Monday, April 9, 2012

Out Of Thin Air Exhibition Curated by Ginger Van Hook Opens at Los Angeles World Airports April 20th, 2012 - October 2012!

“OUT OF THIN AIR” Paintings and Mixed Media Location- Terminal One LAX Gate 2 Curated by Ginger Van Hook April 20, 2012 – October 2012

LAX. Los Angeles, California Los Angeles, The City of Angels as it is known, is a magical and enchanting landscape of diversity in the arts and culture bringing together influences from across the world. The exhibition titled “Out of Thin Air” reflects upon the cultivation of these fine arts in Southern California where the illustrious sunshine creates a unique ambiance and glow in which to paint, plein-air or in-studio, traditional oils, wood carvings or emerging digital and film technologies; each are represented in a significant collection of Paintings and Mixed Media works exhibited in Terminal One, Gate Two, between April 2012 and October 2012.

While the city celebrates The J. Paul Getty’s initiative for Pacific Standard Time across the West with shows revealing post war artists working through the 1980’s … “Out of Thin Air” materializes to continue the conversation started by the PST and celebrates the contemporary local artists working in the present day, while simultaneously giving homage to the artists that came before them. Using the language of symbols and abstract ideas, both with Japanese Characters or texts from comic book references, as well as both traditional handmade paintings and digital technologies, these artists weave stories, fictions, film industry fantasies and mythological lore, metaphysical meditations and demonstrate ecological reverence as some of the themes that become visible “Out of Thin Air”.

Eleven (11) artists representing the immediate LAX Airport community and surrounding local areas, are exhibiting their original Paintings and Mixed Media. These artists derive a certain amount of inspiration, interpretation and motivation, “Out of Thin Air”. Also these artists influence each other by virtue of living, working, practicing and experiencing artwork in the LAX community of Los Angeles, and include several alumni from Otis College of Art and Design, the art school that borders the runway of one of the nations’ busiest airports. The following are the artists in the exhibition: “Out of Thin Air” Painters and Mixed Media:

Mark X Farina, Renée Fox, Steve Fujimoto, Michael Giancristiano, Shizuko Greenblatt, Scott Grieger, Michael Massenburg, Kenneth Ober, Holly Tempo, Luke Van Hook and Hung Viet Nguyen, help to demonstrate the diversity and complexity of creativity from the inspiration of practicing their art in Los Angeles.

About the Artists-

At the entrance to the Hallway of Gate two in Terminal One the first two artists installed on the left, are artists who graduated four years apart from the same Otis College of Art and Design and also shared and mentored with the same painting professor Scott Grieger. Kenneth Ober and Luke Van Hook are contemporaries practicing in the same community and have succeeded in producing abstract works that complement each other despite the unique timing of their apprenticeships.

 “Great Plains”  Oil on Canvas  76” H x 94” W x 1.75”D  $8000.-

The works by Kenneth Ober are meditative paintings that explore and define time and space through complex fields created by the continuous repetition of simple marks. Kenneth Ober, Otis Alumni (class of 2001) creates with a tool designed for pin-striping automobiles, which he uses to apply relentlessly consistent lines of paint onto subtly textured canvas. The resulting 8’ foot painting titled “Great Plains” evokes the themes of environmental awareness and conservation for which Ober has recently been internationally recognized. Ober’s artwork is exhibited in the Department of States ‘ART in Embassies’ program in Sri Lanka and Maldives for the next 3 years. Early training at a Buddhist university led many of Kenneth Ober’s art works to reflect upon grasslands, the oceans and the importance of balance in ecological life. Kenneth Ober lives and paints in the community of Inglewood, California.

"September 2009" Oil on Canvas 84" x 64" x 2"D by Luke Van Hook.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2009
"May 2010" Oil on Canvas over oil pastels 70"H x 54"W x 2"D by Luke Van Hook.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2010
Luke Van Hook, painter/artist and Otis Alumni (class of 2004) creates similar patterns of repetition but instead of using a pin-striping tool, Luke Van Hook utilizes a fine tip .020 paintbrush to manually apply oil paint to his canvas as he investigates abstract landscapes of interlaced perfect “circles” one circle at a time. Marking time with each circle representing one cycle of breathing in air, Luke Van Hook learned this process might have a connection with his work to a practice done in Zen monasteries in Japan that is referred to as Enso. “Though I don’t know how this connection relates I believe that a spiritual one exists.” Luke states. Luke Van Hook’s traditional style of oil painting often begins like western written form, from left to right, which seems to suggest that the paintings appear to contain some secret code or language. Both paintings Luke Van Hook exhibits at LAX “Out of Thin Air” took several months to complete so he titles his work the month and year it was completed. “September 2009” hints of burnt umber, yellow ochre and a variation of subtle orange circles layered over each other representing earth tones while “May 2010” utilizes a veil of bright red circles layered over the darker serious black oil pastel circles, grays, and aquamarine-blues on raw canvas to depict what appears as a peek into another universe. A longtime active member of the Los Angeles Art Association (L.A.A.A.), Luke Van Hook also lives, paints and collaborates in the City of Inglewood, California with his wife, curator, photographer and artist Ginger Van Hook. Luke and Ginger Van Hook also have a solo show exhibition of Light & Space works scheduled to open on September 7, 2012 at Gallery 825 (L.A.A.A.) in Los Angeles.

“Enthusiasm #5” Acrylic on Canvas 48”H x 36”W $4000.-- 

lity #5” Acrylic on Canvas 48”H x 48”W  $4000.--
“Vitality #5” Acrylic on Canvas 48”H x 48”W  $4000.--
With vivid colors and ardent determination, Shizuko Greenblatt bares her soul and celebrates her Japanese Character Series reflecting upon “Vitality #5” and “Enthusiasm #5”. These characters are artistically modified to express their meanings, which coordinate with the painting’s titles. The vertical hardedge lines in vibrant colors express the controlled energy and compelling force that make strong contrasts against organic lines of the Characters. By virtue of her own serious reputation as an artist and curator, Greenblatt’s acrylic painted canvases and magnificent installations are always full of life and philosophy creating an aura both of tranquility and passion in her images and works. An active contributor to the (L.A.A.A.) Los Angeles Art Association and Gallery 825, while practicing her art in the central part of Los Angeles, closer to midtown Westwood, Shizuko Greenblatt lives with her husband and gold medalist weight lifting champion, Richard Greenblatt.
“Cold Front; storm warning in the ‘hood” Acrylic on Canvas 
70”H x 69”W x ¼”D
Holly Tempo joined the faculty of the School of Fine Arts at Otis College of Art & Design in 2001, where she serves as Associate Professor of Painting. The artist, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, maintains a studio in Inglewood, California. As a painting educator where she derives a great deal of inspiration from working in the airport community of Westchester and living and painting in her studio in nearby Inglewood, Holly Tempo created the palette for this painting from online images of skyscapes photographed as storm conditions move in. A cold front is a leading edge of cold air mass that, when pushing against a warmer mass of air can create rain and stormy conditions at the boundary of the two air masses. Cold fronts are strongest during the transitional seasons of fall and spring. In “Cold Front: Storm Warning In The ‘Hood”, the front becomes a metaphor for societal forces that alter the urban landscape.

“Coastal Sensation #35” Oil on Canvas  62”H x 50”W x 3”D $5000.--
Artist Hung Viet Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1957. He studied Biology at Science University in Saigon, Vietnam, and then worked as illustrator, graphics artist and designer since settling in the United States in 1982. He developed his artist’s skills independently, studying many traditional Eastern and Western forms, media and techniques. Nguyen’s complex, labor-intensive investigations of oil paint reveal a methodical mastery of texture. While portions of Nguyen’s work suggest the influence of many traditional art forms including woodblock prints, oriental scroll paintings, ceramic art, mosaic, and stained glass, the ultimate expression asserts a contemporary pedigree. As Nguyen progressed in his quest to create works of art like “Coastal Sensation #35”, he shifted his focus to landscapes. His landscapes are intricate, painterly, vibrant in color, and demonstrate not only the skill in his brush strokes, but also reveals a world of abstraction and curiosity which he pursues. and

“Escaping the Pits of Despair” #1  24”H x 96”W x 2”D  $8,000.--
Mixed Media, Deconstructed Plywood, Stain, Acrylic Medium, & Sand
 “Escaping the Pits of Despair” #2  24”H x 96”W x 2” D $8,000.--
Mixed Media, Deconstructed Plywood, Stain, Acrylic Medium, & Sand
Revealing arid desert landscapes on plywood grain, Michael Giancristiano carves out abstractions in his works, “Escaping the Pits of Despair #1 & #2”. He is influenced by natural desert elements, socioeconomic challenges and his love of aviation. The panels depict a barren desert full of pitfalls and caverns which represent our daily struggle in this tough economy. Plywood was hand selected and deconstructed allowing the wood grains to flow in a forward trajectory, resembling shock waves from a jet aircraft tarring across the earth with tremendous force. “For several years now people have faced life altering challenges while attempting to escape from economic and emotional pits of despair”, says Giancristiano. “We dream of escaping our lives and traveling to some far away destination, never to look back”. Michael Giancristiano resides in the community of Venice Beach, California. His work has exhibited internationally and can be found in many private and corporate collections.

“Love Supreme” Mixed medium, Drawing & Painting on Canvas
30”H x 40”W x 2”D $5000.-

“Love Supreme” created by Michael Massenburg is about the sounds of music and how we feel it through colors and movement. As inspiration “Out of thin air” Massenburg painted the colors of sounds that he hears. “If I can feel the air what would it look like if I could see it?” Michael asks. Michael Massenburg was born in San Diego, California and studied at California State University, Long Beach and Otis Art Institute. Massenburg has exhibited in galleries and museums, completed private commissions, and worked on public art projects throughout the country and abroad. Some of his public works includes Verizon, MTA, ESPN and the American Jazz Museum. An Inglewood artist and President of Inglewood Cultural Arts, he is also the recipient of grants from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the California Arts Council. His work also resides in many private collections. Michael’s artwork is represented by M Hanks Gallery in Santa Monica California.

“This That and the Other Thing” Acrylic on Panel 50”H x 38” W     $9000.--
Artist and painter Scott Grieger, also an instructor having earned the recognition of a lifetime achievement award for the education and propagation of the fine arts, is a celebrated local Inglewood artist and teacher on the faculty at Otis College, exhibiting a work he created when the digital revolution was just exploding on the scene and computers were just beginning to influence painting, titled “This That and The Other Thing”. Scott Grieger states, “about the time I had a gig as an artist in residence at the University of Nevada Las Vegas I was just getting started with computers. I wanted to figure out some sort of expressive potential in by today's standards was a primitive technology. I found a splash of paint in a drawing, scanned it, resized it several times, flipped it and turned it upside down and scanned it again to create the composition you see in the painting. If you will notice the graphic motif of the composition is the same splash arranged over and over to create different looking images. One night when I stepped out on the balcony of the studio the university had provided me with I noticed the beautiful color schemes of the neon signs on the Las Vegas strip and decided to adopt one of the color schemes I saw. The next step was to have the image run through a plotter that cuts stencils and used it to paint the images on to the panel. The collision of the highly pixilated-stenciled composition and the colors struck a perfect balance and led to the finished work you see today.” For the tourists visiting our fair city of Los Angeles, California, the inspiration Scott Grieger achieved in this work reflects upon the proximity of Los Angeles to the thriving art and gaming communities just about 8 hours away in Las Vegas, Nevada a popular destination for all the locals as well!

“Little Help Please” (Diptych)
Aerosol paint & anime cels on radiographs of spacecraft flight equipment 
13” H x 29.5”W x 1”D (1’ H feet x  2.46’ W feet)  7 lbs. each
13” H x 29.5”W x 1”D (1’ H feet x  2.46’ W feet)  7 lbs. each
Steve Fujimoto explores the popular genre of Japanese anime in his process of painting by using Aerosol paints and anime cels on radiographs of spacecraft flight equipment. "Little Help, Please" explores the notion of good versus evil through pop-culture characterizations and stereotypical representations. However, beneath the surface of clear-cut delineation lies another reality: Society's method of coping with complex moral fields is abetted by our willingness to overlook those vast areas where the two camps merge into an indistinguishable gray area. Typically, Steve Fujimoto works in sculpture and explores moral themes in oft-explosive political caricatures. An active member of the Los Angeles Art Association(L.A.A.A)/ Gallery 825 Steve Fujimoto has exhibited locally and statewide in California.

“earth wind and fire” Oil on Canvas 48” H x 36” W  by Mark X Farina

“water water everywhere” Oil on Canvas 48” x 36”    by Mark X Farina

“swim with dolphins -avoid the sharks” Oil on Canvas  

“earth wind and fire” Oil on Canvas 48” H x 36” W 
“water water everywhere” Oil on Canvas 48” x 36”     
“swim with dolphins -avoid the sharks” Oil on Canvas  48” H x 36” W    
 $9000.--  for all three by Mark X Farina
Mark X Farina, artist, DJ, painter and media solutions staff member at Otis College of Art and Design, has created a triptych-3 panel painting dealing with the realms of the senses. Referencing comic book super heroes, these characters are all emerging from water into the atmosphere- where they face dangers in the element of air. The Cyclops has the heightened sense of sight and focuses laser beams from his eyes to protect himself. The floating head is more of an artist self portrait- treading water incredulously, waiting to emerge into his harsh world. A fish represents the natural predators lurking about; you’re either a dolphin, shark or tuna in this town. Mark X Farina lives in Santa Monica and has a studio in Venice Beach, California.

"Cloud" by Renée Fox 
Oil, Oil bar, colored pencil & graphite on canvas over panel 30”H x 16”W
“Attraction" by Renée Fox Oil, Latex and graphite on panel  30” H  x 36" W
 “Pretty Baby” Oil and Latex on Canvas 54” x 54” Square 

 “Pretty Baby” Oil and Latex on Canvas 54” x 54” Square 
“Attraction" by Renée Fox   Oil, Latex and graphite on panel  30” H  x 36" W

"Cloud" by Renée Fox 
Oil, Oil bar, colored pencil & graphite on canvas over panel 30”H x 16”W  $9000.-- for all three.

The art works of Renée Fox celebrate the nature of the seed, the propagation of the flower, the appreciation of the minuscule forms of life and the realization of dreams. Fox works adroitly in both mediums of drawing and painting. “Pretty Baby”, “Attraction” and “Cloud” are the works exhibited here at LAX representing three styles of her work which sprout wings and fly about on her canvas making illusions of cloud formations, fertile chrysanthemums and enchanted winged insects. An artist that is intrigued by the beauty and mathematical order of plant life, as well as an Otis Alumni (class of 2002), Renée Fox is the founder of the Inglewood Open Studios Tour, and Director of the first major contemporary art gallery and manager of the first organized professional art community developed in Inglewood, Ca. The Beacon Arts Building is located at 808 N. La Brea Blvd. Seeking to draw a pool of artists into their circle, these two graduates of Otis College of Art and Design from nearby Westchester began encouraging fellow artists to come live and work in Inglewood because studio space is still abundant and affordable. As a married couple, artist Renée Fox and her husband, artist Kenneth Ober have become a mighty force to be reckoned with in the re-shaping and cultivation of the arts and artists thus reclaiming the Inglewood Community as a serious cultural center in a unique city, now on the map; an art destination just in the flight path of the Los Angeles Airport.


About the Curator-

Ginger Van Hook is a photographer, writer, curator and artist with an M.F.A. Degree from Otis College of Art and Design and a Bachelor’s degree from the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. Currently Ginger E. Van Hook is a member of the Faculty at Otis College of Art and Design, teaching color photography, as well as one of the Curators for the City of Los Angeles under the Department of Cultural Affairs. Between April and June of 2012, Ginger Van Hook will also have an exhibition of her work at First City CU Gallery in Monrovia. Ginger Van Hook is also a board member with M.A.F.A., Monrovia Association of Fine Arts where her role is publicity. Additionally, Ginger Van Hook works with non-profit organizations and is a member of the L.A.A.A., Los Angeles Art Association, G.L.A.W.S., Greater Los Angeles Writers Society as well as owns her own business, Van Hook Fine Arts where she promotes the fine arts in a series of 40 Networked Blogs (Fine Art Trekkin’) individually covering art events in several cities across Los Angeles County and surrounding areas. Ginger Van Hook practices photography and documentary filmmaking throughout the county of Los Angeles and lives with her husband, artist Luke Van Hook, and their dogs Sasha and Pyro.



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