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Jane Chafin
Jane Chafin is currently director of Offramp Gallery, which exhibits contemporary art in an historic house in Pasadena, CA. Jane used to be a painter and worked as a registrar for the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. She stopped painting, moved to New York and pursued a career in journalism. There, she was editorial director of, and did freelance writing for the LA Times, the and the New Yorker Magazine's marketing department. She moved back to the Los Angeles area and opened Offramp Gallery in September 2008. She writes a weekly blog, Jane Chafin's Offramp Gallery Blog.

Entries by Jane Chafin

Artists' Statements: Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them

(1) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 4:18 PM

There's a phenomenon in the art world I like to call the "metamorphosis of crap." It happens in that instant when, after having been initially bored, confused or repelled by a completely artless pile of crap, you stop to read the artist's statement. Now you are in familiar territory. Your...

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Videos: Let It Rain!

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 4:12 PM

All anyone is talking about here in Southern California is the forecast for much needed drought-busting rain. Sandbags are in place for mudslides, newsrooms are on storm watch, gardeners are crossing their fingers, and roofers are starting to count their money.

Let it rain!

I've found a few videos...

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Two Art World Pet Peeves Collide and Break My Writer's Block

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 12:59 PM

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging much recently. Let's call it a case of writer's block that took being sent into apoplectic shock by a recent outbreak of artspeak to cure.

As you know, MOCA has hired Phillipe Vergne as its new director. In the

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Videos: Popup Books Meet Animation, Magic Ensues

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 8:47 AM

It should come as no surprise to anyone who regularly reads this blog that I love popup books. While researching them recently, I stumbled onto a new genre, animated popup books. I've selected four videos for you. Prepare yourself for magic.

In this enchanting video, produced as a trailer for...

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2012 Holiday Gift Guide for the Art Lover on Your List (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 3:38 PM

I am the proverbial kid at Christmas every time a shipment of art books arrives here at Offramp. Writing about art books and stocking them for the bookstore makes it seem like the holidays year round. I've compiled this list (see slideshow below) of our best-selling titles hoping some of...

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Joseph Cornell's Amazing Manual of Marvels (PHOTOS)

(2) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 4:12 PM

Before I tell you about an amazing new Joseph Cornell box/book, I want to talk briefly about art fairs again. In my ongoing quest to get to the bottom line about whether or not participating in fairs is a money-making proposition, I recently had what I thought was a Eureka...

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Videos: Bosch and Brueghel Get Animated for Halloween

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 1:17 PM

If your need for the macabre this Halloween goes beyond cute kids in costumes and Hallmark notions of creepy, this animated look at two giants of art history, Hieronymus Bosch and Brueghel the Elder, should transport you to those depraved depths you crave.

We'll start with a jaunty video by...

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Art. Books. Art Books. Book Art: An Embarrassment of Riches

(1) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 9:23 AM

Art. Books. Art books. Book art. I have lived most of my adult life near the intersection of these two worlds -- as an artist, diarist, voracious reader, art-gallery/art-book-store director and blogger about art and books. You could say it is my happy place -- and for the last two...

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Orhan Pamuk's "The Innocence of Objects:" An Amazing Catalog About a Real Museum Based on Fiction

(3) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 9:40 AM

In a week that has strongly reinforced my belief that large international art fairs, however else you want to defend them, are the worst possible, most sterile environments ever conceived for viewing art -- the amazing book that I now have before me, Orhan Pamuk's The Innocence of...

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Short Takes: Kaleidoscopic Wonders

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 3:31 PM

According to Wikipedia, the term "kaleidoscope" was coined in 1817 by its Scottish inventor, Sir David Brewster, while he was performing experiments on light polarization. Brewster arranged for manufacture of his invention, intended as a science tool. The kaleidoscope was an instant hit -- over 200,000 sold in...

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A Film and a Book Shed Light on the Enigmatic Francesca Woodman

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 8:34 AM

We see a naked young woman lying on the floor in the corner of a sparsely furnished room. Generously sprinkled on the floor all around her is a white powdery substance. As the young woman begins to rise she turns back to look at the black silhouette her body has...

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An Interview with Patssi Valdez, An American Painter

(1) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 6:52 PM

Los Angeles artist Patssi Valdez has gained international attention in the last few years, primarily from her early performance work as a member of the group Asco. Asco was recognized in a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2011, Asco: Elite of the...

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Hyperrealistic Sculpture: From Death Masks to Madame Tussaud and Beyond

(2) Comments | Posted July 27, 2012 | 2:52 PM

Ever since our prehistoric ancestors first picked up chunks of limestone and carved crude female figurines some 20,000 years ago, we humans have been trying to depict the human form in three dimensions using everything from wood, stone, clay and bronze, to modern synthetic materials such as silicone, polyurethane, fiberglass,...

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A Fun, Informative and Oh-So-Sexy Book on Erotic Art

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 5:11 PM

I was skeptical when I saw the title of Flavio Febbraro's handsome volume, How to Read Erotic Art. That's all we need, I thought -- more dry, cerebral artspeak to take all the fun out of erotic art. So I was very pleased to discover that the texts...

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Short Takes: Paint in Motion (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted June 12, 2012 | 3:25 PM

For this week's videos I went to various video sites and typed in "paint." A theme quickly emerged: paint in motion. This first video, Tall Painting, shows a painting by Holton Rower in progress as cup after cup after cup of multi-colored paints are poured on top of a two-tiered...

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A Book About Paris Has Its Way With Me

(5) Comments | Posted May 28, 2012 | 8:49 PM

TASCHEN has had its way with me again. This time it's Paris: Portrait of a City, a voluptuous oversized volume of photographs of the city of my dreams, a visual feast covering 150 years of Parisian history and culture that put me in a prolonged trance-like state. Glancing at my...

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More on the Questionable Authorship of a Certain Urinal

(4) Comments | Posted May 18, 2012 | 12:12 PM

I was a practicing artist for 15 years. During 10 of those years, I worked at the LA Municipal Art Gallery, a 10,000 square foot venue that exhibited a never-ending parade of contemporary art. I was relatively young and didn't have the self-confidence to give voice to the questions in...

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Duchamp's Urinal? Maybe Not!

(7) Comments | Posted May 3, 2012 | 5:07 PM

I recently read an LA Times article about a public feud between artist Damien Hirst and British art critic Julian Spalding, the latter of whom had written a short book, Con Art -- Why You Should Sell Your Damien Hirsts While You Can. I thought it might make...

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David Hockney's Bigger Message

(4) Comments | Posted April 26, 2012 | 1:10 PM

I don't know whether to love or hate this book for being so inspiring. Many times while reading it, I had the impulse to close my gallery, stop writing this blog, and return to making art. Martin Gayford's A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney chronicles discussions between...

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In Praise of the Intensely Visual: Fishes, Birds and Artists, Oh My!

(4) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 11:40 AM

If I had to define my mission as a gallery director and blogger about all things art-related, it would be to put the visual back into Visual Art. Rarely am I interested in conceptual art where the visual is secondary, non-existent, or in a state of forced servitude to an...

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