I have never met Kim Jung Gi but I think he is a bad ass. Having put out 3 dictionaries, I mean bricks, I mean sketch monograph books, within 6 years, the man is a drawing machine. Seriously, I see fully inked murals in my facebook feed by him, what seems like, twice a day. 
Besides teaching art classes and drawing comics, he is also a full time father. I imagine instead of reading to his kids he draws them narratives till they get drowsy at which point he saves the drawings for his next sketch collection book. I am joking of course but maybe this is not a bad idea for some fathers out there.



One of the amazing things about him is his willingness to share and the transparency of himself in his work. This brings me to mention a 1000 page book called RAKUGAKING by Katsuya Terada released in 2002. Up untill the release of that book it was as if artists were afraid to show their sketchbooks, and be open with ideas so raw that it bled from the page. What am I talking about? It was a book filled to the brim with nearly all unfinished work. It was the purest form of the artist at play I had ever seen. It felt almost forbidden, as taboo as peeking into someone's sketchbook without asking them. Surely we weren't meant to see such perversions, dementia, and master pieces in this form.

Kim Jung Gi, as well as many others, were inspired by this audacious form of self promotion and validation. So a few years later in 2007 he published his own visual memoir, a thick, dense, perfect bound compilation also brimming with sketches in his own unique style, draftsmanship, figure invention, and his signature muralesque panoramas drawn in a skewed 4 point perspective.



It appears that Terada's message had gotten through to someone: "Draw like mad, all the time, non-stop." Kim Jung Gi's latest book "Sketch Collection 2013" is his 3rd self publication. If you observe closely you can actually see his progression and improvement from his previous books. His lines are more elegant, minimal and confident, his early work a slight more stiff and less expressive, but still technically amazing.



Kim Jung Gi is an artist who has overcome a self imposed stigma "Never show less than perfect work" He is not afraid to expose himself for our benefit and by trying to confront his fear, it has lead him to create better work because the fear of making a bad drawing is as prevalent as before.



These books makes incarnate what every professional has said to a young aspiring artist when asked for advice..."Just keep drawing."

All Kim Jung Gi books come wrapped in a foil package and includes a signed poster! Here are his first two equally amazing books:




ARON WISENFELD ARCADIA CATALOGS




Aron's images are haunting and even at their small print and shelf friendly ratio, they exude awe and beauty. I feel qualified to say this because I have had the pleasure to see his work up close several years ago and It is difficult to describe what it is about Aron's paintings that are so engaging. Often solitary figures in austere and overcast backgrounds, all his paintings have mood.




There is strong atmosphere and a sense of air to all the work, they are scenes you can step into. They contain the heaviness of a baroque painting, the elegant sensibility of a classic children's book and all seemingly a part of a greater narrative. The subjects seem all exist in some indistinct time in the 20th century. I can't quite point out what it is but his paintings feel distinctly American and is reminicent of artists like Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, and Grant Wood and all seemingly from a greater narrative.



It is difficult to gauge how much photo reference if any that Aron uses but whatever the case, he has a strong grasp of the form and subject matter, as is illustrated by his well thought out preliminary drawings which he creates out of charcoal and graphite and are masterpieces in themselves.



However one dissects Aron's work, it is apparent that he is a modern master.

These 3 catalogs each represent a different solo exhibition at Arcadia Gallery in New York and illustrates some of the key pieces from nearly a decade of work and although we do not often carry exhibition catalogs, these 3 mini books/pamphlets are currently the closest things to a collection of published work by Mr. Wisenfeld.

Short of purchasing an original or a limited edition etching by Aron, it would not be a bad idea to edit and frame the individual pages, and keep another set intact for safe keeping and collecting purposes. No that is not a sales pitch but merely a practical suggetion. 

Aron was Born in Washinton DC, grew up in Santa Cruz California, went to school at Cooper Union NY and Art Center Pasadena. He was also a successful comic book artist before he became a fine artist.  






I used to wonder why galleries and museums were so minimal, and after visiting many exhibits I realized that they were designed to help viewers focus more on the work and set up an ambience that allows you to sometimes turn a corner and be floored by a single painting. There are several paintings that I remember having this effect on me. I remember Odd Nerdrum's exhibit at the Forum gallery, I remember a painting by Ivan Aivazovsky of a lonely boat in a vast ocean, I remember John Singer Sargent's large paintings of the Italian coast, I remember many more and Ruprecht's work being among them. 

I visited one of his shows in LA many years ago where I was surrounded by his work. Nearly all large canvases, his paintings had an unignorable presence but not simply because of their scale but because of the work itself.



The work featured in these two books, (2005 - 2006) and (2007 - 2010), are a great in depth look at the scope of his work from the middle of his career up to this point . With close ups and full page spreads, you can see in detail the transition of his work from more narrative to more expressive, experimental and ethereal. 





Ruprecht Von Kaufmann can/should be considered a contemporary master. He has an amazing control of paint, and his color palettes often surprise me. 

As you look through the progression of his work it is interesting to see the evolution of Ruprecht's images. There is a common thread but it is more of mood than of a common subject matter. With art history references throughout, his themes are often eerie, bleak, dark and with semi surreal narratives. Beautifully thought out and studiously composed, through his seemingly intentional looseness and deftness of paint handling, a lot is left open to the imagination.



Those who favor more expressionistic and dark surreal themes but executed with the skill of an old master will no doubt be awed with the contents of these two hardcover editions.

Originally from Germany he received a BFA in illustration and painting from Art Center College of Design. Ruprecht currently lives in Germany and has exhibited in Munich, LA, and NY.

If you like Ruprecht's work you may also want to check out artists like Odd Nerdrum, Adrian Ghenie, Aron Wisenfeld, and Phil Hale.





To say that Disney Feature Animation has incubated and attracted some amazing talent would be a redundant understatement. Minjue Helen Chen works as a Visual Development Artist and recently became one of these artists. I had the fortune of hearing her speak at Nucleus' Art of Frankenweenie panel where she spoke about her role on the film and showed some of her development work. 

As her first independent publication, SPAM is well printed in full color and bound with a very friendly and familiar 8.5 x 5.5 indy pub sketchbook format and at 68 pages, it feels more substantial than some of its contemporaries. Helen signed and numbered each of the 500 and at 25$ retail, this is a great value for the content you are getting in this particular format.



There is a lot of fluidity but an edge to Helen's characters, which are mostly female. She is borrowing a bit of the Disney aesthetic to play with some non Disney themes, some of my favorites being her female versions of Kaneda and Tetsuo.



At some point all artists have or wanted to self publish an art book. Despite its origins as a portfolio keepsake,  with little to no written content, the self published sketchbook/art book has become a great tool for artists to scratch a certain creative itch while cataloging their work. It has become its own sub category amongst institution published art books and as much as we like the raw staple bound photo copied books, I hope there will be more produced around this level of quality and we look forward to carrying SPAM 2 in a year or so.





You can see more of Helen's work on her BLOG.

If you like her work I also highly recommend Elsa Chang's self published sketchbook, MINT CORRAL.



Job Description:

  • Assisting the gallery curator in preparing the gallery for hanging.
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Currently, only non-paid internships are available. However we do offer school credit (if applicable), store discounts, recommendation letters, resume and portfolio assistance. Interns are only required a minimum of 8 hours per week. Duration of internship to be determined.


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