"Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
What do you say to yourself when no one else is listening? No, not the good things that may be little white lies you fool yourself into believing. The bad things. The ones that would scare others, the ones that are soft and rotted, the ones you poke at until they burst. Those are your little grey secrets: half truths you repeat over and over, that are intended to remind you of your shortcomings...and sometimes, of your complete and utter failure.
With Little Grey Secrets, Jessicka Addams pokes at her characters' soft spots until they bleed. They're unraveling, damaged: masks askew, nooses tightening, strings dangling. Their world is not black or white, only grey - a color that has no opposite. They have no clear moral value. They're stripped naked, but don't get Freudian - the naked truth has nothing to do with grey secrets.
Armed with a glue gun and a dream, Florida-born, Los Angeles-based artist Jessicka Addams (also known as Jessicka) is also the founding member and singer of such seminal indie rock bands as Jack Off Jill and scarling. As a child, Jessicka was obsessed with masks because they represented a place to hide and an opportunity for those who gazed upon them to seek out what lay beneath. As an adult, she uses masks as a symbol to show the myriad of ways we hide behind our own faces in order to protect our true selves daily. Jessika Addams Show preview forthcoming
Walt Hall "Neu"
Much like Barry McGee, to whom he is often compared, Walt Hall is deeply rooted in the street art medium of wheat pasting. As one half of the art partnership Lost Cause Society, Hall has become something of a staple in the downtown Los Angeles art scene. His style is neither strictly graffiti nor classical, making his mixed media and found material paintings an entirely new milieu. His pieces explore a theme of isolation within groups utilizing a set of characters that has evolved with his local fame. Walt has been an annual attraction in the Everything But the Kitschen Sync group show, but this is his first featured exhibition at La Luz de Jesus. Walt Hall "Neu" show preview
Derek Harrison "Warmth"
Derek Harrison first caught our attention in this year's annual Everything But the Kitschen Sync show with his distinct, painterly portraits of strong and vulnerable women. His friendship and work/study with fellow La Luz de Jesus alumni Shawn Barber has further enriched his talents in the areas of foundation painting and composition. His unique blend of technique and nostalgic eroticism combine to produce a stunning collection of femme fatales (and the objects of their mystique) captured ever more in moments of great candor. Derek Harrison "Warmth" show preview
Click Mort "Res Ipsa Loquitur, Baby!"
Click Mort is much more than a great collagist. His unique recombinations of nostalgic pop-sculpture show his lifetime fascination for oddity as well as his meticulous craftsmanship, and it's perhaps no surprise to learn that Click served a brief stint playing guitar for The Cramps earlier in his career. His exquisite alterations of antique Rockwell, Hummel, and other miniature gift statuettes require a jeweler's precision in the extensive cutting, scultping, sanding, and painting involved in creating these pop-culture chimeras. Like his contemporary Ron English, Click Mort's unique methodology is a prime example of art that transcends its origins, elevating kitsch and improving the source pieces, which are works of art in themselves. Click Mort "Res Ipsa Loquitur, Baby!" show preview
José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros "Disenchanted"
José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros' four jury selected paintings from the Everything But the Kitschen Sync group show this past March were among the first pieces to sell, and additional paintings from this young Mexican artist were requested to such a degree that we had to build a database to keep track of them.
His latest project, Disenchanted, seeks to demystify the modern fairytale. Rodolfo juxtaposes representations of animation's yesteryear with unexpected, almost antithetical situations. While his subjects (in another context) might embody the quintessential happy ending, Rodolfo reminds is that as individuals we are neither wholly immune nor entirely susceptible to viscera. We absorb a narrative that is neither truth nor lie, allowing elements of fantasy to become our reality, and so it should come as no surprise to discover elements of reality intruding on our richest fantasies. Even material that is created as an escape from waking life can be impacted by the real world, changing the original aesthetic completely.
During this visual journey, Loaiza attaches a human reality as embodied by perversion, voyeurism and addiction, evolving into the more complicated topics of homosexuality, rape and even faith. This art is intended to make the viewer question his or her own stance on the issues, while addressing the obvious omission of such discussion in the cartoon medium that provides the vehicle for the concept. This exhibition is half tribute and half social criticism. It's a re-contextualized artistic proposal on the strength of time-honored iconoclasm and the weakness of haphazard ideology. José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros "Disenchanted" show preview
Miso "An Introduction to Pathology"
Karen Hsiao has two completely different artistic identities. As Miso, she has populated an entire universe of fantastic creatures and landscapes, which she has sold successfully via Jonathan Levine and Corey Helford Galleries. For this exhibition she has developed a coroner's curiosity for the anatomical understructures of her ordinarily cuddly creations, and in no uncertain terms this is a darker, more scientific approach. Devoid of even a single sculptural work, An Introduction to Pathology continues the autopsy of "cute" begun with this past March's Everything But the Kischen Sync show. Each antique-framed oil painting comes with its own magnifying glass, which elicits exquisite detail while assigning a medical examiner's view. Here Miso has literally dissected her own art and revealed the living, breathing sentiment at its core -perhaps leaving viewers with the discomforting thought that art may only be as immortal as the artist allows. But how exhilarating that the dark underbelly is every bit as enchanting as the glossy, fluffy surface...Miso "An Introduction to Pathology" show preview
Jasmine Worth "Together Forever"
Jasmine Worth's latest collection is titled Together Forever. In this series she's focused on the obvious (and sometimes not so obvious) interconnectedness of people; the ways our associations shape our lives, whether beneficial or parasitic, enriching and fulfilling or codependent and detrimental. In many ways we are the sum of those we encounter. Sometimes these encounters lead to lifelong bonds, and sometimes the briefest connection can have surprisingly lasting effects. It is these interconnected relationships and intertwining of lives that pair the focus in Together Forever -works exploring the ways in which others shape who we are.
Jasmine Worth crafts scenes from fairytales gone awry-swirling seamlessly between the sweet and surreal, inevitably dipping into the valley of the morbid. She studied formally at Watts Atelier as well as Studio 2nd Street in Encinitas, CA, and earned her BFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design. While she possesses the credentials, the product of her toils clearly pours from the cobwebbed corners of her mind, not the classroom. Her paintings-a cabaret of vibrant hues-are a blend of soft textures and colorful characters, juxtaposed against gloomy themes. Created in her home of San Diego, Jasmine combines dark influences and subtle-yet-serious undertones with raw artistic talent and a rarely seen creativity. Her work exudes a strong bearing of individuality, manifested through characters that speak almost vocally and give a new element of depth to an otherwise two dimensional medium. Each scene tells a story and every story is as diverse in emotion as it is in appearance. Jasmine Worth "Together Forever" show preview