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Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 | T 310 838 6000

NEWS

September 21, 2019


OUR TOP 7 ART WORKS TO SEE AT EXPO CHICAGO 2019

Speaking of pop culture, if you’re excited to see the upcoming “Joker” film (set for release in Oct.), you may want to stop by Frederico Solmi’s work at the gallery of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. The animation and colors present in his five-minute video, “The Drunken Boat,” are eerie and mesmerizing. Notable historic figures are seen partying together, vulgar smiles on their faces. It’s like a nightmare steeped in a rainbow of colors that you can’t stop watching. [ READ MORE ]

September 17, 2019


KCRW ART INSIDER: TOP THREE EXHIBITIONS THIS WEEK

At Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in Culver City, Laura Krifka’s hyper-realistic figurative paintings build to create an uncanny mood. In each work, figures are placed within an interior domestic space, and subtle sexual cues build as you view the works. The breast of a sleepy figure mimics the egg-patterned wallpaper behind her; lemons in various stages of juicing are laid on a table next to a bare buttox.   more

These more overt sexual themes are soon overtaken by more subtle ominous ones—strange shadows fall over the furniture in each painting, as if someone or something is looming just outside of the picture. Her heavily patterned wallpapers flip between dimensions, at times appearing flat, and others strangely dimensional. Krifka intentionally breaks the rules of perspective, light, and repetition to make you feel unsettled as you view these works, although you may not be able to exactly pinpoint why. [ READ MORE ]

August 30, 2019


TRANSGENDER ARTIST ZACKARY DRUCKER ON 'ALL THE PEOPLE I HAVE BEEN'

There is a moment in the sun-drenched back garden of an unassuming cottage in the quiet LA suburb of Cypress Park when Zackary Drucker's life flutters up to us in metaphor.   more

A butterfly, with spectacular wings of cinnamon, cherry and black mottling, has perched on a nearby flower stem.

Drucker, the 36-year-old transgender artist, activist, actress and producer of the television series Transparent, who The New York Times described as “tall and blonde with eyes as blue as swimming pools”, momentarily loses her train of thought.

I had asked her what she sees when she sits in front of a mirror. “That's such a revealing question, it's wonderful,” she says, smiling. “I don't spend much time in front of the mirror, I think that’s the quick answer,” she says, laughing. “I am not obsessed with make-up, I don't think of myself as vain; I think I'm actually very simple and straightforward and I try to simplify my life as much as possible. I think that pragmatism is something that defines me. [ READ MORE ]

August 20, 2019


BEST OF L.A. ARTS: FALL PREVIEW PICK: LAURA KRIFKA AT LUIS DE JESUS

Laura Krifka takes on the classical stance of European academic painting in her first solo show with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, smashing ivory tower patrician preciousness with a cheeky wit, advanced technique, and lush elements of both social realism and rococo modernism.   more

The new work represents an evolution from her Flemish Renaissance style toward more modern visual cues and a crisper hand that is less folk-inflected and while not quite surreal, are certainly uncanny.

The paintings in The Game of Patience depict men and women, alone and together, naked and clothed in domestic vignettes that are both mundane and hyper-stylized. From wallpaper to design accents, the crush of shag carpet and the Op Art fantasies of elaborately patterned wall treatments to the eerie warmth cast by ordinary light sources, every detail in these arresting new paintings has a place in the motif. The mundane nature of the action in the compositions — drying off after a shower, changing a bulb in the kitchen — only serves to highlight the artist’s masterful command of her paradigmatic medium. [ READ MORE ]

August 15, 2019


KEN GONZALES-DAY

DATEBOOK: “Black, Brown and Beige,” at Self Help Graphics & Art

This group show, organized by artist Nery Gabriel Lemus and curator Jimmy O’Balles, takes its name from a symphony Duke Ellington first performed in 1943 — a work he described as “a parallel to the history of the American Negro.” The show touches on the range of differences among groups bound by a single label — say, African American or Latino. Participating artists include Todd Gray, Mario Ybarra Jr., April Bey, Mark Steven Greenfield, Ken Gonzales-Day, Margaret Garcia and many others. Opens Saturday at 7 p.m. and runs through Sept. 26.   more

1300 E. First St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, selfhelpgraphics.com. [ READ MORE ]

August 06, 2019


REVIEW: LAURA KRIFKA

NARRATIVE PAINTING IN LOS ANGELES

Laura Krifka’s forceful painting, entitled "Grab Bag," 2016, oil on canvas, 40” x 30,” is a wonderfully perplexing image of a nude woman covering her genitals with her hands, in a harsh flash bulb kind of light. Her vintage hairstyle and the sleazy curtain behind her, plus the strange color sensibility (it almost appears like a colorized black and white film still) make it seem like a still photo from the 1930’s to 40’s. It’s almost like she is on display in a Hollywood casting couch kind of way.   more

Countering that initial impression, however, is her belligerent gaze (peering down at the viewer) and the protective placement of her hand, which can be seen as a rebuke to Trump’s “grab her by the pussy” comment. Try that with this tough cookie and you are going to pull back a bloody stump. The eerie color and sinister surroundings and the mix of the nostalgic and contemporary make the threads of this “story” difficult to unwind, (why is she naked? where is she?), yet the piece remains darkly cinematic and truly compelling. [ READ MORE ]

June 28, 2019


INTERVIEW: LUIS DE JESUS AND JUNE EDMONDS

When tasked with defining America, the forefathers of this country attempted to create a union that, though forged in rebellion to an oppressive regime, was ultimately funded by slave labor. By declaring this land a union where all men are created equal, only to deny representation and basic civil liberties to all who are not white men, the framers of our constitution bequeathed to us a contradiction that we are still working to correct today.   more

Almost 250 years later, with the divisive nature of our political system and a multitude of bifurcation points within each party, it seems that defining the American identity has become nearly impossible. While interviewing June Edmonds about her series of flag paintings that comprise Allegiances and Convictions, the current exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Owner/Director Luis De Jesus observed that the colors of the American flag were (transferred or lifted) directly from its British counterpart—it seems reasonable to suggest that our flag is due for an update. Vertically oriented, Edmonds’ flags vary from one to the next in color and pattern. They employ the primary hues of red, yellow, and blue, the three colors necessary to create a full spectrum of brown skin tones. During a recent public conversation between Edmonds and curator/writer Essence Harden hosted by De Jesus, an insightful teenage art student asked about the literal and conceptual roles that labor plays in the surrounding artworks. The student noted the meticulously painted smaller stripes that comprise each of the larger flag stripes, and the uniformity of each performed painted stroke. In person, these paintings certainly provoke questions about all aspects of American life, including the shrinking labor force that is so often leveraged by politicians on both sides of the aisle for personal gain. In an age when the average American seems illiterate or oblivious to abstraction and the power of art, it seems that the emblems to which we are asked to pledge our allegiances are in need of redefinition, and that definition necessitates an honest reflection of who we are: multi-hued, multi-faceted, of varying size, and in constant flux. The following conversation between Luis De Jesus and June Edmonds was conducted this past April at her studio at the Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA, in advance of her first solo exhibition at the gallery. [ READ MORE ]

June 28, 2019


FEATURED: ZACKARY DRUCKER PHOTOGRAPHS ROSALYNE BLUMENSTEIN

Rosalyne Blumenstein and the Art of Living

In her newest series, artist and activist Zackary Drucker pays homage to a trans icon.

“My transition from young white boy with a false sense of privilege in the 1970s to young tranny-girl with little or no privilege was a real smack in the face,” Rosalyne Blumenstein wrote in her 2003 autobiography, Branded T. “My spirit and soul seemed to be uplifted and smashed on a daily basis.”

Blumenstein is an icon.   more

I met her, in 1993, when I came to New York as a newbie trans activist from San Francisco and visited the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, where Blumenstein, a self-described “woman of transexual experience,” lent street cred as director of the center’s pioneering Gender Identity Project, which included an HIV-prevention program for trans people. Blumenstein didn’t invent the word transgender, but she popularized it through her public-health work. [ READ MORE ]

June 27, 2019


INTERVIEW: FEDERICO SOLMI

Jamie Martinez: Congratulations on your recent shows, especially the solo booth with Ronald Feldman at the last Armory. It was one of the top booths in many publications. We’ll have to get back to that. Can you first talk about your background in the arts and your journey to becoming an artist in New York? Where did it all begin?

Federico Solmi: Well, it’s a long story. It all began almost 20 years ago, when I left my hometown: Bologna, Italy, and I decided to move to New York to pursue a career in the arts.   more

It was the best decision of my life, of course; not an easy decision, but it proved to be the right one. I knew immediately that this was my city, I guess I felt great chemistry. I would say that I have a very unconventional background if compared to my peers. I never really attended any art school, colleges, or MFA programs. I am a self-educated artist; I simply wanted to be an artist on my terms, and I thought the best way to educate myself in the arts was to move to NYC, then get a studio and simply to visit as many galleries, museums, exhibitions as possible, and to try to meet artists, curators, and art professionals… to learn directly from the people that were making and exhibiting important art. It was a wonderful way to educate myself. I met amazing artists from everywhere; I learned so much from them, from their careers, their successes and their failures. It was real… no classroom, no theory, it was a debt-free art education, and it worked!

The Armory Show was so exciting for me, so many people stopped by at the booth. Now that the pressure is off, I can enjoy the success for a few minutes. Once in a while, it’s good to take it easy, it does not happen that often, but I’ll keep my feet on the ground. We had some great feedback from the press, art collectors, curators, and we had museums acquisitions, a fantastic response from the public. People really connected with my works, and Ronald Feldman and his staff were very pleased. [ READ MORE ]

June 19, 2019


EXHIBITION: ZACKARY DRUCKER FEATURED IN TRANSAMERICA/N: GENDER IDENTITY, APPEARANCE TODAY AT THE MCNAY ART MUSEUM

Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today celebrates the authentic, beautiful, and vulnerable voices of contemporary, North American artists who express their true selves through a broad gender spectrum. Some of the artists identify as LGBTQ+, and some do not. The art in Transamerica/n speaks to family, community, self-discovery, and ultimately identity. Artists’ experiences are highlighted as part of the McNay’s dual commitment to artistic excellence and community impact.  [ READ MORE ]