Saturday, July 4, 2015

Jim McHugh: Just One More : Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada

Jim McHugh: Just One More : Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada

Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada

Welcoming entrance to Noah's Mojave installations
Noah Puifoy with his sculpture "The Bridge" - 2000 - Polaroid T-55 Film ©2000 Jim McHugh
Thanks to my friend Joe Lewis, artist and educator,  I was able to photograph Noah Purifoy at his open air studio /museum in the desert in 2000. I also acquired a piece of sculpture from Noah personally, which has remained in the Mojave until a few weeks ago. After he was gone, perhaps I was uncomfortable disturbing what Noah had created. What a pleasure it was seeing the beautiful exhibit at LACMA, celebrating his life and work. Up thru September 2015.

Noah Purifoy (1917-2004) lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California. A founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, his earliest body of sculpture, constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts Rebellion, was the basis for 66 Signs of Neon, a landmark group exhibition about the riots that traveled to nine venues between 1966 and 1969. LACMA
In the late 1980’s, after eleven years of public policy work for the California Arts Council, where Purifoy initiated programs such as Artists in Social Institutions, bringing art into the state prison system, Purifoy moved his practice to the Mojave desert. He lived there for the last fifteen years of his life, creating ten acres of large-scale sculpture constructed entirely from junked materials. LACMA 
"Heavy Metal" is an apt title for this 9' lead and wood sculpture which I brought to Los Angeles a few weeks ago. "Heavy Metal" exudes a powerful presence which I was completely overtaken with the first time I saw it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Graffiti Art Print at LAArt Show 2015

"Scratch" Triptych Debuts at LA Art Show 2015

"Scratch" - 195x40-inch triptych

About The Print

"Scratch," a photo collage of the recent graffiti installation at El Segundo Museum of Art, debuted at the LA Art Show 2015. Measuring nearly 17 feet in length, “Scratch” was photographed over a period several months. It includes many separate images of both individual artists and graffiti walls. The photograph includes such artists as Phantom, Axis, Cre8, Defer, Eyeone, Fishe, Miner, Gajin Fujita, Big Sleeps, and Prime. Jim McHugh considers this picture an artist group portrait. He has used these multiple images to go beyond the normal single-point perspective limitations of the camera, allowing for expansion of time and maximization of detail.

Joe "Prime" Reza, Big Sleeps, Defer & Jim McHugh

ESMoA Exhibition

In 2013, LA’s leading graffiti artists responded to a 16th Century manuscript from the vaults of the Getty Research Institute called a liber amicorum (book of friends) by contributing works on paper to be bound into a single book, thus creating the Getty Graffiti Black Book. Street artists have used black books for decades to create a visual memory of drafts and to serve as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas. The extraordinary competition that occasionally arises among artists can also lead to respect, as rivals invite each other to “hit” their black books with original works. The contributing artists gave the Getty Black Book the title “LA Liber Amicorum” to capture the transformational spirit of rival “writing crews” creating a Los Angeles Book of Friends. 

ESMoA and the Getty Research Institute subsequently invited Getty Black Book artists Axis, Cre8, Defer, Eyeone, Fishe, and Miner to co-curate those crews of creative friends from the LA graffiti art community and turn ESMoA into an open black book. With the “Scratch” installation, graffiti and tattoo artists transformed the space into a cathedral of urban art for the first public presentation of the LA Liber Amicorum.

Jim McHugh with Brian and Eva Sweeney of ESMoA

Brian and Eva Sweeney (left & center) of ESMoA

LA Art Show 2015

In January of 2015, the LA Art Show celebrated its 20th Anniversary. The 200,000-square foot art fair has grown from its inception as a small regional event featuring 14 galleries to an international showcase for fine art, attracting 120 galleries from 22 countries. 

In a major departure from art fairs of the time, the LA Art Show was the first and only event to strategically incorporate galleries representing diverse art genres, broadening its audiences to include enthusiasts of: modern, contemporary, historic and traditional works, as well as works on paper, sculpture and installations, in one art fair. This show format was specifically selected to meet the needs of the LA market. And, it has paid off with attendance and galleries increasing year over year. This out-of-the-box thinking has been a hallmark of the show production team, which has consistently developed programming and special exhibition content, that following its debut at the LA Art Show, has grown to acclaim in the international art world.

In recent years, the LA Art Show has become the most internationally diverse art platform in the Western world, bringing in the largest groupings of Korean, Chinese and Japanese galleries outside of Asia. Beginning in 2010, the LA Art Show has actively developed its international gallery offerings to provide collectors with a unique opportunity, to spot international trends and zeitgeist through art, a medium that has the ability to transcend language. This keen focus has been a hallmark of the show.   

With my daughter Chloe and wife Johnna

Timothy Yarger Fine Art, Beverly Hills