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Friday, May 29th, 2015 11:15 PM
Interview with Casey O’Connell
May 29, 2015

Interview with Casey O’Connell
by Dana Nichols

In anticipation of the opening of “The Night of The Gingko”, Dana Nichols sat down with Casey O’Connell to ask her a few questions..

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1. Tell us about your move to Leucadia from San Francisco in August 2014. Will this be your first show in since you moved here to southern California?

I was in San Francisco for ten years. I came here on a surf trip in July [2014], and was like, ‘Wait, this place exists?’ It was so magical that I moved three weeks later. I had to live here… I haven’t had a show in three years; I’ve been working on commissions. It’s been a really big transition in my life as far as moving, the way I want to live, and the choices I make. I wanted to do one whole, cohesive story, or body of work about this time in my process. I finally felt like I found a great gallery to work with, with Torrey. I feel like she has given me a lot of confidence to follow and do a new body of work.

2. What does the show’s title mean: “The Night of the Gingko”?

There was an article in the New Yorker and it was about the gingko tree, the oldest living tree on the planet, and every year they all release their leaves all at one time. There’s one street in New York City, where, during one night, all the trees on this one block will lose all their leaves. You come out in the morning and it’s all gone. Scientists can’t figure it out – it’s not due to weather, or certain light. All these trees instinctually know when it’s time to let go of all their leaves.

For me, I’m 35 years old and thought that I had all these things I had to do: had to be married, had to have kids by a certain time, and had to be successful. I got really sick for three months this past year, and I couldn’t leave my bed…and no one could tell me what was wrong. I’m better now, but it really gave me a lot of time to think about what’s important, and really letting go and shedding the things that aren’t real. Life is like seasons and there’s a lot of symbolism in that story that I felt applied to my life right now. I’m trying to paint and capture this idea of letting go by really trying to strip down the work. Figures are smaller on a large canvas, just the bare bones of everything — seeing what they are without all of the decoration – what’s at the core of the onion.

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3. The “Night of the Gingko” is a series of 12. Is this a new creative process for you?

My process is definitely changing: it now feels more thoughtful. I try to really think about what I want to say as opposed to saying everything that comes to mind like a stream of consciousness.

I have to work in order, one at a time. The very first one is “To Become Spring,” about how enduring winter is the only way to become spring. It’s a girl on a 36 by 48 canvas that’s all coral pink. She’s very tiny, diving into the great unknown, and she’s got her little bag of goldfish, which are very symbolic to me. She’s going all in. There’s no turning back after she jumps, and I kind of think that’s how this show feels for me, moving here, and giving up what I knew in San Francisco and just going for it all to live to the fullest. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without pain and sacrifice… I think the last piece will be where she lands.

4. Have gingko trees continued to inspire you since you started this series?  

It’s funny, now I’m growing gingko trees from seed in my garden because I’ve become obsessed with them. The first one just sprouted its first leaf this past weekend so I’m really excited. I planted the seeds the same day I started the first painting. I want it to be a whole process of starting something new, and where does that go?

I feel like one of the things I’m learning about gingkoes and myself is how important the right soil and nutrients are, and how the way you take care of yourself changes everything. I think I was just not born in the right soil. Florida was not for me, and I had to uproot and find the soil that nurtures me and makes me the strongest I can be. I sound like a freak when I say that but it is really what I’m focusing on: acknowledging who you are and not wanting what everyone else thrives on, but what you thrive on.

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“The Night of The Gingko” opens Saturday, May 30th from 6-9pm
.A.R.4.T Gallery
1175 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA – 949.988.0603

“The Creative Dialectic” Reception Photos
January 27, 2015

All of us over at Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out to the opening reception for The Creative Dialectic – especially those who waited patiently in line to get one of the 50 limited edition prints we released in the gallery only. We rarely do print releases, so to have a line out the door and down the block was special for all of us.

The Creative Dialectic will remain on view in the gallery through March 1st, regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 6pm.

If you are interested in getting a collectors catalog link to available works, please send an email to torrey@ar4t.com.

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AR4T at the 2015 LA Art Show
January 11, 2015

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Laguna Beach Gallery Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow is proud to join this years curated section of galleries for Littletopia at the LA Art Show.

Back by popular demand, Littletopia returns for a second year at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Dubbed the “antithesis show” by section curator and owner of Red Truck Gallery, Noah Antieau, Littletopia is stocked with galleries hand selected for their roster of innovative, exciting artists.

Littletopia debuted last year and quickly received accolades from national and regional media outlets including: the LA Times, Huffington Post, Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, KCET, Los Angeles Magazine, LA Daily News, LA Weekly and the Art Newspaper is described as, “a super cool section at the LA Art Show that is casual, inviting, and full of sexy, disturbing, dark, playful art. Expect plenty of pleasant surprises from this explosive, innovative group of galleries.”

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.A.R.4.T Gallery will be exhibiting works by Zio Ziegler, Dennis McNett, Casey O’Connell, Rich Jacobs, Super Future Kid and Trace Mendoza.

Participating galleries include ACE Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA; Antena Estudio from Mexico City, Mexico; Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow from Laguna Beach, CA;  Copro Gallery from Santa Monica, CA; Corey Helford Gallery from Culver City, CA; FIFTY24MX from Mexico City, Mexico; Gauntlet Gallery from San Francisco, CA; Hashimoto Contemporary from San Francisco, CA; La Luz de Jesus from Los Angeles, CA; New Eye ACCD Projects from Los Angeles, CA; Red Truck Gallery from New Orleans, LA; Roq La Rue Gallery from Seattle, OR; Sloan Fine Art from New York, NY; Spoke Art from San Francisco, CA and Thinkspace from Culver City, CA.

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The LA Art Show takes place from January 15 – 18, 2015 concurrently with the Los Angeles Jewelry, Antique & Design Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall 1201 Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. For additional information about the Los Angeles Art Show or to purchase online tickets, please visit www.laartshow.com.

“Pit Mischief” Reception Photos
December 16, 2014

“Pit Mischief” opened Saturday night at a great reception with music from local Anaheim band Fissure.  The show, featuring photos by Angela Boatwright, has over 100 prints for sale for only $50, and a number of high-quality, framed art prints as well.  The show will be up until January 18th, so be sure to come check it out for yourself!

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4 Questions with Angela Boatwright
December 6, 2014

Angela Boatwright, "Municipal Waste"

If you oftentimes find yourself in a group at parties listening to unbelievable stories of things that happened in mosh pits and wishing you had maybe gone a bit more crazy in your younger years Angela Boatwright’s new show at AR4T may make you insanely jealous.  Entitled Pit Mischief, this show features photos of the kind of fun many of us only dream of, or some may feel nostalgic for.  Angela talked with AR4T’s Andrea Gillanders about music, the scene, and what she hopes to bring to Orange County.

1. You’ve said in a past interview that music saved your life… would you tell us a little about your history with music? as well as photography? to help explain how these outlets shaped your life?
I was absolutely obsessed with metal for as long as I can remember – since I was 10 or 11 years old.  I liked a lot of pop, freestyle AKA “roller skating music”, & R&B too…and new wave, industrial, The Cure, Dinosaur Jr., etc.  Actually I think the Go-Go’s were my first official favorite band, I remember scribbling their name all over my coloring books when I was maybe 7.  Regardless, I clicked into metal fairly early.  Def Leppard had #1 hits at the time, all the cool kids loved Ozzy and as I got older Guns N’ Roses debuted and Headbanger’ Ball was THE thing.  I evolved from hair metal quickly into thrash and into my 20′s and 30′s I was simultaneously possessed with the black metal of that time and back-in-the-day NWOBHM.  Now it’s power violence.  Regardless, I’m an only child, my teen years were pretty lonely to put it lightly.  But both my parents encouraged music in the house always; metal was there for me and I dove in completely.

Angela Boatwright, "Napalm Death"

2. You lived in New York for a long time… getting to experience the days of CBGB and Max Fish… what are some of your favorite memories from those days? Also, how has LA been treating you, do you miss New York?
I miss New York in waves.  Most of the time I’m able to compartmentalize it and then out of nowhere I’m emotionally and physically desperate for New York and the life I lived while I was there.  It’s funny, my bed and one window in my L.A. apartment are in the exact same spot as my NYC apartment (where I lived for 17 years) and if I close my eyes I can viscerally put myself back in NYC easily.  Occasionally while driving in L.A. a specific patch of freeway will remind me of the east coast and for minutes I’m thinking I’m on my way to Rhode Island or Philly.  It’s weird.  Nonetheless, I did go to CBGB’s quite a bit but I missed the core experiences of the ’70s and ’80s.  I moved to NYC in 1993, and saw some amazing shows there.  I had a band briefly and even played CBGB’s once.  Max Fish was my home for sure, for 10+ years.  I had so many best-day-of-my-life events there, I used to have the number one score on their Playboy pinball game for example.  It was all great.  Great times.

3. Do you think social media and facebook / instagram has helped the art of photography or hurt it?
That’s a very broad question.  Like anything it’s how someone uses it.  I do think it favors the artists and creatives that know how to market themselves in the simplest terms.  Creatives that are multi-layered might have a harder time drawing a consistent audience. Wes Lang is a great example of someone who doesn’t have an Instagram or Facebook and to the best of my knowledge he’s doing well.

Angela Boatwright, "Albuquerque Thrashers"

4. What are you looking forward to communicating with Orange County through Pit Mischief… what do you want people to take away from the gallery?
I hope people leave the show with all sorts of different reactions.  I don’t have any particular hope for the audience in terms of perception.  I personally am absolutely obsessed with small shows – at clubs, backyards, bars, etc.  I love music that makes kids go insane,whatever that may be.  I love the conviction that comes with youth and the ability to turn that teenage passion into a life-long career.  I’ve been shooting shows, especially shows with mosh pit activity for almost 25 years.  And I love the bands to death but it’s the kids that show up night after night to support these bands.  It’s the kids that buy the shirts, the CDs, the in some cases the beer coozies and sweatpants.  It’s the kids that leave the show, happily, with scrapes and bruises.  I love the kids the most.

August 2014 – “The Day You Arrived” + “Straight, No Chaser”
August 22, 2014

This August we hosted two separate shows in the gallery… both beautiful exhibitions of work filled with color, commentary, heartfelt emotion and fun. Four gifted artists from different parts of the country coming together to share their experience with you…

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Katherine Langlands : Making Planets
June 27, 2014

This past spring, Katherine Clarke Langlands spent time in Santo Domingo exploring and creating a new body of work titled “Making Planets.” She sent us an update of photos and stories of her time there.

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Baggage Claim Teaser Video // Interview with Russ Pope by @SteveCarrera
April 3, 2014

 

Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow is proud to announce a landmark exhibition, the first ever two-man show from renowned artists Russ Pope and Neil Blender. On view April 5 through 27, 2014, this will be the first time this well-known duo will show art together in California.

Viewers taking part in this exclusive and rare exhibition will get to see two of skateboarding’s most influential artists side-by-side, with their the seedy characters, loose, conservative lines and social themes. ”Baggage Claim” explores social concepts in the two artists’ complementary character-based themes and color palettes – which Pope says will come across as “darker” to those familiar with his work.

Pope and Blender conceived “Baggage Claim” together. Pope explains:  ”It’s claiming your baggage, claiming all your life’s baggage. Usually the content of the things I’m working on are social commentary, things that happen in my life, like daily diaries, or what’s happening in my environment that I’m reporting on. Making art and sharing it with people it is exposing yourself and putting yourself in a vulnerable position – politics, thoughts, even colors. Laying baggage out for all to see.”

“Baggage Claim” opens Saturday April 5th, 6 – 9pm with support from Pizza Port Brewing and Vans, along with a special DJ appearance by Lance Cyril Mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky Shaw – 2014 Redbull Curates Canvas Cooler Project
March 14, 2014

The Canvas Cooler: Silver Lake
Photos and words by Jesse Fulton

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The RedBull Curates Canvas Cooler Project : 20 different cities. 20 invited local artists in each city creating their own mini cooler. In LA the event was held at the historic Mack Sennett Studios - A really nice open layout for the party, which days earlier was set up for a late night Grammy Party. Two winners from the night were to be sent to Miami for the scope art show.

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Opening of ‘Greetings from the OC’
March 10, 2014

Thank you to everyone who came out to the opening of ‘Greetings of the OC’ this past Thursday.  The turn out was awesome, and I think everyone had a lot of fun.  Special thanks to Pizza Port for the wonderful beer!  Thank you to DJ Burnout for the tunes!

To those who couldn’t make it, be sure to come on down the the gallery to check out David Blake’s awesome works.  The show is up through March 30th.

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