Luis De Jesus Los Angeles - Logo image

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

NEWS

April 10, 2018


KEN GONZALES-DAY IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

GUGGENHEIM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW FELLOWS - AND PAYS TRIBUTE TO GRANTEES FROM CALIFORNIA

As the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has supported California artists, so too has it supported work about California.   more

Last year, the foundation supported a project about murals by Los Angeles artist Ken Gonzales-Day that was displayed at the Skirball Cultural Center as part of “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.”

The artist’s “Surface Tension” was a record of murals throughout Los Angeles — an attempt to examine the broad gamut of image-making on the city’s walls.

“One of the things that we hear a lot is the relationship between Mexican muralism and the murals of Los Angeles,” Gonzales-Day says. “The part we are less familiar with are the celebrity murals and the murals that are part of advertising and murals that are part of vernacular culture. I was trying to look at those overlaps.”

In the process, he began to consider “the city as an outdoor museum maintained by communities for communities” — one that occurs on an unprecedented scale. Says the artist: “I didn’t realize how vast it was.”

But perhaps the Guggenheim is most significant for giving artists the financial freedom to test out concepts at key moments in their careers. [ READ MORE ]

April 07, 2018


FEDERICO SOLMI AT THE ROCHESTER CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER

THE GOOD SAMARITANS BY LARRY OSSEI-MENSAH

Federico Solmi is a storyteller and satirist who uses his art as a vehicle to stimulate a visceral conversation with his viewers by highlighting the delirium permeating present-day society. Solmi’s work adroitly provokes an complicated discourse about the history of humanity, replete with ludicrous contradictions and false virtues.   more

He employs a variety of media – ranging from 3-D and video game technology, video installations, mechanical sculptures, books, drawings, and paintings — within his practice to construct narratives that vacillate between amusement and disconcertion. The carnivalesque forms that emerge in Solmi’s work become etched into the psyche of his viewers as he critiques the values, attitudes, mythologies, and ideologies that have come to define western society. Capitalism, consumerism, celebrity culture, greed, corruption, systematic oppression, and demagoguery are just a few of the themes Solmi’s latest exhibition The Good Samaritans seeks to excavate. The exhibition features recent videos, installations, and books that are visually seductive and entrancing. Upon deeper inspection, Solmi’s works reveal ridiculous costumes, vivid color palettes, and grotesque imagery offering a nuanced commentary that is designed to subversively coerce the viewer into examining and reconsidering their complicity in the facetiousness of our current moment. [ READ MORE ]

April 06, 2018


KEN GONZALES-DAY IN THE ARIZONA DAILY SUN

AROUND THE TOWN: ART TACKLES ISSUES OF PAIN AND LOSS

Echoes of Loss: Artistic Responses to Trauma is an invitational art exhibition that explores artistic responses to loss and catastrophe. More than a dozen artists from all over the world will participate with works of art in photography, textiles, sculpture, film, printmaking and installation art. Tracing a range of visual approaches to trauma, the exhibition uncovers the ways that works of art can draw us closer into losses that remain unknowable, bringing articulation to that which refuses to be articulated. [ READ MORE ]

April 06, 2018


INTERVIEW: FEDERICO SOLMI ON WROC-TV: ROCHESTER FIRST

ROCHESTER CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER WELCOMES NYC ARTIST

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - The Rochester Contemporary Art Center will present "The Good Samaritans" by Italian artist Federico Solmi of New York City through May 12.

Solmi and RoCo Executive Director Bleu Cease discussed the new installation Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.

"The Good Samaritans have arrived!" said Cease with a smile. "We're thrilled.   more

We have a long history of showing electronic media and video art at RoCo and Federico's work combines painting and video, and video game engines technology to an incredible effect, and I guarantee the community has not seen anything like this, so we're thrilled to introduce his work to Rochester." [ READ MORE ]

April 04, 2018


REVIEW: KEN GONZALES-DAY AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

TWO ARTISTS IN SEARCH OF MISSING HISTORY: A NEW EXHIBITION MAKES A POWERFUL STATEMENT ABOUT THE OVERSIGHTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY AND AMERICA'S ART HISTORY

Sometimes what’s absent from a museum says more about history than what’s included. Two contemporary artists—Titus Kaphar, who is African-American, and Ken Gonzales-Day, who is Mexican-American—have spent their careers addressing this issue.

In the National Portrait Gallery’s newest exhibition, Unseen: Our Past in a New Light, the two artists take contrasting approaches—and work in two different mediums—to tell the stories of the missing and overlooked.   more

The museum’s director Kim Sajet says Unseen hopefully will act as a town square. “It seeks to encourage discussion about history, how we remember, and how portraits can be a way to understand ourselves,” she says. [ READ MORE ]

April 03, 2018


REVIEW: NICOLAS GRENIER'S DUMBFOUNDED PROPHETS IN ARTILLERY

THE FATAL OPTIMISM OF THE BAR GRAPH

Even before pie charts and bar graphs, before we’re plotting curves and breaking down conic sections in algebra and analytic geometry, we become very accustomed to the graphic visual representation of every kind of trend, concept, and systematized data or information. It almost goes hand in hand with the way we structure ideas, systems, and organizations. The visual concepts become part and parcel of the systems and ideas they express.   more

They become integral to the way we extrapolate, track progress, draw conclusions, predict outcomes.

There’s a certain kind of idealism built into this kind of visual grammar. It’s particularly recognizable in the kinds of financial and management data we see presented in annual reports or equity offerings of corporations and banks or financial institutions. Even relatively sobering information and statistics can be packaged with sufficient coolness and elegance to compartmentalize very rational concerns and anxieties, encouraging us to push forward (or past what might be potentially disturbing) to that place where we resolve to carry on, finish the work, complete the project, renew the pledge (preferably in hard currency), and secure the investment.

Nicolas Grenier is a particularly sophisticated observer of this kind of visual presentation – and the larger cultural narrative it drives, however abstract. The abstraction of course is an essential part of it. There’s a kind of value system embedded in this language. He also understands its nexus with an implicitly surreal, even utopian (meaning entirely confabulated) domain of projected reality... [ READ MORE ]

April 03, 2018


AWARD: NICOLAS GRENIER

3RD MNBAQ CONTEMPORARY ART AWARD - ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIVE FINALISTS AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, A SHARED AWARD!

QUÉBEC CITY, April 3, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), in collaboration with its outstanding financial partner RBC, is proud to announce the five finalists for the third MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, a unique biennial award in Canada.   more

Numa Amun, Nicolas Grenier, Jennifer Lefort, Geneviève and Matthieu and Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn have been selected by a jury comprising Maxime Coulombe, a Université Laval professor of art history specializing in contemporary art; artist David Elliott, a member of the external acquisition committee of the MNBAQ; Ji-Yoon Han, exhibition curator at the Darling Foundry in Montréal; Marie-Hélène Leblanc, Director of the Galerie UQO at the Université du Québec en Outaouais; Dominique Sirois-Rouleau, an art critic, independent curator and lecturer at the UQAM; and Bernard Lamarche, Curator of Contemporary Art (2000 to the present) at the MNBAQ. [ READ MORE ]

March 28, 2018


REVIEW: KEN GONZALES-DAY AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

TITUS KAPHAR AND KEN GONZALES-DAY EXPLORE 'UNSEEN' NARRATIVES IN HISTORIC PORTRAITURE

LOS ANGELES-BASED KEN GONZALES-DAY mines museum archives and photographs sculptural objects most of them rarely, if ever, displayed publicly. His work deconstructs racial hierarchies, considers beauty ideals, and evaluates how artists have treated and interpreted white bodies and bodies of color. He embarked on this aspect of his practice in 2008 during a residency at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.   more

Over the past decade, he said he has been given free reign to explore the collections of about 20 museums around the world.

In UnSeen, one gallery focuses on busts and life masks found in Washington, D.C., museums. Gonzales-Day said he wanted show how “our” country presents its people in the nation’s capital. 13 Plasters: Presidents, Men of Art and Science, and Military Men at the National Portrait Gallery is a large-scale tableaux image of casts of figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Ben Franklin, and George Washington—all white men, no women or people of color. Individual images of Native American busts from the National Museum of Natural History hang on the opposite wall. [ READ MORE ]

March 15, 2018


REVIEW: SOUL RECORDINGS IN CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW LOS ANGELES

News media, despite respective biases, seem to agree in the description of contemporary politics as “complicated” and “divided.” While accurate, this semantic admission fails to demonstrate the accountability of the status quo.   more

SOUL RECORDINGS, a group exhibition currently on view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, examines ideas around representation and meaning amid the persisting trauma of colonial histories.

While news coverage may be simplified, hashtags are user-generated, providing the illusion of autonomous control through generalized shorthand. Peter Williams’ #137 (2017) depicts a car with words including #blackcouple, #policechase and #homeless painted on the hood, referring to the 2012 murder of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams by East Cleveland police. Red lines and bullet holes rendered in pencil cover the collapsed windshield, the impermanence of graphite emphasizing cultural erasure. Williams’ reference to Black Twitter archives #137 within a timeline of police shootings, revealing the limits of language to sufficiently index horror.

As language becomes inadequate, the perils of visual representation perhaps complicate further. Lip Gloss Alurt (2017) by Lex Brown is a green screen video of the artist in costumed whiteface, simultaneously performing as a humming, DIY-Snapchat dog filter, a Siri-esque character reading a voicemail, and a television salesperson named Mananda. Punctuated by descriptive text reading This is Old News and Animal Looks at Self, “Manada” models a lopsided pink camo KKK ensemble, saying “the historical element, you can’t get better than that.” Brown uses re-appropriation to reclaim the other-ed body, a notion catalyzed in Caitlin Cherry’s garish Harvard, MIT and Yale portraits (all 2017), cheekily undermining ethnographic projections on the black female body and institutional racism.

If the contemporary is complicated, moments like the stark removal of text in Edra Soto’s Open 24 Hours (2017)—an installation and risograph series of alcohol bottles stripped of their labels, and consequently, the stigmas associated with their branding—and Brown’s title spelling, might indicate celebration as an apt tool for meaningful social change. Curator Jill Moniz’s essay lauds “making space” in an art world mired by systemic problems. Yet SOUL RECORDINGS might go further—demanding space, challenging institutional “cultural initiatives” and neoliberal “tolerance.” [ READ MORE ]

March 08, 2018


NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW EXHIBITION

THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY UNVEILS A NEW EXHIBITION CELEBRATING ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY, TITLED "UNSEEN: OUR PAST IN A NEW LIGHT: KEN GONZALES-DAY AND TITUS KAPHAR"

The National Portrait Gallery is continuing its 50th anniversary celebration with a new exhibition that puts a spotlight on people missing in historical portraiture.

The exhibit is titled Unseen: Our Past in a New Light: Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar. It's a continuation of the Portraiture Now series.   more

The exhibit has an emphasis on people of color, specifically African Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans in past American art pieces, by attempting to retell history by including those they believe were left out.

“Most early American portraits represent white men who owned land and could vote,” said National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet. “As a result, our country’s visual history—and consequently its very identity—has largely been shaped by those in power. UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light presents the perspectives of two leading contemporary artists who use powerful art as a way to reframe history.”

The public is welcome to participate in a discussion with the artists on Thursday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. [ READ MORE ]