Studio Gallery: John Paul Thornton

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Video Interview by Los Angeles filmmaker Veronica Aberham

John Paul Thornton was classically trained at the Otis Parsons School of Design and California State University at Northridge, where he received his B.A and further training working with two legendary artists Hans Burkhardt and Saul Bernstein. During his studies, they challenged John to find a true purpose to his art making.

John reflects, “Their message was paint your time and to connect with things that are universal and could appear in any time period historically, but find in your period of time what is vital and real, paint the truth.”

John’s desire to find the “truth,” landed him a job as an art teacher at a school for runaway kids. He looks back, saying, “I got to learn their stories and their stories were so impacting to me. I had come from a middle class family in the San Fernando Valley and I was suddenly meeting kids from the inner city, kids from broken families with histories of abuse. What happened there really changed my life.”

John’s truth started with a series called, The Missing Children – Portraits of Hope, an ongoing body of work for which he still receives international recognition, it led to other opportunities working with underprivileged children around the world.

“I started getting these invitations to work in other countries. I worked in Japan and was teaching projects in China, working in Mexico, Europe, and Haiti with the United Nations and what has been exciting for me is that my art isn’t about my paint, it’s about the people and the experiences that its given me.”

Through his journey, John found an art that heals, a truth, and the real power of art. This Summer he worked in Haiti on Girls United Haiti, together the United Nations Foundation, the Merridan Health Foundation and Full-Circle Learning.

“Imagine a country that has gone through trauma, an earthquake or hurricane and is it possible to go into the ground, impact a group of young people and through art and creativity empower them to become leaders in the community. And can you do this in two weeks?”

It’s this kind of challenge that motivates John and gives him a purpose to his life and to his art. “I keep getting this message, you’re on the right path with your work. Keep going. This is what you are meant to do and art is your tool.”  For more of John’s story and art demonstrations, please watch his video documentary here on Studio Online.

John has taught at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California State University of Los Angeles, Pierce College, the Los Angeles Unified School District Conservatory of the Arts, and the Sophia School of Painting in Tokyo, Japan. He also served as Art Education Coordinator with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs working on projects with MOCA, the Getty Research Institute and on International exchanges with Taxco, Mexico. John Paul’s paintings are in numerous private collections. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and daughter.

For additional information please visit the artist’s website.


Studio Gallery: Willie Middlebrook

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Video Interview by Los Angeles filmmaker Veronica Aberham

We are pleased to present Willie Middlebrook, an award winning photographer, whose work, from the 1970s to the present, is a historical record of the American culture.

The 1965 Los Angeles riot ripped apart the progress made thus far by the civil rights movement, causing more problems and poverty in the growing African American community. Just when a seed of hope had emerged, many felt they slipped back into new hardships, reminiscent of the past, plagued with gangs, street drugs and increased racial barriers and tensions.

Willie Middlebrook was challenged by this environment, but somehow managed to rise above it. Instead of allowing the world to close in around him, he found protection in the family unit, taking in their successes, shutting out the background noise that worked so hard to destroy much of his community. Willie chose to follow the good advice from his father, meeting positive role models.

Willie has dedicated his life to the arts and to giving back to the community. Willie reflects, “Artists get involved. You’re either totally self involved or you get involved in everything else and that everything else is the community around you so it’s just an expansion of that.” With each photo and digital creation Willie shaped and molded the true light and essence of people, becoming a well-respected artist in the community. Not only does he gives back with his art, but he also gives back something more precious, hope. “ I wanted to show black people in a true light, as true as I see it.”

From his father’s positive influence on his life, to the training he received at Compton College, to the community services he provided through the Communicative Arts Academy and the Watts Towers Arts Center, Willie’s determination to reach for better has created the artist we now know as MONK, or Willie Middlebrook.

For the exhibit we selected works from various projects, including: Early Work Series, 1977-79; Early Influences; Skid Row, 1977-1980; WATTS, 1979-1982; My Father’s Funeral, Our Father’s Funeral, 1979; LA Weekly Early – Middle 80’s; Medical Photography; Portraits Of My People, 1990; The MONK Project; from FREEDOM to slavery to Freedom? and Black Series IN PROGRESS.

For additional information please visit the artist’s website.


Judithe Supine: Ladyboy

Filed under: Art,Ecalendar,Events,Exhibitions,mp — veronica @ 11:32 pm


Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 7-10pm

The exhibition features the artist’s newest and most ambitious work to date, showcasing more than twenty canvases and large-scale woodcut sculptures up to fourteen feet high. Supine has transformed the entire gallery into a personal installation space, covering every inch of floor, wall and ceiling with silk-screened wallpaper, his signature fluorescent colors and dreamlike narratives.

LADYBOY references the “genderqueer”. Supine describes the title’s significance as “the marriage of opposites in one person – comparable to the technique of collage, combining seemingly disparate images to reveal something that wasn’t previously apparent”. An intimate encounter by the artist with a ladyboy in Bangkok served as the stimulus for this exhibition.

New Image Art Gallery
7908 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-2192


Studio Gallery: Judithe Hernández

Filed under: Events,Exhibitions,Gallery,Interviews,mp — site admin @ 5:38 pm

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Video Interview by Los Angeles filmmaker Veronica Aberham

Ms. Hernández’s life has been dedicated to the arts, furthering the social causes for both Mexican Americans (Chicanos) and Latin American women for forty years. Her work facilitates feelings of empowerment, undoing the adverse effects of decades of abuse, stigmatization, and racial injustice. Through her motivational murals and artwork, what she refers to as her “image support”, people gain the benefits and appreciation for their culture.

Judithe’s association with Carlos Almaraz, during her graduate studies at Otis Art Institute in 1977, led her into becoming the fifth member of Los Four, a powerful group of artists during the Chicano Power Movement and setting the stage not only for change within the neighborhoods of East Los Angeles, but also establishing a legacy and career deeply ingrained in her roots.  Creative Review, London 2009, published an article about Self Help Graphics (SHG) of East Los Angeles, crediting Los Four for the visual language of the movement. Judithe’s response was quite humble, “My God, I never thought of it that way and I never bumped into anyone who said that to me, but it’s very flattering if that’s true.” By following their hearts and being creative, using education to promote freedom, a visual language was born. Los Four showed that by banding together, youth could make a difference in their community.

After spending 25 years in Chicago, Judithe returned to Los Angeles, to her roots, still determined to affect change. In this interview she talks about her rich history as member of Los Four and her current show at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. The exhibition, La Vida Sobre Papel, is on view until May 1, 2011.

For additional information please visit the artist’s website.


14th Annual West Hollywood Art & Design Walk

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Saturday, March 26, 3 to 7pm on THE AVENUES

For event details:


“Wheels of Hope” Charity Benefit

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FREE admission.

Artist Tommy Hollenstein is holding a special charity benefit at the closing reception of his current show “Wheels of Hope” at the Encino Terrace Center on Wednesday March 16, 2011, from 4:00-8:00 pm. 40% of art purchases will go to the participating charity of the collector’s choice: Gettlove, benefiting the homeless; Dream Center, benefiting inner-city families; Shane’s Inspiration, benefiting children with disabilities; Canine Companions for Independence, benefiting the disabled; WYNGS, benefiting those with spinal cord injuries; and the Los Angeles Art Association benefiting emerging Los Angeles artists.

Los Angeles Art Association
Gallery 825

Encino Terrace
15821 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
(310) 652-8272

The Poetics of Color: Natvar Bhavsar, An Artist’s Journey

Filed under: Art,Ecalendar,Events,Film,mp — veronica @ 12:47 pm


Film Screening:
The Poetics of Color: Natvar Bhavsar,
An Artist’s Journey

A documentary film written and directed by Sundaram Tagore.

The 60-minute documentary chronicles the life and work of the noted Indian painter. The film follows Bhavsar as he journeys to New York City, the very nerve center of the art world, in the 1960′s. An immigrant in the new city, Bhavsar settles into a loft in SOHO, falls in love, and comes of age as an artist. Written and directed by art historian and gallerist Sundaram Tagore, the film explores the multicultural nature of Bhavsar’s work and how that affected the trajectory of his career.

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Saturday, March 19th, 2-4pm

FREE with museum admission

A Q & A with the filmmaker will follow the screening


Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Southern Asian Art Council

Bing Theatre
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Thursday, March 24th, 7pm


A Q & A with the filmmaker will follow the screening

Kevin Wixted: Convergence

Filed under: Art,Ecalendar,Events,Exhibitions,mp — veronica @ 12:15 pm

Kevin Wixted, 2011.

Kevin Wixted’s images are derived from his intimate involvement with nature and art. His studies begin with a keen observation of his surroundings which are captured in watercolors, drawings, and photographs. The movement of light across a tree canopy, the expanding pattern when a pebble falls into water, or the geometric stone carving on a Mayan temple are all phenomena that attract the artist.

His approach to painting comes from a synthesis of experiences. Interest in architecture, travel, nature, and art history converge to form an aesthetic of constructed sensations. Wixted seeks to transform and reveal his engagement with the world through simple building blocks of visual form. Whether creating a stone enclosure wall, designing a tile floor pattern, or making a painting, he works towards achieving a unified balance comprised of many individual components.

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 19th, 2011, 5-7pm

Lohin Geduld Gallery
531 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 675-2656


Studio Gallery: Sam Erenberg

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Video Interview by Los Angeles filmmaker Veronica Aberham

Sam Erenberg has created challenging work using narratives that constantly push us to explore history, eastern philosophy, the kabala, mysticism and how these converge in language and in visual form. Since graduating from Chouinard Art Institute in the 1960′s, Erenberg has explored many forms of expression. “It started with the alternative space movement, artists were starting to use new and different form: video, performance installation, and the place of narrative.”

While pursuing a MFA at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he worked under instructors (Richard Dunlap, Miles Varner, and Wayne Buckley) who spurred his exploration of multimedia and experimental media and film, installation and performance work. “Some things that I started to explore were new music, movement, video, closed circuit TV and porta packs. Though my graduate thesis was in painting and not film, this did not keep me from exploring many media.” This framework set the tone and range for over forty years of self-expression, pioneering, and ever new and intensive work. These extend at times to political subjects with which he explores and plays at times. “I found a relationship between physics and mysticism and then I came up with an esoteric system and using my own experiences in life to translate it into a kind of observable system.”

Erenberg has exhibited extensively. His works can be found in many public collections, the Akademie fuer Sozialarbeit (Bregenz, Austria), Franklin Furnace Archive and Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Getty Center for the Study of Art and Humanities and Skirball Cultural Center Museum (Los Angeles), and the Kunstmuseum (Bern, Switzerland) to name a few. His work has made an important contribution in the minimalist movement, which led up to the postmodern era.

Erenberg’s videos will be screened next year at the Filmforum’s Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945 – 1980, as part of the Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 – 1980.  “I wouldn’t call myself a video artist or filmmaker. I’m just an artist who makes films, and works in video, books, and painting. Some artists just work in one media solely without changing, but I change.”

Here we present a video on his latest exhibit, Mementos, and other recent works, and hear how his thoughts and life undergird the creation of his work.  “I think my work is more like Barnet Newman’s work because my work is amorphous and transparent like Newman’s work, but I don’t get into a spiritual state before I start work, you know.”

For additional information please visit Erenberg’s website.


Forti on All Fours

Filed under: Bookshelf,Ecalendar,Events,Exhibitions,mp — veronica @ 11:38 am


Simone Forti will perform Sleep Walkers and Striding Crawling, based on her animal movement studies of the 1970s. She will also perform an improvisational News Animation. Forti is joined by French dancer Claire Filmon. Sound by Peter Van Riper.

In conjunction with “The Artist’s Museum” exhibition

Moca Grand Avenue
250 S. Grand Ave.
LA, CA 90012
INFO 213-621-1736 or

FREE: please RSVP to

The Box Gallery
977 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213 625 1747

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