Monday, March 10, 2014

Andrew Hem's "Dream But Don't Sleep" Recap

"Dream But Don't Sleep," Andrew Hem's solo which opened on Saturday night at Merry Karnowsky, was a triumph. Since I know some of you couldn't make it, I thought I would share some of my favorite pieces with you. Also check out Arrested Motion, which provided the photo of Andrew's studio installation below, to see more photos of the work hanging in the gallery.


"B-boyz"

"Intent to Kill"

"New Name"

"The Printmaker"

"Why Start With the Bridge"

"Yesterday"

"The Street Is My Studio"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Andrew Hem's "Dream But Don't Sleep"

I am overjoyed to announce that Andrew Hem's next solo show, entitled "Dream But Don't Sleep," will open on March 8th at Merry Karnowsy Gallery.


His largest solo to date, this exhibition marks the culmination of three years of remarkable growth for Andrew, both as a painter and as a human being. His latest collection of dreamlike images is inspired by nostalgia for painting graffiti and b-boying with the D2R crew as a youth, memories of his travels through South America and Southeast Asia, and the beautiful chaos of artists' studios both real and imagined. In this body of work more than ever before, the boldness of his use of color combines with his subtle touch with light and texture to invoke a hauntingly emotional atmosphere. At the moment, Andrew is putting the finishing touches on an installation which will echo the environment in several of the paintings. Make sure to RSVP to rsvp@mkgallery.com if you plan to attend, as you won't be allowed to enter unless you're on their list. I'll see you there!

Apologies & Updates

Here I am, back again — I bet you thought I was gone for good! I'm just ducking in to make a quick announcement about a very exciting upcoming event (check the next post). I've been distracted from writing here over the past year or so by my new pastime, muay thai kickboxing at The Yard.


Anyone who knows me could confirm that training there has worked wonders for me, both physically and mentally. If that sounds interesting, and you live in Los Angeles anywhere near Lincoln Heights, you should come to The Yard and check it out. First sessions are always free. Bring a friend!

In upcoming exciting news, I have just completed writing the introductory essay for Dabs Myla's new book, Midnight Fantasy, which will be coming out in a few months from Zero+ Publishing! It's going to be incredible — 180 pages of rambunctious, ribald joy. 


I am currently embroiled in crafting an essay for my dear friend Edwin Ushiro's upcoming book from Zero+, which will be a gorgeous, haunting volume entitled Gathering Whispers. Keep an eye on the Zero+ website for details.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wild at Heart II: Recap

This weekend marked the opening of Wild at Heart II, the third edition of the endangered species benefit shows co-curated by myself and Thinkspace's Andrew Hosner. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Though the exhibition has closed, you can still check out all the work online. Here are a few more very special pieces from the show that I wanted to share with you. 

Edwin Ushiro "Invitation From A Distant Whisper"

Curiot "Ambystoma Mexicanum"

Diana Beltran Herrera "Hummingbird"

Jolene Lai "Nectar"

Mary Iverson "Sunk"

Mu Pan "An Opossum and Small Opossums"

Ben Strawn "Fermata"

Regan Rosburg "Juste Milieu"

Aron Wiesenfeld "The Settlers"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wild at Heart II: Sharks

This weekend marked the opening of Wild at Heart II, the third edition of the endangered species benefit shows co-curated by myself and Thinkspace's Andrew Hosner. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Though the exhibition has closed, you can still check out all the work online.

Shark Toof "Seven Shark Show"

There are over 440 species of Sharks in the world’s oceans, many of which are considered the keystone species of their ecosystem, meaning that their removal from the environment causes the entire food chain to collapse. When hunting, sharks are discriminatory predators, culling the oldest and weakest members of their prey species, which ensures healthier fish populations. Many sharks also scavenge the sea floor to dispose of carcasses that could spread disease. Currently, dozens of shark species are listed as vulnerable or endangered, including the Whale Shark, Basking Shark, Great White Shark, Great Hammerhead and the docile bottom-dwelling Zebra Shark.

Sharks mature late and reproduce slowly. Many species take up to 20 years to reach maturity, and once they are adults, some species take almost two years to bear just a few live pups. Their already low birth rate has been adversely impacted by habitat degradation in their shallow coastal breeding grounds. Bottom-dwelling sharks like the zebra shark are often killed as bycatch of bottom trawl fishing, and open-ocean sharks like mako and basking sharks are frequently caught in long-lines, trawls and gillnets intended for tuna. In many fisheries, tuna boats now catch more sharks than tuna.

About 75 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, which are prized for traditional Chinese medicine and in shark fin soup, considered a status symbol in China and Japan. Shark meat is much less valuable than the fins, which can sell for up to $600 a pound, so fishing vessels have no incentive to preserve their meat. Once a shark’s fins have been cut away, the shark is dumped back into the ocean while still alive, and unable to swim, it dies a torturous death by slow suffocation or blood loss. Due to this rapacious demand for shark fins, many sharks never live long enough to reproduce, so their populations have collapsed catastrophically over the past few decades.

Wild at Heart II: Whales and Dolphins

This weekend marked the opening of Wild at Heart II, the third edition of the endangered species benefit shows co-curated by myself and Thinkspace's Andrew Hosner. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Though the exhibition has closed, you can still check out all the work online.

Ekundayo "Migrations"


Of the 13 great Whale species, 7 are are endangered or vulnerable, even after decades of protection. Whales, dolphins and porpoises are succumbing to new and ever-increasing dangers. Collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear threaten the North Atlantic Right Whale with extinction, while the critically endangered Western North Pacific Gray Whale is at serious risk because of intensive oil and gas development in its feeding grounds. There are fears that the widespread use of sonar is causing whales to panic, either beaching themselves or surfacing too rapidly, which leads to potentially fatal decompression sickness. Alarm is also growing over other hazards, including toxic contamination, the effects of climate change and habitat degradation.

Born Free advocates against keeping marine mammals such as dolphins and orcas in marine parks, where they are doomed to a life of confinement and are forced to perform degrading tricks that run counter to their natural instincts. Last year, Born Free completed the rehabilitation of two dolphins rescued from a filthy swimming pool in Turkey. For 20 months, they were cared for and taught to hunt live fish on their own, then returned to the wilds of the Aegean Sea from which they had been taken as babies. To prevent cruelty of this kind from continuing, Born Free is calling for an international ban on the capture of wild dolphins. In the United States, Born Free protests against the dolphin exhibit at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, where more than a dozen dolphins have died in since its opening in 1990.

Wild at Heart II: The Giant Carrion Beetle

This weekend marked the opening of Wild at Heart II, the third edition of the endangered species benefit shows co-curated by myself and Thinkspace's Andrew Hosner. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Though the exhibition has closed, you can still check out all the work online.

João Ruas "Necrophagous"


















The American Burying Beetle, also known as the Giant Carrion Beetle, is a thumb-sized black beetle with dramatic orange-red markings. In the spring, the male searches out the carcass of a small animal such as a rat, chipmunk or dove and then tries to attract a mate. Once it has secured the attentions of a female, the two beetles work together to carry the body to a suitable place and bury the carcass several inches below ground, then lay 10-25 eggs in a subterranean chamber nearby. The mated pair stays with the eggs until the larvae hatch several days later, and then both parents tend and feed their young from the stored carrion, a behavior that is unusual amongst beetles.

The burying beetle was once common and widespread in the United States east of the Rockies, but is now rarely found outside of Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Dakota and Nebraska. Scientists speculate that disruptions in the food chain due to the loss of large predators have led to an increase of scavenger species, and consequently the scarcity of small bird and mammal carcasses has limited the burying beetle’s ability to reproduce. The burying beetle is now critically endangered and faces imminent extinction unless captive breeding and reintroduction programs succeed in pulling it back from the brink.