Entries in Press (58)


ARTE: KENTURAH DAVIS & California Senate Contemporary Collection

Kenturah Davis was selected by Senator Holly J. Mitchell with the help of curator (and now director of PAMM) Franklin Sirmans to exhibit in the California State Senate Contemporary Art Collection 2015-2016.  Her drawing 'Mediatation VIII: Karim' from the Narratives and Meditations series is on view now.



ARTE: Lauren Halsey x The New Yorker

Lauren Halsey's exhibition is on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem now.




Samuel Levi Jones interviewed by Mark Bradford in Studio Magazine's 2015 Winter/Spring Edition. View the article HERE.



Happy to speak to writer Chaedria Labouvier and share my perspective with Elle Magazine about the #SayHerName movement and Black women who are preyed upon by the police.


To say that it's mentally draining would be an understatement. It's a combination of that and being mad as hell. These things are happening so quickly and so frequently there's not enough time to process feelings, thoughts, and emotions. The other day I had a conversation with an artist whose work deals with value and it dawned on me recently after having the police drive behind me for a few blocks this week that the body that I inhabit has no value in this country. They aren't seeing that I am a business owner who employs people who live locally, that we all pay taxes, that I have been referred to as a pillar in the community etc., To see value in me would mean you would have to acknowledge my story first but on first sight these things are not present and what they do acknowledge (my body, my skin) has no value. 

What makes this idea even more frustrating is that once you're murdered they erase your life in the media (history): Who you are, the things that made you a respectable citizen in society, the things that make you human. I hate that when we see these hash tags that we can not mourn the loss of someone that didn't deserve what happened. Instead we have to defend the life, morale, and character of these women and men. So yeah, I'm mad but not defeated and not giving up. The best way I know how to honor the lives of those slain to police terrorism is to continue to live, continue to thrive, continue to be active in the spaces we exist in, and to come up with ways where we are the authors of our own history. 

To read the full article click the screenshot above.


ARTE: Andre D. Wagner x Business Insider

Read Andre's interview in Business Insider Austraila



I'm in the "The Art of Living" summer issue of CALIFORNIA HOME+DESIGN speaking about an artist to watch...hint, we're already watching him! Read about it HERE



LA Times gave Andre D. Wagner a favorable review!

By Leah Ollman

Andre D. Wagner is a young photographer with an old soul. He shoots black-and-white film and prints his pictures, by his own hand, on a scale (11 x 14 and 16 x 20 inches) that, these days, is conspicuous in its modesty.

The intimate size matters. It matches the tenderness of his approach toward his subjects, mostly fellow residents of Brooklyn. Wagner practices a quiet, lyrical kind of humanism that comes straight out of the traditions of mid-20th-century street photography and the social documentary photo-essay. "Tell It Like It Is," his show at L.A.'s Papillion, is invigorating.

Photography excels at showing us what we can't see -- motion too fast, views too distant or specimens too small for the eye to perceive -- but it also shows us what we don't see, realities made invisible by familiarity, veiled by bias or strategically suppressed.

Wagner's work comes out of his respect -- awe, even -- for the value of ordinary lives playing out in ordinary ways. His focus on African Americans in his community affirms that value, pithily summed up by the meme Black Lives Matter. Wagner's pictures help correct the record, flesh it out. They serve as counterbalance, antidote to injustices perpetrated in the realm of representation.

He shows us older women out shopping, little girls having a laugh on a stoop and little boys in playful camaraderie, mothers with their kids on the bus, a shoeshine man on a break. Nothing of conventional consequence happens during these interstitial moments, but meaning is vested in them and Wagner's keen eye seizes upon the rich, spontaneous choreography of gestures, shadows and signage perpetually staged on city streets.

He homes in on the exquisite visual dynamism energizing even the quietest of scenes.

Consider his picture of three young boys sharing two seats on the subway. The station is a blur out the window, and fragments of bodies on either side frame these innocent souls in their gleaming white T-shirts, hands folded on their laps. Two succumb to motion-induced slumber and the third sits silently observing. Their heads align like adjacent frames in a stop-motion photograph. Wagner edits out all but the bottom word, "History," in the poster mounted above them, as if to acknowledge the ever-present bearing of the past on their unknown future.

American flags crop up everywhere in these pictures -- on shirts and patches, in the hand of a pensive girl at a meat counter, on the exterior of a subway car whose window frames the sober, level gaze of a black passenger, echoing Robert Frank's powerful photograph of a segregated trolley in the '50s. Along with the lucid beauty and honesty of work by Roy DeCarava, Helen Levitt and Gordon Parks, Frank's "The Americans" is a clear antecedent to Wagner's work.

Wagner hasn't so much "sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film," as Jack Kerouac wrote of Frank, but his everyday epic, too, is dense and necessary, an affirmation that everything -- and everyone -- matters.



The Great Discontent magazine featured Andre D. Wagner in their third issue, The Possibility Issue. Andre Wagner is currently in our solo exhibition, American Survey Part II "Tell It Like It Is." The The Great Discontent quotes Andre, "..Ive dedicated myself to noticing what everybody else is missing. I show people what the world actually looks like. Street photography is so special because it's about capturing everyday moments. It's not produced." You can find out where to buy a copy or order online HERE 


ARTE: Correspondence by Citizens of Culture

Very honored to be the cover girl for issue 2 of Correspondence Magazine by Citizens of Culture...a site I have great respect for.  You can find out where to buy a copy or order online HERE



February James, an artist from Washington D.C. living in New York City was featured in Brazillion publication, AMARELLO. You can find out where to buy a copy or order on line HERE.

"...In a way my work is an ongoing body of self exploration. Painting all the things I'm running away from and all the things I'm hoping to become."


ARTE: Kenturah + Sonder + Metro = Public Art Commission

Kenturah Davis along with 13 other amazing artists have all been selected to create new public art works for the new LAX/Crenshaw metro line!!!

Other artists include Mickalene Thomas (who will be doing the metro stop that is across the street from the gallery Crenshaw/Vernon) Shinique Smith & Geoff McFetridge.


ARTE: Art In America x Samuel Levi Jones

Pick up the April issue of Art In America magazine to read Samuel Levi Jones 4-pg feature!



ARTE: The Coveteur Comes For A Visit!

"She's changing the art world" was the subject line in millions of inboxes this morning as The Coveteur talks about my interview on art x style x and all things LA.

"I'm an art dealer and a gallerist. I run a contemporary art space here in L.A. where I show emerging artists. Part of what I do, and what my specialty is, is that I develop artists and I develop collectors. I find people who are interested in getting into the art world by buying art works and becoming an arts patron, but don't necessarily have a direct connection in doing that. I facilitate that entry point for new people to be in the mix. Same thing for artists: for artists that I think have an immense amount of talent and skill and could be very successful, we help to build a good foundation for them to become the next great art star."

Read the full interview here



Courtney Wallis Blair interviews Samuel Levi Jones for Forbes.com

4 Questions: Samuel Levi Jones

There’s something to be said (and held closely) about quietude in a time when shock and volume are firmly aligned with power and value. It’s something more to explore that power and value, in all its systems and intricacies, through a lens of stillness. But Samuel Levi Jones does it and does it well, in a most thoughtful manner, through his brilliant works on canvas that incorporate the covers of encyclopedias and law case text books.

It is this engagement to material, raw and aggressive, that put him in the running for the Studio Museum’s lusted-after Joyce Prize of which he took home along with a cool $50,000 and that brought on solo shows at the Studio Museum in Harlem (opening today) and Indiana’s Museum of Contemporary Art (opening this fall). He’s also in this year’s Mistake Room biennial exhibition. So we caught up with the artist, represented by Papillion, Los Angeles, to discuss his first exhibition in New York, his interest in material, and what that quietude is all for.


Don't Feel Right, 2015, mixed media on canvas, 82in x 125in.

This is your first exhibition in New York. Can you tell me about Unbound, how it came to fruition, the work that will be on view, and how it speaks to your practice as a whole?
I’m extremely excited about my first show in New York being at the Studio Museum Harlem. In late 2014, Naima Keith (Associate Curator, Studio Museum Harlem) and I started having a conversation about exhibiting at the Studio Museum. Unbound is a continuation of the work that I have been constructing from encyclopedias, which is about the exploration of systems of knowledge and power. For this exhibit I chose to use law books, as I felt that it was pertinent to current events. This work is site specific, and the three works are much larger than any of my previous works.

Your critical exploration of systems of power and knowledge is the main focus of the exhibition. Can you explain its relationship to materiality and form? Is there a direct relationship to the body?
The relationship of the material to systems of power is very direct. I viewed the source material as the system of power. Encyclopedias in particular, contain a vast amount of information, but it is selective, and much equally important content is omitted. When working with the material I think about how the information was compiled and the methodology. I am ultimately thinking about information that is selectively left out. Much of the material I work with are the covers of the books. I refer to them as skins, and they define, and contain, the body of my work.

I find the evisceration of text in your work interesting given that you employ books as a symbol of knowledge. Can you talk a bit about this deconstruction and quieting of content?
The removal of the text pertains to numerous ideas that are competing for my attention. One thing that I think about are narratives which are not consistent with their contexts and do not fit. Deconstructing the material is a cathartic act as I physically handle these inconsistencies.

You stay within a limited color palette. Is this intentional? What is the significance of color within your practice?
The color is based upon what the material naturally gives me to work with. It is not intentional unless I choose to do some mixing of the source materials. Most of the time, the color palette is based upon the particular set of books with which I am working. Early in my work, I would typically construct a single piece from one set of books. More recently, I have been experimenting more with mixed materials to keep the aesthetic fresh. The color is not as important as the texture and other qualities of the material. I enjoy the challenge of working with a constantly changing source of materials.

Unbound is on view at the Studio Museum Harlem, New York through June 28, 2015. The TMR Benefit Exhibition is on view in Los Angeles through May 9, 2015.



Lakwena was recently interviewed by Daily Metal magazine, a snippet is below, click the photo for the full article.
"You keep mentioning a broader audience being attracted by art.  Is that what you are trying to do?  Get a wider audience to experience art?

Well, I don't think art should be elitist and the idea that only a small group of people would see my work doesn't excite me. It seems boring and narrow. That's why I'm so grateful for every opportunity to paint in a public space. On the other hand, I also like the gallery space. Just before the LA show I kept thinking that it's nice to be able to have complete control over a space. What's  exciting about galleries is how clean and clear they are and how you can completely construct an environment. At the same time, despite a gallery’s infinite possibilities, you have to remember that art is never neutral and always has a context. So, even though the gallery might act as a white box, it's still located on a particular street, in a specific neighbourhood etc. In this particular case, the gallery happened to be in LA, the heart of the film industry. Hollywood is the home of cinema, where all those people who are telling stories that get sent all over the world are. It felt poetic that I was showing these pieces in the same city. I like to respond to what's happening around me and not make art in a bubble. I didn't intentionally set out in the beginning to respond to LA, but it seems like the connection slowly unfolded."


Photos by Mafalda Silva


ARTE: Hi-Fructose reviews I Remember Paradise

Hi-Fructose Magazine reviews Lakwena's exhibition, I Remember Paradise

Emerging London artist Lakwena Maciver has been making a name for herself with her bold, text-based murals. After traveling the globe with her street art, the artist recently touched down in LA for her solo show, “I Remember Paradise,” on view at Papillion Art through March 15.

The large-scale wood relief paintings in the exhibition evoke the vibrance of Maciver’s outdoor works with their contrasting patterns and bright colors. With short messages at the center of each piece, her catchy, design-heavy paintings call to mind contemporary advertising. While appropriating this aesthetic, the artist liberates her slogans from any corporate affiliation and uses them to promote positive thinking.

A sound installation Maciver created in collaboration with musician Abimaro accompanies the paintings in the exhibition. The interactive work explores the harmonious relationship between the first and fifth note on a scale, adding another dimension of experience to the positive vibes of “I Remember Paradise.”

written by: Nastia Voynovskaya


ARTE: I Remember Paradise - LA Times Review

The Los Angeles Times review of Lakwena Maciever's I REMEMBER PARADISE solo exhibition.

The sense of adventure in Lakwena Maciver's universe

by Christopher Knight

Seven recent paintings by London-based artist Lakwena Maciver, who often goes by just her first name, fairly shout. They’re homemade street signs, a deft cross between commercial logos and personal emblems.

Lakwena paints in flat colors on wood panels. The hues are as bright as a Technicolor rainbow.

They’re applied as stripes, checkerboards, targets, giraffe-like squiggles, lightning bolts and zigzags. One painting -- the largest, 16 feet wide and composed from six panels that happily overwhelm the small room -- is adorned with big, dangling sequins. Their shimmer and shine are animated by a pair of electric fans that create an artificial breeze.

Each painting carries a text in raised letters. What links them is their future orientation.

“Imagine eternity.” “Build to last.” “The best is yet to come.” “Faded glory.” “Wake me up.” “I repeat.” In Lakwena’s visually excited paintings, the present urges looking toward tomorrow.

“Just passing through,” blares the big sequined painting in trumpeted lettering. Indeed, we are -- both at the gallery and in life.

These big, jaunty paintings couldn’t be happier or more enthusiastic about the prospect. At a time when so much else seems fraught and troubled, Lakwena’s welcome art advocates for an insistent sense of open-eyed adventure. 


ARTE: 10 Best L.A. Art Experiences of 2014

YES! We made the LA Weekly list!!! #3...Avoid the Hipness


ARTE: In Conversation with Huffington Post Arts

Met with Rai Mensah of Culture Complex and a writer for the Huffington Post during my time in Miami Beach last week for Art Basel...click the photo below to read the article.



The Los Angeles Times gave Samuel Levi Jones a favorable review!

By Leah Ollman for the Los Angeles Times - Art section
Riveting new work by Samuel Levi Jones, at Papillion, is hot and cool at once, the result of aggressive action as well as a deliberate, formal intelligence. This isn't the only polarity at play. Jones generates several different varieties of friction, all of them fueling the work's quietly rumbling charge.

Based in the Bay Area, Jones practices a kind of muscular abstraction bolstered by conceptual heft. He tears the covers off encyclopedias and reference books and stitches the surfaces (face-in) together in grids, which he then mounts on canvas. The skins of the books are scarred by the violation: Shreds of the cardboard used in binding cling to the fabric, and edges run raw. Many of the works resemble the unfinished backs of quilts, all exposed seams and loosely hanging marginal material.

"Hematoma" (71 by 59 inches) is divided vertically, the left half an amalgam of black book covers and the right side slate blue. The grid structure emanates an air of order and regularity, while each individual component, each damaged relic, testifies to a dynamic act of force and disruption. Every cover is its own distinct landscape of ruin, scabbed and scraped. The titles of the books are barely visible: "The Annals of America" and "World Book." In rending and flaying these particular volumes, Jones symbolically dismantles their ostensible authority.

His protest is a general one against, it seems, such totalizing histories, with their partial perspectives and gross exclusions. By not taking more specific aim, Jones lets formal qualities -- visceral immediacy, textural complexity and damage-driven process -- carry the bulk of the work's metaphorical weight.

One stunning monochrome piece, a neat grid of Encyclopedia Britannica covers, all dilute rust, brings to mind the post-minimal, sallow resin grids of Eva Hesse, as well as the evacuated library conjured in Rachel Whiteread's Holocaust Memorial in Vienna.

These pieces also tap into a history of scrap-built textiles, and notably, the tradition of found-object assemblage. Such sculptural repurposing has an affecting temporal dimension, a vague aroma of the past inflecting the sensory mix.

Jones received this year's Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, a major recognition from the Studio Museum in Harlem, where he will have a solo show in 2015.

His work has integrity, not just in the sense of authenticity but also internal consistency. The physical gestures of its making, the notion of empowerment at its core, and its tremendous tactile vigor are all mutually reinforcing. Evocations of the body, too, are manifold: bodies of knowledge, bodily injury, disembodied skins. Jones harnesses the twin forces of destruction and creation to generate these works of defiant beauty.