Platinum Cheese is Moving on Up

A big thank you to all our fans for supporting Platinum Cheese at WordPress but the time has come to jazz things up a little so we are moving to our own domain at www.platinumcheese.com. 2010 was a great year and we have many more exciting articles and interviews planned for you in 2011. Hope you continue to enjoy all that Platinum Cheese and the Los Angeles art scene has to offer.

All the Best,
Stephanie

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There It Is @ Thinkspace featuring Brett Amory, Adam Caldwell and Seth Armstrong

Thinkspace kicked off 2011 in style on January 8th with an exhibition of new works by Oakland artists Brett Amory, Seth Armstrong and Adam Caldwell.    There It Is presents an exploration of the urban aesthetic from three unique points of view from Amory’s observational oil paintings to the history drenched collage style of Caldwell’s works to Armstrong’s surreal outlook on the world around us.

Also showing concurrently in the project room is Happy Valley, an exhibition of new works from Ireland based artist Paul Barnes in his first major solo exhibition in the States following numerous group show appearances with Thinkspace over the past  few years.

Enjoy the photos from opening night below, but be sure to check out the works in person if you’re in the neighborhood. There It Is sets an outstanding precedence for Thinkspace’s 2011 program that can only be described as showstopping. Exhibit runs until January 29th.

Posted in Adam Caldwell, Brett Amory, Opening Night, Paul Barnes, Seth Armstrong, Thinkspace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Cotton’s Candy World @ Michael Kohn Gallery

Cotton Candy Katy

New York artist, Will Cotton presents a new show of his candy-coated paintings at Michael Kohn Gallery on Friday, January 14th.  Known for his depiction of female nudes inhabiting a dreamy confectionary world of cotton candy clouds, candy cane forests and spumoni streams, Cotton’s latest solo exhibition begins to explore more specific characters with an interest in emotion and interior narrative. Focusing mainly on portraiture, Cotton’s new work features creamy skin models adorned in cupcake foil dresses and sugary tiaras created with the help of fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and pastry chef Dominique Ansel of Manhattan’s Restaurant Daniel. 

 

If one of the models look familiar, that’s because she’s pop star Katy Perry.  Perry says she met Cotton soon after emailing him to inquire about purchasing a painting.  “How about being in one of my paintings?”, was the artist’s response.  But Perry had a better idea and the two collaborated on an album cover (pictured above) along with a candyland style music video inspired by Cotton’s artwork.  Being artistic director of the iconic video, California Gurls, transformed Cotton into a pop-culture phenomenon.

 

Enjoy a few sneak peeks from the show below.  If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to check out the art in person. Show runs until February 26th, 2011.

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Platinum Cheese Year in Blogging (2010)

Happy New Year Everyone!  2010 has been an exciting year for Platinum Cheese and I wanted to share some blog data along with the 10 most popular posts from the year.   

It was no surprise to find The Date Farmers gracing the top 10 twice with their highly anticipated debut at Ace Gallery this past December. Armando and Carlos brought a lot of positive energy to the prestigious gallery on opening night and I only state the obvious when I say their exhibition was ‘well received’.  Other blog highlights were interviews from the unique voices of Carlos Ramos, Nouar and Annie Owens. I was pleasantly surprised to see that relative new-comer, Julian Callos garnered quite a bit of attention as well.  

Anyways,  take a look at the countdown below and I hope you continue to enjoy all that Platinum Cheese and the art scene has to offer!

  

Crunchy Numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

  

Top 10 Platinum Posts in 2010

1. 2010: A Visual Odyssey

Carlos Ramos delights and dazzles us as he pays homage to one of the most revered filmmakers in history with his retrospective, Kubrick.  Check out his interview 2010: A Visual Odyssey.

2. Retro Pop! Americana

With her exhibition Consumed By You, Nouar explores relationships of all forms and how we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in sticky situations.  Check out her interview Retro Pop! Americana.

3. Cleon Peterson’s Daybreak @ New Image Art Gallery

Cleon Peterson’s latest work tells a story of social justice and people striving to create a new utopia as he presents Daybreak at New Image Art.  Check out the opening night photos here at Cleon Peterson’s ‘Daybreak’ @ New Image Art Gallery.

4. Lowbrow Tarot Project @ La Luz de Jesus

The Lowbrow Tarot Project features 23 artists using their unique creative genius to depict the 22 Major Arcana (plus the card back) in the rugged glow of the lowbrow art movement.   Check out the artwork here.

5.  The Date Farmers @ Ace Gallery 

I wasn’t the only art enthusiast excited to hear of The Date Farmers upcoming exhibit at Ace Gallery. Check out the announcement here.

6. Things That Go Bump in the Night

 

Stunning artist and irrepressible horror fan Annie Owens has a flair for the macabre that dates all the way back to early childhood.  Check out her interview Things That Go Bump in the Night.

7. Crooked Comfort @ C.A.V.E Gallery

CRAWW’s new series of works is a stream of consciousness  rendering dreamlike portraits of brooding, melancholy girls.  The group exhibit presented evening highlights from Marie Barr’s expressions of self epiphany and Paul Chatem’s interactive folk inspired pieces. Check out the opening night photos here.

8. The Intrepid Explorer

Haven’t heard of Julian Callos? Don’t worry, you will soon.  This relative newcomer is turning heads with each new painting, and forging a style uniquely his own onto the Los Angeles art scene. Check out his interview The Intrepid Explorer.

9. The Date Farmers Celebrate the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence @ Ace Gallery

Their work is fresh and in keeping with what modernism has left us; the appropriation of found objects with aspects of collage. Check out the debut of the long-awaited exhibit by The Date Farmers here.

10. Opposites Attract

Chloe Early’s paintings are the stuff dreams are made of.  Fascinated by opposites, Chloe blends graceful figures with industrial elements against unfixed, seemingly boundless backgrounds, creating a utopian universe where the strange and wonderful collide.  Check out her interview Opposites Attract.

Posted in Ace Gallery, Annie Owens, Announcements, C.A.V.E Gallery, Carlos Ramos, Chloe Early, Cleon Peterson, Interview, Julian Callos, La Luz de Jesus, New Image Art Gallery, Nouar, Opening Night, The Date Farmers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where the Gentle Giants Are: The Art of Dan May

The Last To Know

“Only artist Dan May can make something so amorphous absolutely adorable. He creates creatures that look like an embryonic hybrid of Sendak’s ‘Wild Things’ and places them in illuminated worlds of fuzzy color.” ~Ruby Winkle

Platinum Cheese (PC): This past summer, you had a solo show entitled Into the Wild at Gallery 1988. What was the concept behind these new works?

Dan May (DM): It was essentially a more refined continuation of my previous work. The creatures and environments in my pieces have evolved a bit, and are influenced by things that are going on in my life at the moment, as well as the creative process that is ongoing in my mind. The creatures that I have been creating are a bit softer in texture and nature. I have also placed even more emphasis on the human and creature connection, as well as their emotional and spiritual connection with their environments.

PC: Your work is continuously evolving with more refined brushstrokes and luminous color palettes. Is there anything specific inspiring the progression?

DM: Not consciously. I am, however, trying to create the most delicate and detailed pieces that I can (in the amount of time I am given before shows), in order to evoke a strong connection between the viewer and each piece that I create. Prior to Into the Wild I spent some time exploring the works of the Romantic Era. Artists during that period had a beautiful way of capturing their luminous surroundings and creating an almost surreal effect with very realistic subject matter. There is a strong emphasis on emotion within these works. I’d like to think that a bit of this has rubbed off in my recent paintings. I hope to continue to push these elements in my work as I go forward.

The Persuasion of Penelope

PC: How do you go about choosing your color palette?

DM: I choose my color palette based on the concept that I have in mind, as well as the environment that I am going to be creating. The mood of the piece needs to be matched with the appropriate color palette in order to evoke the most emotional response to the viewer.

PC: Your artwork is rich with narratives thereby giving them a storybook quality that one can’t help but compare to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Did this particular book have any influence on shaping your illustrative style?

DM: Although not consciously, looking back I think that “Where the Wild Things Are” probably influenced my illustrative style in some way. Another author/illustrator that I am fond of is Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss was a big influence for me growing up. His creative and comical style was very inspiring. I felt as though I could really draw a connection to his characters, and although his narrative was a bit simple (yet brilliant), his artistic style really helped shaped his success and fan base. His books can’t help but put a smile on your face. I also remember reading quite a few of Mercer Mayer’s ‘Little Critters/Monsters’ as a kid and trying to draw my own versions of the characters that would appear in the books.

When the Music Ends

PC: It seems like a natural step to develop a book aimed at children while keeping the adult audience in mind. Have you given any thought to creating your own book with illustrations and storyline?

DM: I have given a book a lot of thought, and I can’t imagine not being part of a book within the next 5 years. My wife and I have created some story ideas, however the funding is always the trickiest part! I would, however, love to be paired with an author or present my work to book publishers (most likely a children’s/adolescent’s book) and see where things go. My wife and I will soon be moving to New York, so hopefully this is something I can begin to explore more aggressively!

PC: Sculpture seems like an organic next step as well. To see the melancholy monsters or human-like figures depicted in your works living outside of their paintings would be fantastic! Is that something we can look forward to?

DM: Yes, I’d love to explore sculpture at some point. I definitely envision it happening in the near future. I will see where things take me! My biggest obstacle right now is time and money, but not to worry, I see it in the future.

When Fear Gave Way to Frolic

PC: The majority of your exhibitions show mainly in Los Angeles. Any thoughts to moving West?

DM: Good question. We have given lots of thought to moving to Los Angeles. It seems as though every time we go there we toy with the idea. We have been wondering if NYC or LA would be better for us to end up for the past couple of years. The reason we chose NY, is that it feels more like home. We met in NY, and all of our immediate family is on the east coast. It’s a tough decision, but we figured that we could always travel a lot out to LA. Who knows, maybe one day we will have two places (east and west coast)! It’s wishful thinking, but we like to think big!

PC: Where do you find inspiration and influence on a daily basis?

DM: My influences and inspiration come from my day-to-day life. I’m going through some difficult times right now with my father being sick, and the importance of life is stronger than ever for me at the moment. My paintings allow me to escape, yet connect, with my inner feelings and thoughts. I’m very much influenced by the news and the changes in our environment as well. I listen to a lot of music and podcasts while painting… I’m sure that has some sort of influence on the work also.

Curious Dreamers Wander Thy Solitude

PC: Was anyone else in your family an artist and did they encourage your artistic talent?

My grandfather, who has now passed, was an artist and was very inspirational to me. He definitely encouraged my artistic pursuit.

PC: Which contemporary artists do you most admire and/or are inspired by?

DM: I enjoy and am inspired by anyone who is working hard as an artist today. I think it’s an exciting time to be an artist. Anyone who has the courage to create a work of art and put it out there for the world to enjoy, dissect and consume is alright in my book!

PC: If I were to spend the day with Dan, what could I expect?

DM: Staying up late and sleeping in! Ha. I work best when the rest of the world is asleep J. A typical day usually beings with checking emails, shipping off artwork, making phone calls, etc. (the uncreative stuff!). The day would most likely include an iced coffee or espresso as well. Where we live, I’d probably take you out to the beach and enjoy the nice weather for a bit… maybe grab some lunch. From there, the first painting session would begin. I’d take a short break for dinner, maybe catch a little TV if something good is on, and then it’s back to painting until the wee hours of the morning (3 or 4am).

Between You and Eye

PC: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

DM: My wife

PC: The one thing you can’t live with?

DM: Ignorant people

PC: What are you creating at the moment?

DM: I’m currently working on a series of new personal works. The work has a new and exciting energy to it, and I look forward to sharing it soon. Other than that, anyone out there looking for an illustrator for a children’s book… I’m all ears.

PC: What’s on the horizon for Dan?

DM: Having just wrapped up my first ‘Dragon*Con’ experience my wheels are once again rapidly spinning. I had the pleasure of spending time with some of the most prolific artists working today and it really gave me a creative jumpstart. I began examining where I’m at in my own career, and I’d really like to take things up a notch. Look for me to reach further within myself and bring certain elements in my work to the forefront.

Thanks Dan! For more info about Dan May and his artwork, visit DanMay.net.

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The Date Farmers Celebrate the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence @ Ace Gallery

The long-awaited exhibit by The Date Farmers opened to an enthusiastic crowd last Saturday, December 11th at Ace Gallery.  Comprised of Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez, The Date Farmers latest body of work continued their exploration of familiar pop iconography (ranging from Mickey Mouse, Playboy and Hello Kitty) along with elements of graffiti, tattoo art, Catholicism, Mexican street murals, and Californian desert creatures.   

Their work is fresh and in keeping with what modernism has left us; the appropriation of found objects with aspects of collage.  Often collecting discarded materials in the Coachella Valley to incorporate into their artwork, Armando and Carlos aren’t letting these objects  predict or overload their work, but rather allowing the materials to speak to them.  The result is a harmonious blend of California pop culture and Mexican-American iconography.

If you weren’t able to attend the opening, enjoy the pics below (and please excuse the abundance of them.  I couldn’t help myself.)!  If you’re in Los Angeles from now until February 2011, I highly recommend running over to Ace Gallery to view what I would dub the best contemporary art exhibit in 2010. 

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‘Round the Hood: Chelsea, New York

While gallery hopping in Chelsea, I stumbled upon this gem near the Jonathan LeVine Gallery.  A wheat-paste mecca that’s overwhelming to the senses.  Can anyone identify some of the artists?

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