In January 2016, I had one of the most memorable days of my life; I attended a Casey Baugh Charcoal Demo Workshop in Downtown LA!
Casey Baugh has since been a great influence on my work and has inspired me to become a better artist. When we received Arcadia Contemporary‘s notice of their hosting a show of his recent works, I was ecstatic. Being able to see his stellar work up close and personal is something not to be missed.
Due to a prior out of town commitment, I was unable to attend the pop-up opening night of his solo exhibit,”Exposed” this past Saturday, May 20. However, my boss, Linda Wehrli, was able to attend and even interview the artist! (So jealous!) Here’s her story:
My husband and I arrived at NOH/WAVE before 8PM, but the artist hadn’t yet arrived. While the string quartet was tuning their instruments, we leisurely perused the exhibit. The Little Tokyo venue’s ample space allowed guests to view the work comfortably without being crowded. I managed to take close ups of Casey’s works to show to my students. I’m pleased to share them with you.
Below are close ups of Baugh’s charcoal works that blew me away.
Close ups of his oil paintings that left me speechless.
Around 9PM, I spotted a tall gentleman sporting a man bun, talking softly with a guest. I quietly sidled up for a listen and was pleased to discover the tall gentleman was indeed, Casey Baugh. I politely introduced myself, and then profusely thanked him for setting the bar high for the visual arts. He beamed at me.
I then pointed out how much his work reminded me of John Singer Sargent. He gushed that Sargent is his main influence! Casey also revealed owning an entire shelf of John Singer Sargent reference books. Nailed it!
Revealing to Casey that I am an art teacher, I asked if he used the same Acetone on the oil paintings as he did with his charcoals. He does not. Instead, he concocted a cocktail of liquids that when sprayed, gave a similar diffused look but allowed him to continue painting. In other words the liquid sprayed to create his signature textures did not dry too fast or slow, allowing him to continue working in paint layers. He is as much a chemist as he is an artist. Love this technique.
I also inquired if he were hosting any workshops during his current trip. Sadly, he was not this time. However, he did indicate he was considering holding one in the near future at NOH/WAVE gallery. On the crest of that wave, I invited him to consider hosting a workshop at Pastimes for a Lifetime’s studio at no charge. He seemed excited at the opportunity and graciously took my business card. Fingers crossed…!!!
Before we left, my hubby coaxed me into asking Casey to autograph the catalog I purchased from Arcadia Gallery’s assistant. I shyly asked, and he graciously obliged. “Keep the brushes wet!”, he wrote. Indeed!
The next day I sent a Facebook Private Message to the owners of NOH/WAVE about how much we enjoyed Casey Baugh’s show at their eclectic space. I wanted to know more about them and their space. One of the owners, Yoshino graciously replied from Japan! Here is his kind and informative reply:
“NOH/WAVE is a multi-media creative agency based in Los Angeles. It was founded by artists Yoshino, Justin Hopkins, and food entrepreneur, Mark Manguera (Kogi/Chego).”
I asked Yoshino – What sparked the idea of creating the space…Here’s what he said:
“Justin Hopkins and I were presented with a unique opportunity to open up a creative space in Little Tokyo in LA about 6 months ago. During this time period we decided to create a multimedia creative agency around it. We decided to call it NOH/WAVE which pays homage to our Japanese heritage, the No Wave movement*, and our ties to being based in California. Justin and I both believe in a lot of the same artistic, collaborative, and business principles. We make all decisions together as a team.”
*The No Wave movement came out of New York in the mid ’70s , during New York’s brink of bankruptcy and crime upheaval. No wave has no consistent, singular style of sound by which it was defined. It’s rather known for its experimental, indefinite genre infusion including sounds from funk, jazz, blues, punk rock and avant-garde. Their lyrics often sung in a nihilistic and confrontational crude manner. ~ Sostre News
I’m so glad my boss was able to attend this special event and meet the artist in this eclectic venue. This is one of the many reasons why we love Steve Diamont of Arcadia Contemporary Gallery for supporting these cultural giants and making the connection with them possible.
In closing, I observed that Exposed portrays a different perspective of Baugh’s work. The city scenes and nightlife usually found in his paintings has transformed into beautiful nature scenes with nude figures in dynamic motions. I’ve always been drawn to his emotionally-charged details in the most expressive parts of the body, especially the face and hands. (Fingers are SO difficult to draw. Ask any artist!)
Missed the gallery opening, too? Don’t worry. The exhibition will be on display at Arcadia Contemporary in Culver City through June 8, 2017. Don’t feel like battling the freeways? Here is the link to the complete online catalogue. Be sure to check it out!
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If you are interested in developing your artistic talent professionally and building a portfolio of works for sale, call 818.766.0614 or email the school to set up a free consultation with instructor/founder, Linda Wehrli.
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