Paul Loya Gallery

1st Look at HEAT: Aaron Elvis Jupin in Amadeus Magazine

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When Aaron Jupin was a kid, there was little separation between the animated world and reality. Having grown up in Disneyland’s  backyard, better known as Orange County, and consuming cartoons like The Simpson, for which his uncle was an animator, Jupin not only had an early introduction to animation, but also became absorbed in the colorful two dimensional world.

“I remember I thought that the WB characters actually lived in the WB water tower at the studio, “admits Jupin, as he sits in his Boyle Heights studio. “Thats was real to me then, and I remember my family and I would always drive past this water tower by my house and every time I was like, ‘Thats exactly where the Animaniacs live’. There were probably a thousand other water towers in the area, and the studio isn’t even in Orange County, but to me that was the one.”

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Jupin’s early interactions with classic animation provided an alternative understanding of what art was and inevitably laid the groundwork for his now complete infatuation with the seeping hand-drawn lines in movies like Bambi and Fantasia , and the faint smears and blurry frames he catches in old cartoons that only come from the slight of a human hand. For Jupin it’s all about the hand, the visible involvement of the animator.

“My parents never took me to any museums even though I’m sure they wanted to, so when I would go home, I would watch cartoons and would think, That’s art!” says, Jupin. “Watching cartoons was my my first introduction to the art world. I think that’s why I kind of put…this is so corny to say, but I put classic animation on a pedestal. Everything that goes into it all done by hand, that is art, that is true beauty, that is magic to me.”

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Jupin’s longstanding fascination with classic animation now predominates his own practice. Through abstraction and manipulation, he takes recognizable images from the cartoons he was brought up on and twists them into a new context; one that inevitably reflects his exploration and understanding of how these familiar images resonate with him. Delicate back line-work and background details., rather than main characters, come to the forefront in his pieces, creating something abstract yet eerily rooted in a visual language familiar to anyone acquainted with early animation.

It can be as simple as a staircase background in the movie Cinderella, however the color of the carpet or the staircase’s steps, or even remembering what happens in a specific scene of the movie, will trigger a sentiment or memory that deeply resonates with him. When Jupin sees something that he likes and has a strong connection with it, he’ll immediately paint it, letting the images unfold like a never-ending sketch.

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“I’ll paint this background from Cinderella that sticks out to me, then look at the painting and I’ll remember something else from the movie, and include it. It’s almost like I’m creating a narrative, but with images abstracted and put together,” says Jupin. “I want the viewer to recognize these images, but mot immediately know where they’re from. Through their own memories they have this attachment to the piece. Whether they know it’s from Cinderella or not, they’re still like ‘Oh I know this. This is familiar.'”

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IMG_9563 Daisy Duck’s beak, Bambi’s legs droopy white flowers, planks of wood and rope all make repeat appearances in his paintings. Whether standing alone, pieced together or painted on top of existing imagery – like on the covers of his abundant collection of pocket pornos – Jupin interjects classically animated imagery on to the canvas that evoke his strongest memories and most prominent feelings. Otherwise whimsical imagery reveals Jupin’s darker thoughts and undertones, a visual depiction of what he’s getting out of each cartoon.

“My paintings are just myself dealing with my emotions,” says Jupin. “I’m putting myself into these cartoons and images good and bad sentiments that these cartoons and images remind me of. I’m not painting all willy-nilly, like, ‘This is cool, let me paint’. If I paint something, it’s because I have particular feelings, and now I’m painting it.”

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Jupin is continually working through new ideas, most recently inserting new colors to his pieces, and almost always referencing imagery that serendipitously pops into his personal life and warrants a connection with his memories and feelings.

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NOLAN HALL // BL!SSS MAGAZINE

Nolan Hall

Nolan Hall

interview • Grant Hatfield

You have a unique perspective on the surfing culture as a participant, observer, team manager and photographer. What are the moments that inspire you to pick up your camera and shoot while on a trip? Are there particular things that consistently catch your eye?

For me, it’s just recognizing moments that contain beauty or hold emotion, and it happens around us everyday. I love shooting the in-between moments, quick gestures or instances with a little charisma. I always romanticize the tours professional skateboarders go on – they’re epic road trips. Moments you love, hate, are annoyed by, make you sad, there’s plenty of curveballs that can hit you on the road. And that’s when these moments happen, while you’re dealing.

 Your upcoming show at Paul Loya Gallery has an interesting title. How did you come up with “Peregrines” to describe this body of work? 

Growing up surfing in Southern California, I spent a lot of time going up and down the coast on quick surf trips, usually crashing at friends’ houses, meeting new people, being exposed to art and different culture. That’s what makes the surfing and skateboarding communities so special is the fact that by doing an activity you’re part of a huge family.

You can span the earth, meet people that do the same things as you, and be welcomed into their world, crash on their couch, and get to experience their world. I realized that surfers are Peregrines. Most people will immediately think of the Peregrine Falcon, which are found all over the world from the arctic to tropical environments, just like surfers… Traveling all over this planet to experience new waves and the foreign lands they’re home to.

 Is it true that you printed all of your black-and-white photos in your own personal dark room? Why not do it the easy way and send it to a lab for prints?

did print all the black-and-whites for this show. Shooting film is a process. It’s not as immediate as digital photography, but that’s why I enjoy it. When shooting film, you aren’t constantly looking down at the screen on your camera. You shoot a photo and continue on. That’s something I really like about analog photography; it keeps you in the present. It’s also extremely satisfying to be able to shoot a photo and make a print yourself. It’s great to see the process from start to finish.

 Out of all of the photographers I know you have the most gear. If you had to narrow your arsenal down to one camera which one would it be and why? 

I think acquiring camera gear is kind of a disease. It’s fun to use new equipment, lenses, or cameras you don’t get to shoot with a lot. So there’s always this want for new equipment. If I could only use one camera for the rest of my life, I would probably use my Leica M6 rangefinder. They’re compact and easy to tote around over your shoulder. Another nice feature (aside from great glass) is that they’re super quiet, so candid photos become much easier to snap.

Who influences you in the respective surf and street photography worlds?

There are so many in both of those worlds… surf culture photographers that have impacted me would be Art Brewer, LeRoy Grannis, Jeff Divine, John Witzig, Thomas Campbell and George Greenough. Richard Graham has amazing images; he was one of the founders of Surfing Magazine (along with Grannis). He captured a lot of environmental portraits that are spectacular. That’s a lot of that kind of photography that I find interest in, what’s happening out of the water, and how certain people exist on land. Craig Stecyk is without a doubt a massive influence as well. Warren Bolster did amazing work; I believe his image was used on Ride’s iconic debut album Nowhere. In the street world, Bruce Davidson, Bill Burke, Joseph Sterling, Jim Goldberg, Joseph Szabo, Lee Friedlander… There are so many people that make great images. The list could go on forever.

 Your last zine from Deadbeat Club, Spotlight On Your Shadow, came out in 2014. Can we expect anything new from you coming down the pipe in 2016? 

I have a few things in the works at the moment, but nothing solid enough to go in depth on. I’ve spent the last couple of months shooting and working on the prints for Peregrines. That’s been my main focus. I’m really excited for this show to come together.

NOLAN HALL // AUTRE

A SAMURAI OF THE SEA:

AN INTERVIEW WITH PHOTOGRAPHER NOLAN HALL ON SURF CULTURE AND THE MYSTICISM THEREIN

April 1, 2016

Surf culture has a certain spiritual mysticism that extends beyond the sport and enters the realm of the samurai. There are codes, there are secrets and there are veils split by the curling lip of the tide. Surfers are like samurai warriors of the sea. Growing up in Capistrano Beach, the waves beckoned a young Nolan Hall and so did the clandestine beaches, and secret surf locales and the legends of the sport. And since, surf culture has become a way of life for Hall; not only as a surfer, but also a documentarian. His photographs have taken him on wild adventures – a selection of those images will be shown at his solo exhibition, entitled Peregrines, opening this weekend at Paul Loya Gallery. In the following interview, Autre chatted with Hall about his internship with legendary surf brand RVCA during its halcyon days before it was purchased by Billabong in 2010, his entrance into the Deadbeat Photographers Club that counts the renowned skater and photographer Ed Templeton as a fellow member, and his current stint as the tour manager of the Vans surf club team. What you will learn about Nolan is that he is the ultimate samurai of the sea.

OLIVER KUPPER: What came first, surfing or photography?

NOLAN HALL: Surfing.

KUPPER: How did that come about?

HALL: My dad surfed. He would take me down the beach at a young age. When I was really little, I was super not into it. My dad was in this surf club, and I met a bunch of kids my age who surfed. We would skate around together. I think once I made solid friends that did the same thing, I got super hyped on it. It just grew from there.

KUPPER: Where did you grow up?

HALL: I grew up in Capistrano Beach.

KUPPER: What was it about surfing that you knew was going to be a part of your life?

HALL: I don’t know. My dad did it, so it was always easy to hop in the car and go surf with him. It felt like summer.

KUPPER: Surfing does have a spiritual aspect to it. It’s like entering into a strange, new religion. It’s not like other sports.

HALL: For sure. It’s dumb in a sense, but it’s one of those things you can’t describe. I’m sure everyone feels it when they’re doing it. I know when I surf before work, or in the morning, I feel better for the rest of the day.

KUPPER: I’ve had friends who are surfers. They say that there’s something about going into the water and coming out – it’s like a life changing experience.

HALL: It’s definitely one of those things where people get hooked. Someone’s friend turns them onto it, it’s like being let into a whole new world.

KUPPER: Besides your dad, who are some surfers that you look up to?

HALL: When I was younger, my friends and I rode traditional longboards. At the time, that was super uncool. It was the late 90s, the age of the shortboard. Now, you can surf whatever. There are no weird vibes. I grew up longboarding, so we used to watch all these older guys from the 60s – Lance Carson, Skip Frye.

KUPPER: So you’re kind of a renegade to be in with the longboarders?

HALL: I wouldn’t say “renegade.” We were off on our own deal.

KUPPER: How did photography come about?

HALL: My dad had these small Nikon cameras. What got me fired up was the movie The Seedling, filmed by Thomas Campbell. Campbell, Barry McGee, Andy Davis – all these guys were making this really impactful art. That was around when I was fourteen, when I was just hanging out with my friends. We were surfing, skating, getting into these adventures. I wanted to document it.

KUPPER: What did your parents do?

HALL: My mom works in oils, like landscape oils. I never know what to call her. She’s a plein air artist. My dad has bartender, hung wallpaper. He hung wallpaper for the majority of when I was younger.

KUPPER: He was also into photography and surfing?

HALL: I think he was into photography the way your average person was when they were younger. He had the Nikon film camera, but that was the only way to take photos at the time. I wouldn’t say he was a super enthusiast.

KUPPER: Do you shoot mainly with film?

HALL: Yeah.

KUPPER: Are you a film purist?

HALL: I’ve had a digital camera for gigs and promotional work. But people are psyched on film. Primarily, I have a Rangefinder camera that I take black and white in.

KUPPER: Back to surfing, because it’s a big part of your career, what is your theory on why surfing and skating are so intertwined with art? You don’t see basketball or football being explored in the same way.

HALL: Creative people invented those things. Someone, at some point, to break the lull, said, “I’m going to go ride that wave. I’m going to make a board and try to ride that.” That’s some pioneering shit. Skateboarding has the most creative people. Iconic skateboards are insane. They are both art forms in themselves. When you’re skateboarding, you can choose to look a certain way, there are certain lines. When you’re surfing, you have a certain style.



KUPPER: Let’s talk about RVCA. You teamed up with them before they were bought out?

HALL: Yeah. When I was in high school, so before 2003, the Bowers Museum in Orange County was doing a surfing retrospective. RVCA was doing an opening party. We did a catalogue to go with it. KC, my old boss, sent me on a school day to the museum with a terrible digital camera. I get there, and I see Aaron Rose, and I was so nervous and speechless. He was super cool and posed for a photo. Then I just floating around as people were setting up the show, and I loved it.

KUPPER: How did you get started with them?

HALL: I had done things like that, where they would give me assignments. I also worked at the warehouse, doing sample sales. This was before I was officially hired. While I was still going to community college, they offered me as KC’s assistant. I was still living with my parents. The first day I showed up in the office, I introduced myself to KC. He was very kind to me, but then he just went back to work. I was sitting there with nothing to do. Eventually, he was like, “Do you need something?” He had no idea.

KUPPER: So he had to invent things for you to do?

HALL: The first thing he had me started on was building the catalogue. The company was so small. I think it was a 20 or 30 page catalogue that I laid out on cork. I had no idea how to use cork. I was trying to figure it out, kind of getting it. We got it printed at Kinko’s, like with a spiral. It was super early. Since I was also into photography, if we needed more images, they would say, “Hey, meet this person in town.” That led to semi-annual trips with people. It blossomed. With RVCA, you meet so many artists.

KUPPER: They were like a quintessential brand.

HALL: It’s so different now, but at the time, it was so new. It was such a cool vibe.

KUPPER: I don’t think there are brands like that anymore.

HALL: It’s hard when you become so big. You either stick to your niche and make specific stuff, or you try to make everything and it becomes kind of vanilla.

KUPPER: When did you start ANP Magazine?

HALL: That might have been 2005.

KUPPER: Were you there around the founding of that?

HALL: Yeah.

KUPPER: It’s not around anymore?

HALL: I think it is, but they don’t do quarterly. I think they might only do it once a year now. I don’t know how it seemed from the outside, but we were just scrambling to get it to the printer or whatever. Distributing it was insane. We physically drove to places. The East Coast probably got a few boxes sent out, but then we had to drop them off everywhere else.

KUPPER: It got serious reach. People experienced it and liked it. From the outside perspective, living in LA at that time, there was this motorcycle garage/café called Choked. That’s where I first saw it. I remember loving it. It was super rock n’ roll.

HALL: It was cool because it was all interesting. They weren’t pushing anything. They weren’t trying to sell you anything.

KUPPER: You worked with Aaron Rose and some other big artist. You must have learned a lot and grown up as an artist through that process.

HALL: Those guys were there working on the mag. I didn’t work extensively for them. I was just the help, for the most part. But it was cool to see it happen. Writing articles, editing down things.

KUPPER: When did Vans come along?

HALL: After RVCA, I was playing in a band. We got a record deal with Vice Records, so we wanted to take it seriously. We did that for two years, touring. Music was different then. There was no social media. We weren’t getting out there, and we weren’t making any money. We just kind of called it. I moved back in with my parents. While I was there, my boss at Vans now hit me up and said, “Hey, I need someone to go to Hawaii during Triple Crown.” I was doing reportage. That was a two month trip, and at the end of it, we offered me an assistantship. Shortly after that, I got hired as the surf team manager.

KUPPER: What does that job involve? You travel a lot.

HALL: It’s similar to a tour manager in a band. Booking, accommodations, flights, setting up trips, coordinating with filmmakers and photographers.

KUPPER: What’s the most recent place you’ve been?

HALL: I was just in Florida for a surfing event that we sponsored. I took a few of the guys up to New York for the 50th anniversary. They did a bunch of parties, events all over.

KUPPER: Throughout all that, you get to be really creative. You get to have the camera out and everything.

HALL: It’s cool. Every now and then, our art director will ask for photos for this or that. It’s not a whole lot of pressure to create images. I’m just out on these trips taking photos.

KUPPER: What is the Deadbeat Photographer’s Club?

HALL: It’s a publishing company by Clint Woodside. He approached a few people when he was first starting it, and that became the core group. Ed Templeton, Devin Briggs, Grant Hatfield, and myself. Those are the core people, and there a bunch of others. It’s just a totally nerd club. It’s funny: when we’re all together, we all have our cameras. if something interesting happens, five people rush over to try to take a picture of it. Ed’s been a mentor to me in growing a photo and art career.

KUPPER: And you’re starting to push more towards that career? You have a show coming up. Do you want to start transitioning into a career as an artist?

HALL: It would be awesome. I also think it would be really difficult. If you can be doing what you love, I’m totally for that.

KUPPER: What can we expect from your show coming up?

HALL: It’s all photos from either work trips or just around town. It’s moments in surf culture. The photos are small moments of being in that environment, without being just surf photography. I’ve never been interested in the action shot. There are some action photos in there, but it’s not normally what you see in surf photos. It’s like a backstage photo of a band – something you don’t get to see.

KUPPER: And you’re deep inside of it. You’ve become sort of a documentarian of that lifestyle.

HALL: It has been documentary.

KUPPER: Looking at your work, you can tell that it’s not “surf photography.” It’s documenting surf culture, in a way that’s embedded in the fabric of that lifestyle.

HALL: It’s a study of the culture.

KUPPER: Who are some other photographers that photograph that world? It seems like there aren’t many.

HALL: There are a bunch. Todd Glaser, who is a working staff photographer for SURFER Magazine. He documents everything. He has everything inside and outside of the water, environmental portraiture stuff.

KUPPER: The surfer world right now still seems kind of cult. It seems like a secret, in a way.

HALL: It’s tough when you’re pretty much at the mercy of agents. There’s a lot out there, but you have to travel to far places where there is nothing around, at times when there are storms and weird weather patterns. There are also a lot of people that like to keep beaches and waves secret.

KUPPER: What’s the craziest place you’ve ever surfed? Or the most beautiful?

HALL: Byron Bay in Western Australia has some beautiful beaches. The Barton River area is all wine country, so there’s no development on the coast. I surfed in Alaska two or three years ago. It was springtime, so it wasn’t freezing. But it was an awesome experience. It felt like you were breathing good oxygen. You’re out in an area where there’s no one around.


Nolan Hall “Peregrines” opens April 2 at at Paul Loya Gallery in Culver City and runs until May 21, 2016. Text and interview by Oliver Maxwell Kupper. Follow Autre on Instagram: @AUTREMAGAZINE


NOLAN HALL // SURFER MAG

Photographer Nolan Hall on his Los Angeles solo show

Nolan Hall plans to split the 20 or so shots from his new show, Peregrines, nearly down the middle — nine black-and-white shots, and 11 colored shots. Or, vice versa. He can’t recall for sure. The decision could come late. In-between a hallmark North Shore winter and a busy travel season managing the Vans team, it was almost a miracle that he could focus on putting a show together, Hall says. 

Hall’s lush lifestyle images have earned acolytes across California and beyond. Typically shot on film, they are honest and unadorned. We caught up with Hall as he was putting the final touches on his show—which premieres April 2nd, at Los Angeles’ Paul Loya Gallery—to talk about creative inspiration, what unnerves him, and how deadlines can miraculously work in your favor.

Do you normally prepare that early for shows?

I feel like I’m usually pretty on it as far as getting stuff done on personal deadlines I set for myself. I’ve definitely had shows where it’s right up to getting pieces back from the framer, stuff is being hung. Paul [Loya] and I had talked about doing a solo show maybe two years ago. We talked about certain dates. He was always like, “Maybe we could do it at this time?” and I’d say, “Ahh I can’t, I’m going to be in Hawaii for two months, I just have zero time” He hit me up right before the Triple Crown and asked me if the beginning of April would work. I had worries that it wasn’t enough time, but he said, “Let’s just do it and we’ll figure it out.” So he sent me all the dimensions for the space and I did the math of how many pieces I needed and broke it all down. It somehow worked out that everything got planned in time.

Does that help your creative process, needing to choose pieces in a shorter amount of time?

Yeah, I think I work better when I have a finish line. If I had more time, I’d find a way to procrastinate, get lost in options, and waste time. I think the selection process is different for other mediums, too. Like, painting for a show could require different deliberation. I think with photography, trying to think of a theme or packaging a particular body of work helps. A lot of it for me is beach and surf culture images, so I think that’s an easy one to grab onto as the theme of my show, and then to build from there.

If mediums force artists to consider different qualities for a show, how was it picking the sections for this one?

I was a little more scrambled. When Paul and I were initially talking, I was all over the place. Do we need to show new stuff that’s never been seen? Some bangers that are favorites of mine? I got to talking with friends and came to the conclusion that just because you’ve shown certain photos or they were printed in certain publications, a lot of people haven’t seen them. A lot of this show isn’t super new, but it’s stuff that’s never really been up for sale. I don’t know. I think in my head, I freak out and think my material is so old. But in reality, I’ve probably only shown it one or two times in really small shows.

Who were the other artists you drew inspiration from when you first started shooting?

Thomas Campbell was probably one of the first. My dad gave me this old Nikon camera when I was younger, and at a certain point I thought that I could do similar work to what he was doing. I had friends who surfed and were artists –- I could go document them. I grew up surfing with Devon Howard, and he was working at Longboard Magazine at the time. [Artist] Andy Davis, Alex Knost, and I hung out pretty much every day. We’d end up down at Andy’s house, go surf, and he’d let us crash at his place. Andy would be painting. The time spent with those guys had a huge impact on me when I was younger.

Your lifestyle shots are really candid, but they still require stillness and observation to take in the moment of the shot. Do you think the reflective qualities of your shots make a gallery selection difficult?

That’s interesting, because whenever you’re shooting digital or when you get your film back, and you’re going through your shots, you have the tendency to disregard details in the moment. And then maybe you revisit that roll a year later, and you think, “This is a cool photo. Why didn’t I catch this before?” That’s true for a lot of photographers, but you’re connected with the actual moment of what was happening, where you shot the photos or what state of mind you were in, rather than just seeing an image when you know nothing about it and are examining it out of context.

Did anything you try out for this gallery make you nervous?

I like to experiment here and there, whether it’s different techniques or methods, or whether that’s how I operate the camera or how I alter the chemistry when I’m developing shots. It’s a little scary when you think you have some good stuff on the roll, and you really hope there’s some good stuff on there, because you’ve never tried something before. So it’s a little worrying. But that’s why photography is fun, because it’s a challenge. Not in the sense that it’s a puzzle, necessarily, but that it’s ever-changing. And you’re never going to be completely satisfied with what you create.

[For more information about “Peregrine” at the Paul Loya Gallery, visit Nolan’s website here]

 

GORDON HOLDEN // PAPER MAGAZINE

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by Kate Messinger

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Gordon Holden at His Cousin’s Place

March 3 – 6

Our favorite artist/disruptor Gordon Holden is back with Consume Cool City 2k(infinity), a mash up of art, capitalism and house party hyjinx. We don’t know much except that this high rise takeover, fully branded with the Holden’s Consume Cool logo, needs to be seen in person (if you can find it). For some hints follow along on Instagram.

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