Monday, December 19, 2016

LA Neighborhoods - Street legends

Left: " Los- Mulholland Radio Tower " Joe Prime Reza/Jim McHugh 24" x 20" signed and numbered- edition of 150 unframed.  Right:  "213- Washington and Crenshaw" David Cavazo Big Sleeps / Jim McHugh 24" x 20" signed and numbered- edition of 150 - Each print $150 + shipping

As shown above, Courtyard Editions is issuing two high quality, archival photographic prints, priced with the desire to make art works from the "LA Neighborhoods" project available to everyone. So many so people have asked about acquiring prints from the work that we have been doing together over the past few years. These are two very beautiful images that represent our unique look at LA.

A single section of the panorama used as the supporting layer of the collage for "213 - Washington Blvd."  Polaroid T55

A 9 ft. canvas of Washington Blvd. - hand styles by Sleeps and Prime - INNOVA Digital

Artists Joe "Prime" Reza and David Cavazo, aka "Big Sleeps," are such legends, born of this disappearing LA era. These prints are a true fusion of photographic imagery and territorial street hand-styles. The imagery investigates LA and the secret, hidden sub-culture of graffiti writing, hand styles. "213 Washington Blvd. and Crenshaw " reflects a neighborhood abandoned to immigrants and people of color in post WWII Los Angeles that is now rapidly gentrifying. For those unaware, 213 was the original and for a long time, only area code in LA.  

Prime at work in his downtown LA studio- ©2015 Jim McHugh
An early legend among street writers, now Joe "Prime" Reza is a painter who's works are held in the permanent collection of the Getty Museum and are exhibited in galleries world wide, Prime's newest works can be seen through Jan. 17, 2017 at the LA Louver Gallery, Venice, CA. in the exhibition "ROLLCALL" curated by Gajin Fujita.


Shooting in Prime's studio for the exhibition AFTERMATH - 2016 - photo: Patrick House
Big Sleeps signing "Washington and Crenshaw"
  Big Sleeps  is truly a survivor of the streets that nearly swallowed him whole, streets that remain bound by intricate, spray-painted letter styles which act as a true code of survival called "the placa."  Cavazo's paintings can also be viewed thru January 17 at LA Louver Gallery, Venice, CA. in their "Rollcall" exhibition.
Studio van near Central Ave. in South Central LA on the very rainy night when we signed our prints
Big Sleeps - Prime - Jim McHugh at Prime's studio, Dec. 14, 2016

 The McHugh Studio  323 466 2890 -

The LA Neighborhoods project has been developed with the support of INNOVA Digital Art, supplying the newest archival technologies and digital surfaces for maximum image integrity. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wagon Wheel Bowling Alley

 Where Highway 1 and the 101 once intersected in Oxnard, CA there was this vintage Wagon Wheel Bowling. A relic of the post-war California car culture, neon sign signaling drivers on the highway, a huge, land is cheap parking lot. For me an old  high school memory, my first car, driving up the coast.
The Wagon Wheel was a roadside pit-stop, a half way point on the way to Santa Barbara, Ojai or the first stop of several on the longer drive to San Francisco. Now a much larger 10 lane super highway replaces the old black and white road that dated back to the 1920s or 30s. The last time driving to Santa Barbara, I saw that the bowling alley was gone.

Photographs: Type 79 Polaroids with a Speed Graphic camera.

all photos © 2014 Jim McHugh

Friday, October 14, 2016


Section of the collaboration "Washington and Cimarron" © 2016 Big Sleeps, Prime, Jim McHugh


             an exhibition at the Robert Graham Foundation, Los Angeles

Radio Tower on Mulholand Drive. 40" x 30" mono-print edition of 5 - archival pigment print © 2016 Jim McHugh, Joe PRIME Reza 

Sleeps working on "Washington and Cimarron" Oct. 2016

Printed on the new INNOVA matte canvas, the image is  44" x 92" mounted on aluminum. Photograph, ink and paint on canvas. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

David Hockney Portraits at the RA, London

David with his life long friend & muse, designer Celia Birtwell
     "82 Portraits and 1 Still Life" at the Royal Academy of Art- "So many friends," David said, "who are all here tonight."
David and his great pal Bing McGilvrey, visiting from Boston

David with friends and staff from the RA, Amanda Quinn (right)
My daughter, Chloe McHugh with David and her portrait.
Entering the Gallery - JP - Joan Quinn and Chloe McHugh
Jim McHugh David Hockney photo archives

My portrait, what a lifetime experience, each portrait was a 3 day session.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

AFTERMATH at the Robert Graham Studios

 L to R Jim McHugh, Angela Fujita, Gajin Fujita and Big Sleeps planning Aftermath - painting by Prime.

55" x 44" Innova canvas print of Prime, using Impossible Project color 8x10 instant film

Defer and Heaven

-an exhibition of works by Robert Graham, Jim McHugh, Gajin Fujita, Alex Kizu aka “Defer”, Juan Carlos Munoz  aka “Heaven”, Joe Reza aka “Prime”, and Big Sleeps.

(right) Robert Graham, 1992 on vintage Type 55 Polaroid film
(left) Steven Graham, 2016,  curator of AFTERMATH, on The New55 Film

Robert and his son, Steven, are photographed at the same age by Jim McHugh

In the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, many the City felt the need to DO SOMETHING.  Robert Graham, a sculptor who lived and worked in Venice, was one, and he had a thought.  What if I teach some youth, to redirect all that energy to something creative and productive?  Teach them the art of making multiples and casting in bronze?   At the time, Robert Graham was an artist trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and he proposed set up a foundry workshop, and hire, pay and teach a group of at-risk youth to produce a series of small bronze work to be sold to raise money for the museum.  The resulting work became known as the MOCA TORSO (1992-95), and over the three-year period, the studio produced over 3500 individual works, and it remains one of the most iconic works by the artist, who passed away in 2008.  

Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez "Heaven" photographed on Impossible Project 8x10 film by Jim McHugh
This exhibition, AFTERMATH, brings together, works by Robert Graham, Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez, Gajin Fujita, Alex Kizu aka “Defer”, Joe Reza aka “Prime”, and Big Sleeps, along with Jim McHugh's large format portraits of the above mentioned artists on Impossible Project film. Also on display are McHugh's photographs of Robert Graham’s MOCA Torso project in 1992 that were published in numerous magazines.

Big Sleeps
Juan Carlos Munoz "Heaven"

The exhibition runs through April 29, 2016 as part of the Month of Photography Los Angeles.
Robert Graham Studio Gallery 
5856 Adams Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232.   
(310) 399-5374

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Downtown LA: The Container Yard's first Art Show

The Container Yard © 2015 Jim McHugh
The Container Yard, LA's ground zero for graffiti artists, muralists and historians of  graffiti lettering, is celebrating their second anniversary by hosting their first real Art Show, which opens tonight, Feb. 27.  Art Show is curated by Vyal Reyes, artist and creator of the magnificent Wall of Eyes featured above. For their first public exhibition, Vyal was tasked with selecting a handful of new works from a variety of  Los Angeles street artists and photographers who have collaborated and contributed to the evolution of the space over the past two years.   
Artist and curator of Art Show, Vyal Reyes Impossible - Project 8x10 Instant Film 
© 2015 Jim McHugh
ART SHOW, the exhibition, offers a rare opportunity to glimpse behind the graffiti painted walls of TCY, to see the work of my good friends, artists Prime, Heaven, ShanduOne and many others. For me it's exciting to be a part of this diverse LA artistic undertaking, but what is far more satisfying personally is seeing this art work so justifiably honored. To anyone in LA or visiting, please give yourself a gift, see this show.    @thecontaineryard   #ARTSHOWTCY

(from top to bottom) Installation views of new works by Prime, Heaven, Sek, and photographs by Jim McHugh All imagery © Jim McHugh

Opening tonight, Saturday Feb. 27 - 7/11PM... probably up for a month, its just that kinda dope place, Dawg.

800 East 4th St. 4th and Alameda entrance on Seaton St.

Check our this recent write up on Polaroid's blog about Art Show and Jim McHugh!

Follow me on Instagram @WESTERNAVE