Here is the list compiled of the Top 5 exhibitions I here at CHICANO ART MOVEMENT blog have chosen to highlight for the year 2013. I decided on and viewed every exhibition myself or with Anita in tow. This year I attended a total of 35 Museum/Gallery exhibits. Out of the 35 visited I picked my top 5 favorites for 2013. I mentioned this last year but I would like to reiterate, I do not just attend Latino art related museum/gallery exhibitions. I am a aficionado of contemporary and modern art, with a keen focus on American art.
1) Gary Baseman: The Door is Always Open at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA - April 25 - August 18, 2013
(Photo opportunity of Mr. Gary Baseman with Toby in the Study gallery at the Skirball Cultural Center)
My 1st pick for the top 5 Museum/Gallery exhibitions of 2013 had to be pervasive artist Gary Baseman's spectacular heartfelt exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center. Mr. Baseman is in my top 5 favorite contemporary artist of all time (Chou Chou character is my favorite), so attending this show in 2013 was a must. I experienced a wonderful roller coster ride of emotions from the The Door is Always Open exhibit. The exhibition consisted of a wide array of mediums Gary has worked in, from original paintings, photographs, commercial works (Disney and Cranium board game), to the actual furniture from his childhood home, which was a major highlight and gave the viewer intimate perspective into the artist upbringing. Mr. Baseman was in attendance during our visit and we were able to chat and praise him on his glorious exhibition that will be forever embedded in my long term memory.
2) Kustom Kulture II at the Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA - July 13 - August 31, 2013
(George Barris’ iconic “The Munsters Koach” at Kustom Kulture II exhibition)
All that should be said for my #2 choice is, Kustom king George Barris, legend Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (March 4, 1932 – April 4, 2001), Master painter Mark Ryden and The Godfather of Lowbrow Robert Williams, all together in one spectacular massive group exhibition along with other notable artists that took place in the famed Surf City, CA. The highlight for me thought had to be Mr. Barris’, The Munsters Koach. As a kid I envied the Herman Munster character for owning the Ford powered beast (I also wanted “Spot” their pet dragon). Kustom Kulture II exhibition was Lowbrow goodness.
We attended this exhibit at the Los Angeles Printmaking Society (LAPS) in support of our friend Chicano artist Jose Lozano who was creating chalk drawings live and in person at the opening reception to the HEART OF EAST LA: prints from Self Help Graphics and Art exhibition. Which was a major treat for me, as I had never viewed my friend create his art in the flesh. It was also sensational to see the choice fine art prints from the Self Help Graphics catalog on view for public consumption at the Pacific Design Center.
4) Mario Ybarra Jr., “Double Feature” exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery, Culver City, CA - January 12, 2013 — March 16, 2013
(Gallery view of Mario Ybarra Jr.s reprise Scarface Museum installation)
I was very interested in viewing Mr.Ybarra’s reprise of his Scarface Museum installation that was part of his Double Feature exhibition and I was not disappointed on his take of a film that has permeated through so many cultures since its inception. The Scarface Museum installation was originally inspired by artist Mario’s childhood friends collection of memorabilia from the infamous Scarface gangster flick starring legendary actor Al Pacino who played the infamous entrepreneur "Tony Montana". There was also original created artworks by Mario in the installation, one which was a favorite of mine had to be "Banisters", a 30x22inch stencil print on Arches paper.
5) Shizu Saldamando, When You Sleep: A Survey of Shizu Saldamando at Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM), Monterey Park, CA - September 10 - December 7, 2013
(Shizu Saladamando - “Sandy and Siouxsie” 2007 colored pencil, collage, glitter on paper)
As I had previously alluded, what I appreciated about Shizu's exhibition was viewing all the superb detailed artwork from her past and present catalog accumulated for the survey at the Vincent Price Art Museum. The "La Martha" was my favored piece from the When You Sleep survey along with her ballpoint pen on bed sheet pieces.
You can also view my 2012 picks here: CHICANO ART MOVEMENT blogs TOP 5 picks, Museum/Gallery exhibitions of 2012