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Artist Interview – Velia de Iuliis
February 6, 2016

Interview with Velia de Iuliis by Amanda Raynes

Velia.Artists Republic.Lemur

We are so excited that Velia de Iuliis will be having her first ever solo show at Artists Republic!! The opening reception is Saturday, February 20 from 6-9pm and the show will run from February 20-March 27.

Here are some questions with Velia to help us get to know her as an artist.

With your solo show “The Riddle of the Universe” coming up, what inspired this body of work and what is the meaning of the title?

The title of my show ‘The Riddle of the Universe’ is taken from the text written by the great 19th century zoologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel who believed that to better understand humanity, we must first understand the fauna we share the planet with. His work both in writing and in illustrations have had a great influence on me.

I draw inspiration from an inherent curiosity for all creatures and this show is a compilation of fauna that I have admired and newly discovered subjects. The pleasure of painting animals comes from educating myself about species I was previously unaware of.

What is a typical studio day like for you?

With coffee in hand, I walk to the studio around 8:30am to begin a full day of painting. Along with food breaks I put a side time to play with my puppy and enjoy a hike or bike ride. I try to leave the studio around 9:30pm on a good day.

What kind of creative patterns or routines do you have?

Prior to beginning a piece, I sketch geometric forms on a canvas, finding the composition from within a series of ellipses and motion oriented marks. After finding a flowing form that works for the piece, I match the form with subjects. This process is either quick or can take several attempts. I often begin with one subject without knowing what will come next and enjoy the process of discovery during the development of the painting.

What is your artistic medium of choice? Is there any creative medium that you hope to pursue that you haven’t already?

Gouache is my medium of choice. It’s not a super easy paint to use but it’s incredibly versatile and rich in color complexity.
I’m super excited to revisit oil paint as it has a luminescent property which I believe is unmatched by any other medium.
Is there a specific message that you want to communicate through your art?

I aspire to engender hope, curiosity and discovery in a world that is saturated with violence and destruction; a bleak reality.
My paintings endeavor to illustrate the balance and harmony between species; at times tremendously violent but always born out of the instinct to survive. Lastly, I hope to remind ourselves how much we still have to learn from those who we share a planet with.

What are your current goals and any plans for the future?

My goals are to continue working on my craft as a painter and that my paintings reach a wider audience.

Velia.Artists Republic.Synergy

Velia.Artists Republic.The Natural Menagerie


ES3 Artist Interview – Julie Goldstein
October 1, 2015
Julie Goldstein

Julie Goldstein

What is it about surfing that inspires your art?

I was drawn to the sea as a young child. My memories and experiences living close to the ocean has influenced my work on many levels. Surfing is a part of my life and has been for 20 years. My art tells stories based on my experiences, travels and friendships mostly influenced by being in the water; surfing, swimming and simply connecting to this magical, natural environment.

Why do you think that the art of surf culture appeals to such a broad audience, including people that don’t surf or live near the ocean? 

The ocean influences all of us, its vastness, energy, ever-changing moods, motions, tides and temperature invites humans to connect mentally and physically. People are drawn to the sea and all it has to offer and it makes us happy, youthful and spirited. There has never been a day when the sea did not make me happy, peaceful and satisfied. As an artist, I can capture the essence and emotional connection to the sea and allow viewers to see how influential it is to me. I try to document this timeless relationship. I am grateful to be so connected to the water,  it is my muse.

It will be 6 years almost to the day since your last solo show at The Surf Gallery, not long after you moved out here from the East Coast- how does this make you reflect on your artistic progress in Southern California?

My work took a major shift in 2008 after PINE burned down. My studio was attached to our shop and all of my work was lost in this fire. It was that moment in time when Mark and I decided to re-locate to Southern California. The loss from the fire coupled with starting over forced me to look at my work in a new light. I let the ocean be my muse and guide my concepts. In 2010 I created my first body of work since moving the California, it was titled “Swim with Me”, that was my last solo show with The Surf Gallery. My work was heavily influenced by the color, light, warm ocean and experiences swimming and surfing in the Pacific. Since then, my work has evolved. I continue to allow the sea to influence my concepts, however I focus on semi-autobiographical pieces that document and re-tell stories about women and their experiences with the sea. Often times based in niche communities throughout the world, I am fascinated by history, and women that have changed the world based on camaraderie and perseverance.

Please tell us about any exciting current or upcoming projects that you are involved in! 

Last summer I launched my brand SWMwithme. It is collaboration brand that connects fashion to my artwork and allows me to collaborate with designers and artist to create beautiful products. Right now I am working with Axxe Wetsuits in Japan and designing a line of wetsuits for women. I am also collaborating with “The Seea”.  We plan on launching our bag this holiday. Simultaneously, I am designing a new collection for SWM, it will launch this summer along with a new body of work that will be exhibited at Artists Republic!!  Stay tuned!!

ES3 Artist Interview : Alex Weinstein
September 30, 2015
Alex Weinstein

Alex Weinstein

What is it about surfing that inspires your art?

Time in the water: the movement of light across the surface; the coldness  -these have had a major effect on my work.

Why do you think that the art of surf culture appeals to such a broad audience, including people that don’t surf or live near the ocean? 

Surfing looks sexy.

You’ve shown your work around the world, what does it mean for you to be showing with this group of artists here in Laguna Beach? 

When Will calls me, I try and answer the phone. He’s a friend and I’m glad to be involved.

Please tell us about any exciting current or upcoming projects that you are involved in! 

I’ve been fortunate lately and gotten into some fun stuff: I’m publishing an essay about the work of artist Thaddeus Strode in The Surfers Journal and I recently collaborated with filmmakers in New York and LA generating soundtracks for their film projects. I’m working on paintings for a show next spring in San Francisco.

ES3 Artist Interview : Michael Leon
September 27, 2015

Michael Leon

What is it about surfing that inspires your art?

I get inspired by the folklore and the traditions that attach themselves to certain places like California, Hawaii, etc. I think it’s really interesting.

Also the fact that the ocean is one of the last truly wild places that we have easy access to. Surfing is just a very small part of how we interact with the ocean.

Why do you think that the art of surf culture appeals to such a broad audience, including people that don’t surf or live near the ocean? 

I think the beach reminds people of moments when they are free from stress, with family, young, or relaxed. It’s the opposite of working, so the idea of a surfer that plays in the ocean all day is a dream that people everywhere sorta idealize, and the art of surfing sorta goes hand in hand with that idea.

You’ve shown your work around the world, what does it mean for you to be showing with this group of artists here in Laguna Beach? 

I grew up skateboarding and didn’t start surfing until the mid-nineties.  Because of the friends that introduced me, the first surf films I saw were by the Witzig brothers and Alby Falzon. I thought that all surfing was like this. Soon after I met Will and was in a couple shows at the surf gallery. I remember this time fondly because it was very new and exciting to me. This show and group of artists reminds me of that time.

Please tell us about any exciting current or upcoming projects that you are involved in! 

I’m excited about the creative projects we have coming up at Patagonia in the Spring, and some boards I’ve been shaping for myself and friends.


ES3 Artist Interview – Tyler Warren
September 26, 2015


What is it about surfing that inspires your art?

Surfing is basically my life. I make surfboards, and am a professional free surfer. I try to capture my favorite moments and feelings of the beach and surfing when I am working on a painting. Those moments of peace, quiet and serenity where all seems to just be okay. Everything from the colors of the ocean, sky and sand inspire me.

Why do you think that the art of surf culture appeals to such a broad audience, including people that don’t surf or live near the ocean? 

I think since the beginning of time people have been fascinated by the ocean and its endless beauty. The ocean can be known as a fountain of youth, and gives one a feeling of rebirth when they go in and come out. People from the mid west and inland fantasize about the beach and ocean not having it in their back yard… it is a place they strive for and admire.

You’ve shown your work around the world, what does it mean for you to be showing with this group of artists here in Laguna Beach? 

I am stoked to be a part of this show and to be along side some of my favorite artists of my youth, such as Andy Davis, Thomas Campbell and Geoff McFetridge. It is an honor to come full circle and be included in a show with these people that are now my friends and show in my hood.

Please tell us about any exciting current or upcoming projects that you are involved in! 

I am currently getting ready to head to France for 3 weeks where I will be a part of the Billabong Team new catalogue and advertisement shoot. I will also be shaping some boards at a friend’s factory for 5 days.

Rich Jacob’s “A Part of You” Opening
August 26, 2015

Last Saturday night was the opening of Rich Jacob’s solo show titled “A Part of You.”  We celebrated with live music from Patricia Kavanaugh, Pizza Port beers and a DJ set from Lance Mountain.  Here are some images from the opening, and be sure to come see the show up until September 27th!







Rich Jacobs Interview
August 13, 2015

Interview with Rich Jacobs by Amanda Raynes

On Saturday, August 22 Artists Republic is excited to welcome Rich Jacobs’ solo show titled “A Part of You.”


Not only have you had countless shows of your own work, but you’ve curated many shows around the world. How has your art evolved to get to this particular show, and what is the meaning of the title, “A Part of You”?

I feel lucky to have been involved in art making and curating for as long as I have , I am always surprised and humbled by the chance to do either, and am grateful to share. My work has evolved slowly over my life, changing with experiences, and life changes, perspective shifts and hurtles that we each face individually. I love making things and am fortunate to have figured that out very young…it gave me an outlet that I very much needed then, and in fact still do today. The work I am painting for this show is biographical , and emotional to me personally of course as I have gone through some very different circumstances in the last year that I am still processing , and developing into my output as an expression. Dealing with new situations can be very positive , and provide a drive or hope for future endeavors. I am trying to explore the vocabulary and language used in my own paintings and move into some new territory and places.

My idea for the name ‘a Part of You’ is multifaceted . It is a word play in that all art is a part of the person making it, but what part? Or which part? Sometimes we only know a small part of a person or only what they reveal or expose to others…..My concept for this show was to reveal many art making practices ,styles and methods of working. I want to almost give the unknowing viewer the feeling of seeing a group art show, only it will be just me. It is part or in this case small parts of me, & some of the many sides of myself that I don’t always display . In a sense I guess I’m taking a survey of my own work and spreading it out in a painting medium to explore many different outcomes to feelings, experiences, and emotions I am facing. Some are raw, some are beautiful and colorful. Sometimes in life you choose your situation – other times you are compelled by outside forces , and even other people ,and or …well energies. What do all these parts share in common? Maybe a lot ,or perhaps just that they are all a part of you.


Artist Interview // Don Pendleton
June 26, 2015

Artists Republic Presents: Geometry and Light // Don Pendleton and Friends

Interview with the Artist

We are getting close to the opening of Geometry and Light, your second solo show with AR4T.  What is your concept and/or direction for this show? What is different from the last show?

I think the pieces from the first show were more of an emotional response to a horrible situation I’d been dealing with. I didn’t consider the method or style too much because I was dealing with a serious loss and it was tough to care about much of anything at the time. So what I created for that show (A Heart as Heavy as Night) I felt as a consistent group of work but maybe with a more experimental style. I’m proud of those pieces but it’s probably not as much of my style as the newer pieces are.

For this new work, I tried to work in the style that is comfortable and natural for me but tried to develop the composition, play with the lines, shapes, the lights and the shadows. Some pieces I wanted to have a lot of depth, and some to be almost geometric and flat; but still with a common thread between the two.

How many pieces will you be putting in? and they are a carefully selected mix of old and new…  how are they tied together?

I think there will be about 14 pieces. These are a cross section of some older stuff and newer work. Larger paintings than most of the last. Less experimental on my part. Some of these were done during a very personal time and I wasn’t really confident exhibiting them or selling them. With some time, I’ve been able to kind of reconcile the loss and that time period. I think the differences are what make them interesting. That common thread I spoke about…I want the viewer to see that and to feel the spaces between the old work and new work.

Sometimes in a group of work, the parts that are missing are as important as the parts that are obvious and literal. Hopefully each piece stands on its own but they still say something powerful being presented together.


Night of the Gingko // Photos from the Opening Reception
June 7, 2015

On Saturday, May 30, Casey O’Connell’s first solo show in 3 years opened at Artists Republic.  Casey’s show will be up  until July 5, so be sure to come by and see her deeply personal and inspirational work.





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..


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.


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.


“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

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