Michael Kalish: The Repurposed Auto

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Rose Window, 2010 Automobile License Plates, Metal 54" In Diameter © 2010
Michael Kalish: The Repurposed Auto
Curated by: Sophia Louisa Lee

5412 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90036
February 20th, 2010 - April 24th, 2010
Opening: February 20th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Thursday - Saturday, noon - 5 pm
mixed-media, pop, sculpture


Los Angeles artist Michael Kalish debuts a new series of works at Sophia Louisa Projects @ Phantom Galleries LA-Miracle Mile on February 11, 2010.

"From the salvage yards of Southern California, Kalish has stripped classic cars of their exoskeletons," writes Michael Reid Busk in Inland Empire Weekly. It is with skillful and meticulous mastery that Kalish has created this new, never before seen series made from automobile parts, more specifically, the automobile license plate which has been manipulated to be reminiscent of stained glass windows.

Kalish combines tongue in cheek reverence by adding Vargas-style pin up girls to imagery that one would recognize in a church. Keeping the work contemporary, yet with a retro-feel of nostalgia, Kalish's works are compelling and captivating.

Join us Saturday, February 20, 2010 for the artist reception, 7 - 10 pm at 5412 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles as we celebrate the artist's new work (and his birthday).

On Saturday, April 17, 2010, Michael Kalish will speak about the process of his new series during the Miracle Mile Art Walk from noon to 8 pm. He will speak to the public at 7:00 pm. Free admission.

About Michael Kalish
Over the past fifteen years Michael Kalish has been growing an art career which has taken him from a single gallery showing and a few press clippings to national and international exposure and representation in galleries from Los Angeles to Stockholm, New York to Hong Kong. Kalish has been the feature of stories in publications from the NY Times and People to Art in America and USA Today, as well as on TV segments from CBS Sunday Morning to CNN's "To the Top."

In what began some two decades ago as an interest in fashioning sculptures from license plates from our automobiles, Kalish has emerged from an artist with a vision into what art dealers, critics, and the art world are now calling:

"Not just established but one of the artists of today." - Chris Forney, Art Dealer

"Kalish's exhibits and new works are not just masterful but hopeful, being surrounded by them make us feel that the best days are yet to come." - Reid Busk, Art Critic

Born in 1973, Kalish found his chosen medium through an obsession with license plates. His initial fascination with a South Dakota license plate stuck with him as he collected thousands of license plates and experimented with myriad graphic works of pop icons for over a decade. These works played with Americana themes, in a format with roots that descend from Warhol and other pop artists. Presidents, celebrities, famous musicians and beauties were all rendered in a stylistic graphic portrait fused from cut license plates arranged in a tableau.  From here, Kalish's work progressed up several inches on the car, and he started using vintage truck tailgates. Kalish references the work of John Chamberlain as a major influence.  Both artists use automobile parts, but Chamberlain's work uses these pieces exclusively in abstract form, as a sculptural approach to an abstract expressionist style. In contrast, Kalish's work here is representational, but the details and the form are pure emotion.

excerpt taken from article written by
Lee Tusman
Riverside Art Museum
Adult Education Curator (December 2009)