ART, CLASSIC YAY! LA, INTERVIEW

Best of Yay! LA: Artist Interviews & Features

0 Comments 24 September 2016

Yay! LA brings you the best of the best in one convenient place.

by Daniel Barron

 

 

Yay! LA was an unplanned pregnancy that quickly stumbled its way towards barrel-chested maturity. Formative days as a chronicle of LA’s street art community were followed by a sudden growth spurt into wider arts journal before evolving into a more highly-evolved art beast. Whether it’s music, theater, comedy, film, or even culinary arts the driving Mission Statement has been: “Where do you want to go?” I wanted to be one-stop shopping for your cultural needs.

But for a sizeable portion of our readers (especially those who mostly just follow us on Instagram), Yay! LA means visual art. We figured out the spirit of the magazine along the way, but our coverage tended to favor gallery art over museum subjects. We usually eschewed abstract or especially avant-garde work while highlighting some of today’s most beloved New Contemporary and representational illustrators. If you understood any of that I’m sure you’ve been rather pleased by what we’ve been serving. If I’m just flappin’ my gums here then fear notYay! LA is designed to be user-friendly to potential art enthusiasts, an argument that quality populism can exist, independently from pandering. Wanna go from neophyte to nerd? Start your degree today by enrolling at the Daniel Barron Institute of the Arts. Don’t worry, I’ll grade you on a curve.

Is that not the best way to go through life?

 

Design by The LA Fotografa

Design by The LA Fotografa

 

ALSO!

Logo design by John D. Wiltshire

Logo design by John D. Wiltshire

For a comprehensive collection of our pop culture art pieces, consult this updated post, which now includes links to the full Yay! Horror Movie A Day and Yay! Legends Every Day sets.

 

 

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“Jason Shawn Alexander: Body Image” (Published 9/11/13)

by Daniel Barron

 Fine art painter and comic book illustrator Jason Shawn Alexander invited us into his studio and process in April of 2013.

Quote: “When models ask to pose I think, ‘Do you know what I do? I don’t think you’re gonna like it.’ I’ve sketched in bars and stuff and waitresses have asked to pose and I just give them a card. Then the next time I visit I ask, ‘Do you want to pose?’ and they go, ‘Ah, no thanks.’”

Read here.

 

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“Dreams and Duality: The Art of Elisa Ang” (Published 8/27/15)

by Daniel Barron

Long Beach artist Elisa Ang discussed exploring themes of duality and cultural identity in her work.

Quote: “I have always been drawn to things that are, and this is how I describe it in my mind, ‘other.’ Other places, other people, other times than what I see and encounter in my daily life. Being half-Asian, specifically half-Chinese, I have this distant connection to that which is ‘other’ and I take a lot of pride in this.”

Read here.

 

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“Brianna Angelakis: Force of Nature” (Published 3/31/14)

by Daniel Barron

Prior to her 2014 solo show, Florida-based visionary Brianna Angelakis has a spirited discussion on feminism and literature.

Quote: “Have you seen my ‘falling women’ paintings? The series is titled, “’Wonders of the Invisible World.’ Those were inspired by a piece of feminist literature, the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, which is one of my favorite books of all time. At the end of her novel, the female protagonist commits suicide, which sounds really terrible, but it’s her way of escaping from patriarchal society.”

Read here.

 

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“Akira Beard: Spirit Strokes” (Published 1/15/14)

by Daniel Barron

Akira Beard explored concepts of symbolism and spirituality when we visited his San Francisco-based studio in October of 2013.

Quote: “I was never religious but I’m definitely spiritual. It’s about the duality that I experienced, the bottom of the material, the go, that type of thing. I went through all of the ignorance and suffering. I was that person who totally joined the tribe of wearing all of the logo stuff, the Michael Jordan shoes, a Coca-Cola in my hand. It was authentic in that way, I was that person. So I experienced the emptiness of that, and part of my awareness came from the art that I did. And so now my life is about transcending that.”

Read here.

 

 

 

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Emily Burns: Face Value” (Published 4/1/14)

by Daniel Barron

New York artist Emily Burns had many thoughtful observations on beauty standards and eroticism.

Quote: “Women often feel this pressure to be not only amazing at what they do, but to be sexy while they do it.  Olympic athletes, artists, singers, graphic designers, racecar drivers- you name it- if you’re a girl it helps tremendously to be ‘hot’ as well as talented and hard-working.  I don’t believe that you have to take your clothes off and comply with an insanely narrow view of what ‘sexy’ is in order to feel beautiful or accepted.  It’s such a ridiculous double-standard.”

Read here.

 

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Chrystal Chan: Magic Eye” (Published 6/13/14)

by Daniel Barron

Chrystal Chan talked using her faith as a guide towards enchanting worlds.

Read here.

 

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“Ancient Among Us: The Art of Damian Chavez” (Published 11/3/15)

by Joy Shannon

The work of Damian Chávez evokes a sense of nostalgia to a time long forgotten in art and in life.

Read here.

 

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Colin Chillag: Get Real” (Published 2/17/15)

by Daniel Barron

We spotlighted Phoenix-based artist Colin Chillag in advance of his 2015 show “Anti-Realism” at the 101 Exhibit.

Quote: “One of the recurring intentions behind my work is the idea that everyday experience, or things of a seemingly mundane nature, are fully fascinating if you pay attention to them.”

Read here.

 

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“Fab Ciraolo: Pop Never Dies” (Published 8/20/13)

by Daniel Barron

Chilean artist Fab Ciraolo was on hand to chat about marrying icons with modern style at the opening of his 2013 Gauntlet Gallery show.

Quote: “What I want to do is have fun. If I don’t have fun with the characters or what I’m doing, then it doesn’t work for me. It’s really simple what I’m trying to do. It’s just about creating the characters that I want to see.”

Read here.

 

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“The Wild Ambition of J.A.W. Cooper” (Published 8/3/15)
by Daniel Barron

J.A.W. Cooper talked living internationally, creating worlds, and her love of nature in advance of her 2015 solo show “Viscera” at La Luz de Jesus.

Quote: “As far as personal experience, in Kenya in Nairobi the Swahili people that lived all around us- in this show there’s actually a piece of a cow bleeding from the neck. And that’s my earliest memory. Without my parents’ knowledge, my caretaker had taken me to a celebration in her village and they were doing this traditional thing where they take milk in a bowl and they bleed a cow- just a little bit so that they don’t kill it or even hurt it much- into the milk so that it’s blood-milk. And then they share it. They invited me to try it and I remember feeling so honored. Even as a little kid I knew that it was a special thing to be invited to participate.”

Read here.

 

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“Robin Eley: Digital Witness” (Published 11/24/14)

by Daniel Barron

Australian painter and sculptor Robin Eley spoke about getting his hands dirty while interpreting the digital age..

Read here.

 

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“Nate Frizzell: Wild At Heart” (Published 11/11/14)

by Daniel Barron

LA-based painter Nate Frizzell talked his creative instincts in advance of his 2014 Corey Helford Gallery show.

Quote: “I’ve always been interested in the idea of self-discovery and the way people want to be seen. I liked the idea of using masks to tell the story behind the subject in a painting and I think that the use of animals helps with that and can be even more relatable to the viewer.”

Read here.

 

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“Fractured Minds: Nate Van Dyke/Jonathan Wayshak” (Published 3/21/13)

by Daniel Barron

Nate Van Dyke and Jonathan Wayshak were twisted twins at a 2013 show in San Francisco.

Read here.

 

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“The Odd Future of Micah Ganske” (Published 1/16/15)

by Andrea Steedman-Gillanders

Micah Ganske discussed his artistic visions for the World of Tommorow in advance of his 2015 show.

Quote: “I want my work to make people consider what is possible through science and technology but I also want to acknowledge the present and to draw attention to our flaws and species-level idiosyncrasies.”

Read here.

 

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“Bryten Goss: Legacy of Love” (Published 10/25/14)

by Barbie Brady

A tribute to fine art painter Bryten Goss, who passed in 2006.

Read here.

 

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“Stephanie Inagaki: Metamorphosis” (Published 4/21/14)

by Daniel Barron

Stephanie Inagaki talked her heritage and inspirations in advance of her 2014 Century Guild show.

Quote: “Making self-portraits is a way for me to visually synthesize what I have experienced, whether it is related to issues of gender, race, or something more personal as the aforementioned losses. ”

Read here.

 

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“The Heavy Metal Art of Lokhaan” (Published 8/25/15)

by Daniel Barron

Paris-based illustrator Thibault Meunier aka Lokhaan spoke about his beginnings in animation, comics, and the art he enjoys producing the most.

Read here.

 

Photo: Dustin Askland

Photo: Dustin Askland

“Maccarone Los Angeles : Back in L.A. Action” (Published 9/16/15)

by Evan Senn

The art dealing empire of Maccarone expands into Los Angeles to dominate the contemporary conceptual art scene.

Quote: “I’d like to be considered one of the premier American galleries.”

Read here.

 

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“Kelly McKernan Talks the Wonder Women of Femme Fatale” (Published 8/11/16)

by Daniel Barron

Nashville-based painter Kelly McKernan discussed the powerful pop culture women of her 2016 show “Femme Fatale.”

Read here.

 

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“Wyatt Mills: Static Shock” (Published 3/12/14)

by Daniel Barron

Interview from our 2014 trip to Wyatt Mills’ studio.

Quote: “I definitely want to get people’s attention. You’re working with a 2D canvas and it’s a static image when people are coming out of 3D movies, they have stuff on their cell phones, so I want to grab them. I try to grab the viewer so that they first find a piece interesting-looking and hopefully they’ll get sucked in to what I’m trying to say with it. ”

Read here.

 

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“The Dark Dreams of Catherine Bursill Moore” (Published 11/4/15)

by Daniel Barron

Bay Area artist Catherine Bursill Moore talked growing up on the fringe, formative interests in the macabre, and putting together her first solo show.

Quote: “When I was in the 4th Grade, I started reading Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft- that’s also probably around the time I started watching horror movies. My initiation into them was watching Psycho with my mom one Halloween and I developed a crush on Norman. That’s probably a little out of the norm.”

Read here.

 

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“The ‘Night Visions’ of Paint Pens Collective” (Published 6/14/13)

by Daniel Barron

Profile on Shayna Yasuhara and the urban art group she founded, Paint Pens Collective.

Read here.

 

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“Magic in the Macabre: The Art of Sarah Joncas” (Published 11/21/15)

by Daniel Barron

Toronto-based New Contemporary artist Sarah Joncas spoke about the evolution of her style, growing up a “geek girl,” and her favorite genres.

Read here.

 

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“Fascinated with Fiber: Michelle Kingdom” (Published 8/20/15)

by Evan Senn

Michelle Kingdom has been taking the world by storm, and sewing her own reality into existence.

Quote: “My work explores psychological landscapes, illuminating thoughts left unspoken. I create tiny worlds in thread to capture elusive yet persistent inner voices. Literary snippets, memories, personal mythologies, and art historical references inform the imagery; fused together, these influences explore relationships, domesticity and self-perception. Symbolism and allegory lay bare dynamics of aspiration and limitation, expectation and loss, belonging and alienation, truth and illusion.”

Read here.

 

 

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“The Thrilling Fantasy of Billy Norrby ” (Published 8/11/15)

by Daniel Barron

Swedish-born painter Billy Norrby described his inspirations, themes in his work, and the economy of storytelling.

Quote: “I had previously wielded the revolution imagery as more casual metaphors for my own personal conflicts and internal struggles. The very real grimness of the actual rioting presented those visual elements in such stark light that I didn’t want to use it without careful consideration.”

Read here.

 

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“Impressionistic Impressions: Rich Pellegrino” (Published 8/17/15)

by Daniel Barron

Boston-based painter Rich Pellegrino talked making pop figures pop, working for Wes Anderson, and how becoming happy can change one’s art.

Quote: “[The Grand Budapest Hotel] started with a conference call with some back and forth of what Wes [Anderson] wanted, and it was meant to be in your face due to the punchline nature of the subject. I had to double and triple check how far they wanted me to go. And with Schiele’s erotic work I knew I could go pretty far. Every time I saw it in the theater (I went four times, it’s not every day your painting is in a Wes Anderson film!) it got a big laugh so that made me feel it was done okay.”

Read here.

 

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“Adam Roth: Another World” (Published 10/17/16)

by Daniel Barron

Echo Park-based illustrator Adam Roth discussed the fascinations and experiences that fuel his alien worlds.

Quote: “For better or for worse, I don’t know if there’s ever been a time in my life where I’ve felt safe. I’ve always had the idea in the back of my head, ‘Oh shit, my body parts are falling apart.’”

Read here.

 

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“Ink & Oil: The Dedication of Sergio Sanchez” (Published 8/21/15)

by Joy Shannon

Prolific tattooer, professor and painter Sergio Sanchez sat down to discuss process, influences, mastering his craft, the rising reign of tattoo culture.

Quote:“Old-school tattooers at some point expected you to be able to do traditional, Japanese work, realism, script. You were kind of put into this mentality that you had to do it all well, but I think that’s kind of changed now where people are much more specialists and kind of do one thing well and if you’re going to go to them that’s why you go to them.”

Read here.

 

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“The Fantastic Beasts of Emi Slade” (Published 10/25/15)

by Daniel Barron

Michigan-based sculptor and taxidermist Emi Slade spoke of her affinity for all manner of strange creatures.

Quote: “Taxidermy as an art form has always been polarizing so when people hear what I do they are either extremely enthusiastic or highly appalled. I have a real thick skin so I love to hear the shocked comments. Apparently some of my work even requires advisory warnings. This makes me smile.”

Read here.

 

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“Perspectives: An Interview with Timothy Robert Smith” (Published 11/8/15)

by Evan Senn

Shifting perspectives and living wildly in and out of Timothy Robert Smith’s artwork.

Quote: “Each piece has it’s own springboard idea that I use to jump off into the deep end, where the real meaning lives. It slowly appears during the process of creation.”

Read here.

 

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“Spectacle at the 111 Minna Gallery” (Published 3/7/13)

by Daniel Barron

A detailed guide to the 2013 “Spectacle” group show at the 111 Minna Gallery.

Read here.

 

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“Ray Vargas: Prolific Purpose” (Published 1/30/15)

by Evan Senn

Prolific artist Ray Vargas gave insight on art, life and growing up in LA.

Quote: “I’m proud to say that I was born and raised in Boyle Heights. It’s one of those things where only in the last several years have I fully realized just how lucky I am to have lived my life here and just how much this community is a part of me.”

Read here.

 

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“Smear Campaign: The Art of Chris Valentine” (Published 5/5/15)

by Daniel Barron

Johannesburg-based artist Chris Valentine talked about his inspirations, love of music, and favorite projects.

Read here.

 

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“Christine Wu: Ghost World” (Published 10/21/13)

by Daniel Barron

In 2013 we took a visit to the studio of Christine Wu to speak about her latest body of work. Featuring original photos by Michael Rababy.

Quote: “A lot of my work does deal with death and dying, but it is more of a metaphorical death that cycles into growth, rather than a final ending.”

Read here.

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- who has written 424 posts on Yay! LA | Arts & Culture Magazine.

Rudderless college graduate Daniel Barron founded Yay! LA Magazine on a love of writing, passion for the arts, and a firm belief that people really like talking about themselves. He contributed to a number of publications, including LA Music Blog and the defunct The Site Unscene, before deciding to cover arts and entertainment the way he wanted to read it. He works as a freelance writer and digital PR consultant in his current home of Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @YayDanielBarron.

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