The Laluzapalooza Jury Winners
Michelle Bickford “The Inner Workings Of”
The pieces titled “The Inner Workings Of” are vignettes of physical distress combined with their remedies. I have also translated each of those events into a roadtrip-cityscape. I really enjoy the process of translating feelings, emotions, and even music, into my art. These pieces embody all of what gets my creative cortex snappin’.
Michelle Bickford–a former graphic designer gone rogue and the daughter of an engineer–utilizes that background to create three-dimensional art with a mid-century modern flair. She uses bold sculptural shapes, mixed with an element of surprise, to convey both her love of abstract forms and her sense of humor. Michelle begins her art by visually translating her sensations and perceptions into “a story with no words”. This sets the tone and creates her goal. She describes it as “visually engineering a solution and then adding an unexpected twist”. This process started when she was a wee tyke building architectural sculptures out of toothpicks, and segued into her present mid-century modern work. Like a rolling stone, Michelle gathers no moss. She sometimes talks like a pirate, and knows how to stand on her head.
This is Michelle Bickford’s first feature exhibition at La Luz de Jesus.
Edward Robin Coronel “Blue Sky Holiday”
Edward Robin Coronel’s fuzzy/furry characters at first glance are cute. But upon further engagement, they draw you deeper into a world full of emotion and at times a discord of unease. Coronel explores the world through his personal lens of life experience, both joys and pains. His anthropomorphic characters are often trying to find simple, happy places to occupy, both safe and peacefully melancholic. Left purposefully ambiguous, Coronel’s characters escape to these happy places, as they pursue their own personal Blue Sky Holidays.
Originally hailing from the Philippines, Edward Robin Coronel’s endearing work is not just cute, but is also rather heartfelt and touching. Harkening back to Coronel’s childhood of hand drawn characters, the works from this self-taught artist bring us back to a more innocent time and serve as a breath of fresh air in an arts scene too often concerned with sexuality and occasional violence.
– Ken Harmon, Hi-Fructose
Robin believes that knowing true happiness can only be found when shared with others. This can be seen as his idiosyncratic cast of characters explore worlds, by themselves and with companions. Along the way they discover, explore, imagine and create simple good will for themselves, with friends and for the audience. Working with acrylic and sometimes archival ink on canvas, Blue Sky Holiday is deeply influenced by personal and shared experiences with family and friends. Coronel is now pleased to share his characters, and their exploits, with you.
Harold Fox “Persistence of Reality”
As a commercial artist, everything I did was for someone else. Now retired, I do what pleases me and I hope it’s pleasing to others as well. I work in oils on masonite for the most part and I make my own frames.
– Harold Fox
Persistence of Reality is Harold Fox’s first feature exhibition at La Luz de Jesus.
Horacio Martinez “Anicca / Ducca”
Since their invention and subsequent proliferation in the mid-20th Century, ballpoint pens have proven to be a versatile art medium. For Horacio Martinez, the low cost, availability, and portability are qualities that make this common writing tool a convenient, alternative art supply that penetrates as it transcends.
Martinez finds the pens particularly handy for quick sketch work, which develops into fine art utilizing other common everyday surfaces as his canvas. Handkerchiefs and other finely laced fabrics are transformed into miniature murals. Surfaces that were engineered to be washed repeatedly are stopped mid-cycle, interrupting the disposability of the objects, the milieu and even the culture. Though not his sole medium-of-choice, ballpoint pens have become Horacio’s trademark and he uses their inherent limitations (color availability and sensitivity of ink to light) to make a statement about race, economics and incarceration. Once a line is drawn, it generally cannot be erased, necessitating forethought, skill and adaptability–in life as in art.
Persistence of Reality is Horacio Martinez’s first feature exhibition at La Luz de Jesus.
Emi Motokawa “We Are Vehicles”
Emi Motokawa’s creations are inspired by ancient, universal Buddhist concepts updated with modern context and embracing the multiculturalism of Los Angeles. Her style is pure pop, spiritual bliss. She paints many big-eyed characters because the eyes are the window to the human soul. She also sculpts and crochets dolls which she hopes will tickle your soul.
Emi was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Los Angeles at the age of seven. Although she always enjoyed art, she didn’t pursue a formal arts education until after studying in a Japanese Buddhist seminary and following a career as a flight attendant in high altitude, where the low oxygen atmosphere helped awaken her artistic calling. She has since shown in the Japanese American National Museum and continues to build her impressive resume.
We Are Vehicles is Emi Motokawa’s first feature exhibition at La Luz de Jesus.
David Natale “By the Measure of Stars”
So numerous, distant and incredibly integral to life, stars provide the backdrop for a lush imagination. Born from a nebulous cloud of gas and dust and then forced into fire, stars burn for billions of years only to inevitably meet a violent end. From the supernova we get all the pieces that make up our world, us and everything else. The building blocks of life. This series of paintings is driven by the inspiration of the cosmic landscape. The intricate and subtle interactions with the forces that bind us and help sustain life. Most importantly the cultivation of the ability to imagine, explore and inquire. This series is only a fraction of what will be an ongoing project. Here I have tried to represent the overarching importance of water to life and bridge the gap between flora and fauna through hybrid biology. Imagined worlds where gravity behaves differently and forces far out of our control can be held in hand. There is great beauty to the vastness of what we have yet to understand.
– David Natale
By the Measure of Stars is David Natale’s first feature exhibition La Luz de Jesus Gallery.
SAGE is an urban artist living in the Los Angeles area and has resided in Portland and Los Angeles for the past 13 years gathering influence, and technique from some of the world’s top street artists. In all his works, the artist is making a statement with urban reflection. Andy Warhol’s work has also been highly influential in SAGE’s art, one which can be seen in all of his current projects.
While he has a number of pieces on canvas, he feels wood is more complementary to his particular style and application, giving it a more organic feel. His process, for his current show involves hand-cut/carved stencils, and multi-layered spray paint applications. SAGE has been in several group shows with artists such as D*Face, The London Police, Tristan Eaton, Dabs & Myla, Flying Fortress and Logan Hicks, as wells as other urban artists.
For me, painting possesses the immediacy required to communicate a whole experience or emotion in just a glimpse. I really do believe there is ‘energy’ within art, colors, and it is that energy that people resonate to… This drive has drawn me to create and share images that speak to me in an urban setting. My recent work gives tribute to urban life, animals, pin-up girls, and lovers…
Josh Stebbins “The Beauty Below”
Inspired by the relationship between the real and the unreal, dreams and nightmares; obscured corners illuminated, showing that even in utter darkness beauty still resides. This is an intricate body of work, which at it’s core lies the concept of ‘duality’…good and evil, Heaven and Hell, death and birth, and of course black and white. We as people have skewed perceptions of what seemingly is a mirrored image; the idea of reflection being subjective and much deeper than what the surface permits. I created this artwork to not just show a pretty picture, but to have the viewer seriously question what is beneath who they think they are…in a world where most everyone is looking for answers in every possible place…the answer you desire so much might just be hidden closer than you think, within yourself…below all that you imagined was real and true.
– Josh Stebbins
The Beauty Below is Josh Stebbins’s first feature exhibition at La Luz de Jesus.