Exhibit Opening Saturday September 17th from 7 to 10pm
FAIR TRADE is presented in conjunction with World Fair Trade month (October). This show is dedicated to featuring works that speak to this increasingly relevant and transformative topic. Our featured artists will be creating original works in statement of fair trade practices and others actually incorporate the use of fair trade commodities as their medium.
Fair Trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably: handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and gold.
Stéphane Tourné’s series “Ici L’Espoir” is the basic foundation and inspiration for this exhibit. His work in Africa with Oxfam led the artist to consider the consequences of unfair trading practices. Through his photographs, Tourné invites us to discover his views on this subject and in turn, to form our own. So simple, but powerful, the photographer utilizes images of naked bodies, carved and redesigned with raw materials and consumables (oil, flour, rice, cotton, etc.). This alliance between a smart aesthetic research and a humanitarian cause leaves the viewer in a state of breathless shock and ultimately develops to a sensual art-trash.
Ofunne Obiamiwe and her family survived the genocide of the Biafran/Nigerian war. Now living in the United States for the past 20 years, Ofunne is an Associate Professor of Digital Art at Santa Monica College and the founder of Republic of Peace, an emerging arts and culture collective. Ofunne’s work deals with multilayered issues of racism, gender, poverty, class, inclusion/exclusion, power/disenfranchisement, culture, colonialism, and spirituality unattached to religion. Her work reflects a profound dedication to human rights and activism and the belief that afflictions of violence, discrimination and intolerance will continue to fester until they are replaced with understanding and empathy.
Her work (sculptural installations, video, photographs, graphics, relational aesthetics) investigates duality and the juxtaposition of opposing ideas. It aspires not only to underscore problems but also to put forth solutions. Her goal is to form collaborative partnerships and to find effective ways of bringing to public spaces, issues so often swept beneath the surface.
Raksha Parekh creates her unique works from such commodities as sugar and cotton. ”I am deeply interested in the dynamic space where the history and psychology of the Indian and African experiences meet. My current works examine the connections of these two diasporas in relation to the colonial past using cotton and sugar as my mediums, both products being central players in this history.
The international expansion in consumption of sugar and cotton is deeply embedded in colonial history as these goods were crucial to the establishment of empire in the Americas, Asia and Africa. The history of sugar continues to have great relevance because of its defining role in shaping world history and culture”.
Pascal Giacomini is a multi-talented and multi-faceted artist. Working in several genres - mixed-media photography, sculpture, and functional art - he has exhibited in museums (UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History; Museum at California Center for the Arts, Escondido; and the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles), as well as creating solo public sculpture exhibits (City of West Hollywood, City of Malibu) and site-specific functional art for prestigious private properties (Lloyd Wright’s Sowden House and the Norma Talmadge Estate). Over the years, he has also exhibited in various Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department venues throughout the city.
The artist’s sculptures graced the median strip of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood for a one-man show of large-scale works during a three-month period. Fourteen sculptures, ranging from 7 to 14 feet in height, spanned La Cienega Boulevard to Doheny Drive from June to October in 1994. In 1995, another group of large-scale sculptures named the Malibu Summer Art Walk could be viewed along the Pacific Coast Highway and other prime locations in the city. Pascal’s work was also the focus of a one-man exhibit in the Fall Artist Series, organized annually by Neiman Marcus.
Pascal was born in Paris and has lived and worked in Los Angeles since the 1980s. His studio is located in West Hollywood, California.
Andre van Zijl – “Art in my present understanding is the activity of the de-tribalized shaman, navigating a path beyond death through the reefs of art history and political reality, finding within the confusion of modern society a clear vision of the stars above; so that the ancient rite of storytelling may continue around the ‘campfires’ of the city, granting all a vision celebrating the fruits of their unique spirit gifting the earth and all who dwell therein.” Andre van Zijl: Painter, sculptor, educator, writer, pragmatic idealist, visionary, husband, father, world citizen.
Click here to learn about our upcoming figure drawing workshops with Andre van Zijl.
In conjunction with our Fair Trade exhibition, The Loft stairwell will feature 49 works by 28 different artists. These whimsical paintings are from the Danger Dog Project. Michelle Page’s Nepal Art Dog project promotes the endangered art of Nepali signboard artists. These Fair Trade signboards are hand-painted on recycled metal, using synthetic enamel and can be hung indoors or out. Signboard art in Nepal is fast becoming a lost art. Paying these artists through fair trade principles means these artists can continue to paint, prosper and educate their children. Each commission is given to at least 3 signboard artists – providing work opportunities, giving the pet owner a choice and bringing Himalayan folk art to museums. This project is for pet lovers and art collectors who would like to make a difference.
Our opening also includes a special performance from guest musician, WolfRobe.
Instrumentalist, vocalist and social activist, WolfRobe, will perform his unique brand of instrumental and vocal sounds. From African tribals to hip-hop, jazz and spoken word, WolfRobe is a truly dynamic and multitalented performer. His work transcends traditional soundscapes, awakening a sense of clarity in both a spiritual and primal sense. You certainly won’t want to miss this amazing performance at 8:45pm on Saturday September 17th. We will be streaming live at ustream.tv for those who wish to attend our event online.
Saturday September 17 – 7pm to 10pm
Saturday September 17th through Tuesday October 25th (extended through November 15th)
Gallery Hours – 10am to 6pm
FAIR TRADE Artist Talk
Tuesday September 27 – 7pm to 9pm