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A painting by West One.
"While in New York, my palette was predominantly dark....Here, the natural light is constant and the spaces are wide open."
All quotes from Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California by Justin Van Hoy.
A photograph by Damon Way.
"Along the California coastline lurks a subculture of people who have found solace in clustered encampments of ragtag motor homes."
A gallery installation by Retna, whose work references hieroglyphics, calligraphy and graffiti.
"Growing up in Los Angeles, the gang culture, graffiti culture, and the close proximity of so many different nationalities were the biggest factors in my upbringing."
California isn?t just a leader in entertainment. It?s also an innovator in the world of fine arts--our museums hold epic exhibitions, and our galleries draw big names and big money. In fact, there?s often so much high-profile stuff going on, it can be especially difficult to keep up with emerging artists.
Luckily, we?ve snagged a beautifully illustrated coffee-table book to help us out: Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California, which surveys 54 of the Golden State?s most interesting artists.
There?s a little bit of everything here: photographers like dreamy imagist Joey Gallagher and pastel portraitist Ye Rin Mok, graffiti artists such as Retna, polymaths like Christopher Bettig (whose day job is art-directing a little website called Google). The range of painted work is impressive, from trippy watercolors by Justin Krietemeyer to lush, layered oils by Sage Vaughn.
The book by gallerist Justin Van Hoy also includes short artist statements, and we were fascinated by contributors? thoughts on the pluses of working in California (light and space get big props) as well as gripes about the locale (Angelenos hate traffic, natch).
After breezing through these stories, we knew a little bit more about each person--which is good, as we expect to see a lot of them in years to come.
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