Made In The Ghetto
January 14, 2017 - February 13, 2017
Norm Maxwell: Made In The Ghetto (1969-2016) honors the life and body of work of the recently-deceased urban contemporary artist and long-time Luna Rienne Gallery collaborator.
Born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1969, Maxwell and his two brothers had a rough upbringing in a broken home. He was fully susceptible to and influenced by street life, finding his expression in writing graffiti as “Ice”. His mother’s artistic inclinations, frequent visits to the Philadelphia Museum Of Art, and encouragement from teachers led him to pursue an academic degree in art.
After art school, Maxwell moved to downtown Los Angeles (AKA Skid Row) to pursue his art career. There, he met his two life-long peers, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Clarence Williams and urban art visionary Doze Green. Scraping by on their creativity and wit, they pushed each other to evolve into working artists. Maxwell and Green cultivated their fine art painting while also beginning to design graphic tees and street wear.
Several years later, Maxwell and Green made their way to San Francisco, which at the time was busting at the seams with underground culture. Late-night venues like the Kennel Club (now The Independent) hosted live and DJ music events with artists selling their wares. There, Maxwell began hawking his “Made In The Ghetto” t-shirts and met his Revolution Clothing partner Shinobu Funahashi.
San Francisco in the mid-1990s boasted not just an unstoppable cultural output in music, nightlife, and design, but also the birth of the World Wide Web. In addition to showing his art in Upper and Lower Haight, creating club flyers and hip hop album covers, and designing clothing, Maxwell partnered with fledgling Internet start-up fabric8 (now Luna Rienne Gallery) to build an animated, ecommerce website that garnered numerous design awards.
Maxwell took that newfound skill, along with his wife and young daughter, back to Los Angeles to establish roots for his family. He became the art director for a music video production company whose high-profile clients included TLC, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Destiny’s Child. Maxwell also produced and directed his own short film, titled The Osiris Project.
In 2007, Maxwell decided to focus on his fine art career and opened Norm Maxwell Studio Gallery in West Los Angeles. The studio moved twice before finding its final location in Fairfax Village. Through his studio gallery, which he ran for 6 years, Maxwell created a vast and diverse body of work, including commissions for patrons in Los Angeles, Paris, Seoul, Berlin, and Dubai.
At the time of his passing in July 2016, Korean patrons had recently opened Norm Maxwell Gallery Seoul and Maxwell was hard at work on a series entitled Voyage Through The Void.
Maxwell was a prolific artist whose skills and subject matter spanned the extremes of painting. From acrylic spray to oil brush, street life to ancient myth, and urban strife to family life, Maxwell addressed both the evil and beauty of humanity – a duality that he personally struggled with during his short and magnificent life. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Affordable Art Series 5
December 10, 2016 - January 9, 2017
The Affordable Art Series is a thorough exploration of the flourishing local art community, offering avid collectors and interested newbies a peek at the current mindset in urban painting. Luna Rienne will regularly release new collections of this series.
What's Left SF
October 22, 2016 - December 5, 2016
Many artists have begun their careers in San Francisco, flourished here, and, most likely, felt a shift in the zeitgeist of the city in recent years. Whether positive or negative, SF has left an indelible impression on them, and they would like the city's current population to contemplate, celebrate, and otherwise react to their reflections. The purpose of the exhibition, which asks both “what has left” and “what is left", is to increase the dialogue about what some perceive as a diaspora and a cultural divide.
Old Souls 2
September 10, 2016 - October 17, 2016
Old Souls are portrayed in the rich colors and knowing glances of Telopa's female subjects, who exist in timeless, otherworldly scenes. Gilded frames and elaborate laser-etched patterns provide an added dimensionality to the artist's surrealistic works.
Garland Of Hours
July 30, 2016 - September 5, 2016
Garland Of Hours introduces Gage Opdenbrouw's series of faceless portraits that are a reflection of mortality, love, and loss. These oil paintings are sentimental in subject matter while also suggesting the disintegration of time. The absence of facial features evokes different emotions depending on the viewer, and allowing him/her to complete the picture.
July 30, 2016 - September 5, 2016
Rich Fonseca borrowed the show name, Ah Um, from the title of a Charles Mingus album. It is the sound one makes before introducing themselves to a large audience. With this, his second solo show, Fonseca will present his developing series of single- and mutli-plane vortex paintings. Using house paint and found wood, he expresses a raw, organic energy in an abstract, jazzy manner.
The Shape Of Things
June 18, 2016 - July 25, 2016
With The Shape Of Things, Ording presents a collection started both with obvious intent and with no definitive plan or end. This combination of conscious works and ones that are intuitively formed captures the elements of her creative process in varying degrees.
In every one of her pieces, Ording begins with a surface that she dyes and/or washes to create a natural, uncontrollable background. On top of that, she paints intricate line work and geometry. Her new body of work unveils experimental techniques in painting solid shapes and creating organic collage.
Fire And Water
May 7, 2016 - June 13, 2016
Fire And Water is a collection of new paintings and drawings that explores the delicate balance between the two opposing yet interconnected forces, which have had large impacts both globally and locally. Both elements hold a beauty that is powerful and necessary for all living things, yet can also cause chaos and destruction.
Fire And Water affect our daily lives and remind us of the impermanence and fragility of everything around us. During the recent drought, we have learned to conserve and appreciate water, recognizing its necessity for the survival and growth of all living things. Alternately, considering the rising sea levels, Young envisions a world where cities might actually be under water.
Similarly, fire has played a huge role in Young’s life, having personally experienced four major fires in the last several years. Most recently, a massive forest fire that burned less than a mile from her home in Grass Valley was a stark wake-up call. These natural disasters affected her deeply on a subconscious level, so she translates some of those emotions to paper, wood, and canvas.
March 25, 2016 - May 2, 2016
Elemental explores notions of color and form as they pertain to painting both geometric and organic shapes. Opposing styles of clean, architectural lines by Venegas and St. Monci; and ethereal, natural landscapes by Jacobsen and Coleman utilize a similar, simple color palette to achieve a reaction that is visceral as well as cerebral.