Inspiration

[caption id="attachment_6756" align="aligncenter" width="545"] Rainbow Watercolor by Bumblebeelovesyou[/caption]   When I first visited DAX gallery for its opening in 2013 owner Alex Amador had big plans for the Costa Mesa space that would bring fine urban art to Orange County. Over the past few years, in part due to how hard it can be to maintain a gallery, DAX has shuffled around some of its original aspirations. I was curious to see what the gallery was up to when I met with  curator Alec Van Sealund for the August...

[caption id="attachment_6055" align="alignleft" width="349"] Pamela Diaz Martinez  |   Holy Spirit - II  |  Pastel on dura-lar[/caption] The physicist Carlo Rovelli mentioned in an interview recently that religion was a subject of interest to science but only out of respect for the religious as a group and very little scientific study has been dedicated to finding out the wellspring for a belief in “God” specifically. This aversion to exploring the subject of faith in a manner that approaches a possible "source" is not as lacking in fine art...

A to Z Featuring: Craig Antrim Casper Brindle Christopher Georgesco Donald Karwelis Eric Zammitt For galleries, presentation is paramount. The alchemy of impeccable lighting, thoughtful curating and an intimate knowledge of the artist's process combined with behind-the-scenes sweat and elbow grease can transform even the most humble space into a cathedral. For this reason, it is often times the smaller galleries that can be the most inspiring. Tucked away into the end corner of a small row of shops along Old Newport Blvd, the Brett Rubbico Gallery is quietly putting together some...

Written by Jared Millar It was around 1976 that Philip K. Dick moved into a third-story condominium on Civic Center Drive just east of downtown Santa Ana, living and writing there until dying of a massive stroke just months before the release of the Ridley Scott-directed Blade Runner, the first in a long run of Hollywood adaptations of his novels and stories ...

Walking through Gods & Gifts: The Vatican Ethnological Collection is akin to traversing the globe while simultaneously travelling through time. Through February 9th over 70 objects from the Vatican Ethnological Museum are on display at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, the largest collection to ever leave Vatican City. The exhibit spans all six inhabited continents as well as 7,000 years of human civilization, and several of the objects have never been seen outside the Vatican. Collectively the objects in Gods & Gifts convey the incredible breadth,...

When I first came across Brandon Spiegel's art, it reminded me of the stones outside of the ancient burial site of Newgrange, Ireland, densely carved with interlocking spirals. What Spiegel's work captures, that one can feel in that ancient work, is that essential urge and joyfulness in creation. Spiegel's mesmerizing work is especially influenced by the patterns and shapes found within Native American cultural designs. Yet, there is also something decidedly modern about the work, as its psychedelic patterns harken a sense of nostalgia for...

If the ancient goddess Athena- goddess of wisdom whose sidekick was an owl- was alive today, her favorite artist would be the Australian painter Rodrigo Luff. Luff's work is characterized by his goddess-esque women in mystical landscapes, often filled with whimsically rendered creatures like owls. In attempts to blend the inner spiritual and emotional world with the outer physical world, Luff creates imaginative and beautiful work that is truly unique.   Currently on display at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City until August 3, Luff's work truly captures...

When I was little I used to spend hours in my family's garden, studying the intricacies of the landscape. Deeply influenced by my love of Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge illustrations, I was looking for mice homes amongst the trees and bushes. What I discovered under rocks and in what seemed like quiet little corners of our yard, was a surprising amount of activity amongst the insects and the birds. Those formative, imaginative years were the first time I began to be in awe of nature...

It's rare that LA can offer me something that makes me feel right at home in Ireland again… Owen Dara's delightful comedy show "Two Pint Wonder," showing every Sunday in April at the Renegade Theatre in Hollywood, does just that. Dara crafted an extremely charming and, simply put, very funny show about the in and outs of growing up Irish and coming to America. For myself, as a child of immigrants from Ireland, Dara's comedy possesses a particular type of self-deprecating Irish wit that feels...

It's rare that a band can invoke a real feeling of mysticism in me upon hearing their music. Perhaps this is because I play music and my brain can go directly to understanding song structure and chords; that is, unless the song is coming from another place entirely. There are some bands and composers who are tapping into something on a deeper, more spiritual level that can shut my brain off and immediately propel me into a state of meditative bliss. The multi-cultural band Deleyaman,...

Currently showing at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, the exhibit Embrace is comprised of artwork by Kim Tucker, Michael Giancristiano and Matjames Metson; curated by Katherine Huntoon. This show illustrates the power of a curator's voice to bind seemingly unrelated works together under one banner.  In the case of Embrace we are asked to notice how each of these artists lovingly and meticulously rescue the abandoned or overlooked to create highly emotional works that become much greater than the sum of their...

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds celebrated the release of their 15th studio album "Push the Sky Away" with a special show at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on Feb 21. This show marks a different sort of album release than they've ever done before. Instead of the usual more extensive tours that the band has done in the past, they've elected to do exclusive small-venue album release performances in a few cities around the world. We in Los Angeles were lucky to have the...

As part of an ongoing series featuring contributors from all over Southern California, below international art dealer Delia Cabral gives an account of her recent visit to the studio of artist Tony Brown. An external view night view of Tony’s Down Town LA installation of X-rays One of the very best parts of being who I am and doing what I do is going on studio visits. I get to go into artist’s studios and see them in their natural habitat and their art fresh off, or still...

A small plot of grass is a fairy ring, a window box becomes an enchanted forest and the tough brambles of the urban rose growing up through a chain link fence guard a sleeping beauty of the fierce canine variety. For anyone who has grown up in an architecturally dense environment, whether it be the concrete containers and electrical wires of the city or the low and sprawling manicured grid of suburbia, the magic of nature is everywhere no matter how unlikely. “I can never...

A compelling and vibrant art show is currently on display at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana. The show, entitled "Siempre es Hoy," runs until November 24, with a special closing reception from 6-11 pm. You must RSVP for the closing festivities (by emailing solartradio@gmail.com), and I highly recommend it based on how fun, lively and interesting the opening reception was. "Siempre es Hoy" vividly documents the Mexican music scene through a diverse group of intimate photographs of musicians and concert audiences....

The Fine Arts Buildings of Cal State Long Beach are located on the southernmost side of the sprawling 3 mile campus. These Mid-Century modern buildings, designed by architect Edward Killingsworth, are beautifully integrated with trees and the most incredible staghorn ferns hang from giant pots suspended from outdoor beams. Rectangular chunks of granite are tipped over in various places to form benches and the doors to the graduate student galleries are open wide revealing work that is interesting and well done. It is a beautiful...

Last week, I had the privilege of seeing singer and songwriter Tristan Prettyman in concert at Fingerprints Records in Long Beach. Prettyman was celebrating the release of her third studio album "Cedar + Gold" and just about to commence a tour in support of the new music. Dedicated to "anyone who has ever surrendered," the new album "Cedar + Gold"  is a work of incandescent beauty. Not since the 90s Lilith Fair days of Sarah MacLachlan, has surrender sounded so achingly sweet. Prettyman initially grabs the...

I recently met up with the progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me during the tail end of their Summer Slaughter Tour. The tour, headlined by Cannibal Corpse, stopped through the Grove in Anaheim on August 25th. Upon arriving at the Grove, I was struck by a unique culture clash occurring that day between the neighboring venues of the Angels Stadium and the Grove. Crowds of young people, generally dressed in black with an assortment of metal shirts, were crossing Katella Ave to reach...

The legendary music of 1930s jazz virtuoso Django Reinhardt is alive and well in Orange County… if you know where to look. Long Beach-based Gypsy jazz band Hedgehog Swing plays every first and third Wednesday at the Gypsy Den in downtown Santa Ana, along with members of the Orange County-based Gypsy jazz band Riff Raff. Riff Raff have hosted this event for many years, leading the song choices on the first Wednesday of every month, with Hedgehog Swing hosting every third Wednesday. Their lively jazz...