Monday, August 17, 2009

The Art of Life : An Art Show Fundraiser Aug 29th

The Art of Life
An Art Show Fundraiser

Art Whino and Life with Cancer® present THE ART OF LIFE, a special art exhibit to raise money for support programs for cancer patients and their families. In addition to a special exhibit of James Walker paintings and a meet and greet with the artist, twenty five other Art Whino artists will exhibit their work. The event will showcase live concerts by the up and coming indie rock band, Once Okay Twice, and an acoustic guitar set by Bud Wilkinson. There will also be a break dancing performance by the acclaimed troupe Flying Fists From the Floor. Artists will be doing live painting of vinyl toys. Tarara winery will provide wine for a special tasting.

Saturday, August 29th, from 5pm – 9pm

The Dewberry Life with Cancer® Family Center
8411 Pennell Street, Fairfax, VA 22031.

Indie Rock Band Performance by Once Okay Twice

Acoustic Guitar by Bud Wilkinson

Dance Performance by Flying Fists From The Floor

$20 Suggested Donation at the door goes to the Life With Cancer® Foundation.

Life with Cancer®

ImageLife with Cancer® has been an integral part of the health care community for more than twenty years, working to help people face the challenges of living with cancer by providing information, education and support. Funded primarily by community contributions, programs and services are offered free of charge to people with cancer as well as their relatives and friends, regardless of where treatment is received.

James Walker’s Artist Statement:

Image…I never made a conscious decision to become an artist, it’s something I’ve always done for as long as I can remember, I make pictures and draw and paint and collage debris and objects as intuitively as possible and I’ve never specialized in anything except making the best art that I can and I don’t often think of myself as an artist but more of a sociologist or philosopher…my background is in photojournalism and I take a documentary approach to everything I do with my work and I feel that my most successful images are ones that develop as a natural extension of existing …all of my amalgamations are nothing more than a feverish attempt to create some sort of semi-tangible cohesion out of everyday experiences through obsessive collection of imagery and stories and adventures that I compile as the proof of life lived to bring a general awareness that every second exists for just that and at the same time facilitating this idea the only way I can, through my artwork, all of it being the cliff notes to my inclusion in this maelstrom of existence, examining the fact that everything is in a constant state of fluctuation, deterioration, and reconstruction, never lasting more than two blinks of an eye which may be why humans invented the concept of measuring time while we fruitlessly strive to sustain and avoid any contact with the inevitable thermodynamic deconstruction of our selves and everything we see as real and I’m enamored with the idea that everything is beautifully entropic and nothing will ever retain, permanently, its current physical form, which is why I try be mindful of the present moment, the only thing that is not simulacra, without which we would have neither the future nor the past (both of which carry significance only as stubborn illusions), and with the realization that the present moment is the only thing that truly exists I gather information and juxtapose found treasures all decomposing and beautifully dancing in wonderful objectification with images in various states of archival-ness (frequently subconsciously depicting all too clearly our own frailty taken for granted) and I am helping to organize an introspection and focus that is easily lost in the cellularphonic espresso-paced world that I am also contently enveloped in, intensifying awareness of the swirling cacophony and freneticism of it all and all of the feelings and emotions colliding, and as I work I just let the chaos flow without judgment, acknowledging its existence as neither good nor bad, just that it is there, with hopes of creating nothing that is stale but instead just as alive as the subjects it depicts...

Custom Vinyl Show
Art Whino artists have been given the blank canvas of a Vinyl Teddy Trooper Figure to customize however they see fit. Their innovative solutions will be on display during the event and a great opportunity to see their wide range of artistic styles and techniques applied to the figures. Brandon Hill, AKA The Baby Chicken, and Dan Barojas will do live painting and customization of the figures.


Special Musical Performance by Once Okay Twice

ImageMost people like to do things once, we like to do them TWICE! Join the never-ending party that is Once Okay Twice…

The band has been compared to Kings of Leon, Bloc Party, Broken Social Scene, The Cure, the Clash, with a dash of Incubus/Weezer(-esque) charm. Throw in a killer string section via violin and a soulful chamber music type sound and you'll get ONCE OKAY TWICE. One might say we draw from a lot of influences to create a unique upbeat bouncy indie vibe. They are a DC party band with a hint of 80’s flair.

Located outside of Leesburg on the banks of the Potomac River, Tarara Winery is a 475-acre farm devoted to the art of producing fine wines. At Tarara, they strive to cultivate wines that pour a classic taste of their surroundings into the glasses of seasoned connoisseurs and eager beginners alike. And with that in mind, Tarara Winery will host a tasting featuring a range of their popular wines.
click here


ImageBud Wilkinson is an eyebrow-raising musician with head-nodding, toe-tapping, table-drumming tunes. His style is jazzy, down-home dirty with gypsy, latin, and blues influences.

SubMerge Magazine Interview: Justin Lovato

Deus Ex Machina

Posted on 17 August 2009 by dubs

Deus Ex Machina

Justin Lovato to Unveil His Latest Series of Paintings, Infinite Bewilderment
Words Blake Gillespie

“People generally are unaware of their environment or how their everyday decisions might be affecting somebody thousands of miles away,” says Sacramento painter Justin Lovato, 23, whose latest series, Infinite Bewilderment, predominantly features images of jesters pulled from tarot cards, influential hands that tug at his characters like ventriloquists and symbols borrowed from the Freemason and Illuminati cults.

The series, opening Aug. 8 at Upper Playground on J Street, is challenging the notion that depictions of feudalist peasants might seem dated or have little relevance to modern life. “I like to use a lot of old symbolism in my art,” he says. “I am fascinated with religious-based art. Medieval art is a big influence on me. The whole idea of people in feudalism at that time, I think we live in a neo-feudalist society right now. Everyone is in a constant state of confusion.”

Lovato admits his art can be somewhat blatant, but he would rather the message be obvious than lost. “I think people are psychologically damaged due to a lack of good information and a lack of speculation about why we’re here and what they should be focusing on. I think if people lived moment to moment and redefined ‘need’ they might be more content, focusing positive energy elsewhere.”

Justin Lovato

His work borrows medieval art techniques, all the way down to a disregard (although at the time it was lack of understanding) for perspective and dimension. “I like that it’s not very advanced,” he said. “It’s really flat looking, but the point is the imagery is blatant, which I am definitely guilty of. It’s aesthetically pleasing to me.” He also is enamored with the prerequisite of including religious themes. “The idea that you could be chastised for making art that didn’t revere God is intriguing to me,” he said.×40web.jpg

Lovato appreciates the plight of the juggler, who is relegated to “grab ahold of everything all the time.” “It represents the things that are deified to grab hold of people’s energies,” he said.

As for the archetypes of secret societies, Lovato swears he is not a conspiracy junkie. “I use that stuff because it makes for a good metaphor,” he said. “I don’t believe there’s an Illuminati. I think more out in the open there’s a subsection of rich industrialists that make the large decisions that affect the bottom tier, but I don’t believe in a mystical force.”

For Lovato, the unseen hand of influence is more visible than we are often willing to admit. He has a series of paintings in which a ubiquitous hand guides fountain streams of pills to lethargic characters, filling up their stomachs, heads and backs. “It’s a funny take on where we obtain our ideals,” he said.

“Whether it’s from other people pushing you along, or respecting someone else’s opinion who happens to have a print magazine or be on TV. It’s about the general influences that guide our ideals.”

The most controversial of his techniques could be his stripped depictions of the female form. In several of Lovato’s portraits the women are chopped down to the sexual torso. But is Lovato a mysogynist? “I want people to be confused at the image,” he said. “I am portraying the disgusting, abusive, offensive way that we view woman in our society by displaying it in a way that might make a woman feel offended by looking at it.”

Many of Lovato’s characters seem to be obese figures with pattern baldness, lumbering in a glum haze. But he resists a notion that it’s his view of typical Americans. “I don’t think people seem unhappy,” he says. “I enjoy people and talking to people I meet no matter who they are or what they might think or buy into.” He is aware that while he has his convictions, he is not a man with all the answers. “I am [trying to be] more suspicious of my everyday surroundings, and archetypes, and people’s expectations of me as a member of this hive.”

Justin Lovato

Lovato, who admits to listening to everything from ‘60s and ‘70s jazz and old punk rock to hip-hop and even lectures (“It keeps your mind occupied, while you’re meditating over a painting,” he explains), got his first show three years ago at The Toy Room from owners John Soldano and Craig Maclaine. Lovato recalls being 16, making trips to the alleyway gallery and gaining a fascination with the lowbrow art featured there. “I started hanging out there when I was a kid,” he said. “I got my first show when I was 20. I actually sold a few pieces, which was encouraging. I started doing it consistently ever since.”

“Consistently” rounds out to six shows a year. Most recently his work traveled to the Washington D.C. area after selling three pieces from a Toy Room show to a gallery called Art Whino. “Craig and John were a huge help in first getting my shit out there,” he said. “That’s the good thing about showing at gallery spots, there’s usually someone there who wants to help you get your name out there.”

When Lovato unveils his pieces Aug. 8, expect a remodeling of the Upper Playground boutique. Lovato plans to repaint the space and include interactive art. “I’ve been fucking around with animation,” he said. “I started looking at old toys from the 1800s. I’ve made these flipbook machines for people to play with.”