Los Angeles Art Association is pleased to present Countenance Divine, an all-media exploration of contemporary portraiture opening on Saturday, October 15 at Gallery 825. An opening reception will be held on October 15, 2016 from 6 – 9 pm. The show runs through November 18, 2016

Countenance Divine was juried by Rick Royale, owner of Royale Projects Contemporary Art and features artists Robin Adsit, Robyn Alatorre, Susan Arena, Donna Bates, Maria Bjorkdahl, Ivan Bridges, Annie Clavel, Allan Denolo, Tina Frugoli, Rob Grad, Vicky Hoffman, Brittany Hutchinson, Lynda Keeler, Colleen M. Kelly, Gershon Kreimer, Campbell Laird, Jung jii Lee, Theodosia Marchant, Lena Moross, Malka Nedivi, Julio Panisello, Justin Robinson, Ann Marie Rousseau, Sheli Silverio, Howard Steenwyk, Susan Swihart, Jane Szabo, Devin Thor, Ariel Vargassal, Iben G. Vestergaard, Peter Walker and Diane Williams.

In addition to Countenance Divine, LAAA is proud to feature solo exhibitions by Bibi Davidson, Zeal Harris and Stephanie Sydney and Snezana Saraswati Petrovic.

Bibi Davidson’s recent series of paintings The Girl in the Red Dress draws the viewer into an alternative, parallel, through-the-looking-glass universe with coherent dream logic. Davidson’s work is born out of stories from a fantasy world that she visits to escape the realities of history, longing and pain. Her work involves an alter ego, a girl in a red dress who she brings to life in a two-dimensional and eventually three-dimensional world. Davidson’s aesthetic favors symbolic saturated colors and thick line-drawing evoking stained glass, graphic novels, and folkloric fairy-tales. Compressed pictorial spaces and self-evidently allegorical characters speak to her storyteller’s perspective but with elements of humor to lighten the intensity of her autobiographical, interpersonal, and more broadly, social commentary.

Zeal Harris’ Home Remedies for Driving While Black is an exhibit of poignant, entertaining, illustrative artworks about the impact of police violence on interpersonal relationships. The art is sometimes directly autobiographical or biographical as three of the artworks are about men that the artists has personally known who were killed by police. When one approaches this art, they see highly detailed, careful, colorful compositions that offer a range of social commentary through a variety of intimate everyday moments. The artworks are delicate and powerful, serious and funny, raw and polished, academic and vernacular. Conceptually the artworks reference textile art, quilting, ancient scroll art, movie storyboards, and political cartoons. While being experimental and purposeful, some of the artwork offers the viewer hoodoo magic formulas– ironic African-American traditional folkloric tools for coping with these contemporary realities.

Shrine of Stolen Identities – Beyond the Glamour of Celebrity Culture is a collaboration from “steph ‘n snez” – artists Stephanie Sydney and Snezana Saraswati Petrovic. Petrovic is an internationally known performance and video installation artist with a background in theatrical sets and costume design. Sydney is a mixed media artist who often “paints” with her photographs and has a background with celebrity parents and Buddhism. Their installation examines our Hollywood star-ridden celebrity culture, the effect it has of removing us from our core identities, and our own search for a unique personality amidst this culture – one in which people are pressured to be forever young and skinny. The work proposes that the cult of celebrity worship is akin to a religion, and will feature a shrine combining Buddhist and Christian evocations transformed into celebrity icons. Instead of statues of the deities, Steph and Snez present Academy Award Oscars that are transitioning from male to female and getting old.

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