This past Christmastime, I traveled back home to California, where I spent many days of wild abandon exploring the southland like I had not since I was a resident, nearly 30 years ago. On a day spent scouring the many wonder-filled features of Downtown LA, I looked down from an overpass I was crossing on Grand Street and spotted this magnificent beast. The curved concrete sculpture features silhouettes of painted steel cars roller-coasting up the structure’s curve.
Part of the Bunker Hill public art project to beautify the Downtown LA area, this monumental piece is called Uptown Rocker by artist Lloyd Hamrol. While initially it appears that you its located on one of LA’s crazy freeways, the sculpture is actual;y located on the very busy Fourth Street. It might be fun to experience the sculpture while driving by, but I think that where I was standing (officially the South Grand Avenue bridge crossing Fourth Street) is the ideal Uptown Rocker) viewing location.
If you’ve ever spent any time in LA or the surrounding area, few experiences that you can have here in NYC will imbue you with a sense of sweet nostalgia for the Southland quite like viewing this series of new paintings and photographs by artist Glen Rubsamen, which he calls Polygala.
In his second solo exhibition at Robert Miller, Rubsamen presents a series of paintings based on a project he began in 2012 to photograph juxtaposed billboards, palm trees and cell phone masts. As he explains, “it became quickly apparent that it was almost impossible to photograph a billboard in Los Angeles without a palm tree or cell phone tower, or both, sneaking into the picture frame.” Rubsamen describes the work’s static construction as an ‘accidental ensemble,’ an exercise in chance, and humorous negation of the classical principles of perspective, sequence and scale.
I loved this painting, seen above, so much that I didn’t even want to wait for these two guys to move to photograph it, because obviously they are digging it as well, so why not just bring them into the experience?
I think part of the reason I was so quickly enamored of this exhibit is the color palette he uses – gradations of purples, blues and mint greens – all set against black shadows, which definitely set a mood of either dusk or dawn, while extracting endless memories of time I spent growing up in Southern California. In other words, these paintings really spoke to me, as they did to the friend I attended the exhibit with who is also from that area. I don’t think there is any greater compliment I could offer than that. I would love to own any of these pieces.
I think these are some of the most beautiful paintings I’ve seen in a recent exhibit. I highly recommend you check out this show while it is still up, because they are even more impactful in person.
Glen Rubsamen’s Polygala will be on Exhibit Through December 21st, 2013 at Robert Miller Gallery, Located at 524 West 26th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM.
Post No BillsGallery and Print Shop will launch its first fall solo exhibition this Thursday October 6th, with the opening reception for English 101…For Beginners and Up by Popaganda artist, Ron English. English 101 will feature exclusive new limited edition prints and hand-finished multiples, toys, sculptures, sticker packs and more by Ron English – one of our favorite artists here at The Gig! With prices ranging from $20 to $4,000, the exhibit offers pieces for any sized budget. Ron will be available for signings at the Opening Reception, this coming Thursday, October 6, 2011 from 7:00PM to 10:00PM. I’ve met Ron a bunch of times and he is super nice and approachable.
English 101 Runs from October 6 – 30, 2011 at Post No Bills, Located at 1103 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291. Phone 310-399-2928 for Shop Hours and Further Information.
On This Date in 1980: Darby Crash (born Jan Paul Beahm), lead singer of The Germs, died of an intentional heroin overdose at the age of 22. For anyone curious about Darby, The Germs, and the LA Punk Rock scene of the late 70s/early 80s, I highly recommend the bio pic, What We Do is Secret. Despite a lot of criticism from people who were there; to be honest, I was there also, and I think the film got a lot of things right. Favorite Germs Song: “Richie Dagger’s Crime.” RIP Darby.