Saturday, May 28, 2011

MOCA's Art in the Street rules


Excerpted from the June Los Feliz Ledger: 

Street art fans: this show is for you.  From graffiti art’s origins to contemporary works by Shepard Fairey and Banksy and dozens of other artists, MOCA’s sprawling Art in the Streets appropriately spills outside the Geffen’s front door and even covers the museum’s wall facing Temple Street. Colorful, vibrant and loud—there are a guitar, drums and a wall of amps that can be played in one gallery—the exhibition is the first to organize these oftentimes outlaw artists’ works into a crowded, somewhat garish and very fun show.

The show is loosely laid out chronologically; there’s some historical information and a photo retrospective of New York’s subway cars covered in graffiti. New York’s Fun Gallery is reconstructed; a Jean-Michel Basquiat hangs in the window. The on-site MOCA store has been imaginatively re-decorated by Subliminal Projects’ Shepard Fairey. Unlike most major exhibitions, this one allows photography. So bring your camera. If you’re not a street art fan, this show may change your mind.

Art in the Streets now through August 8th, 2011 at the Geffen Contemporary.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

David Edward Byrd: Creator of iconic pop culture images

Silver Lake artist David Edward Byrd and his iconic Godspell poster art
Excerpt from May 2011 Los Feliz Ledger:

Jimi Hendrix. Woodstock. The Fillmore East. The Who’s Tommy. Do you associate certain images with these rock-n-roll legends?  Illustrator David Edward Byrd is the man behind some of the most iconic album covers and poster art of the late 1960s and 1970s rock era.

A graduate of Carnegie Tech., Byrd got his start serendipitously: his friend worked for promoter Bill Graham who needed some posters made quickly for an upcoming show. And the rest is rock-n-roll history, as Byrd went on to design Jimi Hendrix’s poster art for his headlining show a the Fillmore East in 1968, posters for the Grateful Dead and the Grammy-award wining album cover art for The Who’s Tommy.

For the past 15 years, Byrd has lived in Silver Lake along with partner and mosaic artist Jolino Beserra. Their 1928 bungalow is a colorful pastiche of inlaid mosaics and hand-painted furniture. Stepping inside the house is like walking into a three-dimensional sculpture as mosaics cover many surfaces. “To me it’s important; art is your life, what you touch and see every day,” said Byrd. Also gracing the wall is Byrd’s original line drawing for the classic program cover art for the 1971 Broadway musical Godspell that depicts Jesus with cascading, intertwined locks.“I never felt I had a style, but everyone thinks I do,” said Byrd of his prolific career. “I let the job tell me how to do it.”
His other distinctive art deco-tinged images are found on posters and playbill cover art for original Broadway productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and the poster art for the film Day of the Locust.

Byrd continues illustrating today and his once throwaway rock posters are highly collectible. Beginning June 11th, Glendale’s Brand Art Library Galleries will host a 40-year retrospective of Byrd’s work aptly entitled: The Byrd Show: 40 Years of Art & Design.