Zara Zeitountsian
Since 2005

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Black Maria Gallery Presents Tom Neely's Self Indulgent Werewolf

Thu Sep 13, 2007 00:00 - Thu Aug 30, 2007

Self Indulgent Werewolf
Tom Neely

15 September - 15 October 2007

Opening Reception: Saturday 15th September, 7:00 - 10:30pm

Black Maria Gallery: 3137 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 12pm until 6pm (or by appointment)

Artist Tom Neely's upcoming solo show at L.A.'s Black Maria Gallery, "Self Indulgent Werewolf," encompasses three new painting series and a sculpture installation.

In his latest works, Neely continues to challenge the obsolete delineations between cartoon and fine art. While his style is rooted in classic comic strips of the 1920s and '30s, Neely uses scale, medium and expressive line work to present his cartoon-like images in a more human light and -- drawing from influences as diverse as "Popeye" cartoonist E.C. Segar, Lucien Freud and Renee Magritte -- proves that cartoons can be as revelatory as any other form of art.

Neely is part of the artist collective Igloo Tornado, which exhibited at Black Maria in September of 2006 and will be at the gallery again in February 2008. This is Neely's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, and it coincides with the release of his first graphic novel, "The Blot."

In "The Blot," a mysterious everyman who has been a recurring character in Neely’s paintings, is plagued by a menacing blot of ink, which -- despite being made of the same substance that gives the character life -- threatens constantly to envelop him in darkness as he struggles with love, loss, and paranoia.

Picking up where "The Blot" left off, the paintings in “Self Indulgent Werewolf” mark the beginning of a new cycle of Neely's work that will culminate with the publication of his second graphic novel, currently in progress.

DJ, Aaron Turner, lead singer of Isis, will be spinning music that will include a few selections from the exhibition’s soundtrack composed by Tom Neely.


Black Maria Gallery Presents Re-run

Sun Jul 22, 2007 00:00 - Sat Jul 14, 2007


28 July - 2 September 2007

Opening Reception: Saturday 28th July, 4:00 - 8:00pm

Black Maria Gallery: 3137 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 12pm until 6pm (or by appointment)

Los Angeles - Black Maria Gallery’s open invitation to Atwater Galleries inaugural event: Summer Party 2007 on July 28th, from 4 to 8 pm. The Summer Party will be hosted by jFerrari Gallery, Little Bird Gallery, Pounder Kone Art Space and Black Maria.

In conjunction with the Summer Party, Black Maria Gallery will be presenting its Re-run exhibition, featuring numerous works from memorable past exhibitions. Remember that one particular exhibition you just could not make it to because you were either out of town or had plans with that special someone. July is the time to go back and relive your favorite Black Maria shows and artists at Black Maria’s summer Re-run special. Now is not too late to make up for precious lost times, and even bring that special someone or some ones with you. A full bar and yummy food will be provided along with music by HM Selecta from KillSonic spinning cool afternoon tunes perfect for art viewing, socializing or just hanging out and maybe even a surprise performance piece by the amazing Ladyspoke.

In addition, the Black Maria store will officially open on the 28th of July, mainly carrying unique artist-made goodies. Come celebrate the opening of our new space and support artist-made merchandise. The store will sell items such as small original artworks, prints, toys, art zines, apparel and much more.


Atwater Galleries Summer Party

28 July 2007

Saturday 28th July, 4:00-8:00pm

Atwater Village: 3015-3407 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039
Gallery Hours: All Gallery hours varies (please contact gallery for business hours)

Los Angeles - The first summer Atwater art walk presented by The Atwater Galleries will take place Saturday, July 28th, from 4 to 8 pm. JFerrari Gallery, Black Maria Gallery, Little Bird Gallery and Pounder Kone Art Space will be the host the Atwater Galleries Summer Party.

jFerrari Gallery: Dedicated to exhibiting works by mid-career and emerging contemporary artists. jFerrari is located at The Complex now showing a group exhibition of landscape paintings, Earthly Delights. There will be live music and live paintings by artist, Dan Wooster.

Black Maria Gallery: Focused on non-mainstream art that reverberates with the shock of the new. This is the opening reception for The Re-run Show, featuring works from memorable past exhibitions. An open bar and food will be provided along with HM Selecta spinning cool afternoon tunes and even maybe a surprise performance piece by Ladyspoke. Don’t forget to check out the new Black Maria store right next door.

Little Bird Gallery: The latest addition to the Atwater Galleries will be presenting a solo show featuring new works by Thomas Mulvane. Little bird focuses on the artist as more as an individual, offering guidance and growth in an environment without constraints or censorship. The gallery will be hosting an open bar and will have live music.

Pounder Kone ArtSpace: A creative meeting art space for artists, writers and musicologists alike with a focus on introducing artists from the Diaspora and local Angelino artists. This is the closing reception for Fully Fledged, an all women group show with Pamela Mower Conner, Artis Lane, Dominique Moody, Echiko Ohira, and Franceska Schifrin.


Black Maria Gallery Presents Twisted Portrait

Sat Jun 16, 2007 00:00 - Thu May 24, 2007

Featuring new works by painters Jane Gotts and Ron Velasco, “Twisted Portrait” is an exploration of storytelling through the art of portraiture, according to Black Maria Gallery director Zara Zeitountsian.

“This is an entirely fresh take on the age-old tradition of portraiture,” Zeitountsian explained. “Though working from different thematic and stylistic perspectives, Jane Gotts and Ron Velasco share a passion for both subverting and honoring portraiture.

“Storytelling and psychological insight are key elements here, marked by unfettered imagination - by contrast, most portrait artists of the past lacked creative freedom as they were commissioned to present a literal rendition of their subjects.”

Zeitountsian said that Gotts’ new series of portraits pays homage to the characters that populate children’s literature and imagination. Evoking Renaissance art, Gotts casts children as beloved fairy-tale characters, in portraits that reflect typically childlike behavior: Sleeping Beauty awakes looking irritable; Alice holds the pig grudgingly; and Peter Pan appears mischievous, even deceptive. Behind them are background renderings of patterned Victorian wallpaper, a further reference to past eras, to decoration and the portraiture wall. Gotts’ series also includes smaller depictions of fairy tale-animals, painted on bark-framed wood slices.

“Ron Velasco’s approach is to take a portrait as a gateway to explore several layers of storytelling, several hidden realities, pertaining to a given subject,” Zeitountsian said. While he experiments with lines, textures, and subject matter in his drawings, Velasco expands the compositional definition of portraiture through the juxtaposition and overlapping of abstract images. Such images, which take the form of character study through narrative, might depict or symbolize personal memories, actual events, and mythic creatures harking back to childhood.

“Personal transformation is perhaps Ron’s overarching interest,” Zeitountsian continued.

“Twisted Portrait” will remain open until Sunday, July 15.



Sat May 19, 2007 00:00 - Sat Apr 28, 2007

Peristalsis is Billy Reynolds’ first solo exhibition at Black Maria. The show illustrates the progression of Reynolds’ work. As a result, it has evolved into a narrative look at the characters he creates and how the pieces fit together.

Billy Reynolds’ fascination with the inner workings of the body inspired the title of the exhibition, Peristalsis, as it is the rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles. He distorts his figures, cuts into them forcing the viewer to look inside. According to Reynolds, “We are confronted with all of our internal intricacies, thus become aware of just how delicate and complex our operating systems are. And in this day and age, we often forget that we are ‘only human’.”

Gallery Director Zara Zeitountsian describes the progression of the exhibition as, “It begins with the classic story of boy meet girl, but we’re not dealing with boys or girls. To rephrase, Reynolds’ characters meet (one decidedly “malesque” and the other “femalesque”) and the next thing you know, a third “character” is rendered at its Entrance into Reynolds’ world. The characters become more and more organic and lifelike, which leads to the next stage in the development of the work - the human form (however distorted and inhuman it may seem).“ The narrative concludes with a glimpse into the artists new direction with Gluten, a representation of the female form, sliced open and stuffed with a common wheat-based breakfast cereal.

Billy Reynolds earned his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2004. His work reverberates between the familiar and the odd, the beautiful and the perverse, the unsettling and the captivating. Even with the direction change, Billy Reynolds’ manages to keep his quirky yet sentimental humor intact.