New Ideas Thrive At ArtLA Gallery In Santa Monica

Thursday, 7 Jun 2012, 1:14:00 AM

Roger Morante

Jose Castillo's Audrey Hepburn piece made with stamps on paper.
Photo by Roger Morante
Jose Castillo's Audrey Hepburn piece made with stamps on paper.

ArtLA hosted an artist reception last Saturday for a new exhibition that highlights some of the most modern innovations in the art world today.

The works ranged from oil on canvas, mixed media, stainless steel, fabricated bronze, and even a new form of art styled as date stamp on paper.

Most notable advancements in the field of art at the exhibition could be found in the fields of pop art by Jose Castillo, expressionism by Jill Bogdanowicz, and classical art by Georgio Tuscani.

Pop artist Castillo displayed his sole piece a face of silver screen star Audrey Hepburn fashioned entirely out of a date stamp on paper.

“Everything I do is with a rubber date stamp,” said Castillo who “picks” icons by their birthdate and then stamps away on a piece of paper in order to create his desired image.

Castillo gained much of his inspiration through his mentor Steve Kaufman who is famous for creating pop art out of icons such as Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean.

More notably, Kaufman studied under Andy Warhol, the founder of pop art, and Castillo falls into this direct descendent line of pop artists directly connected to Warhol, the American pop art movement founder.

When picking his subjects, Castillo uses “a random toss of the dice,” believing that “everything happens for a reason.”

But even as Castillo stamps away, he is trying to redefine himself in order to become more then a pop artist and he has worked diligently on more than 70 different pieces in the past two and a half years in order to evolve as an artist.

“Slowly but surely I am trying to get into common art,” said Castillo. “Art is like breathing to me. It’s one of those things that if I don’t do it, it just doesn’t feel right to me.”

Bogdanowicz, a digital colorist who pays attention to subtle color combinations, has chosen a more expressionistic route to follow inside her oil paintings by focusing on the “rollercoaster of emotions” she captures inside of her multi-layered art pieces and each piece is representational to a specific emotion she felt at the time of its construction.

“Every one of these paintings is basically representational of me,” Bogdanowicz said. “A lot of me is in each one be it the emotional side of what I am thinking about at the moment and sometimes it is actually literal.”

Bogdanowicz does this to get the correct light and the correct form on the canvas.

By adding multiple layers to her art to create layers in an effect similar to Vincent Van Gogh, Bogdanowicz uses her chosen colors of expressionism to create raw emotion and movement inside of her works of art.

Yet her colors are drastically different than Van Gogh and she chooses to keep the balance of colors focused on one shade similar in color balance theory utilized in Pablo Picasso’s early blue and rose periods.

“I do a lot of layering with my oil paints,” said Bogdanowicz. “What I’ll do is I’ll do an under painting and let it dry several months before I actually finish the painting and I will start under painting to create the depth and the texture. After that part dries I will do another layer on top of it.”

Bogdanowicz said she adds to her starting layers with subsequent layers of “splatter and splashing in order to create motion,” by mixing oranges and blues in order to create “emotion and vibrations with color.”

Bogdanowicz chose to focus her works submitted to the show on the subject of women but she is also fond of creating paintings of animals such as horses.

“I like subtle elegant colors that create a visual vibration and an optical illusion of movement where it comes toward you,” Bogdanowicz said. “I use certain reds and blues in order to have certain things advance or recede.”

Tuscani, an artist born in Verona, Italy, sees angels inside of his dreams and displays them in his art.

“An Angel is the closest image I can create to visually depict not only my Soul, but your Soul as well,” Tuscani said. “It is time to take the road less traveled and awaken the soul. We have been sleepwalking through life long enough.”

Tuscani’s works displayed at ArtLA mix together the combined talents of the Italian Renaissance Masters with a rich yet ominous oil color providing the viewer with a Manneristic blend of Gustav Moreau and Picasso but with color focus on blood reds.

The drapery of “ The Angel of Love,” has a blood red color in the dress whereas the background of “My Soul Seeks” has the background oils mixed with blacks and blood reds contrasting a robust and powerful set of white wings, a style clearly showing Tuscani’s affinity to classical form and shape.

“The techniques in my paintings are many,” said Tuscani. “But there is only one subject matter that I am most intrigued with and that is the Soul. I have to stop thinking in order to start creating.”

ArtLA gallery is located at 2525 Michigan Ave. D4 (Bergamot Station). For more information, call 310.315.0282 or visit

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