Sunday, October 30, 2011

It began with a potato...

I usually get my DIY Printmaking students to collaborate on a giant potato print done in the Chuck Closey pointillist style. For some reason this semester I came up with an image of Frankenstein in a beret and it seemed to inspire them. Here's Young Summers putting some finishing touches on it.

Later, when we moved on to spray stencils, I kept working with the image, and added the caption "Monsters of Art" -- and I was all like "That'd be an awesome tiitle for a show" and Arata was all like "Let's do it!" So we did and it's opening tonight, Halloween, October 31st, and it is awesome.

Here's a bit of a previrew... above: Ernie Ramirez's professional accoutrements; below: Victoria Reynold's oil painting Lord of Fat

Above: Marnie Weber's concrete-slippered monster from her most recent series thereof; below: Marcel Azevedo adds the necessary didactics to complete the potato Frank. Actually it wasn't really complete until we framed it with Monsters of Art themed prints from the class...

Above: Josh Miller's Cato at the Gate of Purgatory which I advised him to include on the condition that Cato be rendered monstrous by the addition of a tail, which may be seen here; below: Arata fixes a hole while in the foreground Don Suggs' Blue Eyed Devil awaits hanging.

Potato Frank finally complete, with stalwart printmaker/installers Idowu Ajibola, Maria Ana Sampaio Nunes , Robert Zargoski, Young Summers, Karisa Ballard, and Will Carrico taking a deserved rest. It wasn't until Steve Hurd dropped off his painting that we realized Frank was not yet complete... but you'll have to check out the show to know what I mean.

Monsters Of Art
Curated By Michael Arata and Doug Harvey

Suzanne Adelman, Michael Arata, Marcel Azevedo, Tony Beringhele, Jimmy Chertkow, Derek Curry, Justin Cole, Scott Davis, Denise Davis, Mark Dutcher, Bill Farroux, Jennifer Gradecki, Kio Griffith, Doug Harvey, Steve Hurd, Kristi Lippire, Josh Miller, Kenneth Ober, Ernie Ramirez, Victoria Reynolds, Anna Siqueiros, Laurie Steelnik, Don Suggs, Dani Tull, Jeffrey Vallance, Keith Walsh, Matt Wardell, Marnie Weber, WLAC Printmaking Class

Opening reception October 31, 6:30-9:30 PM
Costume Optional, bring treats to share

Live music by East of Lincoln
featuring jazz recording artist Diane Hubka

West Los Angeles College Art Gallery
9000 Overland Avenue (just S of Jefferson)
Culver City, CA 90230

Regular hours: Monday-Thursday 10AM - 4PM
Exhibit up through December 1, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dumpster Score of the Century (thus far)

There's this big recycling dumpster I park by every couple of days, and there's often some weird-ass shit there. About six weeks ago, some one left literally thousands of pink leather cell phone cases still in their original packaging there. I thought about taking them, then realized that was just nuts, then came back for them the next day. I had remembered I was supposed to make a piece for China Adams' curatorial project LOOP, about recasting cast-off consumer material as objets d'art, so perfect, right?

Some one beat me to it. In their place were several boxes of shooting scripts -- not that rare a sight in LA (Dani Tull once exhibited a monumental curved wall a la Tilted Arc made from stacks of them). Dogs were waiting and I wasn't that interested in sorting through a bunch of literature anyway -- but a couple of titles caught my eye -- Puppetmasters II & III, and this baby: some kind of sequel to the oddball Blaxploitation classic Dolemite, starring comedian Rudy Ray Moore.

If you haven't seen Dolemite, get thee to a netflix cue -- and meanwhile check ot the bits on youtube, including this spectacular rendition of the African-American folkloric recitation The Signifyin' Monkey, whose titular protagonist derives from that rascally trickster figure of Yoruba mythology, Esu Elegbara. Rudy Ray as Dolemite delivers another classic toast in a weirdly flat street corner performance of Shine and the Titanic.

Anyway, I'd never heard of the sequel, which doesn't signify much. But when I started searching online I could find no reference to this movie anywhere, even though there was some kind of shooting schedule tucked into the script. I took the mystery to Mark Jason Murray, the man behind the Rudy Ray Moore is Dolemite! Official Website who informed me that not only had the story never been produced, but that the author, Jerry Jones, didn't have a copy. As far as anyone could tell, I had stumbled across the only surviving version of the script! Here's what Murray had to say:

“Thanks to Doug Harvey and his scavenger instincts, a lost part of Rudy Ray Moore history has been re-discovered! THE SONS OF DOLEMITE… the DOLEMITE sequel that never was. I’d been looking for this script and information in regards to it for years! Thankfully, it is now a part of the Rudy Ray Moore archives and further reference material for my biography on Rudy Ray Moore. You are the man Doug!”

So there you have it. I'm the man. And maybe Small Form Films has their next big production prepackaged and ready to roll? Oh, and the bidding starts a hawf-a-million dollahs!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Posture Lessons for Young Ladies

"Look around everywhere you turn is heartache; it's everywhere that you go. You try everything you can to escape the pain of life that you know. When all else fails and you long to be something better than you are today. I know a place where you can get away; it's called a dance floor, and here's what it's for: so vogue."
— M. Ciccone

"For many -- especially those on the outside — Los Angeles' swinging, glittery nightlife is one of the most attractive features of the city. There's always something going on, and more often 50 things. Or 500. In a city whose hard currency is celebrity, no effort or expense is spared in the pursuit of being seen — or in creating the impression that your party is the party. As a result, an entire industry of event planning and management is running full steam in LA, 24/7 — including an unlikely substratum of photogenic young things who are rented by the hour to flesh out the fabulousness of your guest list.

It is in this odd simulacral corner of the contemporary cultural landscape that Deborah Vankin and Rick Mays have set their graphic novel Poseurs — though I'm not sure that anything as crass as a storefront "We the Party People" outlet, replete with a balding, cigar-chomping sleazeball boss with a heart of gold — has actually sprung up yet. But who knows, it's Hollywood after all. Vankin is familiar to LA readers as a cultural journalist and editor with stints at LA Weekly, Variety, and the LA Times (including its recently euthanized weekly tabloid, Brand X), but this is her first foray into the graphic-narrative medium.

It's an impressive debut. Poseurs follows three teenagers working the party circuit — Jenna is a half-Jewish, half-Cherokee wannabe photographer who stumbles into "We the Party People" online, after being fired from her waitressing gig; Pouri is a wealthy Taiwanese "parachute kid" who is constantly dodging the Skype scrutiny of her overseas parents, who naively believe she's about to ace her SATS; Mac is a lowly busboy with some kind of pathological language disorder that makes him spew random slanguage — he prides himself on being the ninth-most frequent contributor to

If this all seems insistently web friendly, you're picking up on one of the most conspicuous motifs that identifies the story's demographic skew: Poseurs was originally slated to be part of DC Comics' Minx graphic novel series, designed to lure teenage girls into the depraved world of comicdom — and texting, uploaded videos and accidentally swapped cell phones play appropriately pivotal roles in the story line..."

Read the rest of Strike a Pose in the current Artillery Magazine or online at

Buy Poseurs on amazon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"I... see ... dead... pixels!"


Friday, October 14, 2011

Mid-Wilshire Madness!

Two adjacent sculpture shows opening Saturday night promise untold riches! Sorry, I've been collaging photo captions from old National Geographics for the last 2 hours. I have bills to pay, you know! Seriously though, directly following Lee Lynch's triumphant debut at Steve Turner Gallery, his longtime cohort in Fireworks/Flugeldar Christian Cummings (also the co-initiator of Chain Letter) is occupying the same space with a group of his recent cast aluminum experiments, made in his home foundry using cast-off styrofoam and other commercial detritus to create his idiosyncratic updates on Eduardo Paolozzi's 3D collages.

Just down the street at Peter Mendenhall's gallery, Wayne Littlejohn -- one of the original Student Bolsheviks and a core figure in the Vegas art scene of the last two decades -- is showing his slick, exquisite fiberglass artifacts in his first LA solo show in some time. Finish Fetishistic craftsmanship collides with biomorphic abstraction and Buddhist iconography in a binge of glossy eye candy that dovetails neatly with the current renewal of interest in Ken Price, Craig Kaufman, Billy Al Bengston, early Judy Chicago.

Christian Herman Cummings - Beside My Self
Steve Turner Contemporary
6026 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
October 15 - November 12, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 15, 6 - 8PM

Wayne Littlejohn - Slippery
Peter Mendenhall Gallery
6150 Wilshire Boulevard, Space 8, Los Angeles, CA 90048
October 15, 2011 - November 12, 2011
Can't find a time for the opening, but I'll guess 6 - 9PM

Images: Wayne, Christian, Wayne, Christian. Details TK.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hi Good Screening with Lynch & Weber

Lee Lynch
The Murder of Hi Good
September 10 - October 8, 2011

Steve Turner Contemporary, 6026 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 (across from BCAM at LACMA). Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am - 6pm, or by appointment.

Conversation with Lee Lynch & Marnie Weber
Thursday, October 6

Screening at 7:30

Conversation at 8:30

Doors open at 7

Image: Lee & Marnie (and Elias, Dave & Cory) on the gambling tent set of "The Murder of Hi Good" (photo by DH) -- Marnie plays an old west variation on her Spirit Girl character; a sideshow act consisting of a bound, porcelain-faced dancing girl whose astral body performs the hoochy-coochy! Worth the price of admission alone! And I'm not just saying that because it's free!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mel's Hole Catalogs Available!

And they'll probably be cheaper than the $175 new copies are fetching on amazon. I'll be attending the West Hollywood Book Fair to sign books for the Grand Central Press, who published the amazing catalog for the exhibit Aspects of Mel's Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace that I curated at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana in 2008, based on a geographical anomoly outside Ellensburg, Washington and first brought to public attention by the owner of the property - Mel waters -on Art Bell's Coast to Coast radio show in 1997.

This was an amazing exhibit (designed and installed by Andrea Harris and her crack team, while her husband Mike was having a kidney transplant!) that not many people saw; but the catalog remains and is pretty effin great if I do say so myself, due in no small part to the spectacular design job by Wendy Peng (this is the slipcover/exhibition poster). I need to put up some documentation of the show on my website soon. As soon as I find some documentation of the show. Does anyone have documentation of Mel's Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace?

Images: Jeffrey Vallance The View from Mel's Hole (2008) site-specific sculptural installation, approx 8 ft diameter; Wendy Peng Slipjacket/poster for Mels Hole catalog, 2008; Marnie Weber Mel's Hole: a Love Story production still for Super 8 film, 2007 - 2008

PS: I'll also be available to sign "The Original Art of Basil Wolverton: From the Collection of Glenn Bray" and "Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth" for which I wrote essays. Oh, yeah, Noonish at 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. West Hollywood, CA