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Monday, July 14, 2008

In The Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor

Be sure to see this exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum, June 22 - October 5, 2008. In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor is an exhibition that represents the work of 150 artists in a huge, but unacknowledged art movement that has been taking place in the country for over 40 years. Check out the Juxtapoz web site link and try to make it down to Laguna while the exhibition is on display.

Keep in mind that the Pageant of the Masters and the Sawdust Festival are also going on during the summer in Laguna, so go early, go on a weekday, or wait until the fall.

Juxtapoz was founded by artist, Robert Williams, and the magazine and art represented in the show incorporate images from movies, TV, advertising, black-velvet paintings, psychedelic posters, pulp, sci-fi and horror, carnival art, comic books, tattoos, hot-rod, surf and skateboard, and all things "lowbrow." This exhibition represents the artists who have been featured in the magazine over the years. Many of artists have had solo exhibitions in Southern California at the Grand Central Gallery in Santa Ana, the Pasadena Contemporary Art Museum, La Luz de Jesus, and other local galleries, but this promises to be the most comprehensive collection of this art movement yet displayed.

I have subscribed to Juxtapoz for years. Early on it was more hot rod art, Rat Fink-esque, but over the years Juxtapoz has featured the work of Mark Ryden, The Clayton Brothers, Gary Baseman, Liz McGrath and many others who have found acceptance in mainstream art circles. Liz McGrath has taught at the ArtFest retreat in Seattle and I SO wanted to go just to take a class from her. At times the imagery in the magazine has been disturbing, violent, or controversial, and I've not "appreciated" everything I've seen, but there has been at least one redeeming article or featured artist in every issue, and that's more than I can say for most of the magazines I receive...and we ought to expose ourselves to all forms of helps us to decide what we like, what we don't, why and why not.

Not for the squeamish, but ideal for those who know that Thomas Kinkade does not represent the "voice" of 21st century art -- and OH GOD, there are now Thomas Kinkade rubber stamps...will the insanity never stop!

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