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

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August 11, 2010

SIMAYSPACE: Karen Ann Myers at Luis De Jesus (Bergamot Station through August 7)

If one assumes that the central, foreground figure in a figurative painting sets the tone for a painting’s intention - the precise introduction to the process of “entering” (viewing) a painting, then Myers’ central female figures seem haphazardly wrought. In short order and due to my disinterest in the apparent “center of interest”, I found my self going to the painting’s background. It is here that the artist’s considerable skills in rendering, pattern painting, and design reign.   more

Her painting of textures, reflectivity, and pattern are exquisite. I know from this that she is capable of painting a figure in fine style. So she must be de-emphasizing the manner in which her paintings are “entered” in favor of a more global experience of the work. That makes them more abstract than figurative/narrative. [ READ ON ]

July 20, 2010

Jet Set Saturdays: Karen Ann Myers at Luis De Jesus

“Thinking of You.” A benign statement, with a sentimentality with which we are all familiar. These moments of private female pleasure and sentimental yearning are captured in Karen Ann Myers’ remarkable show at Luis De Jesus. Myers’ work, like that of Mickaelene Thomas (recently on view at Vielmetter), invites us voyeuristically to a private place where the women are willing and the environments in which they are placed are as sensual as their bodies.   more

Where Thomas celebrates the erotic largesse of black female bodies with larger than life areas of flat paint, Myers focuses on the “blonde bombshell” as a sexual center. Meyers’ figures are expressively molded and exist in contrast to the highly patterned flat backgrounds and decorative drapery. My crew bumped into quite a few Myers döppelgangers at the Dennis Hopper opening last Saturday at MOCA (Kelly Lynch and Patricia Arquette immediately come to mind). The cult of the blonde bombshell is one universally objectified and almost taboo in the world of fine art for its ditzy associations. However, standing next to a blonde goddess (or a Myers painting) in real life is a trip down memory lane ” as the lightness of the subject’s hair truly recalls the blonde innocence of childhood mixed with the brazen knowledge of sexual power. I mean, who can’t look at Daryl Hannah when she walks into the room? Be it contempt or desire, the woman is fabulous.

Of course, the depiction of the female body as a site for sacred inspiration is as prehistoric as The Venus of Willendorf. The major difference here is that Meyers, a blonde, is presenting herself as both subject and object. Although not actually a depiction of Myer’s, she invites us to look at her sexualized images of models that turn her on. Her images such as Untitled (Striped Cot) and Untitled (Blue Room) show skinny blondies in various states of erotic repose, each one possessing an awareness of their power. These women appear to see themselves as accessories with a capital A, urging the viewer to look for the small details and naughty nuance. Their power to seduce us is somehow still appealing, even in our currently over-saturated, over-sexualized popular culture.

Also stunning are Myers’ screen prints, Come Here Boy and The Perfect Fit, which are redolent of decorative wallpaper patterns. The highly saturated colors bring to mind Indian or Islamic tessellation design. When viewed from a distance, the patterns satisfy as gorgeous color studies. But view them more closely, and one is rewarded with illustrations of couples entangled in tantric embrace (this Jetsetter observed several configurations, including the Lotus Position and doggy-style). Myers’ work fits into that uncomfortable place of propriety that befits a South Carolinian. Her work is covertly decorative ” a bit traditional and proper. But she lithely inserts her own version of sexual deviance to invert the patriarchal power-play of the oldest art form (or profession), depending on the level of prurience within the viewer’s imagination.

This post was contributed by Mary Anna Pomonis [ VISIT SITE ]

July 13, 2010

DAILY DU JOUR: KAREN ANN MYERS AT LUIS DE JESUS

Luis De Jesus in Bergamot Station is currently showing a beautiful exhibition of paintings by Karen Ann Myers. In her artist statement, Myers says: I am exploring what it means to be a woman in today’s society. While my solitary female figures are strong and confident in their sexuality, these paintings also offer a glimpse into the confusion and doubt felt by women in their moments alone.

Her paintings are a perfect blend of technique, color and emotional resonance. Be sure to stop by the gallery before the show ends on August 7. [VISIT SITE]

July 08, 2010

ARTISTADAY: KAREN ANN MYERS - "THINKING OF YOU"

"...truly touched and impressed by this artists work. i feel a deep connection to her paintings and resonate with the notion of beauty, strength and confusion. in our society women are expected to be strong and determined to succeed, to prove themselves as able-minded (especially within our patriarchal social composition“) yet women are also seen as frail, and sometimes feeble in their depictions. sexuality has become a way for the modern woman to shed the fragile cloak and embrace the strength that lies inherently within them.   more

however, sexuality for women is imposed upon by social standards and regulations, thus women are objects of mens desire, thus men determine how women should comport sexually. all of these social constructs make being a woman a difficult task, especially within the realm of relationships and social interaction. thank you Karen Ann Myers for such brilliant and awe inspiring work."  [VISIT SITE]

July 08, 2010

DAILY SERVING: "KAREN ANN MYERS AT LUIS DE JESUS"

Opening tonight in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station, Luis de Jesus Gallery is presenting new paintings by Karen Ann Myers in an exhibition titled Thinking Of You. In a series of mid-sized fleshy paintings of hyper sexualized young women, the work seamlessly combines heavy flat patterns with figuration. Patterns slide in and out of abstraction, only grounded by the figures in the image. Based in self portraiture and personal narrative, Myers work both questions and confirms the objectification and idolization of youth and sexuality in American culture.   more

The fleshy flatness of pattern and color reflect the soft, subtle handling of the figures, and when the figures are absent, the color and line mimic the curves of the forms.

Along with the paintings, Myers is presenting several new screen-printed patterns that integrate decorative form with image. Hidden within the maze of pattern, one will find reductive Kama Sutra poses embedded in the sea of color and line.

Myers’ paintings and prints have been exhibited at the Robert Steele Gallery in New York, the Commonwealth Gallery in Boston, the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC and Scoop Contemporary in Charleston, SC. Her exhibition at Luis de Jesus will be on view until August 7th, 2010. In 2009, DailyServing did a visit with the artist in her studio to discuss the work in relation to her experiences in love and eroticism, her childhood memories, and herself as a young woman in a contemporary culture that places high value on glamor and sex appeal. Thinking of You will be on view through August 7th, 2010.  [VISIT SITE]

July 08, 2010

FLAVORPILL: KAREN ANN MYERS: "THINKING OF YOU"

South Carolina-based artist Karen Ann Myers paints pictures of the beauty women desire, often at the expense of their own sanity. Myers' psychologically intense, densely decorated portraits examine our culture's hypersexualized obsession with glamour and physical beauty, touching on its aesthetic extremes, seductive appeal, and emotional casualties. Each image represents a certain aspect in a sort of collective self-portrait, with her subjects inhabiting a kaleidoscope of loneliness, power struggles, cocktail dresses, and clashing patterns.   more

In this new series of paintings and screen prints, Karen Ann Myers continues to explore what it means to be a young woman in contemporary society. In this new series of paintings and screen prints, Karen Ann Myers continues to explore what it means to be a young woman in contemporary society. Rooted in self-portraiture and autobiography, her paintings are documents that capture both the world around her and within her. Myers approaches her paintings like short stories or mini-narratives that are influenced by her intimate experiences with friends, family, and lovers. While the female figures that she depicts are often strong and confident in their sexuality, the paintings also offer a glimpse into the confusion and doubt felt by women in their moments of solitude. In this way, her paintings serve as psychological self-portraits. Each one is a reflection of feelings and experiences that she has lived through, as well as a projection of the moods and emotions experienced while painting them. [VISIT SITE]

July 08, 2010

ART LTD. JULY 2010 ARTIST PROFILE: HEATHER GWEN MARTIN

Mischievous and studious, 33-year old San Diego-based Heather Gwen Martin utilizes humor to produce acidic saturated abstract paintings. Subverting traditional rules of composition, organic and mechanized forms co-mingle in futuristic environments. Drawing from comics and television, Martin explores playfully violent scenarios in which imagined forces battle within a controlled framework, creating tensionand awkward balance.   more

In Bound (2009)”currently included in the ballyhooed “Here Not There” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego”household objectsmorph into cartoonish weapons set against a lime-hued background. Using word play, ambiguous titles such as Attractive Repulsion and Freezing Fuels”Snap! encourage double entendre. Splashy group shows aside, this September will mark Martin’s second solo exhibition at the Luis De Jesus Los Angeles gallery.

At 17 years old, early acceptance to UC San Diego provided Martin with access to top art professors, such as Kim MacConnel, Ernie Silva, and Eleanor Antin. MacConnel (known for infusing high abstraction with kitsch decoration) immediately recognized a sophistication in Martin’s early paintings he considered above the work of graduate students. A decade later, MacConnel continues to respect Martin’s sensibility demonstrated by his 2010 San Diego emerging artist prize nomination for Martin. Applauding her ability to break the rules, he notes that Martin’s “canvas space, while flat, opens up almost three dimensionally and in ways that skew balance, proportionality, and composition.” In turn, Martin appreciates MacConnel’s support for “work that was tongue in cheek and funny to me.”

Martin’s early developed ability to experiment with color, line, and shape result partly from her background in computer illustration for comic book companies. Although a full-time college student, she worked full time applying color for DC Comics. The clean, controlled brush work and highly saturated color found in Martin’s paintings are directly associated with this experience. Martin acknowledges, “technology has affected the way that my hand, eye, and brain work because I spent a lot of time at a computer with my hand making shapes and color. You have to be precise with your hand. It’s not real color”it’s the color on the computer, instant and artificial with clean lines precise down to the pixel.” She observes we often “conform to technology as opposed to technology conforming to us.”

Despite this background, Martin consciously pursed painting in the face of an art environment dominated by new media. “I wanted to be making a painting, because it slows things down and brings back the human element in the making and in the looking. I wanted to be able to one day make a painting that’s interesting and engaging and will compete against whatever is the flashiest loudest thing.” Martin is equally effusive when discussing the physical and perceptual experience of painting. She describes staring at her work from an inch away, “the way the colors interact and are bouncing off each other. That’s all you are taking in for so long and then you look away and everything else“is different and skewed.” Yet, when pressed to discuss specifics behind the scenarios she draws from she balks arguing that it would “kill the experience.” Since Martin first took advantage of UCSD’s renowned cognitive studies program a decade ago, she continues to be interested in “how we respond to stimulus and different interfaces in the world””painting reminds us that the brain is a physical organ and that our bodies are systems with reactions that cannot always be controlled.
”LAUREN BUSCEMI

“Here Not There: San Diego Art Now” runs through September 19 at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. In September, Heather Gwen Martin will be the subject of a solo show at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, at Bergamot Station, Santa Monica.

www.luisdejesus.com [VISIT SITE]

June 18, 2010

LOS ANGELES TIMES REVIEW: "JOURNEY THROUGH SPACE AND TIME", FRIDAY JUNE 18, 2010

SHARON MIZOTA

Lael Corbin’s quirky exhibition at Luis De Jesus plays with scale and the idea of space travel, reminding us that our knowledge of the universe is entirely a matter of perception. The show’s conceit is reminiscent of the movie “Men in Black,” in which an entire universe is found in a small globe attached to a cat’s collar.   more

But Corbin’s work has less to do with aliens living among us than with the Milky Way of creamer found in a cup of coffee, or how a pan of brownies resembles the cracked surface of a sun-baked planet.

The artist photographed both of these foodstuffs up close, so that it’s nearly impossible to ascertain their actual size. But the illusion is not hard to discern. For one thing, the brownies also appear framed on the wall like so many squares of moon rock (albeit smelling faintly of chocolate). They remind us that, with the exception of astronauts, our knowledge of outer space is always filtered through a lens of some kind, whether a telescope or a camera.

In addition to the photographs and brownies, the room is filled with small sculptural pieces that also effect amusing shifts of scale and perspective. In one, an astronaut, about a centimeter high, stands at one end of a framework tunnel, as if about to go on a space walk. Through the other end, the viewer sees him magnified and slightly distorted through a lens. Behind the filmy surface, he not only looks larger and more heroic, but somehow more real, less toy-like. In this simple transformation, we’re made aware of the simultaneous transparency and opacity of the lens: how it can bring things closer, but also obscure their true nature.

Such works are reminiscent of pieces by French artist Mathieu Briand, who has explored similar territory in life-size video projections of moonscapes that turn out to be live feeds from tiny three-dimensional models. The exhibition also raises the specter of conspiracy theorists who claim that the moon landing was an art-directed hoax. Corbin’s work leavens these references with a playful, sometimes poetic use of everyday materials.

The exhibition’s title, “Greetings from Earth,” refers to the salutations in 55 languages recorded on the “Golden Record””an introduction to life on Earth for extraterrestrials”sent into space on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. Corbin has created his own, decidedly down-market version in a pair of musty leather shoes. Embedded in one shoe is a small video screen displaying images of what looks like a planet or an eclipse, followed by shots of random groups of people. It looks pretty nonsensical, and things aren’t improved by the static-filled soundtrack heard on an attached handset. But by encapsulating this message”intended to extend endlessly outward”in the sole of a shoe, Corbin suggests how that basic greeting might turn infinitely inward as well. In this sense, the show’s chief subject is not inner or outer space, but rather the understanding that inside and outside are continually collapsing into one another.


 [VISIT SITE]

June 16, 2010

LAEL CORBIN ARTIST'S TALK: "Xtraterrestrial Sounds & Bites", Saturday, June 19, 2PM

Lael Corbin will host an informal talk and slide presentation on Saturday, June 19th, at 2:00 p.m., that will shed light on his past installations and his current solo exhibition, "Greetings from Earth", at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Taking his cues from the space programs of the late 1970s, like NASA's Voyager spacecraft and its Golden Record, the works in this show compel us to explore and redefine our understanding and relationship to material reality.   more

From a hovering Holstein to a Space Cadet Twinkie-cam, this collection of images and objects draw upon both personal narrative and poetic relationships to language while evoking such notions as history, science, space and time-as well as play, curiosity, and wonder. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on view through June 26, 2010.  

June 03, 2010

KAREN ANN MYERS: "THINKING OF YOU", SOLO EXHIBITION, OPENS JULY 3-AUGUST 7, 2010

Luis De Jesus is very pleased to present Karen Ann Myers in her debut solo exhibition, titled "Thinking of You", opening July 3 through August 7, 2010. An artist's reception will be held on Saturday, July 3rd, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

In this new series of paintings and screen prints, Karen Ann Myers continues to explore what it means to be a young woman in contemporary society. Rooted in self-portraiture and autobiography, her paintings are documents that capture both the world around her and within her.   more

Myers approaches her paintings like short stories or mini-narratives that are influenced by her intimate experiences with friends, family, and lovers. While the female figures that she depicts are often strong and confident in their sexuality, the paintings also offer a glimpse into the confusion and doubt felt by women in their moments of solitude. In this way, her paintings serve as psychological self-portraits. Each one is a reflection of feelings and experiences that she has lived through, as well as a projection of the moods and emotions experienced while painting them.

Myers also imparts these paintings with an emphasis on sex and glamour inspired by the cult of beauty in today's mass media. In exploring how this world affects her central female figures--how beauty can be used to camouflage feelings of isolation, addiction and fear, and how sex, desire and intimacy can be misleading and destructive--she strives to present a personal yet universal depiction of women that invites the viewer to question their continuing struggles. Whether her images evoke a narrative, explore a relationship dynamic or focus on a solitary figure, the duality of three-dimensional human forms juxtaposed against the flat, intricately patterned surroundings in each painting offers an opportunity to better understand her private person and life.

Karen Ann Myers is a graduate of Boston University (MFA, 2008) and Michigan State University (BFA, 2005). "Thinking of You" is her first exhibition in Los Angeles. In addition to being an artist, she is executive director of Redux Contemporary Art Center, in Charleston, South Carolina. Her work has been exhibited at Robert Steele Gallery, New York; Danforth Museum of Art, MA; Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C.; 808 Gallery, Boston; Metrospace, East Lansing; and SCOOP Contemporary, Charleston, SC, among other venues.

For further information, please call 310-453-7773 or email gallery@luisdejesus.com.

(Note: LAEL CORBIN's solo exhibition, "Greetings from Earth", will be on view through June 26th.)