Video Find of the Week!

The Dada movement was a protest against the barbarism of World War I, the bourgeois interests that Dada adherents believed inspired the war, and what they believed was an oppressive intellectual rigidity in both art and everyday society. Dada was an international movement, and it is difficult to classify artists as being from any one particular country, as they were constantly moving from one place to another…[Read More]



I say unto you: there is no beginning and we do not tremble, we are not sentimental. We are a furious Wind, tearing the dirty linen of clouds and prayers, preparing the great spectacle of disaster, fire, decomposition.* We will put an end to mourning and replace tears by sirens screeching from one continent to another. Pavilions of intense joy and widowers with the sadness of poison. Dada is the signboard of abstraction; advertising and business are also elements of poetry…[Read More]



I know that you have come here today to hear explanations. Well, don’t expect to hear any explanations about Dada. You explain to me why you exist. You haven’t the faintest idea. You will say: I exist to make my children happy. But in your hearts you know that isn’t so. You will say: I exist to guard my country, against barbarian invasions. That’s a fine reason. You will say: I exist because God wills. That’s a fairy tale for children. You will never be able to tell me why you exist but you will always be ready to maintain a serious attitude about life. You will never understand that life is a pun, for you will never be alone enough to reject hatred, judgments, all these things that require such an effort, in favor of a calm level state of mind that makes everything equal and without importance…[Read More]

LA Art Fair 2016

IMG_7196LA Art Fair 2016 is here

The Los Angeles Convention Center hosts this year’s LA Art Fair. I know it is certainly not Arco Madrid, Art Basel, Art Miami, or Armory New York, as many enjoy reminding us, but it is home and it is here. The art fair is in it’s 21st year and still enjoys decent turnouts by art fair standards. Arco Madrid boasted 92,000 attendees in 2014, according to Art News. According to the fair’s website and LA Times, the LA Art Fair drew nearly 60,000 during it’s four day event in 2015; which is not bad for Angelinos.

Wednesday night, I walked through the fair during the Patron Reception in an effort to beat the weekend crowds. I have to say that my personal favorite was a large painting of a water filled car against faces made of clouds on a beautiful blue sky by John Valadez.  For me, it is what dreams are made of.

The fair is many things to many people, Disneyland to artists and sometimes inconvenient furniture to dealers, who are, no doubt, trying to make a sale. The Collectors are trying to get the best bang for their buck. The media is looking for the art stars, or even better, a candid shot of a celebrity; it is LA, after all.

Like a typical artist, I’m not well versed in popular culture; Anne Hathaway passed right by me and I didn’t recognize her as someone of note. I had to Google her to know who she was. Turns out, Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam Shulman, who I also had to Google, are hosting this year’s LA Art Fair.

If you are a printmaker, you might appreciate the Building Bridges Art Exchange booth. Building Bridges Art Exchange (BBAX) is a charitable non-profit 501c3 arts organization established in 2005. The booth featured an installation of four carved tires being used as printing plates. The tires stand on the prints, which are draped, resembling scrolls. It reminded me of Automobile Tire Print (1953) by Robert Rauschenberg.

The Timothy Yarger Fine Art booth was clever in its use of repurposed materials: cardboard doors, walls and floor. I enjoyed the craftsmanship with which it was assembled so much, that I missed the artwork in the booth.

There usually are a few Performance Artists walking around. This year, a performer who stood out was Yana Clark in Self RefleXion costume; which covers her completely in tiny mirrors.

After enjoying myself at the fair for several hours, I attempted to make my leave, however I kept encountering fellow Artists, Collectors, Curators, Journalists and art lovers. I am not sure if it is indicative of the art world of LA, but after asking if there was anything they liked, or if anything stood out above the rest, the answer was generally the same, “I like to watch the people.”

As I rode down the escalator, on my way out, I saw Cheech Marin going the opposite direction with his wife. I guess that I, too, like to watch the people.


LA Art Fair 2016
January 27-31, 2016

Celebrate the 2016 LA Art Show, the West Coast’s most comprehensive art experience. Presented by The Palm Beach Show Group.

Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street
West Hall A

Thursday, January 28, 2016 11am – 7pm
Friday, January 29, 2016 11am – 7pm
Saturday, January 30, 2016 11am – 7pm
Sunday, January 31, 2016 11am – 5pm

Video find of the week!

Chuck Jones – The Evolution of an Artist from Tony Zhou on Vimeo.

If you grew up watching Looney Tunes, then you know Chuck Jones, one of all-time masters of visual comedy. Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today. Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist. To see the names of the films, press the CC button and select “Movie Titles.”

This video also had a wonderful animation consultant: Taylor Ramos (

For educational purposes only. You can donate to support the channel at

And follow me here:

Raymond Scott – “Powerhouse," "Minuet in Jazz,” “Twilight in Turkey,” “The Toy Trumpet"
Carl Stalling – "Scentimental Romeo," "Guided Muscle,” "Feline Frame-Up,” “Rabbit Seasoning," “Duck! Rabbit, Duck!”
Milt Franklyn – “One Froggy Evening,” "Robin Hood Daffy,” “What’s Opera, Doc?"

Interview Clips (from Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol 1):
Chuck Jones Interview: (
Chuck Jones: Extremes & In-Betweens (
A Chuck Jones Tutorial: Tricks of the Cartoon Trade (
It Hopped One Night: A Look at “One Froggy Evening” (

Recommended Reading:
9 Rules of the Coyote and the Road Runner (
Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist (
The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design (

Portrait of a Sound Design Artist from Storm & Shelter on Vimeo.

A man standing alone in a shed hitting a bath with a mallet could be seen as mad, but in the world of sound design, it's the norm. Ali Lacey is an eccentric sound design artist, and this short portrait allows us a closer look into the world of sound design.

Directed, Shot and Edited by Josh Bennett –
Music and Sound Design by Ali Lacey –

*Sample library coming soon in collaboration with Impact Soundwork.*

Filmed at Stylee Studios in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

Produced by Storm+Shelter

David A Smith – Sign Artist from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

David A Smith is a name that has become synonymous in Sign-Writing and Glass gilding circles, with high quality, hand crafted reverse glass signs and decorative silvered and gilded mirrors.

In this short documentary, we reveal behind the scenes work, techniques and visions that Dave uses when carrying out his passion as a glass embosser – One of the few remaining traditional UK glass artists.

See David's Elaborate Victorian Style Mirror completed here:

Many thanks to Ada Cole for subtitling the film, Subtitles available here:

David A Smith

A Film by Danny Cooke

Soundtrack by Tony Higgins (Junior85)

Artist Spotlight: Salomon Ligthelm from Musicbed on Vimeo.

Hear more from Salomon Ligthelm & license his compositions on Musicbed:


Composer/Filmmaker/Artist Salomon Ligthelm has found the sole reason why he creates. His most authentic work comes from a place of surrender and service to others.

Reject the voice inside that says "you are what you do" and give in to The Great Abyss. Find why you create.

License the original score on Musicbed. 'Found' by Ryan Taubert:

New Show! Modern Art Blitz!

Modern Art Blitz with Mat Gleason and Co-Host Lisa Derrick premiered on December 27th, 2015.

Modern Art Blitz is filmed live from the Boyle Heights’ Drome Box studio for webTV. Built in 1939, the studio is housed in the old Monterey Theatre, one of Los Angeles’ last standing neighborhood houses. In the 1980’s and into the 1990’s, it was a nightclub and later became a church until they moved out in 2009.

The show just completed it’s third episode. Guests have included: Carol Diehl; Michael Phillips; Carol Es; Vicki Barkley; Michael Massenburg; April Bey, and yours truly (Abel Alejandre).

Art Critic, Gallerist and TV personality, Mat Gleason, founded contemporary art magazine Coagula Art Journal in 1992; which he kept going for about twenty years. Recently, he starred as a judge in the Game Show Network’s “Skin Wars: Fresh Paint” with show host RuPaul Charles. He will also be a judge on the upcoming season of the body painting competition show. The one-hour television event is a spin-off of the network’s most popular program, “Skin Wars.” Mat Gleason’s gallery Coagula Curatorial is located on Chung King Road in Chinatown near downtown LA. Full disclosure, Coagula Curatorial represents yours truly.

Lisa Derrick is a Curator and Writer who delivers interesting art news with a little humor and lively commentary. She has curated art shows for Homeboy Industries amongst many others. In 2015 she and with author/director Rodrigo Ribera D’Ebre curated Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising, with Cartwheel Art presenting. It included such Artists as Big Sleeps, Prime, Reza, Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez, Daniel Gonzalez, Defer, Kizu, Chaz Bojorquez, Gary Wong, Michael Ulrich, Cryptik, Jason Hernandez, Jesse Hazelip, Rafael Reyes, Abel Alejandre, Roberto Gutierrez, and Ed Gutter.


The LIVE webcast broadcasts Sundays at 5PM at The format is a talk show about contemporary art and artists. If you miss the live show don’t worry, it is usually archived within 48 hours and available on YouTube channel Coagula Curatorial THE Modern Art Blitz.

If you are interested in hearing artists discuss their work and hear about contemporary art with a little attitude tune in at next Sunday at 5PM! Drome Box Labs broadcasts LIVE Wed-Sun 4pm-1am PST.


Episode 001 Modern Art Blitz

Published on Dec 28, 2015
Episode 001 (gets going at 5:55): Special Guest Carol Diehl (enters at 7:43) and Guest Artist Abel Alejandre (enters at 27:11) join host Mat Gleason, Co-Host Lisa Derrick (speaks up first at 6:20) and Intern Rebekah (24:35).

Episode 002 Modern Art Blitz

Published on Jan 5, 2016
Modern Art Blitz Episode 002 – Hosted by Mat Gleason, co-hosted by Lisa Derrick. (Episode gets going at 5:55) Today we look back on artists who passed away in 2015 and are joined by Podcaster Michael Phillips (8:35). Our guest artist is Carol Es (34:40) and a surprise visit from Vicki Barkley (35:52) sees Carol being sketched during her interview.

Episode 003 Modern Art Blitz

Published on Jan 12, 2016
Guests on this episode are artist and curator Michael Massenburg (5:25) and artist April Bey (26:39). Mat Gleason also talks about art at Coachella with co-host Lisa Derrick (1:17).

From wall to canvas the Muralists reveal intimate work

There is a group exhibition at Couturier Gallery on La Brea, which brings together some tremendous artists who have shaped our perception of the Los Angeles landscape for decades. The show is titled “L.A. Muralists: In Their Studios II” which, opened June 6 and runs through July 18, 2015. The Artists include: Christina Angelina, David Botello, Pablo Cristi, Wayne Healy, Judithe Hernández, Alex “Defer” Kizu, Augustine Kofie, Lydiaemily, Kent Twitchell, John Valadez and Richard Wyatt. The muralists showcase the fruits of their studio practice.

Couturier Gallery was established in 1987 and focuses on Latin American and American Art. The gallery is located on 166 N. La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

–Abel Alejandre