Some may feel that little has changed in Los Angeles lately as fire season approaches while another COVID variant lies in wait and summer temperatures rage in September. Thankfully, as we enter the art-fall season of 2022, artists with their honest visual record of these times remind us that that humanity and our planet can prevail. With their relentless optimism and search for greater meaning, Beanie Kaman, Stevie Love and Ana Rodriguez present Joy at the Center at LAUNCH Gallery.These female-identifying, badass artists present works inspired by the abundant natural beauty of Los Angeles and how we, the inhabitants of this place, negotiate old and new topics and concerns. This exhibition reflects the power and calm of creativity through a mastery of art making.
Beanie Kaman primarily works in sewn and painted textiles that hang on the wall. For this exhibition, Beanie displays her long fascination with hanging objects. The organic forms that hang from delicate strings have been inspired from years of drawing and observing nature and, of course, sewing.
Beauty and joy are the ever present that I seek to express in my art. I revel in a sense of wonder, taking cue from Paul Gauguin’s enigmatic title “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” Living in a world where those answers are either always changing or never known, I accept that we live with these ambiguities. For me then, the constant is nature. It is my inherent, subconscious and underlying influence, the source from which beauty and joy can be derived.
Stevie Love appreciates all of her natural surroundings. She and has built a life of harmony with nature in her adobe dwelling in the high desert of north Los Angeles County. Her observations and life lessons have brought her endless inspiration and joy.
Every day I walk among the skeletal remains of Joshua trees, junipers, pinyon pines, scrub oak, and manzanita. Some of them are blackened and pealing, some are a weird scorched orange, and the manzanita leaves are an other worldly red. They are all incredibly beautiful in their own way, and I am back in the studio with the intention to honor their present state of being. I am using thick acrylic paint, sequins, gems, and faux fur to bring a sense of the ceremonial to the work. Making these paintings brings me a sense of calm and joy.
Ana Rodriguez continues her exploration of pattern, decoration, color and interior design with beautifully composed, heart-felt gestural paintings. This series continues to draw on the history and nostalgia of
Mid-century, working class East Los Angeles. The paintings serve as a reminder of a simpler, yet more challenging time as she looks optimistically to the future of her native Los Angeles.
This series exemplifies the significance of florals as not only as pattern and decoration but pays particular interest in the idea of objects of ritual. This Untiled series, marks several important transitions in my work. While still continuing to use color, pattern, decoration, and historical references to the homes I grew up in that were located in East Los Angeles with original wall paper, linoleum, and bright colored walls from the 1930’-1950’s. There is a sense of nostalgic memory that tends to move away from anti modern and more decorative painterly traditions in order to carry meaning, but also question contemporary painting and the use of color.
Ana Rodriguez is a Los Angeles multidisciplinary artist from Southeast Los Angeles. She is a painter, sculptor, and art educator, serving Southeast LA youth. Rodriguez grew up in a small community of Maywood, California, which is adjacent to the industrial cities of Commerce and Vernon and their numerous chemical plants, refineries, public waste areas, and foundries. Rodriguez recalls being highly aware of the interior design elements from the apartments and single-family homes that she lived in as a child. The contrast between the scents from local bakeries and foul smell of factories around her like Farmer John inspired this work. Rodriguez is interested in the conversations that happen where interior design, memory, pattern, decoration and the sub conscious meet.
Stevie Love lives and works in the foothills overlooking the western Mojave Desert in an adobe house that she and her husband made by hand. She earned a Bachelor’s degree at California State University at San Bernardino and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University. Love is enamored with the modernist philosophy that art making is a spiritual practice, and her work links the material and the spiritual in funky, sometime humorous, ways. Using squeeze bottles and pastry tubes, Love builds paint-sculpture hybrids, often adding faux fur, fake gems, and sequins to call attention to its materiality. A material girl with a spiritual bent.
Originally from Connecticut, Beanie Kaman currently lives in Los Ángeles, CA after spending 22 years in Santa Fe, NM. She studied fine arts and graphic design at Hartford Art School, graduating with highest honors from New England School of Art & Design in Boston, MA. Kaman worked as a graphic designer for independent firms and magazines until 1990, when she was finally able to paint full time. Kaman has exhibited in galleries and venues all over the United States, Italy, France, and Lithuania. She has traveled extensively participating in exchange exhibition programs that included Japan, South Korea, China and Thailand.
LAUNCH LA believes exposure to the arts enhances quality of life and strengthens community for all through the shared appreciation of creative expression in all its forms and hybrids. LAUNCH LA is passionate about providing all artists regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation with quality opportunities to present themselves and their creations that reflect our times to a curious and enthusiastic audience at important happenings throughout Los Angeles.