Lizzy Waronker   

 Lizzy Waronker is an American artist  
 who lives and works in Los Angeles. 
 lizzywaronker.com 

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Los Angeles-based artist, Lizzy Waronker, specializes in assemblage, exploring mythologies – often in miniature – and postmodern reclaiming. Drawing on childhood explorations in her family’s labyrinthine New England home, she injects a surprising amount of detail into her three-dimensional worlds. Waronker has confronted scales large and small in her exhibitions, often placing Lilliputian sculptures in over-sized environment installations. She summons personal, as well as cultural, experience to conjure Gothic American tapestries of chaotic yet cohesive folklore. Primarily self-taught, she finds inspiration in nature, the discards of others, and decomposition caused by neglect and time. She has shown in galleries throughout Los Angeles since 2009, and will have her first solo show in May 2011 at Caporale Bleicher Gallery in Hollywood.

 Steve Keene   

 Steve Keene is an American artist who believes in mass 
 producing hand painted works of art for the masses. 
 stevekeene.com 

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The concept of SK Art developed in the early 90′s and grew in part from Steve’s friendship with and admiration of musicians. He spent a few years on the radio at WTJU where, surrounded by thousands of records, it was harder to find something he didn’t like than something he did.

Steve says, “I want buying my paintings to be like buying a CD: it’s cheap, it’s art and it changes your life, but the object has no status. Musicians create something for the moment, something with no boundaries and that kind of expansiveness is what I want to come across in my work.” He has collaborated with the Silver Jews, Pavement, The Apples in Stereo, Soul Coughing and Dave Matthews to create album art, video sets, stage sets and posters. Currently Steve has sold more than 250,000 paintings.

Often, when he shows his art, he literally moves in and paints on site. He has shown at Rice University, the Museum Ludwig, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Linden Centre in Melbourne, the Gulf Coast Museum and the Czech Centre in London. Look for him this summer at the Museum Goch in Germany and at the Cairns 2011 Festival in Queensland.

Even though they are created as multiples, each of Steve’s paintings is one-of-a-kind. He works constantly, producing walls full of work every day. For him, every painting is part of a single on-going work of art that is now many miles long. Each individual painting is a souvenir of this enormous work – the event of SK Art.





 Devendra Banhart   

 Devendra Banhart is a musical and visual artist living in Los Angeles. 
 devendrabanhart-art.com 

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Devendra Banhart has been amassing a body of great songs and albums for a while now. In tandem with his musical accomplishments Banhart has gained considerable recognition as a visual artist. His distinctive, minutely inked, often enigmatic drawings were presented alongside the work of the master Abstract painter Paul Klee at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in the show Abstract Rhythms: Paul Klee and Devendra Banhart. Devendra’s otherworldly drawings are populated by whimsical characters that seem suspended in an undefined pictorial space. His relationship to music, like Klee’s, is interdependent on his visual art practice. In 2006, Banhart’s work was shown at Emilio Mazzoli Gallery D’Arte Contemporary in Modena in Italy and the Deitch Projects Exhibit at the Art Basel Festival in Miami. Devendra had his first solo exhibit at Andrew Roth Gallery in New York and his art has since been presented at San Francisco’s Jack Hanley Gallery, the Atelier Cardenas Bellanger in Paris, “Uncertain States of America” show at Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and NYC’s Daniel Reich and Canada galleries. Devendra’s drawings graced the covers of four of his full-length CD releases and one EP as well as his major label debut on Warner Brothers What Will We Be. Devendra’s art for What Will We Be was nominated for a Grammy in 2011 for Best Recording Package.

His work appears in “Live Through This, New York in the Year 2005,” published by Deitch Projects, New York as well as the “Vitamin D,” published by Phaidon. In 2011 Devendra’s art was featured in a MOCA exhibit “The Artist’s Museum” that included works of influential Los Angeles based artsist from the last 30 years. As part of the exhibit, Banhart collaborated with artist Doug Aitken and musicians Beck and Caetano Veloso for an incredible musical and visual performance piece.

The critics’ acclaim and the size of his audience both at home and abroad earned by his debut Oh Me Oh My The Way The Day Goes By The Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs Of The Christmas Spirit was impressive to begin with and increased dramatically with each subsequent release: 2004’s Rejoicing In The Hands, Nino Rojo, 2005’s Cripple Crow, and 2007′s Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon.





 Mark Whalen   

 Mark Whalen is an Australian artist 
 now living and painting in Los Angeles. 
 killpixie.net 

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From his beginnings painting large-scale graffiti on the streets of Sydney, Australia, Mark Whalen (Kill Pixie) has evolved into an artist whose meticulously crafted paintings and sculptures examine the human experience by exploring communication, emotion, sexuality, invention, interaction, and ritual – all with an undercurrent of quiet absurdity. The artist’s indomitable spirit of creativity and resistance fractures and realigns old divides between street and gallery, and reinterprets the universal human struggle for freedom and control in a world bent on self-destruction.

Since 2006, Whalen’s work has shown in a constant stream of sold-out gallery exhibitions in Los Angeles, London, Berlin, and Australia. He was also included in 2009’s Apocalypse Wow! Exhibition at MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Italy. His work has also appeared in publications such as Juxtapoz, Modart Europe, Arkitip, Art Ltd., Anthem, and Monster Children. In 2008, Whalen was awarded the Sydney Music, Arts & Culture Award for Best Visual Artist, and in 2009 he was named in the Top 100 Creative Catalysts by the Creative Sydney festival. He currently lives and paints in Los Angeles, California.

killpixie.net

Mercedes Helnwein  

 Mercedes Helnwein is an Austrian-born 
 artist now living in Los Angeles. 
 mercedeshelnwein.com 

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Born in Vienna, Austria, Mercedes Helnwein started writing and drawing at an early age, developing a deep fascination for both fields. In 2000 she began to divide her time between Los Angeles and Ireland, exhibiting her art regularly and writing short stories and essays for literary journals. With influences ranging from Southern Gothic traditions to the cartoons of Robert Crumb, to nineteenth Century Russian literature, American motel culture and the Delta blues, her work began to take on a style of it’s own, both in her fine-art as well as her writing. She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions in New York, Berlin and Dublin, and with her latest show “East of Eden” at the Merry Karnowsky gallery in Los Angeles. In 2008 Simon and Schuster published her first novel “The Potential Hazards of Hester Day”.

mercedeshelnwein.com

 Melanie Pullen   

 Melanie Pullen is an American photographer. 
 melaniepullen.com 

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Melanie Pullen, born in New York in 1975, now lives and works in California.

In the gallery you are soon to view, Pullen presents an installation of Melanie Pullen’s photographic series Violent Times. Comprised of large-scale lightboxes and photographic prints, the exhibition explores the depiction of war beginning with the fantasy and glamour of historic painting, progressing toward the reality conveyed in modern photography. Pullen says, “In Violent Times, I dramatized the aesthetics of early portraiture and battle imagery, creating an extensive series that questions our perceptions and our ingrained desire to glamorize violence.” The historic use of imagery, style, and presentation has been modernized in Violent Times, with the use of saturated films, special lighting techniques, digital processes and modern printing methods. The effect is a highly stylized and cinematic representation of war that questions the accuracy and reliability of the mass media both current and historic.

Violent Times consists of two separate elements: the first and most complex is the elaborate set of life-size soldier portraits that span centuries. These portraits took over three years to create due to the great attention to detail in the costuming and production. They are Pullen’s modern version of the stiffly posed photographs of soldiers who fought in the civil war and paintings of soldiers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She cast over one-hundred male fashion models to pose for both the soldier portraits and the battle scenes. The use of models for painting battle scenes was employed for hundreds of years to glamorize war.

The second portion of the series is comprised of sixteen backlit life-size photographs portraying soldiers acting out their combat poses. These images individually emphasize the glorified figures and bring the stiffly posed soldiers to life, playing up the unimaginable drama that is war. The C-print portion of the series consists of twenty staged battle scenes. Pullen gathered tanks, helicopters, closed down streets in Los Angeles, and for one of the most important images in this portion of the series she worked for six months with the help of a major movie studio to build large sections of the city of Berlin. The post-production on these included several hundred hours of both painting the film by hand and digital manipulation to give them the illusion of timelessness.

Pullen’s earlier photographic series High Fashion Crimes Scenes, which she worked on for over ten years and exhibited internationally, consists of large-scale color photographs of recreated crime scene images in which she outfitted the “victims” in haute couture. Self-taught and raised in a family of photojournalists, publishers and artists, she began the present project after seeing a copy of Luc Sante’s 1992 book Evidence (1914-1919) about crime scene photos from the New York Police Department. Pullen herself has noted that she takes aim at society’s glamorization of violent acts and crimes by literally redressing what are deeply disturbing events. High Fashion Crime Scenes was published in late 2005 by Nazraeli Press and is available in bookstores worldwide.

Melanie Pullen has shot layouts for magazines including Flaunt and Rolling Stone. She has been profiled in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Beaux Arts, Artweek, ELLE, BorderCrossings, The Independent on Sunday Review, Flaunt and Vogue Japan. She was also profiled in May 2006 in Nylon Magazine and Book LA in a twelve-page feature.

Please check out her site at melaniepullen.com

You can purchase her book High Fashion Crime Scenes here

 Olaf Breuning   

 Olaf Breuning (born 1970) is a Swiss-born artist now living in New York. 
 olafbreuning.com 

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Breuning squirreled away popular culture references that he would later effectively employ in his pieces. He absorbed the music of Talking Heads, Eurythmics and Grace Jones; the photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Jeff Wall and Cindy Sherman; and the sculpture of Jeff Koons. He cites as influences everything from sci-fi to horror via Vikings and haunted houses. His photographs, installations, and films feature a recurring vocabulary; face-painting, eyeballs attached to inanimate objects, long cheap wigs, naked breasts or direct movie allusions.

Breuning’s most recent showcase was in March at the Whitney Biennale in New York. He took inspirations from one of the exhibition buildings, the 18th century Upper East Side Armory for an installation called The Army, thirty miniature metal soldiers with identical spherical bodies and different heads resemble sci-fi robots marching as to war. “I thought it would be funny to do something with the idea of military, especially because I knew I would be exhibiting in an old armory building, ” says Breuning. “I decided to make this army with the same bodies but different heads, which I thought was amusing because an army with different heads cannot function” (Wonderland Magazine, 2008).

In October 2008, Breuning had his third solo show at Metro Pictures Gallery, New York.

Have a look at Olaf’s work at his site olafbreuning.com or his gallery at metropicturesgallery.com. And for a bit more info on Olaf, take a look at his interview on artnet.com.