Other Scenes Art Show Opening Tonight


April 21 – May 26, 2007
Opening reception, Saturday, April 21st, 6 – 8pm
Live Performance by No Age

Curated by Aaron Rose

Exhibition catalogue published by Nieves, $20

Other Scenes presents an eclectic group of emerging and established artists all of whom share disturbing yet romantic visions. In these artist’s works, a discreet form of protest exists; a desire to find love amongst the ruins, beauty in the shadows. The works included in the exhibition span from 1974 to the present, including many works created specifically for this exhibition. Other Scenes is especially unique for the fact that many of the artists included rarely exhibit on the West Coast and some of the works on display have been pulled from archives that have not been accessed for over twenty years.

Aaron Rose is an independent curator currently living in Los Angeles. He is co-curator of the museum exhibition, Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art Street Culture which opened in March 2004 at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and will tour the world through 2008. Rose is also a publisher, writer and co-editor of ANP Quarterly, a free arts/lifestyle magazine. Special thanks to RVCA Artists Network Project for their generous support.

Rita Ackermann (b.1968) is an artist born in Hungary, trained in Budapest and Vienna, and currently working in New York. Her work first became prominent in the mid-1990s as the result of her seductive paintings of semi-autobiographical nymphets. Over the years her style has evolved to include more metaphysical and religious themes, yet still populated by svelte waifs, fashionable nymphs, and other girlish sprites combined and recombined in an almost serial fashion, albeit with a very contemporary take.

In 1974 Italian photographer Gusmano Cesaretti embarked on a documentary photography project exploring the streets of East LA. These rarely seen photographs of Chicano life in the ’70s, including images of graffiti filled stores, walls and garages become, in their harsh black and white austerity, almost like abstract paintings. These photos were eventually published in a small run book, ‘Street Writers’ (1975) which included a transcribed audio tour of East Los Angeles and became a pioneer book in Chicano culture.

Daniel Higgs (b.1965) is an artist/musician best known as the lead singer for the Baltimore, MD based band “Lungfish, but in recent years has begun recording and performing as a solo artist with increasing frequency. His rarely-exhibited, highly detailed, graphic visual art is legendary in underground circles for it’s scarcity and has been identified by the artist as “one’s own experience of reality offered in reckless worship.”

Becca Mann (b.1980) is a Los Angeles artist who combines abstraction with both found and invented images to create spaces in which the dead may reside. Consistent in her paintings, elements of light and atmosphere emerge as narrative tools. Becca Mann is a recent graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a BFA in painting and critical writing. While living and working in Chicago she organized a series of group shows in “alternative venues, including a ballroom and a crumbling 19th century mansion.

Ryan McGinley’s (b.1977) photographs of his friends exuberantly indulging in irreverent behavior are neither sullen nor saccharine. His early photographs were influenced by subjects such as graffiti, queer culture, skateboarding, and sloppy parties. Since then his work has taken on a more playful approach, featuring young people in various states of undress and abandon, usually interacting with themselves and nature. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, including being the youngest artist in history to have a solo show at the Whitneyy Museum in 2002.

The works of Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama (b.1938) often show everyday people and everyday things in a manner not to be found in the average Tokyo tourist guidebook. Whether by using blur or cropping, Moriyama’s bleak and lonely, highly grained, black-and-white pictures expose a seedy, yet hauntingly beautiful underbelly of 20th Century Japan. His fifty-year photographic career as led him to be considered one of Japan’s great modern photographers.

Swedish artist Jockum Nordström (b.1963) combines naive-folk collages and drawings to become visual streams of consciousness. He makes drawings of ships, tiny dioramas of cities, and men in uncomfortable suits, all rendered in a deliberately crude folk-art style. His compositions are spatially dimensionless, but the figures that populate his odd, rickety landscapes are vividly robust. The end result becomes a snapshot of an invented community of characters who are at once both festive in their abstract togetherness and at the same time stuck in the drudgery of their banal suburban existence.

Raymond Pettibon (b.1957) is a cult figure among underground music devotees for his early work associated with the Los Angeles punk rock scene, designing logos, flyers and albums for bands such as Black Flag and Circle Jerks. Since then, Pettibon has acquired an international reputation as one of the foremost contemporary American artists working with drawing, painting, text, film and artist’s books.

Gee Vaucher (b.1945) is perhaps best known for the extensive body of work she created during the late seventies and early eighties. As designer of albums and propaganda for the renowned English punk band ‘Crass’, she created some of the most disturbing and acclaimed images of the time. Her work is generally accepted as having been seminal to the iconography of the ‘Punk Generation.’ When ‘Crass’ disbanded in 1984, Vaucher felt the need to explore other areas of work, abandoning the tightness of her more ‘overt’ political statements in favor of a more loosely expressed personal politic.