Fearful Symmetries by Bogdan Dumitrica

Bogdan Dumitrica’s series Fearful Symmetries is an inviting collection of oil paintings renditions on paper of natural organic remains. Exhibiting at Los Angeles Artcore Center for the Arts, his series consists of fifteen 44”x 30” artworks. Dumitrica received his Master of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Los Angeles in 2001. In 1995 he was awarded the Art Matters Foundation Grant. He has exhibited at international art biennials in Egypt and Korea with his ceramic works.  His art has traveled across the United States and Europe exhibiting his creative endeavors.

An admirer of classical contemporary music and literature, Dumitrica draws inspiration for his most recent artwork from composer John C. Adams’s 1988 animated and expressive musical with the same title of the exhibition; Fearful Symmetries

Pinned directly to the exhibiting walls with no interlocutor in between, Dumitrica’s organic depictions of decomposed cactus leaves, branches and fibrous natural objects spatially navigate between negative space and the projection of weightlessness.The void surrounding the organic images allow him to develop a three-dimensional illusion on a two dimensional flat plain. His chosen color scheme are desert warm subtle off-whites, ochre, light greens and grays with gentle strokes of amber. The minuscule details of the crevasses and contours enhance the aging state of each painted. The journey of decay and weathering are for Dumitrica, the documentation of accumulated time recycling itself through an organic process.  

In Dumitrica’s work, the organic found objects have acquired a binary connection with the inorganic manmade objects. His Pistolero series one through five, paintings of dried wood branches can be seen as inorganic renditions of antique pistols. A second painting of a dried out, long extensive curled leaf simulates a propeller. The same can be said of a decomposing desert flower titled Stellar Regions that resembles the mapping of a star constellation.

With Egyptian Forms Dumitrica captures the beautiful cylindrical forms of Egyptian rural bird houses build of mud. The use of natural elements in the construction of the birdhouses releases, at first sight, a mystery and wonder. There is a scene of pleasure in viewing the birdhouses in a most natural state.

The idea of appearing, disappearing and recycling reveal a process of existence in a world that is constantly fusing and un-fusing. His low profile double play with organic and inorganic materials and forms unveil a connection between cultural symbols and daily use objects. Time is of the essence in this series, it is the main character that gives identity and meaning to his work. Dumitrica brings out the beauty in decay. He also poses a question between finite and the infinite. The endlessness of time dissipates with coming of erosion and the cycles of all the weathering elements.

The sense of suspension in his paintings can be compared to that our planet suspended in a universe constantly remaking itself, while the negative space questions natural weathering vs. the unnatural and manmade decomposing ways of destruction.

John C, Adams’s composition Fearful Symmetries is a revealing musical that ties in very well with Dumitrica’s paintings. Both question life. Both reveal the mechanical material objects and the impact it has on our daily lives. Dumitrica exposes our time as a minute moment of existence with the hopes it can reflect a more harmonic revelation of what we produce and what we become.

 

Jimmy Centeno

Writer

Jimmycntno@gmail.com

December 14,2017

At Any Cost: Revealing the Cost by Carla Viparelli

At Any Cost: Revealing the Cost by Carla Viparelli

At Any Cost is the title of artist Carla Viparelli exhibition at the L.A Artcore Brewery Annex. The electrifying and provocative title puts the perils faced by migrants from the global south who seek refuge and a better life in rich countries situate in the global north. This exhibition at the Brewery Annex ends her four month residency in Los Angeles California. Viparelli’s multidisciplinary career extends from a Master in philosophy from Naples University in Italy to international art workshops around the world.

 At Any Cost originally began as a video Installation which later turned into painted canvases. The exodus and departure from the global south is best depicted by Viparelli’s archeological approach of unearthing to rediscover and reveal an old and ancient practice by all prior cultures and civilizations; migration.

 Viparelli’ series touches on three aspects of her exhibition, The Myth, The History and The Present by simulating ancient fragments of Roman clay pottery as her springboard to an open conversation on today’s migration. The juxtaposition between pottery fragments decorated with ancient pictorial patterns along silhouettes of children, men and women exposes the search and journey of migrants in a state of uncertainty. There is an ambiguity as to how migrants will be viewed either with suspicion or apprehensiveness or with benevolent eyes from the north can reveal embedded myths and stereotypes. Through this metaphor Viparelli draws a closer examination via the arts on a heated subject that is often demonized and misunderstood.

Her animated video installation projects a shadow of a voyaging ship onto the bottom surface of what simulates the base of an ocean floor.  The shadows cast rowing arms thrusting across a body of water with fragments of scattered clay pottery. The faceless images of unknown people are stamped by the magnifying sun at the bottom of an ocean. Viparelli brings to light the concealed and invisible faces in search of a landing they can call home.

Viparelli’s work is active and an engaging philosophical dialogue that attempts to piece together a fragmented narrative between western perceptions of otherness and the contributing colonial factors that have more than often impeded the global south its own self determination. This exhibition is an interdisciplinary act that questions current world affairs and its collective responsibility to bring to evidence the push and pull factors that have forced thousands to flee their home.

It is a timely exhibition during xenophobic reactions in Europe with the arrival of migrants and refuges from the Middle East and Africa, and anti-immigrant legislation in the United States with the building of a wall along the border between The United States and Mexico. Viparelli’s art is a sensitive response to an urgent historical moment that seeks to make sense of it all. 

                                                                                                                                                           

Jimmy Centeno

Writer

jimmycntno@gmail.com

November 30, 2017

 

 

Heavenly Maiden and Daily Practices by Wakana Kimura

Artist Wakana Kimura is an MFA graduate of Otis College of Art and Design and has a BFA from Tokyo University of Fine Arts. Her Exhibition at the L.A Artcore Center in Little Tokyo presents her most recent mixed media visual narrative series: Heavenly Maiden and Daily Practices on paper. Originally from Japan, Kimura now resides in Los Angeles CA. She’s recently been awarded the Cultural Trailblazers Fellowship Award by The Department of Cultural Affair of Los Angeles and is currently exhibiting artwork at the Los Angeles Union Station Metro public art program: Through the Eyes of Artists.

Her daily art ritual begins with a series of what she calls Daily Practice consisting of small intimate drawings. This series is a meditation of spontaneous practices of short washes consisting of multiple colors brushed and dotted abstract patterns on 4”x6” paper. For Kimura, such practice is a way to keep the hand rhythmically tuned and exercised for larger pieces that measure up to 35 feet long. Daily Practices are instant flashes of interactions between simple and beautiful unforeseen shapes with a fluidity that radiates a sense of tranquility and inner peace.  This practice is the birth that inspires her larger calligraphy style paintings.

The main centerpiece of her Heavenly Maiden series is a large 77”x98” mixed media painting on washi paper roll Titled: Nirvana/The death of Buddha, 2017. This piece commemorates the passing of Buddha’s life on earth to the ultimate afterlife goal of an enlightenment being also known as nirvana. The spiritual leader’s death took place 2500 hundred years ago on February 15 under a silvery moon which is depicted in the painting. Buddha is seen in a state of serenity no longer living the negation of desires that bring much suffering. It is a scene surrounded by mourners, men, woman, elders, and animals in grief witnessing the departure of Buddha to nirvana. The spiritual leader left behind all privileges of royalty while seeking the true purpose of life. It is done with watercolors, markers, and Sumi ink, in midnight blues layered between reds, pinks, violets and small hints of gold. Kimura is very much interested in looking at the different interpretations of Buddha’s Nirvana departure by other artists beginning in India spreading through diverse regions of Asia and other places across the world. In this particular piece Kimura shares the translucent overlap process that reveals her approach and technique.  She assembles the narrative of Buddha’s death with expressive imagery and patterns done with quick short and longs wide brushstrokes of paints that swim in every possible direction.  

Kimura brings a refreshing Japanese heritage in this body of work. It is a combination between contemporary styles and traditional methods. It is here were she reveals the magic at the end of every brushstroke she performs on paper. Kimura captures in her art a spontaneous process between beauty and the mystery behind the constant change of life. She adds energy to the visual experience that can center at any given point without losing sight of the total sum of lines, curves, and shapes invested in every artwork she creates.

Jimmy Centeno

Writer

November 30, 2017

jimmycntno@gmail.com

 

 

 

 Hiroko Yoshimoto’s Biodiversity Expressions

Biodiversity #17 - 30"x80" Oil on Canvas 2012

Biodiversity #17 - 30"x80" Oil on Canvas 2012

 

Inspired by the making of nature and its millennial contribution in creating what we know as the biodiversity that lives and breathes amongst us all is the point of inspiration for Hiroko Yoshimoto. She was born and raised in Japan before moving to Los Angeles.  She studied in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) graduating with a BA and MA in Art.  She has exhibited throughout the state of California and Japan.

Her most recent exhibit series, Biodiversity presented at L.A. Artcore in Downtown Los Angeles brings forth the unseen relevance of nature to our existence. Yoshimoto’s work draws from reading American Biologist E.O. Wilson who emphasizes the importance of diversity amongst the species and how through a mutually-inclusive understanding of the role each species plays, and its importance to preserve humanity. To save the natural diversity for Wilson is a fight for life.

Yoshimoto experiments her intuitive creativity on canvas. Her abstract paintings explore the multiple dimensions and layers found in the organic world. She is intrigued by the individual’s sensorial response to the concept of her paintings. The paintings are organic shapes in the process of unfolding in flight and movement. Her expressive input in this series done with kindness and reflection is a conversation with the biodiversity as a landscape of life. She selects a palate of colors that are soft and loud simultaneously. Her chosen medium is mostly oil on canvas. Yoshimoto’s canvases are detail-oriented and multilayered with no hard edges.  At times, her lines and curves interact in ways that draw patterns associated with nature: plants, birds, and butterflies. Yoshimoto’s emphasis pictures the micro inter-related activities of life growing and stretching its boundaries and limits.

Her process starts with doodling, intuition, and memory on paper then transitions and maps onto the canvas.  One can find no center nor a point of perception to win our attention to a specific area, instead she invites the viewer to explore in any direction. This body of work is unstructured expressions of micro-life amplified, from its concealment to visibility. Each brush stroke in her work is a response to the one before and the one after.

Yoshimoto’s watercolor on paper with Japanese ink merges in space, blending a dance of multiple encounters.  They are sound waves that move to the flow of her imagination, like a Sonata resonates with every pitch of color. Different shades of gray fuse creative tints and highlights. One stroke of ink by her hand allows the ink to take shape in any unpremeditated way. It is her means of sharing the spontaneity of life and imagination.

This body of work is playful and serious. It invites the viewer to celebrate all that we cannot imagine which is crucial to the biodiversity of our existence. The extinction of one creature or a plant by man’s destructive actions withers away our humanity. In this series with all its dimensions of communication bring the future in view in hopes that we come to understand what is at peril.

www.hiroyoshimoto.com

Jimmy Centeno

jimmycntno@gmail.com

 Writer and Artist

October 16, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renée Amitai's September Exhibit "Fly & Bloom"

Blue.jpeg

Architect and French Artist Renee Amitai exhibiting artwork at L.A. Artcore Brewery Annex in Downtown Los Angeles is an exciting culmination of oil on glass, canvas, and mono prints on Mylar. Amitai is a graduate from l'Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris, France. She gained professional experience in design and architecture in France, Israel, Italy and America. She is an international artist whose exhibited all over the world since the mid-1990's.

Her abstract oil series on glass Fly and Bloom recalls golden sunrises and deep blue hued dusks that are welcoming pauses of inspiration. Amitai’s paintings act borderless and timeless on glass that have no end but only beginnings. They inspire to imagine what it might mean to bloom and fly.  This series touches on subjects of growth, discovery and challenge prescribed notions of happiness. Her paintings unfold the mystery behind all acts of nature. She brings color to speak and engage with the spectator through a color combination that never ceases to share her most profound sentiments of hope, liberty and harmony. Her blue hues remind one of a Paris dusk performing the welcome ritual of a new start that comes with every sunrise. Her technique spreads across the canvas with the moving delicacy of a Ginkgo leaf engaging dancing the wind. Amitai’s work transmits sensitivity, simplicity and warmth.

She is playful, yet willing to challenge any obstacle that impedes blooming and flying. Her titles are poetic assemblages that gathered together become Haiku’s like her paintings; Gingko in the Wind, Gingko and a Bird, A Glorious Morning can be a New Beginning.

Jimmy Centeno

Artist and Writer

September 10, 2017

 

Barbara Kolo

Barbara Kolo's paintings on display at LA Artcore Gallery are made of movements and spaces. The style is uncluttered, but don’t mistake the spread of solid colors on either side of the canvas for any minimalist layout. At this point, the natural reaction of the viewer is to step forward, beckoned by lines that could be curved by some countryside zephyr. Slowly, it becomes clear that the frayed lines are in fact small, aligned dots, reminiscent of traditional designs of Native Australians, though the artist uses them her own different way.

Kolo’s work is rife with contrasts: utilizing both between modern and traditional techniques, she creates artwork standing on the edge of paradoxes. Blurring the limits between abstraction and figuration, dynamism and stillness, black and white, doted lines offers any number of distinct impressions.

Some of the abstract pieces can transport the viewer to a wild, unkempt grassland, beneath a chaotic horizon sketched by a raving seismograph, the ground and sky inverted like a photo negative. A closer look, with the painting occupying a viewer’s entire field of vision, reveals the artist’s patient and precise technique. It’s not a minimal two-color process at all, but rather an almost pointillist application of numerous colored dots, some plotted with rigorous exactitude and others spattered on the canvas with seeming spontaneity: all these multiple and varied spots working together in harmonic rhythm.
 
Kolo’s work is about distance and the movement it requires to be traversed. Put a point at the end of a sentence and it ends the sentence. Now put three points at the end of the same sentence to suggest continuity… She puts a thousand, a million points providing the dynamism it needs to blur the boundaries between things, like a landscape seen by a passenger through the window of a speeding train, or the twilight fading in and out in by the movement of the Earth.

The dot is Kolo’s aesthetic master key; she utilizes it to find a link between the great and the small when dots are randomly applied to compose… a larger dot. The fractal is among the most powerful and mysterious phenomena of the natural world; zooming in and out through different levels of Kolo’s fractalized composition creates a vertiginous self-reflection of her aesthetic vocabulary -- the sacred geometry of her own point of view. Thus, Kolo’s artwork celebrates natural world, depicting more the forces and the rhythms that motion it than its external aspects. This is how the artist demonstrates her profound understanding of nature -- what Kandinsky would call her “inner necessity.”

When the artist utilizes her distinctive technique for more figurative expression, flowers grow from a Rorschach action painting burst with saturated colors, depicting a life that would never be still. Points, dots, and spots in a multitude of sizes and colors, are so vibrant you could drown in their "farandole".

Stepping back and forth seems the best way to explore Kolo’s work. Her mesmerizing painting demands the eyes to pay attention to the big picture as much as the details. Like one could see the entire forest inside the patterns of a single leaf, the parts shaping the whole and vice versa, the multiplicity leading to unity…

Achille Morio

JAE HWA YOO

NEWLY FORMAL

One of the readiest characteristics of Jae Hwa Yoo’s art has been its rugged informality. She has covered canvases with marks, scuffs, small notations, and other visual (and occasionally actual) detritus and then, in her large works at least, has hung them up unstretched or even plopped them down on the floor like worn, abandoned blankets. For the series she recently showed at LA Artcore Union Center, however, Yoo has ordered her painted objects into something that might seem superficially more conventional, but in actuality is as radical as any of her previous work. It just happens to be radical in an evidently structured way, exactingly formal and minimizing (without suppressing) the effects of chance.

One can regard these newer paintings of Yoo’s, tidily stretched and framed and with their markings clearly describing the motif of a square within a square within a square, as homage – direct in certain cases, indirect in others – to her sources and her forebears. She obliquely acknowledges minimalists and proto-minimalists such as Josef Albers, Sol LeWitt, and, most of all, Agnes Martin. She also recaptures the luminosity of light-and-space art in these pale, glistening canvases. But first and foremost, Yoo revisits the highly ordered minimalist method(s) of the Dansaekhwa painters. This important group of Korean minimalists, active as a group from the late 1960s until the early ‘80s (and as individuals since), has lately been coming to the attention of the West, with several important documentary and solo shows clarifying their historical significance. Yoo was influenced by Dansaekhwa before coming to Los Angeles, and with these paintings she recapitulates their reductive approach to painting and honors their retention of the traditional painterly plane – almost as a way of reclaiming the movement’s spirit for herself, however briefly and distantly, before it is engulfed in a global art history.

It would be unlike Yoo, however, to base a series of work entirely, or even predominantly, on such art-historical self-consciousness. She has produced these solemn, expansive paintings not simply to acknowledge the trajectory of minimalism, but to re-explore how its methods, at once rigid and self-effacing, can reveal a different facet of her own ongoing practice. Even as these new works seemingly deny Yoo’s tenet of informality, they reify, even amplify, her tenet of near-invisibility. As all her work does, this work treasures the mark as texture, as color, as location, and as rhythm, mapping a world of tiny events across a visual field. Only this time, the visual field faces us rather than fades from us.
Peter Frank                                                New York                                                June 2016   

Michael Flechtner

Written by:  Sheila Yusay

As a child, Michael Flechtner was always drawn to colored light.  He was fascinated by Christmas lights, stained glass windows of churches and stared at the large neon signs of the Midwest, where he grew up. 

It seems inevitable then that Michael would set out to learn the techniques of glass bending right after Art school, where he finished with a Masters Degree in Sculpture and Painting.  

It’s been 32 years, since Michael began drawing images that he transforms into sculptural renditions using glass and colored light -- a fragile medium that implores absolute focus.  “The process of heating glass becomes a meditative work, almost a Zen activity, where your only focus can be on the glass”, he says.  This highly technical art requires serious skill not only with shaping glass, but also knowledge of electrical components along with rare properties of gas – or, as Michael adds, “things can result to chaos”.

Yet his work, spanning from 1993-2015, radiates with playfulness and affection, very unlike neon’s sometimes-seedy reputation.  The piece entitled “Clifford”, features a three-dimensional neon animation of a dog on four wheels that one can actually pull by its cord.  Such whimsical motifs are what Michael hopes would elicit joy in the viewer.  “Neon can be glaring and obnoxious at first glance,” he explains, “and I try to be playful with it to invite you in”.

With this intent to cast humor into his creations, Michael juxtaposes his visual art with word play, a concept that results in light-hearted, alluring neon symbols and characters.  “Humor has always been a part of how I process -- how I live”, he says, “It helps diffuse any bad feeling I might have. When people discover the humor in my work, it becomes a cathartic process”.

Flashes of inspiration come as “seeds”, derived from societal icons and the seemingly ordinary learned experiences.  The piece called “ A Real M.F.” was borne out of a custom that tells us not to speak with our mouths full.  Ideas for the piece break out intuitively, one thought rolling to the next, like a stream of consciousness, flowing and boundless.  The sleepy monkey, with radioactive irises, eating a turkey drumstick, all appear like random, conflicting minutiae.

“It’s that sort of ambiguity that lets you interpose your own interpretation on the work”, Michael says of his subjects.   

It is within that ambiguous world of glowing tubes where Michael’s genius lies:  mingling image, humor and wit, with the delicacy of technique that is neon art.


Michael Flechtner lives and works in Van Nuys, California.  

In 2010, Michael was commissioned to design a postage stamp for the USPS known as the Celebrate! stamp.  

His public works can be seen in Tokyo, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.