by Andy SmithPosted on


Kai Carpenter

After a hiatus, Roq La Rue opens its doors again with “Lush Life 6.” The Seattle gallery re-opens on Oct. 11, continuing a string of group shows under the “Lush Life” banner that have taken place throughout its two-decade history. Owner Kirsten Anderson was busy during the two-year hiatus, founding Creatura House and a conservation/educational group.

by Andy SmithPosted on

In a new show at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, Chet Zar revisits the classic baddies of pop culture with the show “Villains.” Just as he does in his art, the artist is able to tether his fascination with the dark and dystopic to art history. “I am interested in the villain archetype as a subject matter,” Zar tells us. “I always have been fascinated by them and I thought it would be fun to do my own take on some. Every great story has a great villain. They are just as important as the heroes. In fact, they create the opportunity for heroes. But more to the point, I just think villains are more interesting and fun to think about. I mean, which part of the Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ triptych do people talk about? ‘The Garden of Eden’ or ‘The Last Judgement’? I think it’s at the core of what Dark Art is all about- dark imagery is just more fun and interesting to explore.”

by Andy SmithPosted on


Mark Ryden
(Mixed media on paper, 13.5” x 10.75”)

Even outside of its varieties and many uses, the mushroom is a complicated, little fungus. Depicted by the artists of “Hi-Fructose Presents: The Art of the Mushroom,” coming to The Compound Gallery this month, it’s a prism of perspectives: fantastical or recreational, sexual or familial. The gallery describes this show as “an exploration into artists’ interpretations of the friendly, deadly, tasty, hallucinogenic, phallic, alien, and legendary mushroom.” Here are just a few of the pieces featured in the show, with a roster of 50-plus artists.

by Andy SmithPosted on

Crafted in Chinese ink and mineral pigment on silk, Shoichi Okumura‘s gorgeous compositions blend figurative and floral elements. After moving to Tokyo with his parents, Beijing-born painter would garnered global in his studies. Today, the artist’s received multiple awards for his absorbing, large-scale pieces.

by Andy SmithPosted on

The mixed-media paintings of Betsy Walton carry surreal, vibrant scenes, with characters that meld into each other and their natural backdrops. A current body of work, titled “Psychic Landscapes,” gathers new views into her dreamlike worlds.

by Andy SmithPosted on

Though undetectable from afar, Bryan Valenzuela‘s drawn forms are actually crafted from thousands of small letters and words. These collections of words are a script tailored to each work, whether on the page or adorning a public wall. The artist also works in textiles, acrylic paint, and collage into his practice.