Scholarly Journal Publishes Article Centering on Chris Brand's Project, "108 Heroes of Los Angeles"

The journal Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies has just published a piece by Todd Honma and Anthony Francosco, focusing on the long term project by Chris Brand, 108 Heroes of Los Angeles. The article, titled 21st century Suikoden: Tattoo reinterpretations of the ‘Water Margin’ as racialized resistance in Chicano Los Angeles, has been in the works for a while, and is attached for your reading pleasure.

According to the article's abstract:

"This article focuses on tattoo artist Chris Brand’s recent project, 108 Heroes of Los Angeles, as a way to understand how experiences of minoritization are narrated through the racialized geographies and historical specificities of global Los Angeles. Basing his work on the woodblock prints of nineteenth century artist Kuniyoshi, Brand reinvents the heroic figures of the fourteenth century Chinese novel ‘Water Margin’, or Suikoden, in Japanese, by inserting in their place Chicano heroes in the context of 1980s Los Angeles. Brand’s personal and professional experiences have enabled him to develop a visual aesthetics that reflects a particular Angeleno perspective. By combining Chicano black and grey tattooing with Japanese tattooing, Brand’s work highlights the ways in which the Suikoden’s transculturation across space and time function to redefine our understanding of urban topographies of race, the narration of marginality, and the circulating aesthetics of resistance that converge at the intimate scale of the body."


The 8th Continent Art Exhibit

Madagascar is an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa that is home to thousands of animal species found nowhere else on earth. For this reason, it has been nicknamed the 8th Continent. In fact, an astonishing 90% of its flora and fauna can only be found on the island, making the gradual loss of its indigenous species truly a global loss.

On October 1st in Downtown Los Angeles, a unique art show will celebrate the beauty of Madagascar & its fauna while raising money for their protection. With the help of reptile expert Daniel Solis, Bill Strand of the Chameleon Breeder Podcast, chameleon breeders Kammerflage Creations, nature photographer Andrea Pico Estrada and a select group of contemporary artists, art and science will collide in a whole new way.

Attendees will be able to view live Madagascar-native animals up close in zoo-quality environments, as well as participate in an art auction featuring pieces inspired by those very same animals. It will truly be a one-of-a-kind experience. Please note: 30% of profits will be donated to Madagascar conservation efforts. Light refreshments provided.

Contributing Artists Include:
Evan Skrederstu, UGLAR Works, Chris Brand, Espi, Steve Martinez, Rob Sato, Chuey Quintanar, Antonio Mejia, Alex Nunez, Ako Castuera, Michael Alvarez, Andrea Pico Estrada, Jose A. Lopez, Ricardo Estrada and Ryan Gattis.

One Day Only!
October 1, 2016.
Private Opening & Auction at 2:00-4:30pm,
Open to the Public from 6:00-9:00pm

PYO Gallery
1100 S Hope Street #105
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Media Opportunities:
Photograph live Madagascar-native animals; Lemur, Chameleons and more.
Artist interviews.
High-resolution images available upon request.
High end original artwork; paintings, sculptures and photography.

Chris Brand to Speak at Morikami Museum

In conjunction with the Perseverance exhibit, Chris Brand will be speaking about his many years'-long project, "The 108 Heroes of Los Angeles," at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. This rare event will take place on April 8, 2016 at 7:15PM.

Please visit the Morikami Museum's website for more details and tickets.

"Perseverance" Exhibit Travels To Morikami Museum

The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles's successful art exhibit—Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World—continues to travel around the country. Located in Delray Beach, Florida, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is the latest institution to offer the unique opportunity to view this beautiful collection of photographs. Features the work of Chris Brand, Evan Skrederstu and Espi. If you're in Florida, go and see it before it leaves. On exhibit from February 26 — May 8, 2016.

Press release is below:

"This exhibition explores the artistry of traditional Japanese tattoos along with its rich history and influence on modern tattoo practices. Perseverance underscores Japanese tattooing as an art form by acknowledging its roots in ukiyo-e prints and examining current practices and offshoots of Japanese tattooing in the U.S. and Japan. As Japanese tattoos have moved into the mainstream, the artistry and legacy of Japanese tattooing remain both enigmatic and misunderstood. Often copied by practitioners and aficionados in the West without regard to its rich history, symbolism, or tradition, the Japanese tattoo as a form of art is commonly reduced to a visual or exotic caricature. Conversely, mainstream Japanese culture still dismisses the subject itself as underground, associating it more with some of its clientele than with the artists practicing it. Both of these mindsets ignore the vast artistry and rich history of the practice.

Although tattooing is largely seen as an underground activity in Japan, Japanese tattoo artists have pursued their passions, applied their skills, and have risen to become internationally acclaimed artists. Through the endurance and dedication of these tattoo artists, Japanese tattooing as a genre of art has persevered, and is now internationally renowned for its artistry, lineage, historical symbolism, and skill.

Perseverance features the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists, Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka), Horitomo, Chris Horishiki Brand, Miyazo, Shige, Junii, and Yokohama Horiken, along with tattoo works by selected others. Through the display of a variety of photographs, including life-sized pictures of full body tattoos, these artists cover a broad spectrum of the current world of Japanese tattooing."

LA Art Show 2016

UGLARworks is pleased to announce its participation in the LA Art Show 2016, in collaboration with MCLA and Willie Herrón III. It runs from January 28 — 31, 2016.

Chris Brand—along with fellow UGLARworks members Evan Skrederstu, Steve Martinez and Espi—will be painting a large-scale mural LIVE at the event both Saturday and Sunday. Please visit the official site for more details.

Press release information is below:

"Street Art has had a coming of age in Los Angeles.  Part of the urban landscape since the 1920s street art has evolved to include:  murals, stenciled works, prints and traditional graffiti. Today it has become one of the cores of contemporary art. From the Streets to Canvas is a celebration of Los Angeles’ visual art culture,  Inspired by the city’s mural culture, the exhibition features works by Carlos Almaraz, Christopher Brand, Espi, Ignacio Gomez, Willie Herrón III, Steve Martinez, MEAR ONE, Art Mortimer, Gilbert Ortiz, Frank Romero, Shizu Saldamando, Evan Skrederstu, and John Valadez–each of which connect the street and the canvas.

From the Streets to Canvas, an exhibition curated by Isabel Rojas-Williams, showcases the historical and cultural evolution of some of Los Angeles’ notable and changing pieces of art in the most public of forums–the street.   However, after the unveiling and the party, art in public spaces takes on a life of its own. Economics, cultural history, and changing neighborhoods are among the factors that move public art past the original intent of the artist.  This exhibition, and the accompanying lecture Mural Renaissance in DTLA: Challenges of Expression and Legacy will address some of the economics and preservation of this compelling art."

Past Exhibits: "Perseverance" at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presented JANM's exhibit, Perseverance, from May 29 — November 29, 2015. From their press release:

"Organized by the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition focuses on the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists –Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka), Horitomo, Chris Horishiki Brand, Miyazo, Shige, Junii, and Yokohama Horiken – inspired by the Japanese tradition of tattooing and heavily influenced by the traditional Japanese arts of calligraphy and ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking.

Specially commissioned photographs of work by each artist will be displayed alongside tools and relief carvings, as well as a recreated Torii. A companion book of the same title features additional photographs and writings, and is published by the Japanese American National Museum.

Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition is created, designed and photographed by Kip Fulbeck, and curated by Takahiro Kitamura (Ryudaibori, formerly Horitaka)."