1.22.12 Jon Measures + Norman Gray : In Through The Out Door @ Balconi

[JANUARY 22 – FEBRUARY 22, 2012]
11301 Olympic Blvd. #124, Los Angeles, CA, 90064

Jon Measures and Norman Gray draw inspiration from close to home, their neighborhood. Jon Measures builds up layers of photographic imagery, which he then dynamically edits into a collaged narrative accentuated with the use of paint as paint itself. Norman Gray’s sculptures are embellished found objects adopted while sauntering the vicinity of his sheds. These objects of naiveté resemble the modest shapes and forms of sealife, plants and rocks.

In joining together for the show, both artists agreed to create a seed image / object to nurture and reach out to the collaborator’s artistic sense.The two artists with seemingly disparate methods of creating, welcome the viewer in this open dialogue of art-making over tea, or in this case, coffee.
Jon Measures is a British artist, designer and educator based in Los Angeles. Measures produces intriguing mixed media images depicting Los Angeles and in particular the East side of LA. These pieces often combine multiple views, slicing and dicing bits of the city’s rich fabric together. The images are usually digitally edited, and collaged together with painted elements. Paint is used to stylize or emphasize aspects of the photographic materials and to add texture and layering. Measures has described his approach to image making as a hybrid between painting, photography and collage.

Norman Gray is originally from the village of Long Itchington in England. His work is infused with a knowledge of modernism and contemporary art, especially the mid-century British artists, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson in particular. However, due to the modest scale and the type of materials generally, cardboard, paper, papier-mâché and other discarded materials and painted often with bright pop colors, his work also has a naiveté about it. There is an obvious influence from the city of LA’s Mexican culture and Norman has often cited Sam Rodia, the self taught artist/architect who was responsible for the famous Watts Towers as a very important influence. For several years Norman lived in a shed close to the Watts Towers so as to be close to them and would often go there to draw and think. He has described the Watts Towers as his church, visiting whenever he needs spiritual help and guidance. Norman’s approach to art making is process based, over the years a personal vocabulary of shapes and forms have developed from doodles in hundreds of sketchbooks to forms in sculptures. These forms are generally organic reminding the viewer of microscopic life, shells, rocks, plants and other natural forms. The sheds that Norman lives in always have an accompanying garden with his sculptures planted all about. Some of his forms again reflect primitive or modest architectural structures like birdhouses.


Balconi Coffee Company website


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