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Archive for May, 2009

Suzan Woodruff reads about physics, space and metaphysics and use that in her work, which includes gravity, evaporation, pigment and water. Suzan is at the forefront of the FLOW art movement. While she works, she mediates – to control the chaos and highlights the importance of knowing when to stop and move on. As the saying goes “There are no mistakes, it’s only Buddha dust.” Suzan was tremendously influenced by the spirituality of her grandmother, who raised with philosophy of Self Realization, and the distinctly Bohemian lifestyle of her mother.

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Suzan lives and works in Mar Vista, with her husband, author Bruce Bauman. Her detached studio was built to her specs, as was her custom easel-table. Being a native of Phoenix, Suzan loves the sunlite and added the high windows so she could feel mother nature. Her studio space is calm and light and at the same time entirely messy. She never had sunlight and space like this living in Manhattan.

www.suzanwoodruff.com

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The paintings of Los Angeles based artist, Shane Guffogg, first appear as pure color shimmering across the canvas. But look a little longer and figurative shapes slowly reveal themselves. Look a little closer and intricate details become clear. The shapes and patterns hover somewhere between writing and design. Using the idea of illumination as a literal and metaphorical framework for his work, Shane makes oil paintings radiant with refractive light. They typically feature 70-80 layers of translucent colors that have been mixed with a glazing medium, which causes them to seem incandescent, aglow from within. Shane has long been interested in the way communications are processed and sorted, consciously and subconsciously, the way meanings are assigned by the psyche to events and images, and the way memories are created and deployed. It is no surprise that he starts the patterns in the top left corner and moves across as if he were writing a letter.

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Shane lives and works behind a pink flatiron fence, in a converted storefront, of a 1920’s Victorian version of a stip mall. The U-shaped building, rings a courtyard dominated by 2 huge, feathery pepper trees. Each small storefront join together by off-setting doorways facing the courtyard and creates what was once the center of a lively market area in a very old Hollywood community. It makes sense that he would find himself at the center of a community artist’s collective, as well. Popular downtown art hub Pharmaka came to life when Shane ran into 2 other artists, John Scane and Vonn Sumner, at a Christmas party in 2003. Now Pharmaka—with its program of exhibitions, panel discussions, pod-casts and the like—is at the heart of the neighborhood.

www.shaneguffogg.com

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Marc Katano is an American artist born in Tokyo, Japan and even if viewers were unaware of his heritage they instantly see the calligraphy of the East in his signature elliptical strokes. He likes to paint continuously and his marks were originally the result of the “c” movement of his wrist directing his hand and brush. Over the last decade and a half his work has steadily progressed along a path of “less is more”. In his new works, the mark making and color washes describe a void, using tender and subtle washes of color and with the merest suggestion of the original elliptical form, he has opened up a vast and lyrical space for color and mood to express itself.

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Marc utilizes the ellipse, resembling a collapsed pair of parentheses with no corners to interrupt the natural hand movement. He allows the painted ellipses to dry partially and then washes away the wet paint in a slow-dripping process that leaves only a series of outlines. The resulting matrix of thin lines, drawn in this meticulous fashion, gives the impression of movement and speed.
We met with Marc and his biggest fan, his wife Nicole, a professional photographer, in their North Hollywood home, on a rainy Monday morning. He buildt his studio afew steps from their backdoor, making it easy for Nicole to pop her head in through out the day to ohh and awww at the work he produces.

www.marckatano.com

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Artist, architect, sculptor and furniture maker, Po Shun Leong is also known, since the late 1980s, for his highly intricate and flamboyant one-of-a-kind wood art boxes that have been enthusiastically collected and are in museums all over the world for their sense of shape, surprise and presentation . The “Landscape” box, a constantly evolving series since 1983, is architectural in character and built up of many different woods in their natural colors.  Still today, the unique look and playfulness of his artwork has helped keep that style relevant and inspirational. He maintains a studio in a beautifully maintained garden of his residence in the City of Winnetka, in the San Fernando Valley, northwest of Los Angeles.

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Like many master woodworkers, Po Shun creates his masterpieces in a well lit studio about the size of a two car garage, augmented by a concrete apron under an overhanging roof, where the tablesaw, router table and stationary sander are kept.
Indoors, flanking the drawing board, two tables hold work in progress, augmented as needed by two wheeled carts. One end of the studio serves as the lumberyard, where surfaced boards stand in neat rows awaiting selection. At the other end of the studio, is a maze of shelves and drawers, each holding dozens of Po Shun’s distinctive architectural and geometric shapes.
We drank tea with Po Shun, his wife and a big yellow Labrador retriever and enjoyed every soft sunny minute listening to him talk about his work in his smooth musical British accent.

www.poshunleong.com

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There are few objects more representative of contemporary First World culture than the plastic bag. Having worked with the medium as her primary material for the past fifteen years, Dianna Cohen halts the usual cycle of production, distribution and disposal and asks her viewers to reevaluate the aesthetic potential of such a common object.

Cut like paper, sewn like fabric, these constructions have been presented as flat art (framed or mounted) with crumpled and shiny surfaces that are dulled by dirt and time: un-useful pieces of their former selves. They’re playfully asymmetrical in composition and most are deliriously multicolored. In her hands, they offer tactile temptation as they lay flat against or spill off the wall in voluptuous folds. Dianna’s  trashy materials take on undreamed of  seductive qualities. Rather than treating the used bags as byproducts, she focuses on their most exciting intrinsic qualities: bright, plastic color and sensual surfaces.

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Dianna works from a studio, in a classic area of Hollywood, that she and her father built years ago. She is quite, thoughtful, extremely engaging and very passionate about plastic. The material’s relationship to marketing and advertisement culture is ever present, unavoidable and inherent in her work. The graphic text on the bags often influences the theme of a piece, but just as often disappears into the background of color, almost becoming subliminal in the work.

www.diannacohen.com

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Art Hazelwood is the National Organizer of the Art of Democracy. Art of Democracy, is a national coalition of political art shows that took place in the fall of 2008, leading up to the US Presidential elections. Political Art Printer with the feeling of biting political cartoons, Hazelwood’s pieces mix satire with commentary, plopping in a world or two of sycophants, war profiteers and mercenary violence in Iraq. Anger is always more constructive when it’s focused on something positive.  Hazelwood says the medium’s rich history of social and political commentary inspires him to constantly push the envelope, always striving for edgier pieces that enable others to make strong connections with the art and the messages it conveys.

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Art is a versatile artist, working in linoleum, wood, copper etching and silkscreen. Each print is filled with figures that seem to squeeze inside the edges. These visually engaging prints present a feeling and moment in its entirety, with never enough room to display all he wishes to convey within the borders of the print. Angry art does not an angry artist make. Art Hazelwood was a funny and thoughtful host as he welcomed us into his studio located in the Industrial Center, an inlet abuzz with railroad cars, freight trucks and enlighten social commentary.
www.arthazelwood.com

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Thomas Creed is a realist wilderness oil painter. He moved to Sonoma County in 1993 and rediscovered his early love of the natural world. Thomas now explores the beauty and power of landscape painting using the unspoiled Northern California countryside as his primary subject.

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This is Thomas’ 2nd floor home studio/office. He removed a wall in this meticulous home, just north of San Fransisco, to create a larger space to work everyday. His copious plein aire journey notes document the sounds, smells, times of day, temperatures and lighting, turn his field study sketches and photographs into 25 years plus of the smallest details he has discovered in the California landscape.

www.thomascreed.com

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