Monday, January 31, 2011

Roy E. LaGrone

To me he was Grandpa, to so many others He was one of a Kind.
I remember a lot about the Man i miss Much More Now as i become Older.
i was always in the Studio listening to his Jazz records watching him Paint, this was all normal to me I had no real idea then of anything else, he was grandpa he liked to paint shoot pictures Fly Planes, i knew he was in the war..The Facts of all these things Then i knew nothing of..

Roy E. LaGrone, World “War ll Pilot, and Tuskegee Airmen he had an illustrious career as a Graphic designer, Illustrator, art director, Graphic co-ordinator, and painter. Due to his life long commitment and passion to tell the untold stories,sacrifices, and contributions of the nation’s first black Army Air Force pilots he became the artistic spokesman for so many who needed to be seen and heard. Through his paintings, his long love of flying and the magnificent portrayals of his fellow airmen He has sealed the images of these great heroic men into the history pages.

He was always on me about one thing or another to up the Anti either in Sports or School, he would say hey there buckaroo what up with those grades when you going to learn to Fly Like your Grand daddy..a lot of lessons i learned from him, That help me live my Life Everyday now. we must be so much a like i think sometimes..when Grandma gets Annoyed with me she says so too.. "you just like your grandfather".. i now counter that with "well if you loved him then this must be a good thing. right".

When My Grandfather Passed in 93 i was still making a name for myself not yet understanding what i would really do with my life, i liked to take pictures i was already dj ing and throwing parties but the path was far from clear on how all those would come together.It was a Hard time i was in Los Angeles he was in New Jersey.. i had been meaning to call him that week of course but was caught up with being me.. the next call i would get from his number would not be the one anyone wants to Answer.

In Recent Years i have Grown to express my Art more freely when thinking of him for inspiration a man i can only wish to live up to...Feb 1st is his Birthday, what a present that must of been for him in 1971 His only Grandson would be born 2 days Later.

Which brings me to a Present i have Received recently.Last year Some of his work was shown here @ The California African American Museum.This year i will Have the Pleasure of Representing the Family Along with my Mother and Aunt for a Dedication Ceremony featuring the artwork of my Grandfather at The Pentagon. What a Trip.But it's about time.. Happy Birthday Grandpa!! I love you.

"The Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force requests the pleasure of your company at a Dedication Ceremony featuring the artwork of former Tuskegee Airman, Mr. Roy E. LaGrone, on Tuesday, the fifteenth of February at half past eleven in the morning in Corridors 9 and 10, A-Ring, 5th Floor at The Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.Please see the attached invitation for additional information and details."
R.s.v.p by 8 February

Tuskegee's Heroes, featuring the Aviation Art of Roy E. La Grone, tells the story of the first black pilots and personnel to take to the air for the U.S. Army Air Corps of WWII. Co-Authored by Ann Lewis Cooper and her husband, Major General Charles S. Cooper III, USAF Retired, this compelling book is beautifully illustrated with the art of one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Roy E. La Grone.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Abstract Vision Female Perspective

Opens Friday, February 11, 2011

Abstract Vision Female Perspective is a new photo exhibition featuring the works of 7 Los Angeles women photographers. The shows opening reception is on Friday, February 11, 2011 and runs through March 6, 2011 at Urban Sanctuary Gallery, a community art space involved in leading the current artistic renaissance in Boyle Heights.

“Abstract” the show’s theme, is an attempt to free the photographer of current working day assignments without the restrictions or pressure of creating images for profit. On display will be works from artists Bekka Melino, Carrie Camacho, Grace Oh, Janine Lim, Kerry Sawyers, Kyla Wright and Rosalinda Kooyman. Each of the featured photographers brings something unique to the table. Directly influenced by their diverse backgrounds and multi-career choices, their common denominators include a camera and their love for Los Angeles.

Curating the show is artivist Azul 213, who by day juggles a dual career in Broadcast network television and as a freelance photographer.. by night a familiar face over the last thirteen years hosting and dj’ing some of Los Angeles’ most popular night spots. Azul had his first hand of curating while co-owner of UponShop Record Store in Silverlake hosting shows to show off his art peers Mear, Doug Murphy “Plastic God”, Frohawk Two Feathers, Hotchkiss, Augustine "Kofie", & Jim Mahfood. Since then the focus on his own visual art path has taken him in many Art directions.

This show is the first in a three part series of shows curated by Azul. In March, the incredible work by Mochilla capturing the Zapatistas March on Mexico City ten years ago will be displayed. The third installment of this series in April will feature the work of Azul’s mentor, renowned cinematographer, Johnny Simmons, who despite his busy film career continues to take still photographs and inventive portraits today.

About The Photographers:

Bekka Melino

Photography is only one of the many ways in which Bekka Melino expresses herself. As a child she did so in the medium available to her, her clothes and hairstyles. High school introduced her to world of photography, and her early shots showed her talent for composing photographs worthy of design magazines, melding abstractions of lines and texture.College provided new opportunities in creative expression, including welding, constructing furniture out of all sorts of materials (corrugated cardboard, steel, wood), sewing and painting.

Travels in Europe, India, Central and South America, Turkey, across the United States and in Hawaii, plus an extensive trip to Asia gave birth to exotic scenes and portraits of the world through Bekka’s mind and lenses. Professionally, she has pursued a creative career in the music, commercial and film industries. At present she is a Production Designer on a cable television series.

Carrie Camacho

I’m Carrie Camacho and I’m a Los Angeles based lifestyle photographer. For me photography is much more than taking a great shot or capturing a moment, it’s about telling a story. A story can be full of hopes and dreams, pleasure and pain; it’s my job to encapsulate everything so that you can feel it in your soul. -Soulsol Creations

Grace Oh

An artist since childhood, Grace has practiced her art of expression in various different mediums. She was greatly inspired and challenged in the perspective the camera lent when she picked it up in her early twenties. She realized photographs allows a different form of communication. With a naïve sensibility and excitement for this new world expression. Grace became enveloped by the infinite possibilities of capturing light and subject matter.

Self-taught and mentored by artists ranging from photographers, painters, musicians, yogi’s, and sculptors, Grace has found a voice and rhythm with her growth as woman, artist, and spiritualist using the lens as a way to communicate a journey. With her perspective of a young woman’s reflection of budding into womanhood in her first black and white nude project ‘Naked’ was a collection that was exhibited in a group show called “Not only Black and White.” ( 2004) Taking time to journey a broad and within herself, Grace had grown interest in portraiture and landscapes till she took to the nude form once again. Her project ‘Humanature’ was inspired to merge the synchronicities of the human form and nature. She wanted to share a piece of silence as a reminder of the gentleness of human and nature as one. Grace began this project in 2006 in Taos, N.M. and photographed most of her project in the open landscapes of various parts of California. Grace’s most present endeavors include photographing local upcoming and established musicians and artists. She is also developing her filming skills and becoming more integrated with commercial work.

Janine Lim

Words by Janine Lim // invisible Mother
Since becoming a mother, most of my work entails caring for my child, cooking, and keeping house. Finding little time to make money or art, I constantly pondered my worth as a person and productive member of society. Pre-baby, my work was tangible and quantifiable. I made pictures you could touch and money to put in my pocket. Post-baby, my work was largely unseen. If you visited my home, for example, you would have had to see the hours of labor it took me to get it to that state to fully appreciate it. If you enjoyed the company of my child, you would have had to witness the months I poured into her to know why she thrives as she does. The only time I felt that my work was noticed was when I failed (or appeared to fail) to do it—like when the house was a wreck, or there was no dinner, or my child was losing it at the grocery store. In this way, a good job assumed a quality of invisibility; the better it was done, the less you noticed it. My introduction to invisibility brought much anger and resentment. Although I observed a superficial sentiment that mothers were valuable and important, I found very little proof that it was actually true. While a stranger might be kind enough to hold the door open so that I might fumble through with my stroller and baby bag, at the end of the day, I still felt short-changed. For doing what people call “the most important job in the world”, I still had no income of my own, no means to make it, and no time for myself. It seemed I only existed to care for my child and clean the house.

I know that I am not the only mother who feels this way. I do not think it is a generalization to say that women carry most of the burden of childcare. And I definitely do not think it obscene to say that women do most of the housework. Without having to pick up a book researching woman’s work or having to spew some kind of statistic about our labors, I can tell you that it takes up a significant amount of our time. As a result, we are most often the half of the partnership that gives up economic independence, passion, dreams, and art. The fact that we are the half of society that makes this compromise is exemplary of how much we really do value women.
Feeling little worth for my great contribution to the world, my work in the house has been done mostly in contempt. The longer I cleaned, the more enraged I would become. I would daydream about what I never became and all the things I could become if I did not have to wash dishes. Slowly, I began to document my work around the house, grappling to find beauty in my grey existence. I realized that my feelings around housework needed an alchemical process. My rage needed to be transformed into something else. If no one else will value my work, at least I could. To initiate this alchemy, I began photographing my messy kitchen and bedroom, piles of laundry, chopped vegetables, and cluttered tables. By doing this, I bring into view what is largely invisible. In addition to creating visibility, to capture a moment in time is also to assign it worth. In this sense, photographing my work at home has become a process of self-validation and an opportunity to assign value to my own labor. I do it to honor myself and the women of the world who deserve illumination.

Kerry Sawyers

Move Me Photography is made of the visual captures seen through the eyes of Kerry Sawyers. Anything and everything moving and meant to inspire or that is just intriguing caught through the lens. "Everything in our direct environment is inspiring, these are just the things that MOVE ME"

Kyla Wright

Kyla Wright is the creator of a notorious click called BLACKNBLING. This click has stolen the faces and emotions of thousands, and captured historical moments like no one else can do. The click comes from a camera, and it is through visual imagery that got BLACKNBLING its start. BLACKNBLING is an imaging house, photographing musicians and party people around Los Angeles with the intent of encapsulating a renaissance era in the art and music community. Through BLACKNBLING, Kyla Wright has one main purpose, and that is to work as historians for the generation, creating a platform for artistic expression, creating a place to perpetuate and manifest dreams of creativity.

Rosalinda Kooyman aka “DesertFlower"/"Rosalinda Paz"

A gardener by day (Los Angeles Unified School District teacher for 8 years and currently teacher of 1st grade blossoming seedlings), she is a cusp-y Aquarius /Pisces and peace activist. She likes to take pictures because she feels that the moments last longer. Her words of action are: silence, breathe, look, serve, listen, read, learn, create, meditate, love, and evolve.

She is of Mexican and Dutch parents, and grew up in America. She was born in the land of metal daisies and location of the Coachella music festival, Indio, California, hence aka Desertflower. Rosalinda moved away from California as a young kid and grew up all over Texas, predominantly Dallas. In mid -1998 she moved back to California and attended San Diego State University. She is the first in her family to earn her college degree. After she graduated, she moved to Los Angeles and received her teaching credential and began teaching for Los Angeles Unified School District. She recently received her Masters in Education.

Rosalinda has been taking photos since 1994. She considers herself an “Ethnographer” with a camera. Her intentions when photographing includes shooting from her heart and soul, with no true artistic goal, but merely to later share the beauty and wonderment of what unfolds before her on her journey through life.


Born in London of Persian decent, L.A.-based DJ Shiva made her move stateside as a youth, settling first in Florida and then in Los Angeles in 2003. Forever the humble hustler, DJ Shiva casts a strong signal around Southern California and the world at large: her live sets are heard twice monthly on Sirius satellite radio, her mixtapes are featured monthly on (her first effort was top-rated by users), she has just returned from performing this summer in Germany, and most recently DJ'd for a Playboy TV broadcast alongside Jesse McCartney. A lover of all music, DJ Shiva is particularly keen on bringing the best out of 60’s soul and 70’s funk; 80’s dance and 90’s hip hop and RnB; native reggae and dub rhythms; and recently she’s been revisiting her roots in electronica music and global grooves.

“Abstract Vision Female Perspective”
February 11, 2011 - March 6, 2011

Opening Reception:Friday, February 11, 2011
7 pm - 12 am Soundscapes: DJ Shiva

Contact Info:
Cashmere Agency
More information is available on the Urban Sanctuary gallery’s website

RSVP on Facebook

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Its A New Over.

The New Year Started With an Unplanned Countdown.
A Close Group of Friends to Busy All Week to do Any real Planning For it.Ive Been Projecting Schedules Way Past This Date.Nothing Filled in on the 31st.Why? I' ve Always Been Booked Playing Records or Organizing One or two parties.Until 3 Years Ago, when i thought about how long i had been doing that, in that Moment i no longer felt the Urge.The Next 2 years would be spent with my close group of friends in the safety of The Estate..Good Food, Drink, Music Tribe. The Night Club was Dead.You Might of Heard Me say...

This Year No Plans.A Few Options.
Play it By Ear, just Head Out &
Enjoy What The Last Evening
of the Old Year Had Planned For Us.
It worked as Un-Planned.
I had A great Time.
We All Did.

On The First Day Of the New Year,My Saturday Afternoon Would Be Spent Hosting to Some Really Kind Spirits That Came out Waited in Line Heard Amazing Music Witnessed A new Face on A place they Had shared some really Good Times in the last 5 yrs.The Do Over New Over Edition, We Set The record for best new Years Day Party Ever.

Packed Early The New Spot filled up More Then I think We all Expected.The Day Quickly Turned to A Wild First Night of the New Year.

Special thanks to adidas, Diplo, J.Rocc, Jack Beats, Jeremy Sole, Rockwell, DJ Life along with 1200 of our closest and most fun friends at the famed Los Angeles New Years Day get down!