“Aftermath,” will have an opening reception on Saturday April 9th at Robert Graham Studio Gallery, The show brings together works by Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez, Gajin Fujita, Alex “Defer” Kizu, Joe “Prime” Reza, Big Sleeps, the documentary Dark Progressivism, along with sculptures and sketches by Robert Graham, and photography by Jim McHugh, who photographed Robert Graham’s MOCA Torso project in 1992. The exhibition is part of the Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA).
The roots of this show began over twenty years ago.
In the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, many in the city felt the need to do something. The noted sculptor Robert Graham, artist trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, who lived and worked in Venice–then considered such a dangerous neighborhood that pizza places would not deliver in certain blocks–had a thought:
What if I teach some youth to redirect all their energy into something creative and productive? Teach them the art of making multiples and casting in bronze?
Graham proposed to set up a foundry workshop, and to hire, pay, and train a group gang-related adults to produce a series of small bronze work to be sold to raise money for MOCA. The resulting work became known as the MOCA Torso (1992-95), and over the three-year period, his studio produced over 3,500 individual works. MOCA Torso remains one of the most iconic works by the artist, who died in 2008.
Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez aka “Heaven” was one of the original members who joined the Torso project. He continued to work with Robert Graham as his studio assistant, and now works with the late sculptor’s son, Steven Graham, at the studio workshop.
Heaven, who now paints and sculpts under his given name, has been featured in numerous museum and gallery shows. He has shown his paintings in the two Dark Progressivism art shows, “Devils’ Town” at Red Pipe Gallery and “Metropolis Rising,” at the 2015 LA Art Show, both co-curated by Cartwheel Art contributors Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre and Lisa Derrick, and is featured in the documentary Dark Progressivism, directed by d’Ebre which recently screened at the Orange Country Museum of Art as a tie-in to Newport Beach Film Festival, and will be screened at a TBD place for the Aftermath exhibition. As the film’s media sponsor, Cartwheel Art has presented and made a point of including the Container Yard with works by Defer and Big Sleeps as part of Cartwheel Art Tours, as well as supporting other artists in film, like Prime who we featured in out booth at the International Street Art Fair in October of 2015.
The public opening reception for “Aftermath” is April 9th beginning from 5pm-9pm at Robert Graham Studio Gallery, 5856 Adams Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232.
AFTERMATH runs from April 7th – April 29th.
Steven Graham, Heavenk2S, Big Sleeps, and Primek2S. Photo by Jim McHugh
Opening #2 invitation.