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Mat Gleason
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Hi... I will resist the urge to talk about myself in the third person...
"A famously provocative local art critic."-Stephen Kinzer, New York Times

•I Founded Coagula Art Journal in 1992.

Phone: (424) 2COAGULA
Email: matg64 at gmail dot com
Mail: P.O.Box 5228 • Huntington Park, California 90255

•Watch my 2-Minute+ REEL in case your project needs a talking head.

"Mat Gleason, a maverick LA art critic, is insufferably cynical, always 'on' with a glib comment." -Phillip Kennicot, Washington Post

Education: Expelled from high school and five colleges.

•I've curated contemporary art exhibits since 1996 and own an art gallery now to do just that.

•There is a polaroid out there of me drinking with Charles Bukowski.

Entries by Mat Gleason

The Sensory Overload of James Stanford

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2016 | 3:00 AM

James Stanford understands the allure of Las Vegas, the glamour, the dizziness, and the ecstasy of it all. He has crystallized the sensory overload that the city's glitz creates in the mind. His abstract kaleidoscope compositions deliver the sensuous pulse of sin city. The artist performs an almost alchemical feat...

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Barnsdall's SKIN Show Aestheticizes the Politics of Race

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2016 | 3:26 AM

Barnsdall Art Park's Municipal Art Gallery hosts perhaps the timeliest of art exhibits, SKIN, on view thru April 17, 2016. Under the curatorial direction of Barnsdall's director Isabelle Lutterodt, SKIN presents a myriad of stylistic and formal approaches to art by over thirty artists, all related in some manner to...

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Ai Wei Wei: Propaganda Tool or Beached Whale?

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 9:30 PM

Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei is embroiled in a controversy that has damaged his international reputation and threatens to sink his humanitarian activist brand. The Washington Post's Rama Lakshmi sycophantically called it a huge artistic tribute (LINK HERE) when the corpulent art star laid on the beach of...

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Ellsworth Kelly, Vampire Slayer

(7) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 4:31 AM

Ellsworth Kelly died Sunday. His death came just a few days short of making it to 2016 but the math will be accurate when you look at the dates on the museum placard next to his painting. His unique, groundbreaking art is owned by almost every art museum of significance...

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Alice Bag Kickstarts Her Return to Recording

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2015 | 5:34 AM

Iconic Los Angeles punk rocker Alice Bag (real name Alicia Velasquez) has never stopped creating art and music since the demise of her seminal band The Bags in the early days of the 1980s. She recently created a Kickstarter page to raise $8,500. The goal was to finance the recording...

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L.A. Dolce Vita: Artist Mike Street's Ode to Bygone Lobby Cards, Fellini and L.A.'s Art Scene

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 5:18 PM

Before there was endless media buildup to promote every film coming out a year ahead of time, there were movie posters and lobby cards. When you went to the movie theater throughout most of the twentieth century, there were posters for the movie you were about to see and some...

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From Nirvana to GG Allin, Flipside's Krk Dominguez Photographed Post-Hardcore in L.A.

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 3:40 AM

Like all vital, dynamic art movements throughout history, punk rock suffered from the high bar set by the earliest proponents of the movement. By 1980, no punk band in England could ever hope to match what the Sex Pistols and Clash had done and likewise in Los Angeles, the Germs...

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10 Chris Burden Masterpieces

(4) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 5:25 AM

Much of the international art world was in shock over the death of artist Chris Burden, 69, on Sunday after a long bout with melanoma. Burden's career spanned six decades and, in an era of specialization, covered many genres of art, some of which he helped to define. Infamous for...

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Did Twitterati Censor Angels' Mike Trout?

(2) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 9:27 AM

On Saturday, Angels outfielder Mike Trout tweeted his support of Floyd Mayweather before the big fight.

He was hit with scolding and shaming by the Twitterati for rooting for a fighter...

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Tabitha Soren Takes on Baseball in Fantasy Life

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 4:12 AM

Beyond the occasional shady public funding for their stadiums and mega-museums, contemporary art carries nearly nothing in common with most professional sports. Sports have a complex set of rigid rules privileging merit and a fan culture that mimics elements of nationalism. Contemporary art thrives on ambiguity, an absence of meritocracy...

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Gisela Colon at Ace Gallery: Light & Space Art Gains Content

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 12:43 AM

The best art works on many levels. Gisela Colon's recent solo show, entitled Pods, at Ace Gallery reminded me of this fact. Her bulbous vacuum-formed plastic wall sculptures are painted with a mysterious, pearlescent glow. They appear simple and colorful enough to engage just about any viewer. The work is...

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Art Fairs: Are They Eclipsing Art Museums?

(6) Comments | Posted December 26, 2014 | 3:27 PM

The decade is half over. The century hit puberty. Did anything else happen? Of all the things that occurred over the first half of the decade in the arts, what will be the most impactful at the end of the decade? It is hardest to see from the middle of...

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Odd Nerdrum Lands in the Lap of LowBrow

(1) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 3:18 PM

In a jaded art world, painter Odd Nerdrum still manages to divide people along passionate lines. He has always been seen as a convoluted kitschy throwback by the Scandinavian cognoscenti, themselves desperate to be taken seriously in all things modern and contemporary. Others see him as a superior manifestation of...

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Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Art?

(4) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 2:49 PM

You've seen the videos sweeping social media. Whether it is close friends or national celebrities, the call to have a bucket of ice water dumped over one's head has nothing to do with conventional ways of raising money for a medical charity. There are Telethons, Walk-a-thons, Public Service Announcements, art...

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Is George Bush a Better Painter Than Thomas Kinkade?

(9) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 11:29 AM

Unlike every art pundit phoning in an internet review of George Bush's painting exhibition in Dallas, I actually flew down to the Big D last week to see them for myself. The exhibition is at his presidential library on the SMU campus. I had lunch at Cafe 43 there to...

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Insiders Are Not Outsiders: A 2014 Whitney Biennial Review

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Thirty years in the art world and I had never been to a Whitney Biennial. That was actually something worth bragging about and especially after having been to one I can unabashedly lament that I will never be able to say it again.

The Whitney Biennial carries immense weight in...

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John Waters And Jeff Koons: A Chat To Nowhere

(3) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 10:24 AM

Los Angeles turned out in force to see John Waters interview Jeff Koons at the Orpheum theater, part of a series of conversations sponsored by The Broad. Yes, The Broad Museum is being branded with a text-driven logo reading "THE BROAD" even though, and we were reminded of this, it...

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Why Is Art LA Contemporary L.A.'s Leading Contemporary Art Fair?

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 10:17 AM

The headline on the Art Los Angeles Contemporary art fair website proudly announces:

ALAC returns to the Barker Hangar for its fifth edition, featuring an expanded international roster and a continued dedication to the L.A. art scene

And that it has - it is a sprawling, smart show...

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Art Fair Pests Are Everyone's Problem

(4) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 11:00 AM

There were a hundred booths at the art fair and I could see this one guy walk into each one and leave with a spiteful look upon his face. He stuck out in a crowd, though, and an art fair crowd is one where every other person is desperately trying...

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In Praise of Sky High Art Auction Prices

(13) Comments | Posted November 16, 2013 | 9:38 AM

Read the headlines: The auction prices are rising for top works of art! And guess what, the scolds are out. There are three arguments that the scolds use to bemoan artworks publicly selling for outrageous sums. Each of these arguments are backward and terribly wrong. When art sells for high...

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