SAVE THE DATE and INTERVIEWS: Art Triple-header featuring Valerie Pobjoy, DW Marino & Scott Rohlfs at La Luz de Jesus – Friday January 5th!
La Luz de Jesus Gallery kicks off 2018 with three tremendous solo shows! All three artists were sent questions via email and we’re pleased to share their words with you.
Valerie Pobjoy – ONANISM
This exhibition showcases the broad talent of one of Los Angeles’ most exciting up-and-coming artists and gives us a unique perspective of how she sees the world around her. Rather than adhere to a strict theme, she has given herself the opportunity to paint freely and wander through her many interests.
CW: As you go through your day, what is it that inspires you to paint a piece? What is it in your range of vision that strikes your creative nerve?
I am interested in the expressing brevity of life in snapshot moments. I am aiming to document the evidence of the people places and things in my life. The clues left behind in mundane still lifes, landscapes, interiors and portraits are what appeal to me for subject matter.
I strive to capture fleeting moments in everyday life and to relax the boundaries between the subject and viewer.
CW: Your pieces are rich, deep. What inspires you to paint in this fashion?
I work in a rich, see palette inspired by Dutch painters such as Vermeer. What I really enjoy about this aesthetic is the focus it brings to the light’s composition. The character that light plays in my painting is important to me and I strive to capture its constant changing/moving qualities. I often explore velautra to achieve this. I am interested in exploring natural vs unnatural light in my landscapes and interiors. I especially enjoy night time scenes (effets de soir).
CW: Can you tell us a little bit about your process from inspiration to completion?
My process begins with a candid photo shoot. For portraits I normally shoot strangers (Girl), however, I do shoot friends as well (Ivy). I paint on wood panels (birch) prepared with Gamblin oil ground. Working from a photo can steal the life out of a subject, I find working alla prima brings life back into the painting. I enjoy broken edges and having the paint visible in brush strokes, texture and impasto.
D.W. Marino – Burning Optimism
D.W. Marino majored in graphic arts in college but dropped out after 2 years. His first job was drawing ejection seats for a defense contractor. He toiled at different scientific firms doing technical illustration, typography, color proofing and layout as well as some catalog design work in NYC and label design in San Francisco. Yearning for something different, he started working at a neon sign shop and this leap from working in 2D to 3D led to a series of bomb Christmas ornaments.
While making these ornaments his wife, Allie, was diagnosed with cancer. As a distraction, the two came up with themes for bombs and mounted them in boxes. “We’d sit and talk about a tiki bomb, a Hello Kitty bomb, or Everyone hates clowns…why not bomb them!” The list went on and on, becoming something to focus on that took their minds away from the stress and strain of difficult circumstances.
CW: Did you do any kind of art before you started doing your three-dimensional bomb art? What sort of technical experience did you have which gave you the ability to create these pieces?
I used to do graphic arts, it’s what I studied in college. After leaving college I worked for a technical temp service provider. I was placed at several defense/scientific facilities around the S.F. Bay Area doing technical illustrations, process camera work, typography and other graphic work at these places. I could never resist using their equipment to make my own projects. From there I started doing labels and catalogs in San Francisco and NYC. After some years I found myself working in neon and was struck by how satisfying it was to work in 3d, moving beyond a flat surface.
As for technical experience, I mostly use wood which is very forgiving. I start with a thumbnail and sometimes draft up some of the elements. It’s all cut, glue, and sand from there till the final finish is applied-nothing very complicated.
CW: Tell us about your inspirations
Growing up in the Bay Area my friends and I really loved underground comic books, R. Crumb’s illustrative work, Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Freak brothers, Stanley Mouse and Rick Griffin were favorites of mine. I’ve always been attracted to projects with vivid color. In grade school, I remember getting a Peter Max paperback book from a Scholastic Book catalog that was so colorful I couldn’t put it down. I’m a fan of Warhol, Basquiat, Ron English- there are just too many excellent artists to list them all.
CW: What with the current political situation, do you feel that your pieces are even more relevant at the moment?
I grew up during the Vietnam conflict (war) and the pattern just keeps repeating. War, strife and conflict are always relevant they just keep cycling through our timelines.
CW: There seems to be a bit of humor, and much hope in your pieces.
I try to bring bright vivid color to the topics I cover in my art. I try to throw in something lighthearted or a positive element in the pieces. Themes about war, environmental degradation, politics, genocide, religion, and gun control tend to be dark material to work with. Sometimes it’s good to be offended, I can only hope I’m offending the right people.
Scott Rohlfs – Amurica, The Beautiful
Scott Rohlfs has exploded on to the scene of the contemporary surrealist figurative art movement since he began exhibiting his works in 2006. Rohlfs innate passion for expressing mood and emotion on canvas and wood along with his mastery of technique in the airbrush was soon recognized, in the United States and abroad. Rohlfs has been acclaimed as an exceptional new talent, praised for his authentic portraiture. His stylized and sometimes tattooed subjects catapulted him into the heart of the Pop Surrealist movement. His distorted realism drew attention from established artists, collectors, and galleries on the West Coast and immediately propelled Rohlfs to the forefront of a burgeoning art movement. Rohlfs’s stunning portraits have attracted an audience of collectors who treasure owning a rare, truly unique work of art. While his femme fatale portraits mature in style and intensity, they retain his signature ethereal quality that embodies an undeniably feminine force. His portraits always capture elusive moments in the artist’s individual perception and experience, viewed through his imaginative lens.
CW: Give us a brief look at your process. Do you start with a concept, and work from a photograph of a model?
I just opened a new photography and art studio here in San Diego. I use the photography studio to photograph the women in my paintings. I usually start the photoshoot with a concept or two in mind. Once I get the photos taken I use them as a reference for my paintings. I then add my special touches to the painting to give it the look I wanted and not look just like the reference photo.
CW: Your pieces are intense. We notice that among the many qualities of your works, the shadows make your pieces stand out. Is the use of shadowing in your pieces something you hone in on?
Yes I do try to put a lot of attention to the shadows. I feel that adds to the contrast of the piece and makes it pop. I have been painting women in this style now for over 12 years and with each one I try to make it better than the last.
CW: How much time do you put into each piece?
I spend around a week or so on each piece from the concept creation to painting.
Valerie Pobjoy, DW Marino, & Scott Rohlfs
January 5th – January 28thm 2018
Friday, January 5, 8-11 PM
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027