Los Angeles, CA, October 30, 2015 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Work In Progress (W.I.P.), a new art marketplace that disrupts the traditional gallery paradigm, opens exclusively in downtown LA on Black Friday, November 27, 2015. Created by cultural curator and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman and co-curated with entertainment entrepreneur and philanthropist Doug Davis, W.I.P. will provide unprecedented access to available works by a slate of contemporary artists who are currently on the meteoric rise; including POSE, REVOK, Richard Colman, Shawn Kolodny, Adam Wallacavage, Cleon Petersen, Tasya Van Ree and Sage Vaughn (bios below). Select prints by Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari will also be on display and available for purchase. As the current art market continues to grow, celebrated artists are becoming increasingly harder to collect. The environment created by W.I.P. dispels this notion, making desirable contemporary art immediately available in real time.
“Typically, these artists have extensive waiting lists for their work,” explains Gastman. “It could be months before collectors can access their work. Between us, Doug and I know an incredible number of talented contemporary artists and we wanted to do something a bit crazy to get their work in front of the people who want to see it. It’s our Christmas present to the world.”
W.I.P. will transform a prominent but now defunct karaoke club in Downtown Los Angeles into a warren of pop-up galleries with each room devoted to one artist. New work will be added to the show on an ongoing basis throughout its temporary tenure, making the experience an interactive art immersion and ever-changing work in progress in and of itself
Paying homage to the building’s legacy, there will be one functioning karaoke room outfitted by artist Adam Wallacavage, which will be open to the public as part of the experience. Neon sculptures created by Cleon Peterson in collaboration with Lisa Schulte, will be available for the first time at W.I.P. The show will also feature a gift shop with smaller pieces of art and design objects, and host art-driven lectures, discussions, book-signings, and performances featuring artists and key figures from the world of contemporary art. Guests are invited to peruse the galleries, embrace their inner rockstar, and get their artful holiday shopping done at this one-stop art space.
“I am a huge supporter of new and established artists and am always happy to help bring attention to their work.” adds Davis. “What excites me the most about Work In Progress is that we have made fine art and an art marketplace more accessible to everyone. There will be no intimidating sales process that new buyers often face when going into a gallery for the first time. There is also NO buyer screening, no waiting lists, and no extended wait times to take home your purchases. The best part is, it’s just a fun way to end the year and bring people together around a few rock-star artists, and a bit of good old fashioned karaoke.”
W.I.P. opens to the public on Friday, November 27th and remains open through December 27th. W.I.P. is located at 317 S. Boylston Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Regular exhibition hours are Tuesday-Sunday 1-9 PM, with extended hours the week of Christmas.
For press or event inquiries, please contact Emily Nerad at Secret Agent PR email@example.com 213-925-7485
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W.I.P. features a range of contemporary artists of all mediums and genres considered to be the leaders of their generation.
Named “One to Watch” by CNN in 2015 as part of their international television series that shines a light on up-and-coming creative talent set to be the next big names in culture, modern pop artist POSE has been applauded for his inventive ability to take everyday, throw-away things and introduce them into the world to communicate something much deeper. While his work relies on harnessing very simple human emotions like love, loss and triumph, it’s presented in a complex union of vivid colors and layered application that aims for something much more profound than what’s at the literal, surface level.
Having shown works at galleries spanning the globe – including Dubai, London, New York and Los Angeles – his diversity as a visual artist is also apparent in grandiose outdoor settings on six different continents. His aim to promote community engagement and outreach has received press from the likes of The New York Times, BBC News, Vanity Fair and Forbes – with notable examples including the Bowery/Houston wall in New York City, the Wynwood walls in Miami, and the exterior of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, where he and other artists championed visual expression to empower residents to beautify a neglected American city.
Revok (born Jason Williams in 1977) is an American contemporary artist noted for his wood assemblage works. Respected for decades of influential and pioneering work painting in the street as a graffiti writer, REVOK’s studio work relies primarily on “constructing” rather than painting. REVOK has developed his studio practice without any formal training or education. REVOK has exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles as well as The Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art. His work has been exhibited internationally in the United States, Europe and the Middle East and is in a number of important private collections worldwide.
John Baldessari, born June 17, 1931, is an American conceptual artist known for his work featuring found photography and appropriated images. He lives and works in Santa Monica and Venice, CA. Initially a painter, Baldessari began to incorporate texts and photography into his canvases in the mid-1960’s. In 1970 he began working in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography. He has created thousands of works that demonstrate-and, in many cases, combine-the narrative potential of images and the associative power of language within the boundaries of the work of art. His art has been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe.
Richard Colman's work is known for blending figurative imagery and bold geometry. Typically using symmetrical compositions, Colman explores themes of human sexuality, societal hierarchies, life and death. His work ranges from small to large scale painting, murals and installations. Colman has been working as a professional artist for over a decade and has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums throughout the world . Colman currently lives and works in San Francisco, California.
Shawn Kolodny (born 1971) is an American artist and entrepreneur, living and working in Manhattan, New York. Kolodny received his Bachelor of Industrial Design from Syracuse University in 1994 and his MBA from Stern School of Business in 2010. Known for re-appropriating gender-specific utilitarian objects that have, according to the artist, reached their ultimate design, Kolodny creates multi-media sculptures from actual objects. The intended object's function elevates to art. The form is constant. The work is removed from its intended purpose to highlight the timeless and ageless design that is art.
Cleon Peterson is an LA based artist whose chaotic and violent paintings show clashing figures symbolizing a struggle between power and submission in the fluctuating architecture of contemporary society. Cleon's paintings are monochromatic while channeling at the same time the fashion sensibility of the early 80's, complete with skinny ties and day glow colors. Cleon received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, MI and a BFA in Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Ed Ruscha’s photography, drawing, painting, and artist books record the shifting emblems of American life in the last half century. His deadpan representations of Hollywood logos, stylized gas stations, and archetypal landscapes distil the imagery of popular culture into a language of cinematic and typographical codes that are as accessible as they are profound. Ruscha’s wry choice of words and phrases, which feature heavily in his work, draw upon the moments of incidental ambiguity implicit in the interplay between the linguistic signifier and the concept signified. Although his images are undeniably rooted in the vernacular of a closely observed American reality, his elegantly laconic art speaks to more complex and widespread issues regarding the appearance, feel, and function of the world and our tenuous and transient place within it.
Tasya Van Ree
Tasya van Ree lives and works in Los Angeles. Her photographs are infused with romanticism, darkness, intimacy, and a certain lyrical quality. She has always been intrigued by the everyday wonders of the visual world. The sense of expansive awareness that for van Ree is a prerequisite to photography, enables her to capture the small everyday flashes of insight that come when we are open to them, and often disappear before they can be fully grasped or appreciated. Her vivid images are also a testimony to her eye for form and composition. Tasya van Ree’s photographs have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris in solo exhibitions as well as alongside Amy Arbus, David Lynch, and Gus van Sant.
Born in Oregon but raised in the San Fernando Valley, Vaughn first learned to draw with the help of his father, a commercial artist for Disney. “That’s how my dad and I hung out—we didn’t play baseball, we made art,” he says. Despite his penchant for drawing and painting—and a stint as a graffiti artist during his teen years—Vaughn decided to forgo pursuing a career in art in favor of studying to become a doctor. But after a few years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Vaughn dropped out and returned to Los Angeles to work construction while honing his painting style in a makeshift studio in a friend’s garage.
For Vaughn, making art offers an endless way to explore the borders between humanity and the wild world. “To me that line between nature and city life is always ebbing and flowing, with the two forces constantly influencing each other,” says Vaughn, whose dreamy yet disquieting paintings frequently feature members of the animal kingdom as their subjects. “You see it in coyotes running out onto the freeway and grass growing out of pavement—it’s this continual push-and-pull that echoes a conflict within us, the collision between our own feral side and the need to control ourselves so we can exist as part of civilization.”
Adam Wallacavage was born in 1969. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where he received a BFA in Photography in 1995. In 2001, Wallacavage taught himself the art of ornamental plastering and began making octopus shaped chandeliers. His chandeliers have been exhibited in galleries in São Paulo, Rome, London, Miami, Los Angeles, Vienna and New York. In 2012, Wallacavage had a solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance titled Shiny Monsters. His chandeliers have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine and TIME Magazine. Beyond making sculptural works, Wallacavage is also an accomplished photographer. In 2006, Gingko Press published Monster Size Monsters, a book documenting fifteen years of his photography.
Existing in a past life as a well-known karaoke bar, the building’s structure remains intact - the exhibition built around one remaining karaoke room. This 5,000+ square foot funhouse features a large main gallery with an additional eight connected exhibition spaces. The unique layout allows the exhibition to showcase multiple artists in their own dedicated spaces under one roof, creating less of a traditional gallery show and more of a multi-faceted museum exhibition.
Following opening events, programming at W.I.P. will be curated by Shelley Leopold. W.I.P. will host art driven lectures and discussions, book signings and performances featuring artists and key figures within the contemporary art community. Hosted events and private screenings may also be available. In the spirit of the holiday season, charitable events and community driven art awareness programs are planned tie-ins.
Who we are
R. Rock Enterprises
R. Rock Enterprises [RRE] is a trusted mediator between the multitude of contemporary art scenes and the rest of the world. RRE is founded and managed by Roger Gastman, widely considered as a curator of culture and urban anthropologist.
The Davis Firm, PLLC
Doug Davis is an entertainment entrepreneur, event producer and the founder of The Davis Firm, PLLC, one of the most prominent music, entertainment and sports law firms in the country. The Davis Firm focuses primarily on the music industry’s most successful artists, record producers, songwriters, executives, as well as television production companies, video game companies, clothing/brand companies, actors and some of newest trend making painters.
No stranger to ambitious art initiatives, Gastman is perhaps best known for co-curating Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011, the first national comprehensive survey of graffiti and street art with an attendance of over 250,000. Connecting cultures and further aiding the advancement of contemporary art led to his involvement in the acclaimed film by Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Gastman went on to produce multiple books and films and in 2013 he curated PUMP ME UP: D.C. subculture of the 1980s, an exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the release of The Legend of COOL “DISCO” DAN, the feature documentary he co-directed. His recent exhibition, Cruel Summer in New York City, was featured in two gallery locations and included an electrifying cast of artists, from contemporaries such as Shepard Fairey, Maya Hayuk and HuskMitNavn to graffiti legends Blade and Haze.
In addition to founding The Davis Firm, Mr. Davis is a licensed NBA player agent representing new, star and veteran players and is the executive producer of the legendary annual Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. Mr. Davis has been featured in stories in and for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Billboard Magazine, ESPN The Magazine and The New York Post, amongst others. In 2012 The Hollywood Reporter called Mr. Davis’s Twitter (@DJD) one of the “Top 5 Music Power” accounts and in 2013 the UJA named Mr. Davis to its prestigious 40 Under 40 list of Industry Leaders. Mr. Davis received a J.D. from Fordham Law School and a B.A. from the renowned Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Passionately committed to giving back, Mr. Davis sits on boards of the Music For Youth Foundation, the Forum on Law, Culture & Society, the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University and Fuck Cancer. Mr. Davis serves on the Executive Committee of the City Of Hope National Medical Center, on the Entertainment Committee for the annual MMRF Gala and on the Entertainment & Media Committee of, and has chaired fundraising events for, the UJA-Federation of New York. Mr. Davis received the prestigious Amsterdam News Education Foundation Entrepreneur Award at the Amsterdam News’ 105th Anniversary Gala, and in 2014 was the Honorary Chair of the Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network’s Celebration Of Life gala. He also has a great sense of humor.
Shelley Leopold is a media and events veteran, with bonus credentials as an art world reporter. Leopold is an award-winning creative director, filmmaker and writer, whose work has appeared in many publications, books, and one Oscar-nominated street art documentary. She currently creates content, produces events, and runs top tier marketing strategies for numerous arts-related organizations and brands, and is the board chair at NewFilmmakersLA. Leopold previously served as Marketing Director for LA Weekly, Village Voice Media, where she designed and executed numerous signature food, art, and music events, established and grew their social media network and guided branding efforts to win 6 Belding Awards for best local advertising. Prior to her tenure at VVM, she worked as an art director in print and television at numerous advertising agencies in New York and San Francisco, creating multi million dollar campaigns for clients ranging from high end chocolate and liquor, cable networks to video games.
For press or event inquiries, please contact Emily Nerad at Secret Agent PR firstname.lastname@example.org 213-925-7485