Curated by Shana Nys Dambrot

LAAA Critique Group Exhibition

Online Artist Talk and Reception Saturday December 19, 2020 at 3-5 PM

Alexa Druyanoff

This body of work explores where I come from, who came before me, and who I am. Portraits of lost relatives connect me to the past. Through the process of creating, I have gotten to know them in a way that feels intimate. I form these relationships through careful rendering: by shading their faces and following the curves of their cheek bones. The drawing process creates an intimacy that was stolen by war and the passage of time. I revive and re-tell family stories from my own perspective. I see my artistic role as both recorder and interpreter.

L. Aviva Diamond

I create art that stems from my meditations and from searching for the sacred in everyday life. Before Covid-19, I photographed nature and saw the universe in crashing waves and bubbling streams. Now I stay home and see galaxies in carrot slices and a clogged sink! But it’s all the same; the cosmos is present in each of its parts.

While the photos are explorations of energy in the external visual world, my automatic drawings flow with the internal energy pulsing through us all and emerging from my hand. But internal or external – drawing or photo – the flow is the same, and my joy is in noticing it and in trying to share the vision.

Carl Shubs

I want the viewer to reach beyond the obvious, feel an emotion, or think about something in a new way. I prefer to shoot whatever catches my eye as I go out into the world. My photos are typically presented without compositing or major Photoshop editing.

I’m drawn to the moments that surround us and that we often overlook in the mundane of daily life, resulting in several photo genres including street photography and straight photographs with strong graphic or abstract elements. The photos in this show are from my Street Photography series and my Overlooked series.

Jeannine Chanin Penn

My work and my creative process is based on the exploration of the subconscious, improvisation, and destiny. My painting originates in dreams, emotions and the subconscious. I start with a seed of a thought or idea without a real plan. I improvise and study the details along the way and the art takes many twists and turns as layers and layers of paint and texture are added. Some things are hidden, other things are exposed. From broken plates, to film strips to Japanese paper, things find their way woven into the painted canvas, some that are very personal and some fuel my passion for design and balance. The results are richly layered pieces harmoniously coming together creating stories from my imagination to yours.

Julie Ascher

Artist Julie Ascher is fascinated by what makes things work. As a child, her grandfather told her to “make something that no one’s seen before” which is something she’s taken to heart with her work. Refusing to be categorized, Julie’s work explores the unsettled, non-finality of things which reflects her innate curiosity. Julie enjoys using chaotic forms to expose her subject’s protective layers in an attempt to peel those layers away to discover what’s real or true in each of her pieces. Constantly evolving, Julie continuously develops her own tools and experiments with different materials and techniques in her work.

Justin Prough

As a product of California, my work reflects the struggle between sunny days, good waves and the environmental & political unrest of our times.

Connecting ideas with materials and processes to tell visual stories drives my practice. Melding the use of analog and digital tools, wood veneers, seashore debris, domestic objects, photography and digital painting into assemblages and sculptures brings me joy and a sense of purpose, because creating deceptively beautiful statements that may change a viewer’s perspective or spark one meaningful discussion makes the work worth doing.

Kevin Mischler

Kevin has always been “drawn” to the face and is inspired by capturing the eyes and applying just the right amount of contour shading to recreate some of the world’s most legendary faces. Kevin’s passion is capturing people’s innocence. As Kevin says, “the eyes always tell the story of a person; their pain, sorrow, regret, their happiness or sadness.” Finding inspiration in pop culture icons that had an influence on him, Kevin’s illustrations highlight particular moments of his subject’s careers to which he adds his own unique elements to create a one-of-a-kind portrait.

Leslie Barton

The work shown here is an ongoing visual exploration into the depths of connection, both private and public, examining human intimacy. These paintings span three different bodies of work.

Delicate Tension and Sweeping Autonomy are part of a larger body of work. These paintings narrate a specific situation, suggested through simplistic, graphic imagery leaving specifics of the narrative to be imagined.

Seeping, Passage, and Trust Your Gut are from a gallery installation which explores the corporal aspects of our physicality. The paintings have a psychosexual twist with abstract figures inhabiting both interior and landscape spaces.

Red Thicket is one of a series in which the tree-like figures suggest an interconnected relationship, a universal connection and dependence.

Sharon Koppelman

My art is an exploration of the felt but unseen world around me. I often prepare for painting by taking a photograph that I then interpret through the joy of color with intentional energy that lives within the canvas.

Snezana Saraswati Petrovic

My video installation series Collateral Damage is constructed narrative within site-specific environments evoking imaginary Bionic Gardens, fictional museums, or futuristic living rooms. The Mother (They,Them,Theirs) as single fictional inhabitant of these post-apocalyptic sites, is depicted via video actions and fake advertisement.

The habitat is constructed from plastic zip-ties, with deep ecology and scientific data-based visuals. In this analogue immersive space, a viewer can activate objects via AR and VR.
My art is call to action, seeking to open a dialogue between present and possible dystopian future, while addressing unintended destruction that we cause in our own environment.

Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic, curator, and author based in Downtown LA. She is the Arts Editor for the L.A. Weekly, and a contributor to Flaunt, Art & Cake, and Artillery. She studied Art History at Vassar College, writes book and catalog essays, curates and juries exhibitions, is a dedicated Instagram photographer and is the author of the experimental novella Zen Psychosis (2020, Griffith Moon). She speaks at galleries, schools, and cultural institutions nationally, and is a member of ArtTable and the LA Press Club, and sits on the Boards of Art Share-LA and the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art, the Advisory Council of Building Bridges Art Exchange, and the Brain Trust of Some Serious Business.