by CaroPosted on

Hello Kitty mania has hit Los Angeles. On view in conjuction with Hello Kitty Con, which opened yesterday, is her “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” 40th anniversary exhibit at Japanese American National Museum (JANM). The show is curated by Christine Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific, and Jamie Rivadeneira, founder of JapanLA. Attendees are led through a retrospective that highlights the history and development of Hello Kitty as a cultural icon, before they arrive to the art exhibition, a modern interpretation of this famous character.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Painter Fabio D’Aroma’s characters perpetually march westward, though it’s unclear to what end. His nude men and women with protruding bellies and knobby limbs appear to be part of an endless procession. D’Aroma adorns them with anachronistic accouterments such as 19th-century bayonets, animal pelts and punk rock mohawks, making it impossible to determine the continuity between the various works in the series. His highly stylized paintings are currently on view at New York’s Jonathan LeVine Gallery through November 8 for his solo show, “West of Ovest.” The artist says that our culture’s crippling obsession with social media — and the resulting social awkwardness — was the inspiration behind his ungainly figures.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Miami-based artist Andrew Soria’s color-saturated landscapes might appear completely fictitious, but he creates his digital artworks using his original photography and a heavy dose of PhotoShop. Soria stitches together and flattens the cityscapes he shoots, making them appear cartoonish by accentuating each building’s unique shape and features. He often pays homage to the street art and decor of the local area. Some of his pieces feature murals by artists such as Chor Boogie and Shepard Fairey while others incorporate businesses’ signage. Devoid of human inhabitants, Soria’s cities appear otherworldly with their all-too-pristine contours and candy-colored skies.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Just in time for today’s holiday, Stephen Romano Gallery in Brooklyn currently has a group show on display titled “In Missa Interfectionis.” The exhibition glorifies the morbid and macabre, juxtaposing contemporary works by the likes of Colin Christian, Soey Milk and Chie Yoshii with eerie artifacts from various cultures and time periods. A 20th-century Caribbean altar complete with a miniature casket and a 19th-century American illustration of the evolution of monsters are just a couple of the historical curiosities shown with the modern works. These pieces provide context for the newer ones, attesting to humanity’s eternal obsession with death and the supernatural.

by CaroPosted on

When we last caught up with Shaun Berke, he was busily preparing for his previous showing at La Luz de Jesus gallery, ” Sisters of the Inquisition.” Berke returns to La Luz on November 7th with an inspired take on Impressionism and 17th century Dutch painting, in “Sacrosanct”. His new pieces exhibit his learned classical compositions mixing religious iconography, as in his nun subjects, with some recognizable faces. Some of his models have included fellow local artists Soey Milk and Christine Wu. The work is also modern looking in its minimalism, focusing on the figures placed in subdued, apocalyptic environments. Berke also appreciates a minimal lifestyle in Los Angeles, where we went behind the scenes of his show.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

One’s manner of dress can lead to powerful transformations. Switching up the ways we present our gender identity or our occupation can inspire us to act in ways we wouldn’t otherwise. While this can be empowering, photographer Juha Arvid Helminen investigates the ways uniforms denoting positions of power can grant their wearers permission to commit inhumane acts. “In 2006, I witnessed the so-called Smash ASEM ‘riot,'” writes the artist. “There I personally saw the dark side of the Finnish police. How young men hid behind their uniforms and hoods and anonymously committed misconduct. Later I witnessed the reluctance of the justice system to punish those in uniforms.”