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February 27, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times art critic
Anticipation is an undercurrent running through recent work by New York-based artist Rory Devine -- anticipation and imminent loss, if not exactly dread. Two-dozen paintings on canvas and paper, plus one video showing only a fellow absent-mindedly riffing chords on an electric guitar, employ motifs both figurative and abstract, recognizable and allusive. Devine's art is determined to focus on present experience instead of promises of future reward, a point well-taken. Dour but not bleak, the work could still benefit from even greater immediacy of engagement.
February 25, 2014 | By David Ng
In the years since he left the White House, former President George W. Bush has kept a low public profile, living out his golden years quietly at his home in Texas. An exception to this rule -- perhaps against his wishes -- has been his amateur art career. The paintings Bush has created -- depicting dogs, landscapes and himself in the shower -- were leaked online last year thanks to a hacker who later was arrested. In November, bowing to growing public interest, the former president touted his artwork to Jay Leno during an appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show.
February 24, 2014 | By David A. Keeps
Celebrated for his more-is-more interior designs, Hollywood legend Tony Duquette (1914-99) was, fittingly, more of a Renaissance man. He not only decorated the homes of Mary Pickford, Elizabeth Arden, J. Paul Getty and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but he also designed costumes and sets for the stage and MGM musicals, crafted jewelry and sculpture for the jet-set elite and was the first American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Louvre in...
February 22, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Anthony Navarro worked with solemn purpose and a box of tools, stripping the old discarded bicycle of its gear shifts, brakes and chain. He cut his finger, wiped a drop of blood on his pants and kept going. "It helps me with my anger when I'm doing it," said Navarro. "It brings me some kind of inner peace. " On Thanksgiving Day 2011, Navarro's 6-year-old son, Anthony, was riding his bicycle in front of the family's Oxnard home when he was struck by a pickup truck. "The moment I saw him, I knew he was gone," said Navarro, who reeled under the weight of sudden, unbearable loss.
February 21, 2014 | By David Pagel
Scott Reeder's first solo show in Los Angeles does double duty, two times over. At 356 S. Mission Road, the multipurpose extravaganza is both an exhibition of big abstract paintings and the set for “Moon Dust,” a DIY film that the Detroit-based artist has been working on for eight years. Reeder's movie is made with amateur actors on a set that is more "Captain Kangaroo" than "Star Wars. " It takes place on a lunar resort that has seen better days and looks as if it's going out of business.
February 21, 2014 | By David Pagel
Art often gets talked about in terms of the freedom it delivers - to those who make it and to those who look at it. For Brian Porray, the idea of freedom is too high-minded, idealized and easily corrupted by zealous self-righteousness. Insubordination is what the young, Las Vegas-born, L.A.-based painter understands, inside and out. It pours forth in torrents from his electrifying exhibition at Western Project, a no-holds-barred carnival of optical kinetics, whiplash spatial shifts and head-spinning highjinks that explain why some see Porray as one of the best of his generation.
February 16, 2014 | By Melissa Magsaysay, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Heavy metals and beauty as armor were big themes at the fall 2014 collections shown during New York Fashion Week. We don't just mean the metaphorical power of a strong red lip, but literally using pigments like war paint and metallic shimmer like chain mail. The concept was most apparent at Alexander Wang , whose whole collection had a survivalist vibe. The message certainly carried through to the models' hair and makeup, with faces contoured and highlighted to create amplified light and shadow and hair shellacked to the side to look almost like a helmet.
February 14, 2014 | By David Ng
A painting by Francis Bacon sold at a Christie's auction in London on Thursday for £42.4 million (about $70 million), exceeding the estimated selling price and representing a record price at auction for a single panel by the artist. A Bacon triptych sold for $142.4 million in November. "A Portrait of George Dyer Talking," which depicts the artist's former lover who committed suicide in 1971, had been expected to sell for $49 million. The painting, which was completed in 1966, was sold as part of an auction of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's in London.
February 14, 2014 | By J.C. Gabel
Although he would hardly cause a blip on cultural radar screens today, Carl Van Vechten was, at various stages of his long and storied life, a journalist, provocateur, novelist, nightlife denizen, music and theater critic, confidant to Gertrude Stein, patron of the Harlem Renaissance, literary dandy, urban impresario, portrait photographer, archivist of Modernism and all-together man about town. A person of seemingly endless contradictions, Van Vechten was known for his many affairs with men - yet married to Fania Marinoff, a Russian actress and dancer, for almost 50 years.
February 11, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
Street artists Shepard Fairey and RISK are at it again. For Art Basel Miami last year, the two painted a mural together, known as the “Peace & Justice Collaboration.” On Monday, they teamed up again for another Peace & Justice wall, this time on downtown L.A.'s skid row. The project is a two-mural set on the side of the Rossmore Hotel at East 6 th  Street and Ceres Avenue. It's a joint effort between LA Freewalls' Daniel Lahoda and the nonprofit Skid Row Housing Trust, which plan to put up as many as 30 murals in the area by a variety of artists.
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