Los Angeles based artist Eloy Torrez is both a muralist and a painter. He has been commissioned all over the city of Los Angeles to paint infamous murals such as “The Pope of Broadway” and the Hollywood High School Mural “Portrait of Hollywood.” Although noted for his beautiful murals, Eloy is a master of Photo Realistic paintings. Most recently he was selected to participate in the C.O.L.A., city of Los Angeles, fellowship creating his enormous
“C.O.L.A.” painting. Standing five feet by twenty-five feet divided into four panels, Eloy demonstrates the diversity of the city that he inhabits. Eloy defines the cultural epitome of Los Angeles: the city in the foreground surrounded by taggers and club kids with the rolling hills in the distance framing artists, performers and the notorious “Hollywood” crowd. Eloy describes his piece as a dream “where you’re naked and everyone else is dressed,” which is just one of the many influences he incorporates into his work; dream states, realism, surrealism, psychology, symbolism, and environments. His work seems to be a rather unbiased social commentary of the world that surrounds him. It is both explanative and observant; displaying insight that only derives from the eye of talent.
California native Yolanda Gonzalez’s work adheres to her Latin American roots however, her educational experiences in foreign countries such as Spain and Japan has led to work revealing worldly influences. Highly stylized, Yolanda’s work evokes the emotional state of her subjects. It is as if you are hearing the portrait’s inner most thoughts. There is a challenged beauty within her paintings that scream with bright, almost primary, colors. The fundamental coloring of paint does not usually illicit the prettiness that Yolanda achieves. Yet, through the use of elegant stylization and evocative emotion, she captures a softness found beneath the harsh reds and wild blues. “Through unfiltered eyes I endeavor to capture the gesture and quintessence of our environment in order to elucidate beauty.” – Yolanda Gonzalez.
Gregg Stone travels through Hispanic communities looking to capture the true soul of a city. His work is honest and encapsulates the day to day life of the ‘everyman’ which in turn is the sole functionary of a city. Gregg’s work may not be inherently beautiful by most standards, but as the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Gregg Stone’s eye finds beauty wherever he goes. The young girl selling flowers out of a basket on her bike, the woman waiting for a bus, the musicians found on the street strumming away on their instruments, these are all of the striking moments that Gregg catches; the truths of a city, the essential culture. Although these places may not seem at first glance to be the vision of paradise, through Gregg’s paintings, the joie de vivre of each city is found. The real color is applied as the city comes to life.
Chilean sculpture Jorge Fernandez brings such passion and fervor to his work. His indigenous pieces represent a culture based on the natural elements of the world. The juxtaposition of their native patterned bodies with the incorporation of technological advances creates a state of unease and question. Is it better to have the advancements that the evolving world provides us or are we healthier as a simpler people who live off the land and the world’s natural elements? Jorge’s work is profound and multi-layered. Through his work he asks his viewers to dig deep and truly consider the study of humankind and its evolution. “My artistic training is based on traveling and life experiences as well as the souls I met along the way. I never called myself an artist and it is with this freedom that I am able to create without expectation or pressure. The works that flow from me are driven by the notion that humans are a species to be studied like any other animal, and when the constraints of cultural expectation are removed, we are not much more that the lion or the bear, driven by the innate passions instilled deep within us.”-Jorge Fernandez.
"All these artists will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you're sure to find the right artistic expression!
JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach and is open Wednesdays-Sundays from 11-5, and by appointment. Visit the first Thursday from 6-9 pm of any month to coincide with the Laguna Beach Art Walk. Street parking is available directly in front of the Gallery as well as the Downtown Parking structure located at Glenneyre Street. Take a stroll through the galleries and studios. See art come alive in North Laguna!