Category Archives: California

Scott Brooks, Andy Haynes, and Marie Barr at Autumn’s Delight

Coming in three days is a show in Escondido, California, that features the works of three technically proficient artists all bonded by an unconventional, twisted flair. Here’s what you can expect in Distinction Gallery‘s upcoming show.

First, there’s Scott Brooks. His warm-colored works feature warped characters who walk the fine line between human and alien. Brooks plays on this ambiguity and feeds the visual palate of folks who might like slightly bizarre things along the lines of William Burrough’s Naked Lunch. There’s something engaging and interesting about Brooks’ way of throwing the head of a man upon the torso of a chicken in The Last Humpty Dance and his way of putting disgusting items like human organs into a bright menagerie of organs in Renaissance Man (shown below).

Andy Haynes was previously featured in REDEFINE with his slightly surreal character paintings. His newest pieces have headed in a different and similarly exciting direction. In One Hour of Awareness (below), a hodge-podge of items float across the painting, creating a sci-fi environment of weightlessness and a feeling of a hyperreality. This piece and others are set in nearly futuristic states, but others fall back on humanity’s more tribal, natural roots, creating an interesting dichotomy between two polarized periods views on human existence.

The last artist in this mix is Marie Barr, who, compared to Haynes and Brooks, has arguably more grounded works. It’s a quality that makes her works accessible to individuals of all ages. In addition, whereas the other two primarily use oil on canvas, Barr’s works use watercolors, inks, pastels, and other soft, enveloping mediums, including teas. The results are highly stylized character studies imposed on textured backgrounds, as seen in Things Learned Young (below).

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Laura Breitman’s Textile Art at UC Davis!

A few months ago, we stumbled across the layered textile works of Margot Lovinger and were blown away by the intricacies in her recreation of the human form using fabrics.

Now another artist with a similar technique but much more detailed subject matter has caught our eyes. A new solo show at the Richard L. Nelson Gallery of UC Davis features the mind-blowing works of Laura Breitman, who similarly collages patterns to create art pieces. The main differences? Breitman’s works are full-blown landscapes, lovingly and painstakingly recreated from photos taken by her husband, Michael Needleman. Also, Breitman uses not only sheer fabrics, but a combination of fabrics and papers, which bring added depth and texture. Her works are not as exacting; they combine the randomness of nature with the randomness of hand-crafted works to create pieces that are organic yet much more artistic than simple landscape drawings.

laura breitman
[Left] Looking Up; [Right] Looking Up Detail View

Breitman’s extraordinarily multi-layered and multi-patterned pieces range in size from 10″ x 10″ to 40″ x 40″. The exhibition will run for ten weeks, from September 25th, 2008 to December 7th, 2008.

The artist will also be holding a demonstration of her collaging process, live at the gallery on November 4th at 4:30pm. The demonstration, which is open to all members of the curious public, is guaranteed to be a learning experience.

1,000 Journals Film Review

Two months ago, I received a black journal. It was the project of a fifth grade class, and my task was to add my contributions and then pass it on in a week’s time. Although it was not a new idea to me, it was a lot of fun, despite the fact that this particular journal only made its rotation in the Seattle area.The film 1,000 Journals follows the project by Someguy, a San Francisco artist who one day decided to release 1,000 blank journals out into the world to see what happened to them. His journals, by contrast, ended up traversing the world.

Click here to read entire 1,000 Journals film review.

Marilyn Minter’s Strut – Photo or Painting?

Marilyn Minter‘s Strut — and work in general — require a double take. She began as a photographer and received most of her attention with her photographic studies on her drug-addicted mother, and has also branched out to painting at some point in her life.

So, Is this piece a photo or a painting? It’s honestly hard to tell sometimes. Could it even be a little of both?

What do you think?

Jane Hammond’s Paper Works

Jane Hammond — her brand of collage and brightly colored illustration work is easily polarizing. My personal opinion is that while some of her collages are intriguing, a lot of her works seem to be rather unexpectional. The works here are some of my favorite from her current installation at the deYoung Gallery. This series, Paper Works, will be traveling throughout various galleries until 2009.

Frida Kahlo at the San Francisco MoMA


Self-Portrait with Thorns


Two women enjoying the bloody, bloody Henry Ford Hospital, inspired by Frida’s baby that was never born.

Caught the new exhibit about the famous Frida Kahlo, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, from now through September 28th, 2008. Bloody, colorful, sinister, and thought-provoking. More details at the MoMA website.

Upcoming Events: Blaine Fontana and Lucklusters!


Originally from the Pacific Northwest but now residing in Southern California, Blaine Fontana is the favorite of many skate-related brands. He has a couple books that have been printed by Upper Playground and, as the owner of one, I must say that they are wholly worth the money. In this case, Vans has brought Blaine Fontana to Seattle for a book signing at the skate and snow shop, Snowboard Connection. See the unveiling of a new mural and partake in a book signing! 263 Yale Ave. N, Seattle, WA.


A time at Seattle’s possibly newest venue, King Cobra, is always a good time. For $3.00, you can witness live paintings by favorite Seattle street artists, PGEE!, Ego, Brennan Coyle, Parskid, 2H, 179, and Daner! Hip-hop music by DJ Sean Cee.