themselves artists. They were consciously trying to elevate the medium of cinema to the status of a fine art, and their producers supported them. It’s fascinating to see the special effects they devised during this period: double exposure, combinations of negative and positive film, mobile cameras, mechanized dragons, combining live actors with miniature models in a single shot, and hand-coloring of key scenes. When sound became possible around 1927, they embraced that too. Were any of them painters, illustrators or photographers? Most of them came out of some prior artistic training as painters, illustrators or architects. Director Paul Wegener started out as a stage actor and continued to act in his own films, playing the title character in The Golem and pioneering the technique of double exposure so he could play opposite himself in The Student of Prague. Tell me about the posters that were such a huge part of the identity of each film, and how the artists worked with the filmmakers. Advertising was crucial in fueling the cinema industry, and films were publicized through posters, lobby cards, and periodicals. Photographs of major cities from this time period show that posters were a major part of urban visual culture, pasted on buildings, scaffolding, and kiosks. The designers used color and type in stunning ways, HAUNTED SCREENS JUXTAPOZ

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opposite Paul Scheurich, poster design for The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse), 1932. Ink, gouache, and graphite. Directed by Fritz Lang. Collection Cinémathèque française, Paris. Photo courtesy Cinémathèque française, France, Paris above (clockwise from left) Unknown photographer, set photograph from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari), 1919. Gelatin silver print. Directed by Robert Wiene. Los Angeses County Museum of Art, Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies

often customizing a poster for the intended audience, their allegiance more aligned with producers than to the filmmakers. German posters are more stereotypically Expressionist with angular draftsmanship and lettering, while French posters veer more toward an elegant Art Deco style. In American publicity materials, even Metropolis looks like a playful romance.

and facial expressions. With characters such as magicians, devils, vamps and clowns so pivotal, theatrical makeup was a crucial aspect of the look. Visuals all had deep symbolism, particularly before sound when the image had to convey everything about the characters and their relationships. Later, in M for example, you see a more naturalistic approach that fits with the modern-day clothing and setting.

Rather than maidens in distress or screwball hi-jinks, the actors conveyed such mystery. How were they chosen, and how did they collaborate with the directors? There were some great character actors in the Weimar period, many of whom had established their reputations on stage. It is amazing to see someone like Emil Jannings play roles as diverse at the devil in Faust, a hotel doorman in The Last Laugh, and a bourgeois schoolteacher seduced by Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. Acting styles evolved along with the set design styles during this period. At first, in Dr. Caligari, you see exaggerated gestures, makeup,

Was there a connection between Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis and the prevalence of dreams in German films of the period? Probably, yes. Freud’s theories are exactly contemporaneous with these films. The notion of the unconscious was important within Expressionism, and the cinematic medium allowed new visual strategies of representing it. Dream sequences, ghostly visions, and animated shadows often represent a character’s thoughts or fears. Many of these effects are still used today for the same purposes. HAUNTED SCREENS JUXTAPOZ

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How does the show illustrate the emergence of sound in films, especially music? The technology for “talkies” was patented in 1919, when the first German feature, Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, came out in 1929. It had its own original jazz score that has unfortunately been lost. Synchronized sound is integral to the plots of The Three-Penny Opera (1931) and The Blue Angel (1930), which both feature musical performances that are components of the plot. In M (1931), Fritz Lang masterfully deployed the continuity of silence and sound from one shot to another. Sound even determines the plot, since the murderer, played by Peter Lorre, is given away by the tune that he habitually whistles. A panoramic experience for the museum visitor is immersion in the set design. Can you describe the impression for a visitor entering the exhibit? Visitors to Haunted Screens will see that the plaza-level galleries of LACMA’s Art of the Americas Building, where the Stanley Kubrick retrospective was installed in 2012, have been transformed yet again, into a stylized, abstracted

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landscape by a design team, jointly led by Amy Murphy and Michael Maltzan, with Michael Maltzan Architecture. As Murphy and Maltzan put it, "One of the most compelling aspects of German Expressionist Cinema is the works' use of dramatic spatial sequences as an inherent part of storytelling. Without trying to mimic the iconic aesthetic of this movement, we looked instead to provide visitors with a way to engage the spirit of the works through a contemporary series of forms and spaces. The exhibition's architectural elements intentionally create a dialogue between dark and light, inside and outside, space and form, rupture and unity—highlighting the simultaneous and often overlapping worlds of art, film and design so often represented within each film's production.” The architecture can be seen as a series of hills and valleys, or as a giant undulating carpet. Darkened tunnels contain suspended screens where clips are projected. Light areas are necessary for displaying set design drawings, still photographs, and other works on paper. These are installed not on standard gallery walls but on custom-

left Boris Bilinsky, poster for Metropolis, 1927. Lithograph. Directed Fritz Lang. Courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library. right Installation view of Haunted Screens at LACMA

designed shelves and columns. This unorthodox presentation emphasizes their status as working documents in service of the final films. Can you list some modern filmmakers who have been inspired by this style, including some examples of films that reflect this influence? The directors that seem most influenced by German Expressionism include Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, Guy Maddin, Alex Proyas and E. Elias Mehrige. The character Omar Elmer in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is named after Expressionist director Edgar G. Ulmer. Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, played by Johnny Depp in costumes designed by Colleen Atwood, resembles the sleepwalker Cesare in Dr. Caligari with his lean black bodysuit and pale, wide-eyed features. Proyas has stated in interviews that Dark City (1997) was strongly influenced by Metropolis, Nosferatu and Dr. Caligari.

before I saw Metropolis itself: Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” (1984, directed by David Mallet) and Madonna’s “Express Yourself” (1989, directed by David Fincher). We don’t include those examples in the show, but we did work with contemporary filmmaker Guy Maddin to produce an Expressionist-inspired video installation. Maddin is haunted by the lost films of the silent era. To recreate them, he hires actors and asks them to go into a trance, tapping into the spirit of the earlier film. He then manipulates and synchronizes the footage for a three-channel video. It is utterly mesmerizing. Every time I go into that gallery, I lose track of time. A mind expanding concept of the haunted house. Thanks to LACMA for opening this curious cabinet.

Haunted Screens is on display at Los Angeles County Museum of Art through April 26, 2015. For more information, visit

From irony to graphics, modern video owes so much to German Expressionism. Is this portrayed in the show? In the early days of MTV, I saw videos inspired by Metropolis



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ALKING ON THE BEACH AND INTO THE bright, yellow glow of the entrance at Scope Miami Beach 2014, you couldn’t miss them: two jet black, ominous sculptures based on the artwork of artist Cleon Peterson. Juxtapoz and Converse teamed up Peterson with Los Angeles design and art fabrication studio Pretty In Plastic to transform his original painting, Paint the Town, and transform it into a physical statement at Scope. Literally, Pretty In Plastic brings artwork to life, translating a vision into a 3D experience that can literally be circumnavigated. We speak with PIP founder Julie Breezy about expanding their fine art department, working with Cleon, and compressing eight weeks into three.

artwork spawns, it's our mission to make something that has never been seen before, be it the final piece, or how that piece is actualized. That's what really excites us.

Evan Pricco: What sort of projects excite you most? Do you like working with existing pop iconography, or does a fine artist creating something never-before-seen provide a more fascinating experience? Julie Breezy: Large-scale sculptures are always exciting. Those are the pieces we can really devote ourselves to, and get consumed by, which is the most fun. In general, we look for anything that breaks boundaries, both creatively, as well as technically. We love to do pieces that take advantage of the services we provide while challenging our abilities. That can happen in existing pop iconography, or from visionaries in the fine art world. Bringing an iconic image like Paint the Town into sculptural form is amazing because so many people have seen Cleon's work, but this is the first time it’s in a physical form. Bringing an entirely new idea into life is also a really rewarding experience. But wherever the

What are some of the biggest challenges when turning a 2D image into a physical 3D experience? There is a poetry to that transition. It's not merely making a three dimensional representation out of a two dimensional image, but bringing it to life. We're fortunate to work with a lot of great artists whose two dimensional work already beams with life. Our challenge is to make sure that energy retains its vibrancy when crossing over from 2D to 3D.

What was the first thing you ever made cast from plastic? Pretty in Plastic actually started out in designer toys about ten years ago. I was working in the backroom of Meltdown Comics and did the first project, Carnivorous Giraffe, for Amanda Visell. That was the start of what would become Pretty in Plastic and its fine art department, and the roots of being an artist, who, in addition to overseeing both aspects of the company, is designing their own work and preparing for shows and galleries, as well as curating a designer toy retrospective at MOAH in 2015.

Are there some standout projects from the past year that perhaps the world did not attribute to you but got a ton of attention? There are a lot popular works we did this year that we got recognition for, like the eight-foot Slimer for Gallery 1988's Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary, the Jackalope sculpture based off of Luke Chueh's Jack, as well as some beautiful

Photo by Alex Nicholson

mid-century modern pieces for Brian Flynn called Krazy Kids that combined wood, metal and plastic. Some of our biggest pieces are under a nondisclosure agreement with our clients. The artwork gets a lot of attention, but the world doesn't know we were involved in its creation, which tends to be the status quo in the world of art fabrication. In a lyrical sort of way, it is the nature of what we do since the fabrication has to be hidden, so all the viewer sees is the art. Lately, however, there is a growing trend in sharing the process with the viewer and collector, which only heightens the craftsmanship behind the work. Because I’m getting a tutorial here as we talk, what sets you apart from other fabricators? Everyone on our team is an artist in their own right, each with their own talents and background, from traditional and digital art, to props and special effects in film. Bringing all of that eclectic experience to the work we create, we like to think of ourselves becoming an extension of the artists we work for, that our hands become their vessels. With that state of mind, a lot of passion goes into what we create, which, coupled with the artist's vision and equaled passion, makes for phenomenal works of art. When you first saw Cleon's sketches for Paint the Town, what were some of your thoughts about making it? What were the challenges? 76 |


His work has this unnerving horror to it. It's self reflective in its primitive, ancient-cave-wall style, forcing us to see a darker side of who we are and where we come from. What better way to extend upon that work than to have it looming at eight feet tall with a pitch-black, mirror-like glossy surface? The primary challenge was time. Normally something like this takes about six to eight weeks, and we had to do it in three. What does an eight-foot or taller sculpture look like in terms of production? How do you even go about making something like this? It's pretty involved. With Cleon's piece, we first created a 3D model. Our digital director, Justice Joseph, worked closely with Cleon to digitally sculpt his painting into a physical form. Once we had a 3D representation of Cleon's work, we used the file to CNC (Computer Numerical Control) mill high density foam to create a prototype. The foam prototype was hardened and sanded to perfection before we created multiple molds off of it. After casting layers of fiberglass and assembling all of the pieces together around a welded steel structure, we then patched all of the seams at each connection, primed it and buffed it to a smooth surface. An application of black automotive paint was finished off with a high gloss sealer, then the base was steel-welded together and finished with the same black paint and high gloss. >>

above Paint The Town opposite Images courtesy of Pretty In Plastic and Cleon Peterson


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You have worked with a bunch of artists in the past, and your fine art department has worked with the likes of FriendsWithYou. Do you see a trend of artists wanting to create more physical sculptures and 3D experiences? Definitely. 3D seems to be a trend everywhere, with so many 3D films released in theaters, home televisions following suit, and the rise of 3D printers going from professional to consumer. People want to be fully immersed in art for it to be real. It's incredible to see a painting or traditionally flat work of art come to life in such tangible form. A physical sculpture or 3D experience can convey the depth a two dimensional work has achieved in an entirely new way.

techniques. It would be great to work on some threedimensional paintings that push the boundaries of our vacuum forming, or to have a project where we can really put our sculpting and casting skills to the test. More large-scale sculptures are definitely at the top of the list. Above all, we're just thrilled to keep expanding our fine art department and to continue bringing artists' visions to life, preferably bending reality to do so.

What is the next dream project? Any project that really utilizes our abilities and fabrication


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For more information about Pretty in Plastic, visit The Paint The Town sculptures are now part of the Dean Collection.

top left and right Cleon Peterson at Pretty In Plastic’s studio Above photos courtesy of Pretty In Plastic and Cleon Peterson opposite Photo by Alex Nicholson



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RAFFITI ISN’T THE FIRST thing that comes to mind when looking at Vizie’s newest body of work, and that’s a good thing. To put that into perspective, consider how placing graffiti in a gallery setting can often minimize the message, spoil the magic and sabotage the surprise. Obviously, there are exceptions. Laid back, soft-spoken and unassuming, Vizie doesn’t project stereotypical graffiti writer demeanor. He’s easily approachable and pragmatic. Already wellestablished and recognized in the spray game, Vizie is now committed to delving seriously into his studio practice. Having lived in New York for eight years now, but traveling constantly for six, Vizie discloses, “My decision to travel less allows me to really focus on my studio practice and personal life, and I feel like I could eventually move just outside of the city. But it’s a little scary to imagine taking a step away from NYC after all the work it’s taken to remain and survive here. A lot of New Yorkers have a hard time imagining living anywhere else, and I relate to that.” Last year, he opened his first solo exhibition in New York under his long-used nickname and surprised many with what he had up his sleeve. Abstract wood sculptures mottled with textures, and layered in a monochromatic color, are peeled, sliced and chipped away to reveal what previously existed beneath the surface. Red appears to be the current color of choice, with rare special guest appearances from other hues. Prominent elements include mangled chain link fence, shattered glass, torn paper, and noticeably present bricks. They’re a feast for the eyes, and the most recent offering displays a psychedelic touch, exuding a radiating, luminous quality when viewed under a blacklight.

Austin McManus: With both of us born in Texas, myself in Austin, I’m wondering what it was like for you growing up in Houston. Vizie: Growing up in Houston means being in a car. It’s very spread out, so you always drive wherever you need to go. Houston is definitely a car culture. This meant that doing graffiti in Houston was mostly about painting highways and spots you would see from the car. My favorite memories are of my brother and me exploring the city in his car. We spent a lot of our time together painting and driving around the highways and backstreets listening to music and talking. Hanging out with people often meant driving around all night. I was lucky enough to grow up in the more central part of Houston, so I got more of a city experience. Despite the fact that everyone drove everywhere, I liked the idea of being able to walk around instead. I think I wished it was a little more like New York or San Francisco in that respect, where so much of what is interesting can only be taken in by being on the street or the sidewalk. I really wanted to find that element of Houston, wanting to feel more connected to the city itself, so I was always pushing to get out of the car.  My neighborhood gave me a really unique experience of Houston. The area where I grew up was the artsy, gay neighborhood. We had museums, galleries, and weird shops that gave me access to creative influences that are not present in other parts of Houston, or Texas, in general. It gave me a way to relate to and feel good about where I was from without having to force myself to find ways to relate to the more traditional elements of Texan culture. Texas tends to have a real conformist culture, so it was nice to have an alternative to that. Having lived all around the country, and eventually settling in New York, does this place feel like home now? What keeps you here? New York does feel like home. It’s been about eight years here, and it has really been such a wide variety of experiences. I often feel like it's as difficult a place to live as it is great. I've always really enjoyed the hustle and the challenge of NYC. I think I sometimes really thrive on the stress of it all. But that hustle and that stress works in two ways: it can really pay off and create opportunities and experiences you wouldn't get anywhere else, but you also have times where all of that hustle and stress doesn’t pay off, and it's taxing and can really break you down. Although I have lived here for eight years, I spent about six of those years traveling constantly. Treating NYC as your home base but getting away all the time allows you to focus mainly on the positive elements of the city. I decided a couple years ago to really stick around, and it's been an adjustment. VIZIE JUXTAPOZ

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It definitely becomes a grind. I do have friends who are working artists that have successfully transitioned to a life just outside of the city. It allows them to operate outside of the constant stress, but they are close enough to keep their career connected to and relevant in New Yok. My decision to travel less allows me to really focus on my studio practice and personal life, and I feel like I could eventually move out of the city. But it’s a little scary to imagine taking a step away after all the work it's taken to remain and survive here. A lot of New Yorkers have a hard time imagining living anywhere else, and I relate to that. I understand the sentiment of living here and feeling like moving somewhere else might be a letdown. Would you ever consider moving back to Houston? I don’t think I will ever move back to Houston. My parents live there and I still have a lot of friends there, but I just don’t think it’s for me. It’s hard to say exactly what I want in a city, but I do get the sense that it might not be enough to stimulate me. Maybe I’m addicted to New York and its pace, which makes it hard to look anywhere else. I do miss space, New York is limiting in that category. I want a good place to work and I’d like a yard eventually. Maybe I’ll just join the ranks of artists moving upstate. Earlier this year, you were involved in an alternative emoji and digital sticker application that included a diverse group of contemporary artists. What was your level of involvement in this project, and can you tell me a little about it? 84 |


I am the main illustrator at Hi-Art, which is a company started by my friend Nico Dios. He first approached me to do a set of stickers and then brought me on to create the proprietary content. I have been working here for a little over a year and it’s been a serious learning experience, having developed quite a bit in terms of illustration and design skills. Refining these skills at Hi-Art has also been a part of the process of refining and honing my fine art practice. Also, for the first time, I'm learning about and focusing on the business aspect of things. There’s been a lot to learn but it's been cool, the closest thing I have ever had to a regular job. This approach of working with art and technology has been going pretty well for me, though we're still in our beginning stages. It’s also been cool to have something that I can work on with other artists, facilitating their work rather than just focusing on my own. I've been working with some visual artists I really respect, like Todd James, Steve Powers, and Grotesk, to name a few. We've also been working with musicians, creating their stickers. It’s been a trip to work with people like Cam’ron, Ghostface, and The Misfits, people I grew up listening to. Further/Farther recently opened at The Seventh Letter Gallery in Los Angeles, with work incorporating black lights at the opening. What were some of the ideas behind this show? Omens came up with the idea to use black lights for the Further/Farther show. The idea appealed to me immediately because I had already been working with fluorescents in most of my recent pieces. I like to make work that cannot

previous spread Wipe Out (small) Marble,Bricks,Grid Acrylic and spray paint on wood panel 18" x 18" 2014 above Philadelphia 2012 opposite Miami 2010

be easily reproduced digitally or in print, something that you have to see in person in order to fully experience or appreciate. The fluorescent paint really evokes that, and the addition of the black light intensified the effect; it created a new environment for the work to exist all together. Most people wouldn’t be able to make a connection between your older work and the more recent stuff. What motivated you to move in this direction and make these types of pieces? Well, my newer work really started after taking a big hiatus from making work in the studio. I had mostly been painting graffiti and doing work assisting other artists. During this time, I had the opportunity to work for some great people like Pose, Revok and Steve Powers, and was really inspired. Working with those guys really showed me I could make it happen the way I wanted, which was to come back to my studio and work with a mindset of having fun and doing work I really enjoyed making. I wanted to get out of my own head when I started my newer stuff. I decided to start focusing on things like aesthetics and design as the foundation, rather than starting from a conceptual basis. At that time, my graffiti had started to get weird in a good way; I was experimenting a lot and just being playful with something that I felt had become very rigid. I wanted to bring that into the studio. This allowed the concept to evolve in a more natural way, meeting the aesthetic element somewhere in the middle. My goal was to make work that was unique to me, skillfully made, and

something that had more of my hand in it. The primary motivation for the shaped panels I've been using is that, like many artists, I got bored with the traditional square and rectangle format. I decided that I wanted to make paintings, which is a medium that comes from a very formal tradition. That formality just did not feel natural for me, so it made sense to alter the starting point of each piece. These shaped panels give me the opportunity to create an experience of the work that has a sense of action, can have endless iterations, and ultimately keeps me interested and engaged in the work. Bricks are a recurring motif in your paintings. What’s their allure? I think bricks are really a go-to for graffiti writers. They’re an early visual tool that kids use, an easy trick to something recognizable. When I started my paintings, I was thinking about texture directly related to different walls and materials. I kind of accessed that graffiti writer side, and it was an immediate go-to, knowing it would be easy to recreate. Using them more and more in my paintings, I’m realizing there are so many options for patterns and texture with bricks.  I’ve always been interested in what writers view as the most rewarding and beneficial aspects of pursuing graffiti, especially long-term. It seems to drastically differ from one to another. I have been doing graffiti for almost 20 years, working hard building a name for myself, putting myself out there; VIZIE JUXTAPOZ

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it seems like a waste to not acknowledge that. A few years ago, I realized that it would be actually more beneficial to try to pursue this path. Keeping my art and graffiti separate results in me being mediocre at both. Keeping the two separate is something I considered doing for a while, and I tried to pursue an art career outside of graffiti with little to no success. Not that it wasn’t well received, it just never felt right to me. I never had the urge to push it further and it was really just not fun or exciting to me. Now my graffiti builds up my artwork and gives it a context. As the only graffiti writer on the team, what is your role with Converse Cons? Working with Converse is great; they are really supportive of artists and creative people. I have some friends over there and they have reached out to me for a few projects. Whenever I work with them, it is really organic. They haven’t ever asked me to do anything that I wasn’t comfortable with. They pretty much just want me to do what I do, whether painting a mural, taking a portrait, or dangling off a building. I don’t know if it’s exactly a team. I know they have worked with a few other guys too; they just put out a video with Kaput. If they ever did have an official team, I’d be happy to be a part of it. Do you still collect pins? What are some of your favorites? My love for collecting pins has dwindled some; I worked with them heavily for a few years, but the idea of collecting has lost its appeal for me. I don’t get excited about them unless I find a really good one and I also don’t seek them out like I used to. I have such a large collection at this point; it really becomes a finite endeavor. Although I am not really into collecting, I am still interested in what can be done with them. I did make a pin recently for the Further/Farther show and was really happy with the outcome. I think artists making their own pins has gained popularity because it really is a fun way to make a wearable piece of art. I used to associate you with photography when you used to make photo zines and exhibit photographs. Do you still shoot a lot? I haven’t been shooting a lot recently. I don’t know why. I think when my focus turned to painting, I started looking at things differently. If I do shoot, it’s for reference for painting, not really to make a beautiful image on its own. I feel conflicted about the fact that I don’t shoot enough anymore, and I have actually been struggling with that. It could be that I get confused about using my cellphone camera as opposed to an actual camera... I’m not sure. It’s something I really want to continue and something I think could actually be helpful for my other work. I may come back to it, but that’s just not where my head is right now. What are you excited about these days, other than the fact that you will be a future father? It’s hard to think of anything else except being a future father right now. There is still so much that makes me excited, I really am such a fan of art and graffiti. I’ll just name a few people that I am looking at and getting inspiration from: Revok, Pose, Roids, Dmote, Paul Wackers, Sam 86 |


opposite (top to bottom) Sunrise Lines 2 Acrylic and spray paint on wood panel 29" round 2014 Crescent Hole 3 Acrylic and spray paint on wood panel 20" round 2014 Sunrise Lines 1 Acrylic and spray paint on wood panel 10" round 2014 above Massimo Acrylic and spray paint on wood panel 50" x 36" 2014

Friedman, Pantone, Evan Gruzis... I guess I could make a huge list. I look at so much stuff all the time. I subscribe to hundreds of blogs and troll the Internet. I think it’s super important to always be looking. It’s pretty interesting to see what people come up with now in terms of graffiti; people are pushing the envelope so much. You have to get really creative to keep up with art in general. We have access to so much imagery, it’s interesting to see the results and what people do to make it their own. What would you consider to be your greatest success thus far? I don’t really have a feeling of any one great moment, or one great success. I haven’t yet had a huge thing I have

wanted to check off of my list. Maybe I have yet to do it. My life is about to change a lot, and I am excited about what the future holds. I am proud that I have been able to use my talent as an artist, as well as my drive and work ethic, to make a living in some way or another. I’m happy that I’m still inspired on an almost daily basis. That seems like a success.

For more information about Vizie, visit Download the Hi-Art app at



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HROUGH AN ARCHED WINDOW, I watched twilight fall softly on the surrounding viking bay and smooth granite islands until a door hinge creaked from across the cavernous room. Momentarily breaking my enchantment, a set of double doors opened slowly and poured forth a fluorescent glow. A floating head emerged from the beams and materialized into an angelic face whose gaze pierced the air before slipping back into retreat, closing the doors again. M aria Kreyn was one of several young painters at Odd Nerdrum’s farm when I arrived in the summer of 2006, and we quickly became collaborators in mischief. Soon enough, we were both deported to Odd’s empty home in Reykjavik, Iceland, which used to be the city’s library. Success in the studio was often celebrated by unwinding at Cirkus, the infamous dive bar that has since been torn down. During one intoxicated evening, a snow war went sour and she gave me quite a handsome shiner. I figured out then that it would be much easier to forgive her than forget her.

Maria made her debut in Nizhny Novgorod, the fifth largest city in Russia. Her parents had met through the classical music world and escaped under the guise of intended birthright travel. After an interlude in Italy, they found a sponsor community and settled in Florida, where her father began work as an engineer. Maria’s mother, trained in classical piano, performed and taught piano, Russian history and language, and ultimately worked towards a doctoral degree in Cognitive Neuroscience, focusing on music perception. With these role models, it is no wonder that Maria chose to study math and philosophy while at the University of Chicago before she could no longer ignore her surging desires to paint. I reconnected with Maria at the opening of Look at Me at Leila Heller Gallery in Chelsea where I got to see her new lightbox etchings and catch up with her before she takes off for a summer artist residency at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City.

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David Molesky: Tell me about your educational path. Why did you chose to study philosophy and math, then decide to pursue painting? Maria Kreyn: I graduated early from high school and took a year off. That was my year at SORA (School of Representational Art). I was a kid with no responsibilities, and so I would clock in 12-hour boot-camp drawing days, having nothing else really to do. It was pretty ecstatic, actually. What drew me into academic art study was a desire for the technical freedom to make what I actually wanted to make. Skill is freedom. I lacked it then, and I felt that lack. This training brought my mind and hand into better collaboration. It was a smart and satisfying move. But after a year of such narrow thinking, I needed a change of pace. I had never planned on going to college, but suddenly ended up at the University of Chicago, a school notorious for its academic zeal. The experience was beautiful as well as ironic. I simply wanted to learn, and chose subjects that were in some ways beyond my talents, which proved both elevating and humbling. Philosophy opens priceless mental portals. Breaking from the orbital path of institutional education took both a huge effort, and none at all. What felt natural to me was by everyone else perceived as, frankly, insane. How did you first hear about Odd? A friend dropped Odd’s monograph, along with the little Kitsch book, in front of me one afternoon at SORA. Say no more. I was shocked, moved. That sealed the deal for me. “I’m going to study with this man,” I told myself, immediately making plans to drop out of school after two years. And that’s exactly what happened. The impact on my life was profound, diving deep into such a great mind. When I look back at that time, I feel like I was exploring the endless cavernous spaces of his subconscious, along with his mind and philosophy. When you’re with Odd, you just have to dive in. The trick is to remember that you dove. It’s easy to never return from the depths of a mind like that, because there is so much to find and explore there. He is a great painter, a great thinker, even in some ways a mystic as I now see it… but no one has a monopoly on truth. I was happy to explore his universe and then continue on my own path. I’m very grateful to him. He showed me, in this practice, what true dedication was. He lives and breathes his work. Seeing this shifted my consciousness. It was inspiring to see someone manifest such a great level of personal creative power. Seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time is life altering. Watching Odd work is life altering. Would you say the thing that you took away most was witnessing such willpower and dedication?

Cartography Oil on canvas 68" x 102" 2014

Yes. But the ideas were also very interesting. He spoke about creating a mythology—about revealing the myth behind the myth. In the absence of a current common iconography, it is up to the artist to reveal the new mythology in a symbiotic interface with the evolution of consciousness. Odd talked about painting as alchemy, which of course it is. Now that I’m studying more about the hermetic traditions, the concept is more relevant than ever. Philosophy is suddenly more mystical and playful than ever. We think that reality is this thing that we apprehend through the prism of our five senses, through the somewhat arbitrary patterns of our mind. Following a solid analytical training, you can jettison that into accessing all of these unseen realms of power we’re surrounded by, yet not necessarily privy to. It’s intuition informed by skill. In art, we really have the opportunity to apply the alchemical process of transformation, from the inside of ourselves and out, into and through the imagery, to try to reveal the spiritual quality of life. More and more I see each art object as a portal into the larger universe the artist builds.

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How would you describe the universe that you are building? I’d like to open windows into a better world, and to celebrate this one. Just being able to be in the studio every day is a celebration. I want to pause the world for people, give them a chance to look at something for a long time, slowly and deeply, and to see eternity in that moment. I want to be moved—even by my own work. It's a tall order. Wish me luck! To be honest, I’m not sure yet how to describe my universe. I’m still wandering through the labyrinth, piecing together the mythology. I feel like, this winter, I finally hit my 10,000 hours with painting. The facility suddenly shifted the experience for me, and I’m not struggling with the medium as much. Now I can really play. It feels more alive and sensual than ever, which is why I paint the figure in the first place. But, like in alchemy and hermeticism, the literal in my work points to the metaphysical, and vice versa. So the figure is meant to transcend its illustrative qualities. The figure is just a springboard off of which we can dive into the collective unconscious. That’s where all the fun stuff is. That’s what I’m hoping to gesture at.

left Maria in her studio New York City right Prototype II Oil on reflective plexiglass 22" x 32.5" 2014

What was the transition from life in Europe to living in New York like? Where do you stand now in your relationship to the city? My archetype is the wanderer, no doubt. I came to NYC to shed the nomadic lifestyle, to find a home. So I picked the wildest and most stimulating place I could find. The first few years here were completely out of control, wild and amazing. Transitioning out of that, I’m now more interested in building a community of brilliant friends, in discovering how I can contribute to others through my vision for my work. An art world career often appears like an insurmountable task. I question my own volition, talent, aptitude and purpose on almost a daily basis. But as John Milton says, “The mind is its own place, and can make a hell of heaven, a heaven of hell.” At this point, I’ve developed a powerful inner inertia that mutes the mental banter. New York, and life at large I suppose, has been good to me in that respect. It’s burned me up completely, yet given me the opportunity to rise up from those flames. It’s an amazing city, packed with information, inspiration and challenge. It has challenged my love for what I do. And my love won. So I’m grateful for that. What themes are you drawn to working with? When I first began to paint, it was about a moment, a feeling, trying to capture a magical point of concentrated meaning and emotional density. Lately, I’ve been developing more elaborate compositions. They are more socially conscious, yet about redemption in the face of destruction. Currently, I’m working on a series about oil. The imagery has a religious look, as it seems obvious to me that acquisition or consumption are the new reverence. The work is about this paradox that I see in our current culture: that we search for levity in places where there’s only gravity and that we search for transcendence in what drags us down into an absence of consciousness. This work asks, “How do you cope with your complicity?” Yet again, no matter what, these paintings are meant to be a celebration. It’s amazing to be alive. What about your time in the fortress of solitude living and painting in the same space as Chris Pugliese? All influence is bad influence, but life is about curating influence with grace. Chris was a great studio partner and a great teacher. If anyone taught me anything about painting technique, it’s Chris. Odd allowed me to observe his process; Chris developed a language and vocabulary for teaching real competency. We had so much fun, it’s unreal to think about. That loft and garden we called the fortress of solitude is now gone due to city politics, but the memory of paradise remains… and now I’m in search of a new paradise. What are other influences beyond Odd and Chris? Sometimes curating inspiration is more about quieting the mind than pouring in more content. Becoming more of an athlete and developing a yoga practice have been teaching me to optimize mind and body. I probably look less at art

now than ever before. My main visual influences at the moment are Caravaggio and David Altmejd, sprinkled on top with a bit of Sigmar Polke, and even computational design such as that of Michael Hansmeyer. Musically, Rachmaninov and Bach have given me the most air under my wings. As a child, I used to sit under the piano while my mom practiced, so classical music is my layer cake of memories and inspiration. And, of course, anything that gets me to dance for hours, because moving is a way of thinking. I’m reading Hesse and studying about hermeticism and secret histories. How did you arrive at doing light box etchings? Tell me a little bit about your experimentations with plexi. I woke up from a nap one afternoon with the thought that MARIA KREYN JUXTAPOZ

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my work should be made out of light. Troubleshooting with materials and inventing techniques, I would find loads of plastic on the streets in NYC. It was more like removing litter than making art. In a world accumulating disposable materials, commodities, content and toxins, what are we supposed to do with these non-degradable things? The idea of turning it into “light” had a metaphorical ring. Two years later, this parallel body of work, backlit etchings into plexi, emerged. My recent set touches on the spectrum of war and peace.

art, perhaps I can make the art that needs to be made. Maybe there I can find the work that is transcendent of self, of category, of medium. It doesn’t matter what the work is— only that the experience happens. Perhaps that’s the work that truly touches people. And I’m not sure what else there is to strive for other than to make work like that. At the very least, I’m having fun trying. In the end, I just love to paint. I love the visceral, real, sensual quality of it, particularly when working with the human body. It makes me feel alive, and so that’s what I dive into most.

It seems that you are now more interested in associating your work with diverse art forms beyond just figurative painting. What is the motivation behind this? I try not to associate with anything too much anymore, systematically removing the ideology I find in my mind in order to see what really drives my work. There is a kernel of pure desire. If I can get down to that naked need to make

What have you proposed to create during your time at Mana Contemporary? I tend to write elaborate proposals, then just scrap them. I’m painting figures on reflective plexiglass. The visual effect is incredible. When I work on them, I feel like I’m touching another human being with my brush. It really feels like there is a person floating there in front of you… and then you are

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left In the Wake Oil on canvas 60" x 48" 2010 right Alone Together (detail) Oil on canvas 2012

also reflected in the surface. It’s an optical play on identity, on the meeting of self and other. I’m also painting on what looks like raw linen. The residency for me has been about experimenting with surfaces. From all this experience, what kind of advice would you give to younger artists who have chosen to forge their own path in life? Love what you do beyond any conceivable reason. And if you don’t want to devote every breath of your life to that thing, go do something else. Believe in yourself beyond any conceivable reason, because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Revel in rejection. Have gratitude for even the most minor success. The art world does not demand that you become a great human being—it only demands that you work in consistent series. Set the bar higher for yourself than others would set for you. Also understand that making great work has nothing necessarily to do with your

success. You are an entrepreneur. Separate the issues, and then blend them, but only when you’re ready. Is there anything you have read that you found enlightening and still hold as a guiding force? Carl Jung says, “Your vision becomes clear when you look inside your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” What are your goals now that will guide and influence your trajectory going forward? Revealing the spirit in matter.

For more information about Maria Kreyn, visit


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SINCE LEAVING HOME IN FRANCE AT A VERY young age and finding his way to Berlin in the ’80s, Jaybo Monk has been a musician, designer, fashion magazine editor, clothing company founder and fine artist. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 drew creatives from all over Europe, offering expansiveness and freedom, a landscape whose jagged scars absorbed attention and possibility. In each incarnation of his career, Jaybo has shown a remarkable sense of timing for when to run away and when to wander in.



ECENTLY IN BOSTON FOR a live painting event at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Jaybo borrowed a studio to make a body of work for a nearby show. He worked very quickly and everything was ready in less than two weeks, but just before the opening, his Mac laptop died. Now, maybe, Jaybo acknowledges, he could have recovered its contents, but his impulse was characteristically unique: open up the laptop and bash a railroad spike through the logo, pinning it to the gallery wall as a William Tell one-off. As for the contents of the computer, well, Jaybo simply moved on. Caleb Neelon: You left home at an early age. Jaybo Monk: I was born in ’63. It’s a fucking long time ago. As a kid, everybody had to follow what my dad said. When we didn’t follow, he could be a bit of a hard guy. I was always living with dogs, like two or three dogs, all around me. Which was very important for me. They were my friends. This was in the South of France, in Bergerac. When I was a kid, I was good at drawing because I learned at the knees of my mom. She was drawing for hairdressers, so then people could point to the style they wanted. So I learned how she’d hold a pen, how she did things. This is exactly where I learned, from that point on, that I was very good at looking fast and drawing fast. But as soon as I became a teenager, there was rebelling, of course, and my father told me to stop that shit with painting, to stop that shit with making music, to start to do real work. But really those were the things that I could not accept. I felt completely sad that I was in the wrong place at the wrong moment. One day, because I did something wrong, my father decided that, as punishment, I had to cut wood for my grandmother.

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It was August, which is very hot, and nobody wanted to do that in the daytime, right? So I said no. My father got his belt out of his pants right away, ready to whip me. At the time, I had a dog named Pollux, he had just one tooth. I asked my dog to kill my father, and Pollux, with his only tooth, bit my father on the jugular thing. After coming home from spending days in the hospital, my father put me in the outdoor dog house for three nights and after three nights and two days, my father shot my dog in front of me. That was the last moment I saw my father and my family. I was fourteen. When did you come to Berlin and was it a completely different city then? It was 1985 and it was exactly like how the villages were in those days. Everybody knew each other, and the scene was so easy. There were a couple of clubs where everybody went and you had contact with big stars, like the band Einstürzende Neubauten. These guys were just there, hanging out, and I started to get some jobs, washing dishes, that kind of thing. Were you homeless before Berlin? Were you making art then? Yes, from age fourteen until nineteen, something like that. I did it while I was homeless, drawing TVs and sofas and those kinds of things in the places where I was hiding. I tried to tell stories to make me safe and was always trying to be smart while homeless. Then I was a Bahnoff Punk, which is like guys living at the train station, more hoboing around than anything else—typical runaway kid. Did you have a specific reason to come to Berlin? I came to Berlin because of a love story I didn’t want to lose. She was a Berliner girl and she brought me back up there. I was stuck completely, but like driftwood, you come sometimes and they push you into the corner and then there you are. That was cool. That was actually a great place to stay. >>

Wolves Have No Kings Spray paint, acrylic, oil, charcoal and pencil on canvas 43.5" x 67" 2014

Did you have a personal story from November 9, 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down? It was fantastic craziness going on. Everybody was out, everybody was giving welcoming hugs, which was completely insane. Everyone wanted to have a piece of the Wall, and they were taking the pieces. They were angry about it, trying to destroy it however they could. There were guys with cranes coming and picking at it like it was not officially open just a couple hours before. And all us squatters, we were going East, trying to find places to squat, and we all found places somewhere. It was like paradise for squats. Absolutely cool. The clubs in Berlin were really important then, right? It was really easy to meet people, and a lot of us met at a very famous club called WMF in an old factory. Everyone met at the club scene. At that point, I made music, and 100 |


that’s where my name comes from, actually. I became Jaybo Monk. It was my emcee name. Who were you before? I was Jeremy. We didn’t know about graffiti. What I was doing in the street was punk. I did millions of fliers for every kind of club. That was how we made money. We were famous for making the fliers so fast. People came to us who needed a flier for the next day and we could do it. We had a little graphic station. And we were playing in the U Club, a very underground kind of place. It was cool. You didn’t know which door you had to open to get in. It was funny. My work at that time was with all the crews of these guys. I began to do a magazine at the time, so I was doing a lot of graphic stuff.

left Everywhere is Here (detail) Spray paint and acrylic on canvas 60" x 80" 2012 right Wax Wings Spray paint, acrylic, oil, charcoal and pencil on canvas 43.5"x67" 2014

clockwise from right Jaybo Monk exiting Soze Gallery artist loft in Downtown Los Angeles Jaybo Monk in conversation with Caleb Neelon (off camera) and Ferdinand on the back porch in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jaybo Monk’s first attempt at opening Champagne with a saber, alongside Matt Greer and Charnice Burns in celebration of his Boston show Traces of Nothing.

What was the magazine you did in Berlin? Style and the Family Tunes. I didn’t make it alone. Everything I did was always with partners. We were three at that point. There were other magazines in Berlin also. Marok started Lodown at the same time, and Akim did MZee magazine. In 1993, we started a zine kind of thing, but by ’94, it was official. That was right around the time you could start to do it all digitally right? Of course, yes, that was when we started to do it that way. Yeah, before about ’94, you had to do the films and all that crap. Exactly, all the printing. It’s so funny to think about this one little period from

like ’92 to about ’99 when the Internet started to be much more useful. You could steal a copy of Quark or Photoshop, and digital desktop publishing comes in. Yeah, I remember the first time I did that. Whether it was in Berlin, or graffiti magazines here, or Juxtapoz for that matter, it all started around 1994. I remember having to scan pictures when the first Photoshop came out. I could only see one quarter of the scan that I was doing. It took ages to scan! We would go to the club, dance, sing, emcee and come back, and the thing wasn’t even finished scanning. Can you talk about Irie Daily, your clothing company? Describe going to Bread and Butter, the big European clothing trade show, and how having to build your booth with no money led you back to art making? JAYBO MONK JUXTAPOZ

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The point of our company is to feel good every day. When we started the Irie Daily thing, we had four shirts. It’s just what we had, and we had to go to the fair. And this was in 1994! We came to the Bread and Butter show and we had to pay for a booth, which was a lot of money. It was a blank booth, so we had to do something to make it more appealing. I tried to look through the trash at the fair, which is what I always did. I’m a trash guy. We built the booth with trash from the fair from big brands, and it cost us nothing. I did it like that for three years in a row, and it was always a fabulous time and a big boom in the show. Now I’m going every day into the studio, but I’m not working every day like I think an artist does. Artists work every day? I think so. I’m always waiting until the last minute. I have to be fast because that spontaneity is exactly the same routine you use in the street. I think the choices of what you do have to be ultimate. So you have to be in these ultimate positions, like if I’m not ready tonight, then tomorrow is not coming. You have to be on the edge to push you there. I can think a lot about it before, but I’m always trying not to lie to myself. Actually, as soon as I don’t think about time, that’s the best part. I try not to think. I’m a big fan of nonsense. Nonsense 102 |


is the only freedom that I’ve got, it’s like I don’t have to do anything. I’m not supposed to clarify something for you, to say why or why not. Nonsense speaks for itself. The funny thing is that the more nonsense that’s in the piece, the more people will look at it and think about it, which is exactly what I want. Nonsense. I will always run away from any style I have because it’s not what I am interested in. I am not interested in a vicious style or a signature. I am interested in doing things. Things that I already did, I’m bored with. I’m actually fighting boredom. For everyone. I have been dying since the moment I was born. I don’t want to go back to where I was, that’s for sure. From everything I’ve been, homeless at a young age, jailed, all that. It’s over now. I have a family. I am a runaway kid and, even in my artwork, it’s completely the same way. I’m always running away, running away from what I just did.

For more information about Jaybo Monk, visit


above Acoustic Blue (detail Spray paint, oil, charcoal and ballpoint on canvas. 47.24" x 47.24" 2014 opposite The Fruit Stare Spray paint, oil, charcoal and pencil on canvas. 47" x 59" 2014



Giovanni Bonelli rhapsodizes on this quintessentially modern city LAST FALL, IN CONCERT WITH THE ITALIAN CULTURAL Institute, Juxtapoz Italiano opened in Los Angeles in their stunning Nutra-designed headquarters, showcasing the contemporary painting of Nicola Verlato, Fulvio di Piazza, Marco Mazzoni and Agostino Arrivabene. In November 2014, the show made its second stop at Galleria Bonelli in Milan, a cultural and commercial hub which host and gallerist Giovanni Bonelli calls home, and he extends his welcome. THE BICYCLE LIFE I came to Milan a few years ago but I’ve kept a few habits from the Italian countryside that help me cope with city life. Above all, I try to get around on my bike as much as possible. 104 |


My bike’s an Ultracicli, customized and handmade in a little shop in Milan, a work of art on its own. It sure does not look out of place hanging around the gallery. I’m talking about the gallery that bears my name, which I was lucky enough to open two years ago in one of the coolest neighborhoods in town, Quartiere Isola. On the outskirts of a part of Milan that saw skyscrapers sprout like crazy and revolutionize the skyline, Isola still has undeniable popular charm. MORNING RITUAL To get here every morning, I take a road that allows me to stop at Princi for breakfast. Antonio Citterio designed this incredibly welcoming place, where anyone can enjoy an Italian or Continental breakfast for ten or fifteen extremely relaxed minutes.






Then, for the next five minutes, my two non-motorized wheels bring me down to the quaint Via Maroncelli, a favorite destination for those who love collecting modern art. Finally, crossing over the railway bridge and arriving at Galleria Giovanni Bonelli is swift and painless. EATING AND DRINKING Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life is the theme for Expo 2015, a world-renowned event, which Milan hosts from May 1st to October 31st. It definitely has impacted and changed the city’s growth, especially the types of businesses that start up. Many food-lover havens have seen the light and are now thriving. From this point of view, Milan is now very similar to other large European and world capital cities with so many restaurants, but there are a few times when I eat at home.

I shop for groceries at Eataly, an enormous space built in what was once a theater, and now concentrates on food items, especially the experimental kind. For a quick lunch, God Save The Food is the ideal place to hit up. If you’re doing take-out, my favorite spot is Lattughino, which offers organic food delivered by UBM bike messengers. For dinner, I adore Japanese food above all things. There are two restaurants I swear upon: Sumire and ZazaRamen. Deus Ex Machina combines café, bike, and surf shop, as well as costumes and fashion. ART AND CULTURE Thanks to the kind of job I have, I’m lucky enough to go to exhibits, openings and all kinds of different events,


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and have many favorite hangouts. One of my favorites is La Triennale. It’s one of the most fascinating buildings, with both outside architecture and interior treasures, like the spectacular exhibition on Fornasetti (you can still see a part of that in the official store on Corso Matteotti). I also love going to the newer Museo del 900. My colleagues run a lot of high-energy places, and one you need to check out is Via Ventura, where internationally famous galleries like De Carlo and Fluxia reside.


I’d like to mention another couple of spots that are real strongholds in Milan for design-lovers: MC Selvini and Spazio Rossana Orlandi. The former is a go-to for all those who love the work of Northern European masters, the latter is more for anyone looking for hot, new international designers. SHOPPING AND NIGHTLIFE For shopping, Excelsior is a point of reference for high-end clothing and accessories. It used to be an old movie theater 106 |



in the city center, but it was remodeled through an audacious project by architect Jean Nouvel. For theater-goers, a magical place is the Franco Parenti Theater, now completely renovated by Architect Michele De Lucchi, with the help of Project Manager Andrée Ruth Shammah, and stage restoration work by acclaimed Milanese tattoo artist Gian Maurizio Fercioni. La Scala is an incomparable platform (actually, a true place of worship!) for high-class music, especially after its restoration by Swiss architect Mario Botta. The only really cool place to go to for rare clubbing occasions is the historic club Plastic, a hotspot ever since the ’70s.

For more information about Galleria Bonelli, visit



A RETURN TO THE ACADEMY San Francisco’s Academy of Art University celebrates alumni Eda Kaba AS A YOUNG GIRL IN TURKEY, EDA KABAN IMMERSED herself in French children’s fantasies ranging from Tintin and Asterix to The Little Prince. And so, despite years devoted to other pursuits, it’s not surprising she’s returned to her first love: the magical, whimsical visuals that frame stories for kids. A graduate of Academy of Art University’s School of Illustration, Kaban, 32, sought out the school after receiving degrees in Design and Computer Engineering (“I was miserable”) in her home country. “I knew nothing about illustration or drawing when I came here,” she admits. “It all came together. The faculty in Illustration is amazing. They are so knowledgeable, so hands-on.”

of Illustrators, says she’s often inspired by colorful advertisements from the 1950s. “Eda uses shape, design, and color in graphic ways that always please the eye, set the stage and the mood, and create a charming storytelling world that just works, whether for children's books, lifestyle, or advertising,” said Chuck Pyle, Director of Academy of Art University’s School of Illustration. The supporting cast of characters in Kaban’s clever, quirky illustrations are based on everyday encounters in San Francisco. She works in a downtown apartment near Chinatown, which provides neverending inspiration, whether it’s “the nerdy couple at a restaurant sipping wine, a guy feeding pigeons in the park, a metrosexual man walking his dog on the street or the snobby looking lady with the coffee in her hand.”

After struggling for a number of months as a freelancer following graduation, she signed on with New York agency Shannon Associates and found her niche in children’s and young reader books, with clients such as Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, and Perseus Books, as well as publications like The Village Voice. However, Kaban remains intrinsically connected to Academy of Art University, as a part-time instructor teaching Color and Design, Character Design and Children’s Book Illustration, while her husband, writer/ sculptor Dax Santi, works full-time in the illustration department. “He’s my main art director. He has a great eye,” she admits. The pair has plans to collaborate on their own children’s book.

For more information about the Academy of Art University’s various departments, visit

Kaban, who was recently accepted into the Society

For more information about Eda Kaban, visit

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The majority of Kaban’s work is commissioned, but she also has an Etsy store and shows at Trickster Gallery in Berkeley. In the cutting-edge, moody Bay Area art world, she has no problem being labeled bubbly and lighthearted. “I like making people smile,” she says. “I can’t imagine doing dark things.” —Jennifer Blot



BOOKS The titles Juxtapoz is currently reading



by Jesse Frohman

by Adam Lerner

One of the more famous members of the 27 Club, Kurt Cobain has been a topic of fascination for years. His unsolicited but not undeserved fame has been written about extensively and made the subject of numerous documentaries. Twenty years after Cobain’s suicide, and following Nirvana’s induction in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a new and inherently provocative addendum to this tragic story is now available for aesthetic consideration. Kurt Cobain: The Last Session is an intense collection of photographs of Cobain, as well as Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, by acclaimed photographer Jesse Frohman. A defiant interview by the legendary punk historian Jon Savage, and a riveting essay by pop culture maven Glenn O’Brien make this a must have for the aspiring grunge library completist. —Lalé Shafaghi

Merriam-Webster defines myopia as “a condition in which the visual images come to a focus in front of the retina of the eye resulting especially in defective vision of distant objects,” making this the perfect title for the brilliantly eclectic and prolific Mark Mothersbaugh’s new monograph. Legally blind until age seven when he got his first pair of glasses, Mothersbaugh started fashioning his own version of the world at the outset and has not stopped. Though best known as frontman for Devo (of “Whip It” fame), collaborating with filmmaker Wes Anderson, and building soundtracks for children’s shows like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Yo Gabba Gabba! and Rugrats, Mothersbaugh is first and foremost a visual artist. This new catalog, accompanied by a traveling exhibit, offers us the pleasure of witnessing the many magic kingdoms that Mothersbaugh has created over the last 40 years. —LS

Thames & Hudson,

Princeton Architectural Press,

CONSTRUCTING WORLDS: PHOTOGRAPHY AND ARCHITECTURE IN THE MODERN AGE Among my all-time favorite photographs have always been Ed Ruscha’s aerial landscape shots of Los Angeles parking lots and stadiums. Flying high in commercial airplanes merely teases at the intricacies and structure that man has bestowed on earth, the geometric balance and spatial suburbanization of Southern California. That is what makes this book, Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, so stunning and historically relevant. We live in a day and age when photography has become the natural extension of our daily lives in an era of people obsessed with banal documentation. But this book focuses on 18 artists and their relationship between architecture and photography, providing context for our growing interest over the last 100 years with the construction of the modern world around us. From Walker Evans to Julius Shulman, Ed Ruscha to Thomas Struth, this book covers the world and defines the true meaning of place. —Evan Pricco Prestel,

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SHOP SMALL , PAINT BIG Small Business Saturday brings public art to the forefront IT’S SIMPLE: ART IS ALIVE, ART MAKES YOU THINK, and it often makes you feel pretty good. It is an immediate conduit to your surroundings, defines a community’s heritage, and enlightens its current state of affairs. This magazine has spent the past half-decade championing the merits of public art. Whether on a community-level, part of a city planning organization, or even a nationally funded endowment, supporting contemporary muralism and public art initiatives should be a high priority for every city. For the most part, cities are beginning to recognize the trend where highly talented artists can transform the appearance of a locale, making it a little more engaging and a lot more vibrant.

campaign, celebrated on Saturday, November 29, is now in its fifth year, gaining recognition and momentum as not just a day for shopping and commerce, but as an opportunity to support independent business around the country. And, obviously, as an independent, small business, the heart of this event hits home for us.

Juxtapoz has made a point of working with various companies to implement public art programs in cities around North America, and we were excited to be a part of Small Business Saturday last year. The Shop Small

“Ballard, where I painted in Seattle, is an artsy, eclectic part of the city with a lot of small businesses and artisan shops like Bauhaus Books and Coffee, Dakota Art Store, and Kavu,” Mary Iverson told us. “The neighborhood has a

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Now, in its second year, the 2014 SBS programming again includes local artists painting murals in neighborhoods that are epicenters of independent businesses. Working with American Express, Juxtapoz was able to invite some new artists to the program, including Seattle’s Mary Iverson and Dallas’ Carlos Donjuan to work in their communities.

above Mary Iverson/Seattle opposite Shawn Bullen/San Francisco


beautifully preserved historic district, which hosts a yearround farmers market, the biggest in the region. And there are no big box stores in Ballard.” We discussed how Iverson’s work was a natural fit for SBS because of the themes and content in her fine art work. “My mural features an abstract view of a field of shipping containers,” she says. “I am fascinated by the shipping industry, and my work sheds light on the vast scale of global trade. This time of year is the busiest for world ports because merchants are getting stocked up for the materialistic feeding frenzy of the modern American Christmas. Containers facilitate the cheap and speedy distribution of goods around the world, making the Black Friday bargain-hunting insanity possible.” “Great pieces of art encourage you to pause and reflect,” says Sravanthi Agrawal, Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications, American Express OPEN. “The murals are catalysts for conversations in their communities about the importance of shopping locally and supporting small businesses. In San Francisco, people were jumping out 116 |


of their cars to take pictures of the mural, and people passing by were talking with artist Shawn Bullen about his involvement in the Small Business Saturday campaign. In the Roslindale village of Boston, a picture of the mural is now the cover photo on Main Street’s Facebook page. In these instances, as well as the ten additional communities where artists worked this year, people are claiming the art and are proud to have it in their neighborhoods.” “A good mural is like a gift to a neighborhood,” Iverson says. “It’s a painting on everyone’s wall. Finding a site for my mural in my own neighborhood was important to me because I love living in Ballard. I have received a lot of positive feedback and appreciation for my mural from Ballard residents, and that feels great!”

For more information about Small Business Saturday, visit


clockwise from top left Hueman/Los Angeles Hebru Brantley/Miami JC Rivera/Chicago Stefan Ways/Portland Bodega/Boston


THINGS JUXTAPOZ IS AFTER Pay Jay, Parra and Ponte City


RAINING CATS SHOWER CURTAIN by Parra Whether boy or a girl, if you’re a little on the shy side, may we suggest you… er... open up to the characters of Amsterdam-based Parra while you shower? From the SFMOMA to galleries around the world, Parra channels design, poster art and fine art into one original medium. And now you can get naked with it. Or, if you prefer, never-nude.

PONTE CITY by Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse (Walther Collection) Juxtapoz was lucky enough to visit the Ponte City construction site in Johannesburg, South Africa with Magnum photographer Mikhael Subotzky back in 2008 as he began what would become this book collection—scratch that, this is so much more than a book: it’s an immersive archival box set of found documents, photography, essays, truly a visual history of what publishing house Steidl calls both a “ dreamland and dystopia.”

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J Dilla remains one of the most enigmatic and celebrated producers of the last 25 years, and his untimely death in 2006 led to many tributes and proper dedications to the artist’s life. A collector by nature, it only makes sense that Dilla deservedly gets the collector’s treatment with this special vinyl figure created by his estate, Pay Jay. The perfect companion for your collectible Madvillain figure.


STOP AND SMELL THE SHARPIES The Ferris Bueller method of being a career artist WORKING AS A COMMERCIAL ILLUSTRATOR FOR THE past decade plus, I've designed hundreds of T-shirts for numerous companies, bands and individuals. But if I had to pick my very favorite shirt that I've ever designed, it would be the one you're looking at above these words. I drew this at my kitchen table when I was 12 years old. From a very early age, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be a commercial artist. And some of my ďŹ rst self-assigned projects were recreating skateboard graphics and logos from my favorite companies (at the time). Once I started to develop my own style and imagery, I couldn't wait to work with actual companies vs. designing stuff for myself or for my friends' small, local projects. But now that I'm older (and hopefully wiser), I look back on those teeth-cutting formative years and realize that they were just as awesome, if not more so, thank working with larger clients. 120 |


Ambition is a double-edged sword. Without it, you're destined to plateau and stagnate. With it, you're going to have a hard time appreciating what you have in front of you because your sights will always be set on tomorrow's goals. Self-progression is admirable, but I'd like to urge all of you to occasionally slow your roll and take inventory of today's stoke. Ferris Bueller once famously said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I think that's only partially true. I don't think that you're actually going to miss life. I just think it's commonplace to not appreciate the quiet moments. Breathe deep, y'all.




SCOPE MIAMI BEACH 2014 1 | Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer works a shift at his Juxtapoz Newsstand installation

RARE SEA PARTY AT THE LOEWS MIAMI HOTEL 2 | We Came In Peace’s Kim Swift and artist Monica Canilao at the Rare Sea opening hosted by Chandran Gallery, Juxtapoz, We Came In Peace, and Algae Miami

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3 | Swizz Beatz came by to congratulate Swoon on an underwater-installationdone-swimmingly 4 | January 2015 cover artist Dan Witz says hello to Jux friends and Bay Area artists Brett Amory and Lucien Shapiro 5 | Quetzal, Olek, and Maya Hayuk want you to know they’re close

NADA MIAMI BEACH 6 | Ryan McGinley congratulates Barry McGee at his Beats By Dre Pill release at NADA Miami Beach Fair

All photography by Alex Nicholson except (6) by David Wright


NEW YORK CITY // LOS ANGELES Jonathan LeVine Gallery, LACMA, Copro Gallery, Subliminal Projects

LACMA 1 | Maggie Wilson and Madison Pallasini at the Pierre Huyghe Retrospective as part of Instagram’s Empty series: #EmptyLacma

JONATHAN LEVINE GALLERY 2 | Doze Green at the opening of his newest solo show, Out of Knowhere, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

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3 | Twins meet twins. Os Gemeos and How Nosm convene for a photo-op at Out of Knowhere



6 | Sterling Bartlett and Nil Ultra get into some holiday cheer

4 | Öde S. Nerdrum in front of his father, Odd Nerdrum’s painting, The Go-Between, at the Odd Nerdrum show at Copro Gallery.

5 | Britt Harrison and her piece at Subliminal Projects’ Holiday Bazaar group show

Photography by Joe Russo (1, 2) Sam Graham (3, 5, 6) Eric Minh Swenson (4)


ROBERT CRUMB The Weirdo Years

The Drawings of LAURIE LIPTON

Street Art, Fine Art, Popaganda

All of Crumb’s influential covers and stories from Weirdo comics

Painstakingly detailed pencil drawings by a master artist

Hardcover, 8[ 256 pages, color + b&w

Hardcover, 9 x12 160 pages, 175 images



ELIZABETH MCGRATH Incurable Disorder

MIKE DAVIS A Blind Man’s Journey

“mystical, magical creations” ťMark Ryden

Mysterious paintings by world-renouned artist

SKINNER Forbidden Activities for Neglected Children

Hardcover, 11 x 11 224 pages, full color $39.95

Hardcover, 9 x 12 176 pages, 200 images

Challenges what might rightly be called an “activity”

Hardcover, 10 x 10 128 pages, full color

Paperback, 8[ 36 pages plus stickers




JACK MORD Beyond the Dark Veil

The Fetish Coloring Book MAGNUS FREDERIKSEN

HENRY SULTAN The Art of the Mandala

Post Mortem & Mourning Photography from The Thanatos Archive

Fetishes of all kinds ... nsfw, natch!

A 40-year career retrospective

Paperback, 7.68 x 10 50 pages, b&w

Hardcover, 11 x 11 110 pages, full color



Hardcover, 7 x 9 200 pages, 194 images $25.00

1 6 * ' 4  ' 5 5 ' 0 6 + # .  # 4 6  $ 1 1 - 5  2 7 $ . + 5 * ' &  $ ;  . # 5 6  ) # 5 2 

TOP ROW: The Saddest Place on Earth (Camille Rose Garcia) · Through Prehensile Eyes (Robert Williams) · The Snow

Yak Show (Mark Ryden) · Tragic Kingdom (Camille Rose Garcia) · Kustom Kulture (Von Dutch, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Robert Williams) · The Big Book of Bodē Tattoos (Mark Bodē) · Amigos de los Muertos (Angryblue, Jeral Tidwell, Roberto Jaras Lira, David Lozeau) BOTTOM ROW: Memoir (Shawn Barber) · Dreamland (Todd Schorr) · Pop Surrealism (Kirsten Anderson, ed.) · Fushigi

Circus (Mark Ryden)· The Book of Joe (Joe Coleman) · Dying of Thirst (Gary Baseman) · Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society (Evans, Galbraith & Law) · Mitch O’Connell: The World’s Best Artist (Mitch O’Connell)

LAST GASP SAN FRANCISCO EST.1970 (415) 824-6636 (800) 366-5121 w w

( + 0 & 6 * ' 5 '  $ 1 1 - 5  #6  ;1 7 4  .1 % # .  $ 1 1 - 5 ' . . ' 4

The World’s Best Loved Art Treasures “I hope you enjoy what you see in this book. Please look closely at the photos. If you do, they will make you laugh. If you look closer, they will make you feel. And if you look closer still, they will break your heart. ” James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy

The World’s Best Loved Art Treasures by Click Mort Hardcover • 96 pages 6" x 6" • full color throughout $18.95 • Available

Click Mort takes mundane ceramic figures and transforms them into new visions. His unique recombinations require extensive cutting, sculpting, sanding, and painting to create pop-culture ‘chimeras.’ The result is kitsch resurrected in a still vaguely familiar but somewhat less cozy form.

Coming Soon From Last Gasp Mirror, Black Mirror The Art of Camille Rose Garcia

New Imported Japanese Books Available from Last Gasp

New work chronicling a prolific and life-changing time when Garcia fled LA and moved to a cabin in the Northern California woods. Hardcover • 176 pages 11" x 11" • full color throughout $49.95 • February 2015

Ron English’s Vandalism Starter Kit This is a book of famous street art in sticker form so you can actually put the art up in your own environment and have an authentic street art experience. 48 pages • 4” x 7” Over 90 stickers 100 images $12.95 • February 2015

Punks Git Cut Anthology Jay Howell A big brick of a book filled with hundreds of funny drawings by Jay Howell. Flexibound • 420 pages 5.5” x 8.5” • color + b&w $25.00 • February 2015

The Book of Hugs Attaboy Know someone who needs a hug? The Book of Hugs is a perfect guide to awkwardly squeezing someone with affection. Featuring way too many pages of hilariously illustrated uncomfortable embraces. Stupid fun with ridiculous heart. Hardcover • 80 pages 6” x 6” • 2-color art throughout $14.95 • December 2014

Clockwise from top left: Maruograph I & II (Suehiro Maruo) ű Japanese Erotica in Contemporary Art ű Shunga ű More Designs of Paper Folding for POP-UP ű Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Kill! (Hajime Sorayama, Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Katsuya Terada).

See the full list at:

Toronto, Canada November 10th, 2014


Juxtapoz art culture magazine february 2015  

Juxtapoz art culture magazine february 2015

Juxtapoz art culture magazine february 2015  

Juxtapoz art culture magazine february 2015