Artists are the central nervous system of a city and Los Angeles is no different. Sketch artists contract sculptors, graphic artists, illustrators, 3-D renderers and painters create their works whether or not a gallery will embrace their vision... that is of course if there is still gallery space available to show the work in the first place. USC graduates Brian Lee and Ben Kaufman founded Hold Up Art, an independent art space that walks the hybrid tightrope between the high art volume of a museum and intimacy of a gallery. A colorful collection of art works have already been displayed on their walls their since they first opened their doors one year ago. A modest storefront located in the crossroads of the emerging Arts District in Downtown and the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo, Hold Up Art is the only gallery in the neighborhood and just might literally "hold up" the backbone of the LA art scene. With open doors and open mind they embrace emerging and innovative talent.
Tony Chavira created Minefield Wonderland, an unlimited collective that fosters art, design, animation, and collaborates in the creation of original content. Having penned his own comic book series including Tuna Carpaccio P.I. Tuna Carpaccio PI:
Chavira is keenly aware of his peers and the projects they are working on, and he is also deeply sensitive to their devotion to their work. Minefield Wonderland is curating the upcoming group show titled "The Story Foreshadows..." at Hold Up Art on Friday July 30, 2010.
"The Story Foreshadows..." celebrates a wide spectrum of styles, subject matter and themes. Some canvases are reminiscent of the bright and sardonic R. Crumb to stenciled figures of nude female bodies with the heads of wolves, elephants, rams, and tigers. There are super clean pretty girls with Pop inspired one word thought bubbles to gritty monsters that can only manifest in dreams... or nightmares.
I had the opportunity to visit Hold Up Art yesterday evening. The walls had just been painted and fans were situated throughout the space to expedite the drying process. The pieces were lined along the perimeters of the gallery, and artists were coming in and out of the gallery holding piles of works from the personal collections, delicately wrapped in bubble paper. As more work came in, Chavira started making mental notes of what pieces should be grouped together and even had ideas for captions to create. While watching paint dry, excitement began brewing overhead.
The art will not be the only surprise at the show, but the opening night will feature a whimsical combination the jazz collective Harry Swalley Quartet as well as DJ Bad Knews.
"The Story Foreshadows..." signals the opening chapter of future works to come. The ellipses in the show's title makes me wonder what else Chavira has up his sleeve.