Jeff Staple 1-2-1 with Hula – Talk: Photo Coverage

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POW! WOW! Long Beach has returned for it’s second consecutive year. Artists from around the globe are participating in their week-long event bringing art and culture to the city.

POW! WOW! is a gathering of contemporary artists who engage with the broader community in the process and creation of art. Long Beach began playing host on Monday to an exciting week filled with live mural paintings, art exhibitions, talks and more. Included in the programming is that the Long Beach Museum of Art in collaboration with Thinkspace Gallery and POW! WOW! are hosting the opening of “Vitality and Verve: In the Third Dimension,” on Friday, July 15 from 7 PM to 10 PM.

More details on the overall week-long programming, occurring through Sunday July 17th, can be found here.

Cartwheel Art is a media partner. Contributors Julie Faith and Melinda Sanchez have been covering the progress of murals for POW! WOW! Long Beach. See Julie’s post here and Melinda’s post here, to follow their mural adventures. Also, see Melinda’s post from the talk with Martha Cooper and Ernest Zacharevic here.

Julie and Melinda also attended the talk by Sean “Hula Yoro, hosted by Jeff Staple and presented by Imprint at the Art Theatre of Long Beach. A few of their photos from the talk are below.

From POW! WOW Long Beach, this was the description for the event:

On a rusted and cracked wall, at an undisclosed location, a portrait of a young woman overlooks a grim waterway. The woman, who is eerily calm in expression, is larger than life and appears to be wading in the calm water, as if half-submerged in a bath.
Sean Yoro, the New York-based artist known as Hula, has created a series of such haunting portraits using oil paint and similarly abandoned or lifeless concrete walls, creating a mysterious surreal combination.

Yoro, who was born in Hawaii and surfs, uses a stand-up paddleboard to reach the walls, then uses anchors and rope to keep himself steady as he paints. Each portrait can take anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day to complete. He was inspired, he says, by an underwater photoshoot he did where he realized he could fulfill his creativity as an artist while still having fun in the water.

Yoro’s hyperrealistic portraits typically feature a simple pattern of stripes on the women’s neck, arm or face. The tattoos were inspired by some of Yoro’s older portraits, which showed women with their hands covered in paint and marked with stripes, “like patterns from their fingers dragging,” he said.

“I loved the look, so I combined traditional Hawaiian tribal patterns with the same playful paint-like texture to make tattoos on the figures,” he added. “They represented the unique scars from life we all have and carry with us. I wanted to show how people interact to their scars and, more importantly, the beauty and importance of them.”
While Yoro’s wall portraits are haunting, they’re also only temporary. Because he uses oil paints — as opposed to longer-lasting acrylic paints — the images will decay over time. But he doesn’t mind.

“I love the aging process and what nature does to the paintings,” he told HuffPost. “It feels natural to create these paintings and let them go.”


Photo by Melinda Sanchez


Photo courtesy of POW! WOW! Long Beach


Photo courtesy of POW! WOW! Long Beach


Photo by Melinda Sanchez


Photo by Julie Faith


Photo by Julie Faith


Photo by Julie Faith


Photo by Julie Faith


Photo by Melinda Sanchez


Photo by Melinda Sanchez


1549327_10202212973100544_1271887847_n-1Julie Faith: Julie Faith is an urban art photographer who focuses primarily on graffiti and street art, the very nature of which is fleeting and therefore must be documented. Her passion and joy are in capturing the unexpected, the spontaneous, the magical. She spends countless hours searching for art hidden in plain sight on the streets of LA and beyond. “There is simply nothing better,” Julie says, “than going into a situation unscripted, eyes wide open, camera in hand, and discovering something glorious.” Julie is captivated and inspired by the work of photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Vivian Maier, Martha Cooper, HollowDoubt, and the Lady Art Mafia.

Follow Julie on Instagram



Melinda Sanchez: It was in 2007, a trip to New York, that Melinda Sanchez knew she wanted to devote herself to art, specifically the culture of street art. Melinda felt it was important that she had a background in the business of art in order to grow as an artist herself. Working as a Gallery Assistant at Upper Playground in Downtown Los Angeles, she had the opportunity to learn from gallery staff, photographers, and prestigious street artists. As her knowledge of galleries and artists grew, her own talents as a photographer developed.

Melinda is driven by the idea that ease of access to social media and technology is a positive force in the democratization of street art. Melinda describes a common theme in her own work as finding “beauty in the breakdown.” She understands the universal hardship every individual faces, and feels that art is an integral mechanism in the process of healing.

Follow Melinda, on Instagram

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