“peeling paint”

Episode no. 150! Well, what better way to celebrate that huge milestone than to talk to an artist who I’ve been trying to get on the podcast for ages… yep, Los Angeles based painter Seonna Hong is my guest today! We’re talking process, day jobs {yes, she has a day job on top of her art practice!?}, Care Bears, and tiger lilies. Oh, and I also told her about Nanaimo Bars. Apparently her Canadian husband has been holding out on her? Listen right up there under “The Magic Number”, or subscribe on iTunes.

First, Seonna’s latest work, from a show titled “Things Will Get Better”, that was recently showing at Hashimoto Gallery in San Francisco:

I mean, come on! Those lumps and bumps are the chunks of peeled paint we were talking about. Digital images don’t do these pieces justice… if you ever get a chance to see them in person, do it!

Now, just to prove that I’ve been fan-girling over Seonna’s work for years, here are the first pieces I wrote  about, way back in 2009:

Gorgeous, and a great example of her evolution as an artist {and the aging of her model/daughter!}.

Next up… animals! I love Seonna’s animals, which often serve as “emotional totems” in her work:

Zebras, and tigers, and bears, oh my! And yes, how cool is it that her daughter’s name is Tiger Lily? So. Cool.

Ok, I can’t believe I forgot to bring this up, but I have to show you Seonna’s paint chip paintings because, well, you’ll see:

Oh, I love these so, so much! When we were at Hashimoto for my book signing {because yes, Seonna’s in my latest book}, I asked her about them. Apparently my guess was right… she has to rotate which paint/hardware stores she hits up. I wonder if they have posters up… WATCH FOR THIS PAINT CHIP HOARDING WOMAN.

And this. HOW did I not bring this up during the Not-So-Speedy Speed Round? This was Halloween 2016, before Seonna and I really knew each other … well, beyond Instagram that is:

Great minds think alike … and dress like the Royal Tenenbaums. Yep, turns out we have more than just our birth year, Care Bears, Garfield, and love of treehouses in common! Thanks to Seonna for finally coming on the podcast {and for letting me share her story/work in my book}; thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Current group show at Heron Arts, San Francisco
  2. Upcoming show at Ayzenberg Group, Los Angeles {curated by Mark Todd}
  3. Post It Show No.14, Giant Robot, Los Angeles {Dec 1 – 9}
  4. Seonna on Instagram
  5. Lauren Mycroft, Artist
  6. Nanaimo Bar Recipe
  7. A BIG IMPORTANT ART BOOK … Now With Women
  8. Treehouse Masters


colin roberts

Glass pillows that could double as disco balls? I could not love them more. This is the gorgeous work of LA based artist Colin Roberts. The end. Happy Friday.

amy alice thompson

Gasp! This is the work of Canadian artist Amy Alice Thompson, from an ongoing series titled Monument. I’ve written about her work before, because how could I not? Majestic landscapes and gold leaf geometric shapes that “draw the viewer in, and allow them to meditate on what is, and is not, missing.” Beautiful. Also beautiful… the most recent addition to this body of work. Yep, I’m talking about the bits and pieces in those translucent envelopes:

“Small fragments – often the cast offs of other works – have been assembled into glassine envelopes to create enigmatic, intimate compartments or phrases. The simplicity and limited components of these pieces likens them to the Japanese haiku. These pieces depict the essence of the haiku form, which is the art of cutting.”

Fragmented magic / Bits of gold and broken land / I’ll say ‘gasp’ again ~ Haiku by Danielle Krysa

lindsay chambers

Okay, I suddenly want to dig through my recycling bin so that I can appreciate the beauty in all of the scrawled on, balled up and tossed out paper that I now realize is in there! This is the lovely work of Toronto based painter Lindsay Chambers. Folds, light, bent words and crumpled cranes. Ah yes, there truly is beauty in the mundane... and don’t even get me started on the whole idea of turning mistakes into masterpieces! #preach

mimi o chun

Gigantic hands? Yes please. This is the fabulous work of Brooklyn based artist Mimi O Chun. All of her work is fantastic {so yes, I’ve already arranged to have her on an upcoming podcast episode!}, but today I wanted to share her series, titled Manu Propria (Latin for with one’s own hand). It “consists of soft sculptures of hands that explore the ways in which we enact personal notions of beauty, culture, and identity through micro-acts of adornment.” Her whole artist statement about this body of work can be read right here, but I really wanted to include this last part of it in the post:

“In the wake of the 2016 US elections, I’ve experienced an even greater urgency to develop this body of work. As progressive policy impacting matters of immigration, religious freedom, equality, and reproductive rights come under siege, I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate the many ways in which visible forms of personal expression can define, differentiate, and unite us — one hijab, pink pussy hat, or nail at a time.”

Amen, sister.

lola gil

Oh. YES. So weird, so gorgeous. I feel like each one of these pieces, by American artist Lola Gil, is like a bizarre dream that gets even more bizarre when you try to describe it to someone the next day… “and then I pulled this cowboy-covered wallpaper drawer out of my chest. Anywho.” Here is Lola’s description of her dreams, I mean work:

“Throughout my career I have always been a painter of narrative escapism, with my work evoking personal connections for each individual viewer. Because it is executed in a surreal way, it allows the viewer to create their own story and meaning.”

Um… check! Happy Monday.

“the tea boy sees mermaids”

That is British born, California based artist Richard Holland. I don’t know which I love more… the self portrait or the fabulous hand-built frame that houses the self portrait!? I’ve written about Richard before, but we met in person last weekend and it only took a few minutes of chatting with this kind, insightful artist – who can make anything – before I invited him onto the podcast. Clearly his art is fantastic, but about four minutes into talking to him I found out that he’s only been making his own art for a few years. What did he do before that you ask? He was in the movies, baby! Richard was an art director and production designer on so many great films… the one that grabbed me {and I’m guessing you}… three words… The. Princess. Bride! Anywho, the whole episode is filled with great stories and insightful gems by this former “tea boy”. Listen right up there under Richard’s self portrait, or subscribe on iTunes.

Let’s start with a few more of his fabulous paintings, complete with fabulous sculptural frames:

What. So good. And the goodness continues:

See? He can make ANYTHING! He had all of these pieces on display when we met at The Other Art Fair, and I was instantly pulled in by that crazy cyclops … on top of the painting of the crazy cyclops! “Where did you find that amazing monster for the top of the frame?”, I naively asked. “I made it”, Richard replied. Of course he did.

That seems like an excellent segue into the fact that he has built a few other things as well:

Yes!  The ‘pit of despair’ and the sailing ships in The Princess Bride! Seriously, I think I’ve seen this movie about fifty times. Anybody wanna peanut?

Now, while I was fangirling about TPB, that classic is just the tip of the iceberg. Richard has worked on all sorts of films – from Indiana Jones to The Last of the Mohicans, Labyrinth to James Bond. Craziness. Oh, and how ’bout these two gems from the 80s:

Yes. Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. What an insane career… not bad for a kid who was told it would be IMPOSSIBLE to have an art career in the movies. Even more insane? When I asked him about his “marriage” to this lady:

Hahahahaha! Oh, internet… why do we believe everything you tell us? Yes, Chaka Khan was married to a Richard Holland, just not THIS Richard Holland. Officially cleared up on Art For Your Ear… are you listening Wikipedia? Thanks so much to Richard for coming on the podcast and letting me freak out over his past career and his new career making his own artwork! Thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. The Other Art Fair
  2. Richard on Instagram
  3. Richard on IMDb


pilar mehlis

Beautiful and bizarre… ah yes, one of my favorite combinations! I don’t know what I love best, but those delicate legs made from dress pattern tissue are at the top of my list. This is the work of Canada based artist Pilar Mehlis, and this is why she puts legs on fish:

“At the age of twelve I moved from La Paz, Bolivia to Whitehorse,Yukon in the middle of winter. This move and life shift changed my perception of “self” in many ways and hence has become a focus in my work …  In the last few years I have been exploring ideas of immigration and migrations both human and animal. The anthropomorphic forms: AntroFish (half human, half fish) and Ornithrope (Half human, half bird) have become the perfect vessels for the exploration of these ideas. They serve as  “carriers” of all the things I associate with immigration and migration. I metaphorically recount these explorations through these figures and tell the viewer the story I know best: my own.”

Lovely. Happy weekend.

clare celeste börsch

Gasp! She’s done it again… an immersive collage!? This is “The Mushroom Hunters” by Berlin based American artist Clare Celeste Börsch. Can you imagine jumping around INSIDE a collage? That’s the kind of thing my dreams are made of. Well, minus the snakes. NO SNAKES.

lorien stern

Those vases… I mean, COME ON! I’ve written about her ceramic sharks, but today is all about American artist Lorien Stern‘s ghosts! I love everything Lorien makes and, if you happen to be in San Francisco, you can see her newest show / pop-up shop … it opens THIS FRIDAY November 9th at Rare Device. Sharks? Ghosts? Rainbows? Cheetahs? Snakes? I dunno know, but I  know it’s gonna be good!

Join Lorien and the Rare Device staff on Friday evening, November 9th at Rare Device Flagship at 600 Divisadero Street from 6-9 p.m. for the opening reception. The show and pop-up shop will be up from Friday, November 9, 2018 to Monday, January 14, 2019… hello, holiday shopping!