Posts Tagged ‘Venice artist’

Stepping down the natural wood  staircase into William Tunberg’s studio, is like walking into a jig saw puzzle of small fragmented specialty studios that create the ultimate studio complex. In creating marquetry sculpture, Bill calls upon his lifelong love of assemblage and classical drawing. His materials are exotic natural and dyed veneers that he fragments, assembles, and reassembles, and ultimately laminates over complex sculptural forms. Each step of this process has it’s own space and each space it’s own use. Much like Bill’s fragmented and reassembled imagery, his studio forms an assemblage of his own making and is at the heart of the home he shares with is wife and the 11 year-old cat, Kitty. It is infused with whimsy and artistry. Cleaver touches of marquetry creates shadows of banisters on the natural wood staircase and coffee stains on the floor. Huge ink and pencil portraits peer down from high ceiling perches. This home was designed and built from a small Venice bungalow and still retains it’s charm and sunny disposition.

Bill’s contemporary technique has little in common with traditional marquetry. Historically, during the time of Louis XIV, marquetry was the most highly prized of all art forms.  Marquetry was used almost exclusively as a decorative appliqué to furniture and functional objects of art. Traditional marquetry uses floral designs and natural scenes as decorative motifs. Bypassing all traditional applications, Bill concentrates on fragmenting imagery and arranging the imagery into surreal combinations.
In the 60’s, Bill began working for Ed Kienholz and became friends, who along with Westerman and Cornell introduced and inspired his love affair with assemblage that lasted for over three decades. His work is amazing and he also makes the BEST cup of coffee in California.



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Billy Al Bengston is one of the Los Angeles ”car culture” stars of the 1960’s and 70’s, was among the first to leave traditional oil paint on canvas for sprayed layers of automobile lacquer on aluminum in soft colors, achieving a highly reflective, translucent surface. He was once a semi-professional motorcycle racer and early on, painted custom bikes. After seeing the work of Jasper Johns at the 1958 Venice Biennale he adopted the motif of a set of sergeant’s stripes. This recurring chevron image was painted with industrial materials and techniques associated with the decoration of motorcycle tanks and surfboards.
In 1962, Billy rented the Venice News building to use as a studio. He is still there today and that is were me met him and his small white puffball of a dog, Louise. He had just returned from from 3 years in Victoria Canada. Billy is retired and doing what he wants to do…. like body surfing every morning…. we caught him about 1/2 hour after his am swim, he looked fit and very happy.


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We crossed the railroad tracks, that run through the alley, behind a Quonset Hut styled warehouse, where many years ago beer was shipped and stored. Since 1983, Laddie John Dill has worked in this building creating permanent forms for his interest in topography, light and texture. The characteristics of glass and cement, the interplay of smooth and grainy surfaces, and the effect of color on these materials gives this work strength and power. Many of the pieces are huge and look completely at home in this ginormous space.


Laddie developed a process of “painting” with cement, incorporating smooth sheets of glass that contrast to the varied textures of the cement. The alkaline properties of cement provide the basis for color. Colors are applied and kept wet by spraying; the longer a color remains wet, the whiter it oxidizes. Alkalies and limes in the Portland cement eventually dry and remain on the surface, when the color is right, he seals the surface to prevent further oxidation.


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Aaron Kramer creates sculpture from woven and constructed found objects. He also creates public art and architectural commissions. Aaron works primarily in recycled materials. Reclaimed hardwoods, coffee stirrers, strapping material, buttons or tin can lids are ripe for reinvention. Street sweeper bristles are acquired as scrap from a company that re-bristles used brooms. These are woven over armatures of thin wire that he welds into organic forms. He also takes found objects and improve upon them to create new and intriguing inventions.


Aaron’s studio is in a backroom of a red brick, 1930’s Coke-a-cola distributing warehouse, in Venice. Fuchsia and red bougainvillea covering high walls across the street and around the corner creating a charming effect to an otherwise industrial neighborhood.   Look through this image and see steel sweeper bristles golf club shafts, Love birds in a cage woven wire, Bob’s 4444 light bulbs, a marque from the old Egyptian theater and many, many mechanical toys.

Aaron’s motto; “Trash is the failure of imagination”


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A true English Rose, born and raised in England. Ann transformed a garage and workshop into a charming studio and office space. A beautiful garden now completes the European cottage effect and keeps Ann in beautiful blooms all year long. Her studio was loaded with small bottles of pretty liquids, roses in vases, colorful tins, shiny waxes and glazes all organized and ready to be used at any minute.


Her work is collected and exhibited internationally. Ann is primarily known for her grid paintings. Her current work loosely revisits themes of the grid combined with botanical forms that are lyrical and very feminine.


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Huguette’s father was the first president of Lebanon after that country won it’s freedom from the French. (see her in the window next to the doorway at about 2:00 in this photo) As she served espresso in demitasse cups, her exotic history, soft French accent and gentile manners transported me from her modern concrete home in Venice, to a land and time far far away.

Huguette Caland
On this late August morning, she was spellbinding in one of her signature caftans, floating from room to room filled with byzantine influenced artwork and memories of her native country. Her work has the mosaic quality of small geometrical squares and metallic dots painted on linen weave. The large finished pieces were pinned to the walls of her huge studio, unfettered by frames or stretchers, creating a colorful display of finely painted textiles that – I imagined– could have been for sale in a booth in a Middle Eastern bazaar

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