New Art Exhibit In Fullerton Takes on Police Killings in OC and Beyond

Categories: Art Review

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Kelly Thomas and his Mother by John Sollom
The Magoksi Arts Colony in Fullerton is quiet when local painter Valerie Lewis arrives late Tuesday night with portraits in hand. A painting of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed Ferguson, Missouri man killed by police officer Darren Wilson is surrounded by flowers and a quote that reads "love is a song that never ends." Next to that portrait is another piece by Lewis showing John Crawford, a 22-year-old African-American gunned down last month by police in Beavercreek, Ohio, holding a newborn child in his arms. Paintings from the Kelly Thomas memorial art show are laid out, waiting to be stationed.

The human faces of those killed by police in OC and beyond frame the Our Lives Matter: Portraits of the Unprotected exhibit slated to open Friday night during Fullerton's art walk.

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Emigdio Vasquez, Legendary Chicano Artist, Passes Away

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Photo by Keith May
Vasquez, in front of his "controversial" mural, in 2009

Emigidio Vasquez, a legendary Chicano artist most famous for his epic murals that continue to dot Orange County, passed away yesterday after a long illness. He was 74.

Born in the mining town of Jerome, Arizona, Vasquez moved to Orange's Cypress Street barrio in the 1940s and eventually gravitated toward painting. In his heyday, he achieved the almost-impossible: mainstream, underground AND governmental success, as his works became famous nationwide among art lovers and lionized among Chicano activists. He even scored contracts to do public murals for the county of Orange (the sprawling epic of OC history off the old OCTA bus terminal near the Civic Center in SanTana) and the city of Anaheim (in a mural located in the lobby of Anaheim City Hall) during the 1980s.

Unfortunately, Orange County is an ingrate, and Vasquez and his supporters spent the last years of his life trying to preserve his work from being destroyed by the elements, indifference, and law enforcement.


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This Thursday's Cinema Orange Film Sol LeWitt Screens at OCMA

Categories: Art Review

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Youtube/ User nff

Traces of the Newport Beach Film Festival are ever-present throughout the year with Cinema Orange, NBFF's collaborative programming series with the Orange County Museum of Art. Cinema Orange celebrates ten years of serving culturally enlightening films to the public, showcased at OCMA's tiny but aptly decorative screening space. 2014's Cinema Orange summer season kicked off earlier in May at the end of NBFF with Impossible Light, and now makes a return with a film about minimalist and conceptual artist Sol LeWitt.

Sol LeWitt achieves what so few writers and journalists have been able to in the over fifty-year span of his career: get LeWitt to discuss his work. Notoriously shy and introverted, yet brilliantly innovative in his construction of radical three-dimensional structures, abstract paintings and drawings and numerous wall drawings all over the world, LeWitt's subtle and restrained creations have garnered him the distinction of being one of the founders of minimalist art.


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"Like Father Like Son" Photographers Eriberto and Estevan Oriol Exhibit at Dax Gallery This Saturday

Categories: Art Review

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Dax Gallery

There was always something about Estevan Oriol's portraits of Los Angeles gang members that mesmerized the eye; a combination of a direct, knowing gaze towards the viewer, the starkness of black and white, and hard shadows that underlined the tough exteriors of his subjects. He and father Eriberto Oriol, a photographer and painter, are both cut from the same cloth; while Estevan documents the lives of inner city gang members, Eriberto has documented graffiti and street art, as well as the urban expanse of Los Angeles.

Both artists have curated their work into a traveling art show that has made hits in both LA and New York in a show called "Like Father Like Son." Joining together some of their most iconic works, from the elder Oriol's abstract paintings and photo prints to Estevan's infamous gang portraits, the show comes to Costa Mesa's Dax Gallery this Saturday, with both artists in tow to sign prints as well as Estevan signing his latest book release LA Portraits.

I spoke with both artists on their art and was surprised by the differences between their practices; from Estevan's purist stance on analog film to Eriberto's history of activism; both artists' paths and styles are deviations from each other but are suitably cohesive works of two like-minded artists from different generations. Presented here is a compilation of both their interviews.


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Getty Foundation Awards Grants to OC Art Museums for Pacific Standard Time Exhibit

Categories: Art Review

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Wiki Commons/Patrick Pelster

Back in 2011, art museums across Southern California collaborated on telling the multi-faceted history of the Los Angeles modern art scene in a series of exhibits titled "Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980." The epic art event included a variety of content like the influences of LA's punk scene on the art world at MoCA to the subversive works of UC Irvine artists in the '70s at Laguna Art Museum. The next Pacific Standard Time plans to delve even deeper into SoCal history in recognizing the impact of Latin American culture in Southern California and the artistic movements that amplified these cultural exchanges in its upcoming site collaboration "Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA".

The Getty Foundation, the forces behind PST, released news of the event earlier this week, along with the news of the grants they will award to each individual institution to research and cultivate the exhibits for its launch in September 2017. Of course, OC museums like OCMA and Laguna Art Museum will be in on this adventure, as well as UC Irvine and Cal State Long Beach's galleries, but to find out what they and other sites in Orange County will have in store, read on after the jump.


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Fullerton Art Walk's 4th Anniversary This Friday!

Categories: Art Review

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Ed Carrasco
Art party with these dudes!

This Friday, starting at 6pm, the Fullerton Art Walk will celebrate its four-year Anniversary. If you know about the somewhat underground art community in Fullerton, then you'll already be there; if you have no idea what I'm talking, about you might want to visit this wacky and colorful event.


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"Banksy: Completed" Examines Banksy's Street Art at Cal State Fullerton TONIGHT!

Categories: Art Review

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It's hard to imagine another street artist who has made a bigger name for himself than Banksy, the stencil-loving political artist and activist from Bristol, UK whose creations have adorned walls of buildings the world over and even made their way into museums. But tonight at 7pm at Cal State Fullerton's main campus at Visual Arts Lecture Hall 113, Banksy's art finds itself being discussed out of the museum and in the classroom.

Art critic Carol Deihl will be discussing the artist's month-long residency in New York last October, where each day he painted a different area with his trademark stencil works to the delight of his fans and to the revulsion of New York's underground street artists. Through examining the clues and running themes in Banksy's work, Diehl ultimately strives at getting into the nitty gritty of his philosophies and objectives.

Presented by Grand Central Art Center, this event is open to the public and FREE!

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Local Artist Plans to Create Homage to Kim Pham at Utility Box Where Her Memorial Stands

Categories: Art Review

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It has been more than two weeks since the senseless killing of Kim Pham happened outside the Crosby in downtown Santa Ana. Readers as far as Los Angeles and even the U.K. have picked up on the story, reeling in shock while OC residents collectively shake their heads at Santa Ana, the people and city as a whole, in indignation.

In tribute to Pham, supporters have adorned the utility box where Pham was brutally beaten with candles, flowers and Pham's photographs, but in due time, that box will undergo another major visual change.

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New Beginnings is Dax Gallery's World of Color

Categories: Art Review

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Zofia, "The Birth of Venus"
Keeping in step with their promise to continually showcase some of the world's finest street artists, Dax Gallery followed up their debut with a second show entitled New Beginnings: A Spectrum of Collections. The show features a vast array (and I do mean vast) of works, ranging from painting to digital media to sculpture, each one employing a wild and amazing use of color.

Dax gallery is a fairly large space; however it still amazes me how many pieces were included in the show (curators even had a surplus of art tucked away in the back). Check out the show before it closes on February 8, they are open regularly. In the meantime, here's some highlights of the pieces that interested me, just enough to tide you over 'til you explore it yourself. So GO GO GO!

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OC-Based Kush Bottles Has Your Baby-Proof Pot Bottles

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Jay Brockman
Last fall, the Obama Administration made history when it announced that it would not file lawsuits against Washington State and Colorado to prevent them from allowing the legal sale of recreational marijuana starting Jan. 1, 2014. But in making that announcement, the U.S. Justice Department listed several areas that it would continue to monitor in those states that allow the recreational or medicinal use of marijuana. Among them: harshly prosecuting anyone who allows pot to end up in the hands of minors.

With that in mind, a Santa Ana company called Kush Bottles, Inc. is marketing its product--baby-safe marijuana containers--as a way for dispensaries to ensure that we don't see an epidemic of high toddlers now that the war on weed seems to be reaching a somewhat fuzzy end.


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