The Los Angeles Art Show will present Vox Humana a live art performance by legendary Los Angeles street artists Mear One, Kofie, Retna, and El Mac. Organized by the L.A. ART MACHINE and curated by Bryson Strauss, the art performance will take place during the Los Angeles Art Show from January 20 - 24, 2010.
Working on large-scale canvases, the artists will begin their work on January 20 and will paint live each day from noon to 6 PM. Using acrylic and aerosol paints, Retna and El Mac will collaborate on a canvas that is 12 x 24 feet, while Kofie and Mear One will work independently on 12 x 12 foot canvases. Los Angeles Art Show attendees are invited to witness the completion of the works on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 2 PM, and participate in an art celebration.
While much attention has recently been given to street artists in the fine art world with the rise in celebrity of Shepard Fairey, Banksy, a Gajin Fujita, VOX HUMANA marks the first time that a top-tier art fair has recognized, and celebrated the evolution, power, and artistic integrity of street artists in a such a bold and public manner. The L.A. Art Show is making history.
What originated in the U.S. as the “tag” has evolved into one of the most sophisticated and challenging forms of contemporary art. This event recognizes the talents of these four artists while celebrating the historic journey and enduring nature of graffiti art, from the caves of Lascaux to the spas of Pompeii and from the streets of Los Angeles to the walls of galleries around the world.
Presented by the Fine Art Dealers Association (www.fada.com), the Los Angeles Art Show takes place on January 20-24, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Los Angeles Art Show programming is included with show admission. For additional information about the Los Angeles Art Show, to register for a lecture or purchase onlinetickets, please visit www.laartshow.com. General admission to the Los Angeles Art Show is $20. General Show Dates: Thursday-Sunday, January 21-24, 2010. Opening Night Preview and Gala: Wednesday, January 20, 2010. For additional information about the Opening Night Preview or to purchase tickets, please call the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 323-857-6501. Media inquiries please contact Agnes Gomes-Koizumi at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-937-5488.
About the Fine Art Dealers Association:
The Fine Art Dealers Association was founded in 1990 as a non-profit membership organization of respected and established dealers from across the United States. Its members are dedicated to promoting and maintaining the highest degree of professionalism, scholarship and integrity in all business conducted with colleagues, institutions and the art buying public. Membership in FADA is highly selective and by invitation only. Each member has expert knowledge of the artist or periods in which he or she specializes and maintains a corresponding inventory. In addition to demonstrating a commitment to enriching the cultural lives of their communities, members share their expertise through significant exhibitions, informative catalogs, and by offering quality works of art whose authenticity is unconditionally guaranteed. For additional information on the Fine Art Dealers Association, please visit http://www.fada.com.
About the Artists
The artists in Vox Humana are legendary in Los Angeles and throughout the world. They are some of the most accomplished, and celebrated fine artists to evolve out of a street art movement. Their work has been collected widely and exhibited extensively.
Retna was born in Los Angeles, California in 1979. Since first creating a name for himself in the early 1990s, Retna has become an "eternal broadcaster" of sorts, shining a light to the kinetic urban soul of Los Angeles. The name RETNA itself evokes the timeless power, movement and visual vibrancy behind the artist's acclaimed work. His work merges photography with graffiti style and paint, time with color, couture with street culture, the spiritual with the sensual, and fluidity with grit. Whether his paintings hang in a gallery or wall on the streets of Los Angeles, they serve as a retina through which we view the urban journal of contemporary art.
At an early age, Retna was introduced to L.A.'s mural culture. While still in high school, he led one of the largest and most innovative graffiti art collectives the city has witnessed. He is perhaps best known for appropriating fashion advertisements and amplifying them with his unique layering, intricate line work, text-based style and incandescent color palette reflecting an eclectic artistic tradition. RETNA became just as notorious for his ornate painting technique as his timeless style: he used paintbrushes mixed with the traditional spray can. Many of his pieces synthesize the line between fine art and graffiti, between power and opposition, between tradition and advancement.
Today, Retna traverses between the galleries and streets with ease. Retna is a member of the Art Work Rebels and Mad Society Kings Art Groups. In December 2007, he contributed to a large-scale mural project with El Mac and Reyes called "La Reina del Sur" at Miami's Primary Flight during Art Basel. His most recent projects include an exhibition titled "Vagos Y Reinas" at Robert Berman Gallery and a mural called "Seeing Signs" at the Margulies Warehouse for Primary Flight.
EL MAC (Miles “Mac” MacGregor)
Born in Los Angeles in 1980 to an engineer and an artist, Mac has been creating and studying art independently since childhood. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding Mexican & Chicano culture of the American Southwest, religious art, pin-up art, graffiti, and a wide range of classic artists including Caravaggio, Mucha, and Vermeer, he began painting with acrylics as well as painting graffiti in the early
'90s. He has since worked consistently towards mastering his signature portrait style. Around 1998 he also began to paint technicolor aerosol interpretations of classic paintings by old European masters. This led to being commissioned in 2003 by the Groeninge Museum in Brugge, Belgium to paint his interpretations of classic Flemish Primitive paintings in the museum's collection. He has since been commissioned to paint murals across the US, as well as in Mexico, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, South Korea, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico and France. He was asked in 2007 to design the poster for the Broadway production of Xanadu. A few of his murals have become mini-landmarks, especially his collaborations with Retna, and have been featured in a number of music videos and publications. His work was used for the cover of LA Weekly in 2007 for a cover story about the Seventh Letter artist collective of which he is a member. In 2008 he created a 100+ foot wide mural for an installation at the Denver Botanic Gardens, as well as participated in the Manifest Hope art show during the DNC in Denver. He has painted large murals during Art Basel in Miami the last two years in a row. 2009 will bring a two-man show with Retna at the Robert Berman Gallery at the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, along with the publication of a book about Mac & Retna’s artwork published by Upper Playground/Gingko Press, as well as the production of a limited edition Spanish Montana spraycan with their artwork on it. Mac is continuing to focus primarily on creating more murals, painting photorealistic canvases, creating stained glass pieces, and evolving his unique brushwork style. He lives and works in downtown Phoenix, in an old house filled with records, books and art.
Mear One, born 1971 as Kalen Ockerman in Santa Cruz, California, is a Los Angeles-based fine artist, famously known for his often-political street graffiti art. Commonly referred to as the 'Michelangelo' of Graffiti, Mear One is often associated with CBS (Can't Be Stopped -- City Bomb Squad) and WCA (West Coast Artist) crews. As a graphic designer, Mear One has designed apparel for Conart, Kaotic, as well as his own Reform brand. Mear One has done more than 40 album covers for artists such as Gun’n’Roses, Freestyle Fellowship, Blackbird, the Visionaries, Alien Nation, Limp Bizkit, Busdriver and Daddy Kev. Since then he’s created art for Coca-Cola, PBS, Disney, Warner Brothers, the New York Jets, Levi Strauss and PSP.
In 2004, Mear One joined artists Shepard Fairey and Robbie Conal to create a series of "anti-war, anti- Bush" posters for a street art campaign called "Be the Revolution" for the art collective Post Gen. As a famed L.A. street artist and prolific graffiti writer for over 20 years his partners have included Kofie, Skate One, Az Rock, Tren, Item, Anger, Yem, and Cisco.
Augustine Kofie is a long-time Los Angeles street artist, graphic designer, clothing designer and fine artist recognized for his unique architectural, geometric, mixed-media style that he refers to as "Vintage Futurism." This brand of artwork has appeared throughout the streets of LA as well as on fine furniture, CDs, and clothing. Kofie has exhibited widely and has been involved with the TPS Crew, UTI Crew, RF Crew, VT Crew and WCA Crew in Los Angeles. His work reflects a patient artist interested in the subtleties of line color and composition while carrying forward elements of recent art history and contemporary urban aesthetics.
About L.A. Art Machine: The L.A. ART MACHINE (LAAM) is an online publication and arts organization based in Los Angels but with an eye on the global art phenomenon. The LAAM covers the most relevant and current happenings in the art world, organizes exhibitions, and advocates for a continuing and vital art community on all levels.