Paul Loya Gallery



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Scrolling through Gordon Holden’s website it’s hard to tell what is art, what is product, and what is just a big joke. But the California based artist isn’t trying to choose one path, his irreverent, pop art products are consumable and never take themselves too seriously. His installation of bizarro humanoid trees at PULSE art fair shows off his branded motto, Consume Cool written as the Coca-Cola logo, perfectly. We spoke to Holden about his art products, the best things he’s seen while in Miami, and just why the shock value of the Art Basel experience has started to wear off.

Who: Gordon Holden

Medium: Products, clothing, sculptures and paintings

Where to see his work in Miami: Paul Loya Gallery at PULSE Art Fair

Installation at PULSE Art Fair: Sunsets, 2015

Red(consume cool), 2015

Ghost, 2015

Fruit fur, 2015

What’s the concept behind Consume Cool? Do you think of your art as a brand?

Yes completely…we live in a world of branding and the challenge is no longer informing, but using/responding to taste. Everyone knows what Coca Cola is. And it is a natural as a house plant.
The line between the product and art seems to be blurred in your work. Do you think of the products you sell on your shop, like a gold dustbuster, or a hundred dollar bill for $100 or a tee shirt, all as art, or is all the art a product?

Everything is a product, and brands ideally are trying to make products that are practical in order to make our lives more convenient than they already are. Art in today’s world is to question that convenience. So in a way my work is art as product.

What are some of your favorite and least favorite things about coming to Miami for Art Basel.

Definitely the Cuban sandwiches, going on yachts, and going to VIP parties and seeing all the internet art people IRL are my favorite things; the blisters on my feet from walking so much are my least favorite things. Although I did get 2 pairs of $1 socks at CVS that are making my experience more enjoyable. I also like swimming in the ocean.

Is there anything you’ve seen here that has shocked you?

Not so much shocked; the first time I came to Miami for Art Basel, I wanted to be shocked. And I was. This time around, the shock value has somewhat faded, but the art and people that converge on Miami for Art Basel still bring the excitement.

What’s next beyond the Miami madness, what are you working on?

I’m working on a consume cool camera app that I will be releasing in winter 2016; I’m also releasing another Consume Cool project that includes exclusive products and color ways for museum shops. Most recent consume cool product display at the San Diego Art Institute

How would you describe the Art Basel Miami experience?


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“Just as peculiar is Johannes Domenig‘s large square of real tree bark hanging on Galerie Frey‘s booth walls, an apparent disruption of the man-made white cube aesthetic that fit more “naturally” into its curated space once I realized the bark is affixed to its distant relative, a thick layer of manufactured wood. More hints of the wild emerge at ROCKELMANN &, where Marnie Bettridge‘s suspended sculpture “Powerful forces shall move slowly” reveals small plants peaking out from its already organic, sand dollar-like layers — and they stand out even sandwiched between Megan Stroech‘s bold and at times cheesy mixed media collages, one of which incorporates a deflated pool float of a ghost. A series of miniature landscapes by the Canada-based artist Guy Laramée carved into books also flashes patches of green that led me to pore over his incredibly rendered topographies in the Jayne H Baum booth. Much, much less subdued at first sight, though, are the three (faux) orange trees planted by Gordon Holden and dressed in wacky garb that transform Florida’s common citrus plant into a trio of playful characters with distinct personalities.”


“We Just Have This Feeling” About Artist Cheryl Louise Humphreys


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I want to give artist Cheryl Louise Humphreys’ phone number to everyone I know—she may be the best texter you’ll ever meet. Her refined sense of symbolism in the tech era makes some seriously interesting—and wordless—communication, putting our reliance on familiar icons on display. For her first solo show opening at Paul Loya Gallery, I Just Have This Feeling, she removed text content from a phone and left only the shapes and the emotions. She knows the torture provoked by the three-dot, typing-in-progress bubble so well that she suspended its shape in Plexiglas. She then took the best conversations in her phone and turned them into stencils to press on paper. She calls these “friendship bracelets.” And because an emoji says a thousand words, she has drawn a bra decorated with a thousand fire icons that will leave you speechless.

But this does not make Humphreys an advocate of all technology. She is especially against time lost on one particular social media platform: Instagram. She even deleted the app from her phone. Bold move. As someone who dedicates a lot of thought and care to her work, Humphreys prefers designing visuals IRL to uploading images that you’ll quickly scroll past online. With a show coming up and her first visit to Art Basel, Humphreys has been busy. But when she’s not alone at the printing press, she runs the design studio Arms with her boyfriend Mike McMullen out of their Fairfax District abode—literally a labor of love.

“I’ll probably never go back on Instagram,” Humphreys says. When her show opens, I’m sure we’ll all post it for her.

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Paul Loya Gallery is located at 2677 S. La Cienega Blvd., 90024

November 7 – December 19, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 7th, 6 – 9 pm


Felipe Merida’s powerful illustrations reveal America’s hidden Latino workers: Ghosts in the machine

 Posted ext by Alex King, Illustration © Felipe Merida 
Felipe Merida’s Latinos USA solo show celebrates the often-overlooked contribution of Latinos to American society.Worn Levi’s 501 jeans, Timberland construction boots, Nike baseball caps and all-American branded caps, tees and sweaters. To the untrained eye, they’re just items of clothing, but to those who can read the symbols, like artist Felipe Merida, they’re a uniform that identifies them as Latinos: hard-working motherfuckers, keeping America moving – largely unnoticed. Latinos USA is a solo exhibition by Guatemala-born/Brooklyn-based artist Felipe Merida, AKA Tipi Thieves at LA’s Paul Loya Gallery.
A migrant himself, Felipe’s family moved from Guatemala to San Francisco in 1997 where he went on to study at the San Francisco Art Institute.Latinos USA is a series of portraits made from anonymous photographs Felipe took around his Brooklyn neighbourhood. His attention to detail brings to life the character of each worker through their dress, the two cultures that come together in them and quietly celebrates the Latin community’s contribution to America.
What is Latinos USA all about?
The collection is a nostalgic reminder of my roots. Coming from a central-America Latino background I am taken back to my childhood. Their work ethic is admirable, the importance of earning money for their family is so noble – this collection is to celebrate them.
What drew you to the people you chose to paint?
I am attracted to their style. My work is detail orientated, I aim to capture the texture of the textile, the facial expression in strokes of ink, the material of the shoes, age and other defining characteristics in each portrait.
How do you hope your paintings will change how people see them?
I don’t hope my painting will change how people see them, I merely present them for people to see.
What’s the most important thing you learned or the most poignant moment/interaction you experienced in putting together the series?
Other than my own nostalgia for the culture, I learned to pay even more attention to detail. The smallest detail can make the painting more authentic. Most of the portraits are from behind, so I needed to capture the culture without using facial features. Hence the importance of the details.
Do you feel Latinos’ contributions to American society are adequately recognised?
Without generalising, Latinos are happy to have work, rather than being too selective about the work they do.Their work ethic is focus on providing for the family… In some ways I don’t think they are too concerned with being recognised for their work – family is the focus.
Donald Trump’s recent comments suggest Latinos are still not accepted by large sections of American society. How long do you think it will take for Latinos to be accepted as Americans, like the Irish and Italians have been, finally?
Living in New York City I don’t have a sense that Latinos are not accepted. In this multicultural city, we are all finding our own direction. In other states of America, there is a lot of cultural unrest, not only Latinos, but many other races are still not accepted even if you are born American. This may never fully change.
What role does art have to play in breaking down those barriers?
Art is a means of publicity, highlighting society and life. If it falls in the eyes of the right people, it may increase awareness, others may just appreciate its beauty. I believe each individual brings their own thoughts and reactions when studying art, the artist is not in control of that.
Felipe Merida’s Latinos USA is at Paul Loya Gallery, Los Angeles until October 17.
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