Some raw photography and mixed media from Sasha Kurmaz of the Ukraine.
Gordon Holden has immediately caught our attention. After seeing all of his art we were even more intrigued. What the hell is going through his head when he’s doing his art? We sense a sarcastic humour seeping out of his collages, but the simplicity and thoughtfulness of his work causes us to think twice about his intention.
Gordon’s art is amazing, and combine his designs with apparel and you have some of the best tees we’ve come across. We asked Gordon to talk about them a bit. “The tees are for the most part, pop culture derived. there has, is, and always will be some sort of obsession people have with pop culture. Maybe i do too, and if you can buy a piece of the culture you desire to associate with in the form it something practical then that is the best business. Trends and fads are exciting, mysterious and questionable, but I have always seen the tshirt thing separate from my art. I dont know why, art and fashion are 2 different things and often times get confused with one another. I think thats all i have to say about that.”
This is the kind of shit that get’s us fired up!!! The thought that goes on behind the art, the concept that brings the artist to the point of creating the tee, or the painting, or the collage. Gordon we can’t get enough of your style and what we think you represent. The raw nature of your designs inspire the shit out of us and we are huge fans. Go buy a tee from his online store, or go visit his site.
Jetter Green doesn’t really give us an address when we go to visit him, instead he tells us to continue down a road and go left at the fork and follow it until it ends. I have not yet met Jett or seen his home. I imagine that at the end of this road, there will be a mysterious dark house with an old man walking out to greet us an old unhinged door will slam closed behind him. My reason for this assumption; Jett’s art seems to be generated from an ancient soul who has lived long enough to watch the galaxy’s shift. As we reach the house, my misconception couldn’t be more wrong. The house is breathtaking and so perfectly nestled among large trees in a canyon that looks out into a rocky hillside. My first glimpse of Jett proves me wrong yet again as he is young, handsome, with a big smile that welcomes us warmly. His energy however, is that of someone who has lived and has done so aware and open, rather than closed and disconnected.
Jett grew up in San Diego, CA and actually went to the same school as his wife Sarah and her Sister. He and Sarah lived in Leucadia right next to the ocean, which seems to be a pivotal inspiration for his artwork. The ocean, the sky, endless forests, and far away planets find themselves drifting in between his staggeringly detailed pieces. He works as a graphic designer for his own company called Outlier Creative and an artist from his home office which is as humble as he is.
We spend time with Jett for a while talking to him about his art and his processes and his inspiration. Nature seems to be a very significant factor, and teamed up with a deep knowledge of composition and color and his extraordinary imagination, his creative process and his art flourishes. Due to the psychedelic nature of his work, I ask him jokingly if he smokes or anything while he works, and he reply’s simply, “No, I don’t need to, I have music and my imagination.”
His support system is one that any artist would be envious of. His wife Sarah has to be one of the sweetest most present, happy people I have met in a long time. Her energy, like Jett’s is positive and focused, yet alive and dreamy. They share an identical tattoo, a turtle with a peace sign for a shell. I wonder what the connection is, and if they got it together, although it wouldn’t surprise me if they both had them before they met. As Jett works Sarah sits in a chair off to the side watching him from over his shoulder. Her eyes sparkle watching him, and the love and respect she has for his work is obvious. Carla, Sarah’s sister, is a huge fan as well and I love hearing her talk about her brother-in-law’s work. She knows her favorites and the title’s of the pieces as well by heart.
Overall Jett’s work speaks for itself and to see a piece at full size is truly an experience. Jett has started to print on wood, metal, and even light boxes, he tells us about how the colors change as they find themselves on different mediums. I encourage you all to visit his site and take some time looking through the work he has featured. In the video below you will also get a sneak peak at a work that hasn’t been seen by anyone besides his close friends. In my personal opinion it is one of my favorites. I am of course a huge fan of his art, but after spending time with Jett, I find that is only one of many aspects about him that is special. Spend an hour with him and you will get to know someone who has a knowledge and love for art and design far beyond his years. Someone who has an appreciation for a simple life and who is truly aware of his surroundings. Someone who is just beginning his journey and whom we will follow into the depths of the worlds he creates, as each one is a new reflection of our planet and the one’s we haven’t reached yet and maybe will only walk on in our dreams.
“I’m so far down the path that I can’t go back even if i wanted to. Life grants us a series of opportunities and those opportunities come with a price. I can’t stop, I’ve backed myself into a corner.”
These are the opening words in Ian Ruhter’s new video illustrating the early stages of his journey. The first few scenes lead you into a deep dark world emulating that of an addiction at its highest magnitude; a series of chemicals are mixed by a hooded figure as he works to create a perfect chemical reaction.
His project is honest, his work is inspiring – Ruhter demonstrates the human soul at its highest capacity, when one has found that passion and connection to something, enabling them to take their truest form and surpass everything else.
“It’s about doing what you love. If you had been searching your whole life for something you love, and you found it, what would you be willing to sacrifice?”
All images courtesy of Ian Ruhter Photography.
words by Dulce Martinez
For 17 days, the Geffen extension of LA’s MOCA transformed into an intersection of art, music, food, and literature. This Mercedes Benz sponsored festival is the second installment of their Transmission Project, curated in LA by the brilliant Mike D of Beastie Boys fame. Each festival in the series is curated by an expert in the creative industry who is asked to focus on their own personal view of avant garde. The free event opened with 17 exhibits and performances in various disciplines and attracted over 30,000 people in its run.
(You can see the list of artists, musicians, insiders guide, and blog here)
The set-up was incredible. The outside of the Geffen was transformed into an indoor/outdoor space with hanging bistro lights and picnic tables over a rainbow painted platform. After grabbing a glass of wine and a delicious taco trio from Chef Roy Choi’s Kogi Truck, I went inside the museum to find wonderfully trippy audio/video installations, photography, and sculptures from some truly exciting artists.
Outdoor Stage, pre-performance
To experience the Ben Jones exhibit, you walked through a rear projection laser tunnel to a room that displayed an 8-bit video. Designed be experienced as a video game, the room was in constant movement. All of the walls simulated a speeding road in motion with the sun rising and morphing into the moon. It was very stimulating, reminding me a bit of Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner. It also felt very interactive, even though it wasn’t, really. I mean, you’re just standing there feeling ‘motion.’ As my favorite MOCA docent Joan said, “Do you suppose that was the point?”
Laser rear projection tunnel.
Lowe and Freeman “Explore the ascent and descent of societal institutions, consumerism psychosis and media saturation.”
Even though I was already amped up, who can refuse a pop-up espresso bar? This treat of an installation boasted a crack-infused blend of Miscela d’oro beans…my new favorite thing! After drinking up a very strong red-eye (no Splenda or skim milk here, amigos) I headed outdoors for the Aloe Blacc concert.
This pic (via Chinashop Mag) gives some context of the bar in relation to the space (and the pinwheels) Note: the bar had a moat surrounding the perimeter where you could race motorboats. Whilst there, 6 little girls squealed with delight manning the remote controls as their impossibly hip mothers drank macchiatos.
The crowd’s energy was happy and vibrant. All ages, all colors, little kids with their moms, dudes tripped out, corporate types, hipsters, surfers- it was the typical eclectic downtown LA mix.
Now onto the music. I was familiar with his jam “I Need a Dollar” from HBO’s “How to Make it in America,” so I was curious to see how Aloe Blacc would do live. I am happy to report that my expectations were truly exceeded on all fronts.
As soon as Aloe took the stage, he looked and sounded great and conveyed easy warmth to the audience. Overall high marks for great presence. His sound is powerful, and he reads like a lovechild between Bill Withers, Otis Redding and WAR with a touch of newness, a la John Legend. I’d love to see him do something with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings…they’d be a great compliment to one another and already draw a lot of parallels both in the themes found within their lyrics and instrumental arrangements. It was a full stage. Aloe was accompanied by a full band, complete with a saxophonist, trumpet player, and DJ, all who rocked it with impressive solo’s throughout the night.
While Aloe was definitely waxing optimistic, it was contagious. His music is hopeful and his conviction is comes through strongly.
Aloe Blacc and I.
The set (comprised mostly of songs from Good Things) was emotionally layered. You listen to his music, and want to move…your head, your shoulders, whatever…but as you start to really listen you’re compelled to identify with the lyrics. You’re-pissed-you’re-broke, but you get-over-it-because-you’re-in-love, tapping your foot all the while. He later improvised some reggae, asked the crowd to form a soul train, and I got down.
I enjoyed the whole experience so much that I went back on Saturday for Major Lazer and Diplo. (un/forgettable/real/believable fucking awesomeness).
All of the musicians I saw this weekend did tributes to the late great MCA, which gave a touch of solemnity but felt sincere, reverent, yet celebratory at the same time.
All in all a fucking slam dunk of a Fri/Sat night in Little Tokyo.
My only regret is that I didn’t write this sooner…the festival ended Saturday.
Pitchfork has a great interview with Mike D here
Learn more here:
by Dulce Martinez
Trains are badass. If you’ve never been on one, I strongly suggest taking a little trip somewhere. If it’s been awhile, it’s time to get back on track (pun intended). I took a little jaunt from LA to Solana Beach and was reminded that train travel is not only efficient, convenient and cheap, but also insanely fabulous. Maybe I feel this way because I’m a sucker for Agatha Christie novels. Or perhaps it’s because fell in love with Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged as a young girl. Or maybe because I took the train with my mom to Chicago from Indianapolis every year for 15 yrs. Possibly because I met one of my favorite friends on the Eurostar a few Summer’s ago. Doesn’t matter the reason, the point is simple. I love trains. I think you’ll love them as well. Next week (May 12th) is National Train Day. Do your wallet and the planet a favor and treat yourself to a trip! Check out times/routes on Amtrak’s website here. Below, I’ve posted some photos from the journey to enjoy as well as my favorite ‘train’ songs (no, not the band), hope something inspires you to get on board.
And now a few from the fantastic village of Solana Beach.