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In conjunction with his Kaiju vs. Yokai exhibition opening next month at Stranger Factory, celebrated folk- and neo-primitive artist Joel Nakamura is hosting a small-group rendering workshop at the gallery on Sunday, Sept. 9th at 3pm.

The one-hour class will apply basic drawing skills and introduce students to working on concepting (idea creation) and visual communication through symbols/icons and rough-form short-hand sketching. Design students, this class is for you!

The cost of the workshop is $25 ($20 w/ valid student ID), including supplies. Space is limited to only a dozen spots. A pre-paid deposit is required (non-refundable) in advance to reserve your spot in the class. To RSVP, stop by or call the gallery at (505) 508-3049, or Paypal to kathieolivas@msn.com (make sure to add ‘Joel Nakamura Workshop’ as the subject line).

** Bring a notebook if you want to take your own notes during the workshop. Photos and video must be approved by Stranger Factory staff in advance.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn direct from a master of tribal art and mythology in an up-close and intimate setting!

Stranger Factory is proud to present four solo exhibitions opening next month that explore the magic and mystery of otherworldly creatures.

Join Travis Lampe in The Pit of Unease, a new collection of 2D works that chronicles his descent into the bowels of the earth. Ready your tights and ridiculous hats, for you are about to encounter some of the most dangerous and improbable creatures ever painted! From pugnacious owls to wacky wizards and other silly, elbowless characters, strange things are afoot in The Pit of Unease!

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I’d be willing to bet that most of you know Dennis Larkins’ work and don’t even know it. Despite his expansive, 40-year-plus art career as a 3D painter and being one of the major players in LA’s Lowbrow movement in the ’80s and ’90s, Larkins is probably best known for his rock art, having created some of the Grateful Dead’s most famous gig posters for their now legendary stints at the Warfield in San Fran and NYC’s Radio City Music Hall in October 1980.

Like many artists, Larkins was well accustomed to having parallel careers, working as a scenic artist, set designer and rock n’ roll art director, while still actively pursuing his own artistic exploits. In the late ’80s, he went from Dead artist to Disney Imagineer, designing exhibits and attractions for Disneyland and Disney World.

But then there was the other side of Larkins’ work: the sci-fi nerdery, the dark humor, the sculpted dimensional relief … this is where it gets particularly interesting, at least from a designer toy standpoint.

Let me put it this way: the whole premise behind the toy movement was to redefine the canvas; to take characters from a 2 dimensional world and reimagine them in 3D. To make them tangible, ‘real’, and in a form that is more interactive for the collector. Well, Larkins had a similar idea about 30 years prior, but did it without abandoning the canvas. Instead, he started building upon it. Using foam, rubber and various plastics, Larkins pioneered a whole new chapter of conceptual realism. By applying a combination of low- and high-relief sculpture right onto the canvas, he’s able to create the illusion of an entire scene popping out at us. Some paintings have many layers, some only a few, but even his ‘deepest’, most complex pieces never exceed five inches. This was entirely new to the art scene in the 70s and transformed the canvas’ expressivity.

I recently caught up with Larkins to discuss his work, his plans with Stranger Factory and his move back to Santa Fe, NM, from LA after a 20 year absence.

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As part of his Spirits exhibition opening next month at Stranger Factory, renowned fine artist Travis Louie is hosting a very special, small-group rendering workshop at the gallery on Sunday, Aug. 5th from 3pm to 6pm.

The class will introduce students to basic and intermediate multi-medium illustration techniques, as well as instruction in tonal rendering using graphite, liquid graphite, ink washes pastels and gouache on paper. The rendering of light and form will be explored, as well as drawing from a still life set up.

The cost of the workshop is $100 (supplies included) and space is limited to only a dozen spots. To RSVP, stop by or call the gallery at (505) 508-3049, or Paypal to kathieolivas@msn.com (make sure to add ‘Travis Louie Workshop’ as the subject line). A 50% deposit is required (non refundable).

** Bring a notebook if you want to take your own notes during the workshop. Photos and video must be approved by Stranger Factory staff in advance.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn direct from the master in an up-close and intimate setting!


Travis Louie has always been a dreamer. Through the tiny, hyper-realistic drawings and notes in his journals, he’s painted a world inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings and otherworldly characters, all rooted in Victorian and Edwardian times and set to the tune of film noir and German expressionist cinematography.

And next month, they’re headed to Albuquerque.

Opening August 3rd is Spirits, a collection of new two- and three-dimensional works inspired by early American Spiritualism. But Travis Louie style. So expect the haunting apparitions, suited skeletons and stylish Cyclops.

An opening reception will be held at Stranger Factory from 6pm to 9pm Friday. Travis will be there! Join us as we delve into the realm of the supernatural and indulge in our curiosity of the dead…

** A rendering workshop will also be held in conjunction with the event; details to come!

Travis Louie was born in Queens, NY, about a mile from the site of the 1964 World’s Fair. His early childhood was spent drawing and watching “Atomic Age” sci-fi and horror movies. His paintings spawn from tiny drawings and notes in his journals, where he’s created his own imaginary world rooted in Victorian and Edwardian times and influenced by Film Noir and German Expressionist cinematography. A world inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings, and otherworldly characters, Travis’ subjects appear to have had their formal portraits taken to mark their existence and place in society.

The underlining thread that connects all these characters is the unusual circumstances that shape who they were and how they lived. Some of their origins are a complete mystery while others leave subtle cues: a man is cursed by a goat; a strange, furry being is discovered sleeping in a hedge; an engine driver can’t stop vibrating in his sleep, and so forth. Using inventive techniques of painting with acrylic washes and simple textures on smooth boards, Travis creates portraits from an alternate universe that seemingly may or may not have existed.

It’s all in the details: the way he holds his jacket over his shoulder; the purse of her lips when aroused and wanting more. It’s a glint in the eyes or a crossing of arms. Comic book artist and painter Phil Noto is a master of subtlety; of revealing a subject’s true character through minute detail and candid expression.

Opening this Friday at Stranger Factory is Noto’s newest body of work, A Certain Splendor: a collection of paintings highlighting the aesthetic of the 1960s and ’70s. From casual moments, to vintage pinups, to images of things to come, these paintings feature beautiful women, handsome men, hard-boiled characters and the upper-class of a bygone era.

A Certain Splendor opens July 6th with an opening reception with the artist from 6pm to 9pm.

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Phil Noto is an American comic book artist and painter whose work has been featured in and on the covers of numerous DC, Marvel and Dark Horse titles including Avengers, Batman, Batgirl, Jonah Hex and X-Men Origins. His fine art has been exhibited throughout the US.

 

Stranger Factory celebrated First Friday with three solo exhibitions featuring new works from Chet Zar, Charlie Immer and local artist Stephan Webb. Thanks to all who stopped in — there’s a whole spread of opening night photos below!

Le Petite Mort, Scuffle and Sinister Dexterity are on view until July 2nd. Inquiries can be made via email at strangerfactorysales @ gmail.com starting Mon., June 4th at noon PST. Shop the pieces here!


Stranger Factory celebrated the opening of Ragnar and Scott Tolleson’s The Missing Elements this past First Friday, and we have some lovely event snaps on hand for everyone who could only attend in spirit!

Sexy, strange and psychedelic, The Missing Elements is a trip back to the era of the golden oldies, albeit through some sort of dimensional tear. It’s pretty awesome.

In regards to all that preview jazz, mailing listers should have already received the email (subscribe via the form here). You’ll have the remainder of the weekend to shop the artworks. The preview can also be viewed HERE.

The request period opens Monday, May 7th (tomorrow!!), at noon PST. Orders will ONLY be taken via email at strangerfactorysales [at] gmail.com

No phone requests! If you have a question, you’re welcome to call the gallery BEFORE noon: (505) 508-3049.

All other instructions are outlined on the preview page — read carefully to avoid disappointment. Good luck, gang; enjoy the perdy picture show below!