Brandi Milne art exhibition opening August 19th in Los Angeles

Don’t miss painter Brandi Milne’s art exhibit which begins this month at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. The opening reception will be held on August 19th from 7-11 pm.

Milne is a self-taught artist and was born in the late '70s in Anaheim, California. Growing up close to Disneyland had a large impact on her imagination. She was constantly surrounded by classic cartoons, crayons, coloring books, candy, and Disney, which all became influences on her paintings. Milne’s paintings portray a surreal, candy-filled world that reflects emotions such as love, heartbreak, and pain.

Milne has displayed her work all over the world and has been featured in Hi Fructose and Bizarre Magazine. Milne has also has two books of her work published. If you live in LA, don’t miss your chance to attend the exhibit and take a look into the unique, fantastical world that Milne has created.

Photo of Brandi Milne by Jessica Louise Read the rest

Stepping into the trippy, sensational world of artist Bonethrower

Last Saturday on August 5th, the LA venue Rhabbitat held a special release party for the limited edition Adidas Skateboarding x Bonethrower footwear and apparel collection and gave people a chance to step into the trippy, sensational world of artist Bonethrower. Put together by Juxtapoz Magazine and Adidas Skateboarding, the event featured otherworldly sculptures, statues, and paintings by Bonethrower that seemed to come to life through changing, colorful lights and a funky DJ.

Bonethrower was at the event and gave away Adidas Skateboarding x Bonethrower shirts as well as signed posters and skate decks. I had a moment to speak with Bonethrower, who told me that he wants people to have fun when they see his art and to interpret his work in their own way. His art was super fun and psychedelic to be surrounded by for an entire night. One of my favorite pieces at the event was an alien-like throne that people could sit in and put on masks. It was so cool to see everyone interacting and hanging out on this art piece. Be sure to also check out the 200th issue of Juxtapoz magazine which features Bonethrowers’ art.

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The haunting art of Annie Owens

Artist Annie Owens’ exhibition titled “A Place Worth Knowing” will be on display at La Luz De Jesus gallery in LA from August 4th-28th. If you can’t make it to the gallery, you should definitely check out her work on her website here.

Annie’s watercolor paintings are delicately haunting. They simultaneously look like antique photographs and scenes out of an eerie fantasy world. Her work features desolate landscapes and floating houses. The women in her paintings are isolated, ghostlike, and almost appear to be translucent. Here is an excerpt from Annie’s artist’s statement about “A Place Worth Knowing”:

As one of my favorite authors Algernon Blackwood put it, “No place worth knowing yields itself at sight, and those the least inviting on first view may leave the most haunting pictures upon the walls of memory.”...Taking my queues from Blackwood’s quote, “A Place Worth Knowing” allegorically speaks to our habit as humans of turning away from the seemingly unknowable in ourselves and in others. Preferring to view the strange and unusual from a safe distance in much the same way mysterious and unexplored mountain ranges appear daunting and unreachable – opting to observe rather than to interact.

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Family bought a Warhol Brillo Box for $1000, traded it, then learned it sold for $3 million

On Sunday I saw the screening of Brillo Box (3¢ Off) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The 40-minute documentary was written/directed by Lisanne Skyler and will air on HBO on August 7th. The film tells the story of an Andy Warhol “Brillo Box (3¢ Off)” sculpture that Skyler’s parents bought in 1969 for only $1000, and traded shortly after for another piece of art. The same Brillo Box recently sold for 3 million dollars. When Skyler was a child, her father enclosed the sculpture in Plexiglas and her family basically used it as a coffee table.

In Skyler’s director’s statement, she talks about the drastic change in value of the sculpture: “I was fascinated by this stunning turn of events and wondered about all of the personal decisions that had shaped its journey. What was the role it played in other lives, and what secrets did it hold about my own family?” Skyler’s questions about the box are answered in the film through footage of the Warhol Factory scene, interviews with her parents who spent their lives buying and trading art, and a look into the rapidly changing art world that Skyler witnessed first hand as she grew up.

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Graham Nash is auctioning off his Robert Crumb original art collection

Graham Nash, the singer-songwriter who is known for being a member of the rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash, is currently auctioning off a variety of original pieces by countercultural cartoonist Robert Crumb on the website Heritage Auctions. Robert Crumb played a key role in the underground comix movement of the 1960s. He founded Zap Comix, which was the first successful underground comix publication. Crumb is known for his provocative content, iconic characters such as Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural, and crosshatched drawing style. From Goldmine:

The top prize among the Nash’s offering of art by master Robert Crumb likely will be a dramatic Robert Crumb Zap Comix #1 Cover Original Art (1967), which carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000 and up. The image is a perfect example of Crumb’s refusal to hold anything back, with the word “Zap” being written across the top in electrified lettering over the image of a nude man being jolted through a cord attached to an electrical outlet. The image was intended by Robert Crumb to be on the cover of Zap No. 1.

You can also find Crumb's original paintings, comic strips, and sketches in the auction lot. I believe that Crumb is one of the best artists of all time, and owning some of his original pieces would be the coolest thing ever. If you can afford it, place a bid while you can!

Image: Crumb's original art for Fritz the Cat sold for $717,000 in a Heritage Auction in 2017 Read the rest

These trippy videos are designed to entice you to purchase eyewear

Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck has paired up with the Russian eyewear company FakbyFak to create fashion videos for the release of his new eyewear line “Toy Glasses.” The three videos are named Brutal Love, Total Liquidity, and Self Destruction. Out Magazine explains that the films are “a demonstration of what would likely happen to our Sims if they were left to their own devices in an artsy sex dungeon with a bunch of acid...Beirendonck's videos employ the talents of performance artists Maria Forque, Salvia and Liza Keane, and are styled in 3D animations created by visual artists Claudia Maté, Ines Alpha and Jennifer Mehigan. They're influenced by a combination of '70s punk subcultures, Alice In Wonderland and bizarre makeup techniques”.

Wonderfully strange and psychedelic, Beirendonck’s films warp the viewer's reality and urge them to question the nature of their own perception. From Out:

These 3D spaces speak to Walter Van Beirendonck’s interest in utopias—the need to dream in order to not only escape reality but to challenge it. In doing so they ask us to break free from the mind-forged chains of convention we weigh ourselves down with day to day.

Beirendonck’s conceptual ideas behind the film make me think of Timothy Leary’s philosophy that helped define '70a counterculture; to break away from the rigid conformity that plagues so much of society and to think for oneself.

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Pop surrealist artist Mark Ryden designed these dreamy costumes for the American Ballet Theater’s "Whipped Cream"

The iconic pop surrealist artist Mark Ryden designed the costumes and set for the American Ballet Theater’s Whipped Cream. From an interview with Juxtapoz magazine about the ballet, Ryden stated that “The whole time I worked on it, I had in mind that I would also have an exhibition of my paintings and drawings from the project.” The last showing of the ballet took place yesterday in NYC, but Ryden’s dreamy art from the production will on display at the Paul Kasmin Gallery until July 21st.

Images: By Mark Ryden/of Paul Kasmin Gallery.

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Artist Hellen Jo's badass skate deck

Check out this rad skate deck illustrated by Hellen Jo. She lives in LA and makes bad-ass comic books and zines. LA Weekly stated that “Her zines show teenage girls in everyday scenes (like chilling at the skate park) but also in more violent settings.” The illustration on the deck is from one of Hellen's zines. “The scene comes from Frontier #2, a work filled with 32 full-color pages of troublemaking youths unleashed on the world.”

I met Hellen at the Giant Robot store in Los Angeles while she was signing the decks. I’m really into comic book art, and Hellen’s punky style of illustration stood out to me right away. You can buy one of Hellen’s decks at the Giant Robot store, in person or online.

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A book of the beautiful street signs in Paris

I don’t know if anyone knows the magnificent signs of Paris as extensively as Louise Fili. For over 40 years the American-born graphic designer roamed the “City of Lights,” documenting and photographing the signs that bring life and expression to the streets of Paris. The signs that grace Parisian cafes, boutiques, hotels, patisseries, the Métro, etc. are spectacular works of art, from Nouveau and deco to modern and pop. Thankfully Fili has preserved the images of these graphic masterpieces, as already some of the signs in this book no longer exist. As an art student myself, Graphique de la Rue is a brilliant book of eye candy that inspires me every time I open it.

Graphique de la Rue by Louise Fili Princeton Architectural Press 2015, 264 pages, 6.8 x 9.5 x 1.2 inches $26 Buy one on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Make super cute fabric pins with Sukie Button Factory

I’m 18 and still have so much fun sitting at my kitchen table doing arts and crafts. One of my favorite craft kits I own is an awesome and simple pin-making kit called the Sukie Button Factory. This kit makes it easy to create adorable fabric-covered pins. It comes with 25 pin backs and fronts, fabric with many different cute and colorful designs, a button-covering mold and pusher, a fun zine-like instruction book, and a template to help you cut the fabric (I added felt to my kit, which I’m going to experiment with). All you have to do is cut out the circle of fabric that you like and attach it to the button and pin using the mold and pusher. It’s super easy, fun, and addictive. Of course you can use your own fabric when making the pins. The finished pins can be attached to birthday cards, on clothes, backpacks, shoes, and anything else you can think of.

Sukie Button Factory by Chronicle Ages 9 and up, makes 25 pins $12 Buy a copy on Amazon Read the rest

Slingshots are perfect for shooting zombie targets and tin cans on a nice summer day

The Trumark slingshot is perfect for shooting targets, tin cans, or across the backyard. What makes it special is its very comfortable wrist brace, which gives me a lot of control while aiming. Holding the slingshot becomes effortless, and the wrist brace takes all the strain off my arm, making it easier to focus on aim, rather than struggling to hold the slingshot in place while pulling the pocket back at the same time. Whenever I use this slingshot I’m always surprised at how fast an hour flies by. I recommend buying some cool targets to practice on, such as the Zombie Spinning Targets, which is what I have (and have to share with my sister, who has banged it up with her BB gun). As for ammo, I've been using Trumark's 5/8" steel balls, but pebbles work fine and are more environmentally friendly (once I run out of these I'm going on a pebble hunt). Of course an adult should always be present while kids are using the slingshot.

Trumark Slingshot Trumark Slingshots Ages 12 and up $9 Buy one on Amazon

Zombie Spinning Target Crosman $15 Buy one on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun. Read the rest

Beastly Verses By Lewis Carroll, William Blake, D.H. Lawrence and other timeless poets

Beastly Verse is Joohee Yoon's beautifully illustrated children’s book of poems about animals on wonderfully thick, textured paper.

Each short poem, by classic authors such as Lewis Carroll, William Blake, D.H. Lawrence, and Carolyn Wells, is accompanied by a playfully silly illustration, many which pull out to create a three-page spread. And yet many of the poems, which are as whimsical as the beastly images, are also layered with a deeper meaning of nature and life itself. This is one of those books that adults will savor as much as – if not more than – the children who own it.

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

The Portlandia Activity Book

Inspired by the hilarious and quirky TV show Portlandia, The Portlandia Activity Book, written by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and Jonathan Krisel includes all kinds of Portland-related activities, tests and advice, such as a “Build Your Own Chore Wheel,” conversation starter cards, conversation stopper cards, fashion tips, bird stencils, silly word games, and more. Read the rest

Boing Boing interviews Best Coast

[Video Link] I like the band Best Coast because listening to them makes it feel like a California summer no matter what season it is. They have a great new album out, called The Only Place.

Last week my friend Ava and I interviewed them at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, a couple of hours before they performed. Our friend Maureen Herman (the bass player for Babes in Toyland) shot and co-edited the video. Read the rest

Shag's swinging Palm Springs art gallery (and Shag swag giveaway!)

Last weekend I went to Shag the Store in Palm Springs, California. A variety of art pieces by Shag were for sale, along with paintings up for a charity auction by artists who painted live at Coachella. Handbags, art books, home décor, and other items were also being sold. It was fun to walk around and view the art. You should definitely check it out if you’re in Palm Springs! (See below for Shag swag giveaway details). Read the rest

Trip report: My Little Pony Project with customized ponies by Mark Mothersbaugh and others

On Saturday I went to the My Little Pony Project event at Toy Art Gallery on Melrose, and it was very fun! Check out the art gallery. Many well-known and pop surrealist artists painted large-scale ponies, and they were put on display. Read the rest