Eric Vozzola is the popular Las Vegas graphic designer who has taken on public art and exhibitions. To expand his practice further PtD asked him to write about his first visit to the Los Angeles Art Show, which has undergone reinvention since it relocation to downtown Los Angeles in 2009. We start with Vozzola's reflection on one painting that caught his attention.
Guo ShuLing “The Laboratory” (China)
What first seems like abstract expressionism in a dream-like painting from afar, Guo ShuLing's “The Laboratory” reveals a young male figure hovering over a pond or garden in the center when inspected closer. The complex web-like forms extending from the figure’s head is unique and used throughout the painting creating a synapse effect. Colors in the center of the “The Laboratory” are magnificent to a color-lover like myself and my favorite element of the piece. Take more time and the painting reveals unimaginable detail, like the little sprouts and plant-like forms that gently emerge from the pond in the foreground. The deeper meaning I found is we can be the creators of our own universes. The subject in this piece, with face hidden, is using imagination to create their own beautiful and lush world. It reveals a coexistence and direct connection moving back and forth from an external environment to an internal experience. - Eric Vozzola
By Eric Vozzola
At the last minute a couple of art buddies and I decided to attend The LA Art Show to find inspiration and experience top tier artists. The quality of work was on another level. The technical execution, presentation, concept, humor, color, and cutting edge design was more than I could have imagined. I felt at home and connected to this paramount show of masterful works on the West Coast.
Living in Las Vegas and being familiar with our local art scene it’s hard to compare the two. Vegas is still such a young scene, but the seeds have definitely been planted. We have hard-working, talented career artists and spaces to show work. The quality of our street art in particular has turned Vegas into a respected destination for public art – all of which is pointing us in the right direction.
To witness the state of the art world through the context of the LA Art Show was an extreme duality. I felt like a spec among giants, but also filled with immense inspiration, motivation, and confidence.
Being an artist is like working through a long tunnel with a tiny light at the end. There are many avenues and detours that keep you pushing forward, but there is an ultimate goal of perceived success that one is striving for, the so-called “light." Witnessing this show is almost like experiencing a bird’s eye view of this “light,” but through a different, external lens, other than your own. It’s a magnificent and visceral feeling.
I feel a long-term goal of one’s career as an artist and designer is to be prolific enough to be included in the likes of the L.A. Art Show. As intimidating as that seems, experiencing the art fair for the first time allows one to calibrate their path, to make notes on how to work toward the same success more of a reality, and less an insurmountable light in the distance.
Paint This Desert enters its fourth year so a new look was overdue. As you can see nothing real drastic was done. There will be tweaking on older posts to fix typography that was shaken up like groceries tumbling out of bags in the trunk of a car. It also becomes a good time to once again thank Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts Writers Grant that started up this adventure, which has become part of an arts community in the footprint of the Basin and Range province. And of course, thank you for reading.
For your reference and reading. here is a list of blogs funded by Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation.
Kate Palmer Albers / 2014 / Circulation Exchange
Sharon Butler / 2013 / Two Coats of Paint
Caryn Coleman / 2012 / The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Emily Colucci / 2016 / Filthy Dreams
Greg Cook / 2009 / The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research
Claire Daigle / 2015 / Figuring Fiction
Carol Diehl / 2011 / Art Vent
Jason Farago / 2011 / Art in Common
Ed Fuentes / 2013 / Paint This Desert
Alicia Guzmán / 2016 / Tierra (not yet live)
Andrew Horwitz / 2013 / Ephemeral Objects
Christopher Howard / 2014 / in Terms Of
Matthew Jesse Jackson, Andrew Perchuk, and Christopher P. Heuer / 2010 / Our Literal Speed
Paddy Johnson / 2008 / Art F City
Farrah Karapetian / 2012 / Housing Projects
Gelare Khoshgozaran and Eunsong Kim / 2015 / contemptorary
Silvia Kolbowski / 2014 / Another platform for art
Claudia La Rocco / 2011 / The Performance Club
Sohrab Mohebbi / 2011 / Presence Documents
Meg Onli / 2012 / Black Visual Archive
Lee Rosenbaum / 2014 / CultureGrrl
Raphael Rubinstein / 2010 / The Silo
Andrew Russeth / 2010 / Sixteen Miles of String
Harbeer Sandhu / 2012 / Texphrastic
Mira Schor / 2009 / A Year of Positive Thinking
Valerie Soe / 2011 / beyondasiaphilia
Anjali Srinivasan and Yuka Otani / 2008 / Post-Glass Artists: Glass Guerillas
Ania Szremski / 2016 / I'd prefer not to (not yet live)
Daniel Temkin / 2014 / Esoteric.Codes
Meredith Tromble / 2011 / Art and Shadows
Jason Urban, R.L. Tillman, and Amze Emmons / 2011 / Printeresting
Victoria Valentine / 2015 / Culture Type
Laura A. L. Wellen / 2016 / Piedrín (not yet live)
Artist Kara Joslyn's piece is on exhibit in Process at UNLV’s Barrick Museum of Art, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary I Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
FIELD NOTES: On Friday evening, January 27, the UNLV College of Fine Arts will have have several exhibitions open making for a well timed unofficial campus Art Walk. The Barrick Museum opens its 50th Anniversary Year with a reception hosted by Nancy J. Uscher, dean of the UNLV College of Fine Arts, and the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, to mark the Barrick's 50th year of service to the Las Vegas community. That will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
ELSEWHERE: The Beam will extend its hours to 8 p.m. for "Greyscale" and Grant Hall will be busy until 9 p.m. with a closing reception for "Out At Home."
BARRICK ON THE AIR: From KNPR article and audio, UNLV's Barrick Museum Turns 50 Looking To Engage Community: "Getting on the community’s radar screen starts this week with a public anniversary celebration Friday evening at the museum. The museum's new name — the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art — will be officially unveiled at the event."
PRINT: In Las Vegas Weekly's article, Interim Director Alisha Kerlin Leads the Barrick Museum Through Its 50th Anniversary, Kerlin is asked "What’s the purpose behind the latest name change?' She replied. "We have Mesoamerican art objects in the Braunstein gallery, and we house one of the most famous and inspiring donations of contemporary art in recent American history—the Nevada portion of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel 50x50 Collection. [Given] the fact that we have those two massive collections and that we’re growing our own collection of contemporary artists with ties to Southern Nevada, it’s natural to have 'of Art' by the name."
BELOW a shot of Barrick preparation and an art in public space faculty has a leave behind in the lobby.
ABOUT GRAYSCALE: The Donna Beam Art Gallery extends its hours to 8 p.m. for "Greyscale," which features black, white and grey works of art by Las Vegas artists; UNLV alumni; selected pieces from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection; and works from Las Vegas Art Museum Collection loaned from the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art.
ABOVE: Detail of new mural by D*Face at the Plaza Hotel.