Based in Los Angeles, CARTWHEEL discovers and celebrates art and artists from the U.S. and around the world. We believe discovering art can be playful and adventurous — akin to the feeling we had when we were younger, doing cartwheels along the beach or on the playground. We think you’ll feel that way, too, as you look around to see what we’ve got to offer.
What sets CARTWHEEL apart is our team of diverse and dedicated writers. Art enthusiasts and collectors themselves, our contributors eat, drink, and breathe art. They’re deeply immersed in pop culture, which affects art — and which art affects in turn. Each CARTWHEEL post takes you on a personal guided tour through an exhibition, a studio visit, or step-by-step guide to collecting. Curious about the emerging art scene? Our team plugs you in.
If you’re a collector, CARTWHEEL is your go-to website for finding contemporary art in a broad range of budgets. And if you’re looking for offbeat art events (most featuring our hand-picked CARTWHEEL artists), you’ve made it to the right place as well. Finally, our corporate and business clients look to CARTWHEEL for our expertise in art consulting, acquisition, and installation.
So whether you’re brand new to the emerging art scene or a longtime expert … whether you’ve come to browse, discover, collect, or collaborate … we welcome you to CARTWHEEL.
Cindy Schwarzstein, Founder
Cindy Schwarzstein is a second‐generation art collector, consultant, and curator. Born in New York — her mother was a fine artist and a TerryToons animator, the family home filled with Outsider, Folk, and International art — Cindy traveled extensively in her youth, soaking up diverse visual influences all over the world and particularly in Haiti, where her parents owned an art gallery. Later, after moving to Southern California as a teen, Cindy watched the rise of skate, surf, pin‐up, hot rod, and graffiti art forms — ‘lowbrow’ styles that would soon come to be legitimized as Pop Surrealist and Street Art. Even at a young age, Cindy had an instinct and an extraordinary enthusiasm for art and artists.
After receiving her BS from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Cindy returned to California, where she worked for ten years as a production manager for Action Sports Retailer, collaborating with ASR’s editorial and trade show teams. Hired next by Surfer Publications, she came to oversee the production of Surfer, Skateboarder, Snowboarder, Powder, and Bike magazines — at the precise moment when California’s underground art scene was starting to explode. This led to a position with ASP founder Ian Cairns, a former world-champion surfer, for whom Cindy managed various film, music, and web projects and coordinated and executed a pair of 26‐city, critically acclaimed U.S. film tours.
Yet her enthusiasm for edgy art persisted, and as her art collection — as well as her knack for spotting unique and powerful works of art — continued to expand, Cindy took the next step. In 2012, encouraged by fellow art aficionados and social networking peers,who appreciated her progressive posts, her live events coverage, and her deep knowledge and diverse experience, she rolled out CARTWHEEL, a Los Angeles‐based, multifaceted art venture. CARTWHEEL capitalizes upon Cindy’s organizational expertise, her passion for incredible visuals, and her skills at connecting artists and art lovers. CARTWHEEL brings to seasoned collectors and curious dabblers alike its founder’s savvy street knowledge and keen appreciation for the next movements in contemporary art.
Lee Joseph, Contributing Writer
Immersed in art and music around the clock, LEE JOSEPH works as a visual arts and pop culture event publicist and runs the underground indie label Dionysus Records. His art publicity roster includes La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Designer Con, Tiki Oasis, Corrie Gregory, and Dave Warshaw, as well as projects with Lydia Emily, The Conscious Life Expo, Dr. Paul Koudounaris, Thinkspace Gallery, The Cacophony Society’s Zone Show at Grand Central, and many others. With Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gallery, Lee is also the co-coordinator of the annual Beyond Eden multi-gallery event at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.
Obsessed with vinyl records and the sounds of surf, exotica, psychedelia, garage rock, roots, and early punk, Lee has run his independent label and mail-order business since 1984. His involvement and passion for art was sparked by personal relationships with artists such as Shag, Coop, Pizz, Lisa Petrucci, Japan’s Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Winston Smith, Andrew Brandau, Damian Fulton, and many others who created images and graphics for the Dionysus label.
Lee collects illustrative artworks, many of which have already made perfect album covers. Numerous pieces in his collection — by Damian Fulton, Heather Watts, Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Shag, Lisa Petrucci, Winston Smith, and others — were created for (or later became) feature art for Dionysus LPs and seven-inches.
Alex Gordon, Contributing Writer
Music producer and recording artist ALEX GORDON is from a family art of collectors, and began his interest in art as a kid by collecting comic books. As he grew up, his taste expanded to include abstract art, African tribal art, and Pop Surrealism.
Lisa Derrick, Editorial Director and Contributing Writer
LISA DERRICK fell in love with contemporary painting at 11, when she saw a particular painting hanging in a friend’s house. Though she called it “monks in hell,” it actually depicted jazz musicians — an abstract from 1967. It now hangs in her dining room.
Her taste in art runs from Western religious and esoteric iconography and the portraiture styles of Mme. Vigée-LeBrun and John Lavery to Jack Yeats, Louis LeBroquay, Googie, Harry Clark, Beresford Egan, Leonora Carrington, Felicien Rops, Gustav Moreau, Oudry, Lady Frieda Harris, and Helen Lundeberg. The works she collects are based on imagery and resonance and include pieces by Heather Watts, Sarita Vendetta, Matjames Metson, Fiddle Tim (Frances Bean Cobain), Miso, Mavis Leahy, Lisa Ingalls, and other current artists. She owns a portrait of herself by Marc Trujillo.
Ongoing work in Santa Monica’s Phoenix Bookstore gave Lisa access to rare and antiquarian books on religion, magic, alchemy, and other occult studies, all the while participating in numerous installation, video, and performance pieces at Otis Parsons. She honed her writing skills at Larry Flynt Publications and while covering nightlife for New Times Los Angeles. Later, she branched out, co-creating Grammy Magazine as an editor and writer and helping launch Sacred History, where she focused on cultural and artistic aspects of religion.
Currently Lisa writes for Firedoglake.com, where her “La Figa” page covers the intersection of politics, entertainment, and pop culture. A contributor to The Huffington Post, Lisa has also written for Spin, Details, Maxim, Paper, LA Weekly, and Los Angeles magazine. Her nickname is Empress, but her friends refer to her as”Lalisa.”
Eva Recinos, Contributing Writer
EVA RECINOS brings to CARTWHEEL her own excitement for seeking out the most immersive ways to experience art. When driving, she willingly pulls over to explore an abandoned alleyway of graffiti and spraycan art. As a student, she finds strange joy in completing a ten-page paper on Baroque art. Some nights, she whiles away at a canvas with oil pastels, creating amateur works of her own. Never happier than when she’s behind a camera, she shoots photos of street art that be seen at theworldisacanvas.com, a blog documenting her journey into what has become a full-fledged love of the style.
When Eva shoots, she feels she’s part of the secret world of the artist, and her favorites range from Swoon to El Mac and RETNA — all of whom she enjoyed following as they moved from the streets to the galleries. An art history nerd, Eva loves a full range of historical art figures, from Caravaggio to Jo Ann Callis. Though she shoots digitally, Eva also spends time in the darkroom developing and printing her own black-and-white photos. While her original focus is on street art, an ever-expanding enthusiasm for Los Angeles art brims over into her CARTWHEEL interviews, blogs, and events coverage. She treats each post as a chance to turn readers on to events and artists while expanding her own knowledge of the current scene.
Less than five feet tall, Eva may be hard to spot at a gallery opening. But say hello: she’s more than happy to share her thoughts about the works at hand.
Dana Nichols, Gallery and Project Director, Contributing Writer
DANA NICHOLS writes and promotes art life in southern California — from Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego, including its mountain and desert extremities. For the past ten years, she has worked in creative writing, marketing, and gallery environments, and she now brings her experience to CARTWHEEL’s vision as an approachable online/in-person art exchange.
Growing up in the LA foothills in a Mid-Century Modern home filled with Ansel Adams photography, Dana spent four years earning a BA in print journalism with a minor in cinema from USC. Post graduation, her love of the outdoors led her to Mammoth Lakes, CA, where she launched her writing career. For her, capturing the beauty of the Sierras in words has at different times proven difficult (often), easy (occasionally), and interesting (always).
Since Dana’s return to the south, her writing has appeared in such publications as Unbound, Bespoke, Montage, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Sun Valley magazines, among others. Most recently, she held a position at AR4T, one of SoCal’s leading galleries for art emerging from youth culture. At AR4T, she was introduced to art and collecting by Torrey Cook; she developed an affinity for the print work of Dennis McNett, the photography of Ian Ruhter, and the bright-lined craftsmanship of Corey Smith. Dana loves nature, patterns, and black-and-white. She worships books, magazines, words, hard workers, and nice people.
Keith Ross Dugas, Contributing Writer
KEITH ROSS DUGAS, a.k.a KrossD, was born in Redondo Beach, CA, sometime between “Bringing It All Back Home” and “Highway 61 Revisited.” A self-taught artist, Dugas describes himself as “socially awkward, uneducated, and occasionally unkempt. I often say the wrong thing at precisely the right time to (inadvertently) inflict the most psychic damage. My pants don’t always fit. I’m a vegetarian — except on the weekends. I buy a lot of books, but I rarely read them. I’m horrible at job interviews. I’m not very adept at selling myself. I dread leaving the apartment and being confronted with real human interaction, but I’m passionate about art.”
Keith has shown his artwork in galleries in Florida, Nevada, and California, including 808 in Silver Lake, Gallery 3 in Reno, and Westside Underground in Santa Monica. He blogs about off-center art at krossd-art.blogspotspot.com.
When asked about collecting, he explains: “My criteria tends to be: Does it move me? Does it tell a story? Can I afford it? Given unlimited funds, I would certainly acquire a Jean-Michel Basquiat, a John Singer Sargent, and a Winsor McCay.” His current collection includes works by JAW Cooper (whose “lithe, sensual linework knocks me out”); graphite pieces by Jason D’Aquino, an East Coast tattoo artist; and one of 20 “Rise Above Cop” hand-pulled multiples created in 2006 by Shepard Fairey for Merry Karnowsky. “Looking at my collection now,” Keith says, “I can see a definite thread of dark humor running through it.”
Luis Ochoa, Contributing Photographer
LUIS OCHOA fell in love with photography in Paris, at the Louvre, where it wasn’t just the museum’s classical portraiture and landscape paintings that affected him; it was the presence of dozens of tall, beautiful women being snapped at the end of a prêt-à-porter show. Thus inspired, Luis — who had studied Letras Espanolas at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City — began studying photography with an emphasis on fashion at the Orange Coast Collage in Costa Mesa. He cites Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Pablo Neruda, and Romanticism as major influences on his work, as well as his literature professor Juan Jose Arreola — who wore a cape and hat and was always surrounded by more beautiful women.
Luis loves the art of Araki Nobuyoshi, Paolo Roversi, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Choe, RETNA, Estevan Oriol, Gregory Bojorquez, Francesco Clemente, Colin Finlay, David Allan Harvey, K C Ortiz, Terry Richardson, and Robert Rauschenberg. After a stint as the Palm Springs Life magazine’s social events photographer, and later a staff photographer with the Desert Sun, where he shot both news and society photos, Luis moved to Los Angeles to work as a freelance photographer and at Modern Multiples, a premier fine arts serigraphy and digital printmaking studio. He loves and is passionate about LA.
Marilyn Nix, Contributing Writer
Native Angeleno Marilyn Nix has enjoyed a lifetime of savoring and studying fine art. The first artwork she remembers seeing was a Robert Motherwell painting from the “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” series during a fourth grade field trip at the original Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Exposition Park. She studied English and art history at University of California, Los Angeles, and Stanford University.
The first Southern California editor of ArtWeek, over the years Marilyn has contributed articles to a number of publications and catalogs. In 1974 she and Barbara Burden co-founded Carp, a non-profit alternative arts organization–funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Janss Foundation, and a number of private individuals–dedicated to exhibiting performance, installation, media, video and other non-traditional art forms. Carp’s curated projects included Chris Burden‘s “Poem for L.A,” which aired locally on Los Angeles commercial television, and Vito Acconci‘s first exhibition in California, “Pornography in the Classroom.” Other participating artists included Charles Christopher Hill, Kim Jones, Peter Lodato, Bruce Nauman, Ilene Segalove, and Alexis Smith.
Marilyn participated in the Pacific Standard Time documentation of Los Angeles art history with the Getty Research Institute and the Laguna Art Museum. She collects art, including works on paper by Los Angeles artists, and other pieces and objects. She made her first art purchase as a college student: A small Marcel Duchamp cancelled etching for $8 found mixed in with hippie posters, and in the 70s bought Ed Ruscha’s books $2. While living in Hawaii in the 1980s, Marilyn was a selection panelist for the new media category for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. One of Marilyn’s current projects is cataloging an archive of ephemera collected in Los Angeles in the 1970s. The archive includes hundreds of collected postcard announcements and mailers. Marilyn, who is also interested in street murals, has photographed over 100 murals of the Virgin of Guadalupe around Los Angeles. She continues her world travels.
Megan Abrahams, Contributing Writer
Megan Abrahams, aka Megan Frances, is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist. She studied fine art in Canada and France and has two journalism degrees. The former editor of a British Columbia newspaper, her writing has appeared in a number of publications. Megan has been a contributing writer for WhiteHot Magazine of Contemporary Art since 2009.
Megan’s childhood home was filled with a diverse collection of art. When she was growing up, her family moved to the Bahamas, where her mother collected paintings by a well known Bahamian artist. Two paintings by that same artist, Amos Ferguson, are cornerstones of Megan’s own art collection. She also treasures a drawing by Canadian artist, Miller Brittain, which belonged to her mother, as well as work by artists from Haiti, Indonesia, and various places she has traveled. Her mother recognized her love of art and encouraged her to become a curator. Megan wanted to be a painter. Today, the walls of Megan’s home also feature several of her own paintings–both figurative and abstract–reflecting the influence of her experience living in the Bahamas, with the suggestion of a two-dimensional style and a palette infused with the colors of the sub-tropics. Megan writes an art and literary blog: On Beyond Words & Pictures. Follow her on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/onbeyondwords