Thursday, June 12, 2008

Scion Installation Art Tour: 'It's A Beautiful World' : Paintings

Scion presented the fourth installment of the Scion Installation Art Tour: 'It's A Beautiful World'. Launched in 2003, Scion Installation is a revolutionary art tour featuring work from an unprecedented collective of contemporary artists. For 4 years the tour has evolved, and each year the medium with which the artists showcase their work evolves. For Installation 4, the theme "It's a Beautiful World" was interpreted by each artist in one of four mediums; painting, photography, sculpture, and collage. Scion Installation 4 visited 9 cities around the country with a final stop in Los Angeles where all of the artwork was auctioned off to the public.

James Jean was born in Taiwan in 1979, raised in New Jersey, and educated at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Upon graduating in 2001, he quickly became an acclaimed cover artist for DC Comics, garnering three consecutive Eisner awards, two Harvey awards, two gold medals and a silver from the Society of Illustrators of LA, and a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators of NY. He has also contributed to many national and international publications. His clients include Time Magazine, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, ESPN, Atlantic Records, Target, Playboy, Knopf, among others. A book of his work entitled Process Recess was published in 2005, and a second book of his art entitled PR2: Portfolio will be released in the fall of 2007.

Through striking visual imagery, Jeff Soto communicates profound visions and fears, nostalgia of his youth, and themes of love, lust, and hope. Soto's distinct color palette, subject matter, technique and bold themes resonate with a growing audience. Inspired by childhood toys, the colorful lifestyle of skateboarding and graffiti, hip-hop and popular culture, Soto's representational work is simultaneously accessible and stimulating.

Environmental issues also take precedent for Soto, who is concerned with conflict of humans trying to harness, or take advantage of nature. His paintings exude this tension, as robotic creatures duel, organic tentacles and flower bouquets thrive, and black smog looms amidst floating, ominous skulls.

In 2002, Soto graduated with Distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He currently lives in Southern California, with his wife Jennifer and daughter Shannon.

London Police. Complete bio to come.

Fueled by nostalgia, Michael Sieben's work deals primarily with a loss of innocence. Combining the aesthetic languages of skateboard graphic design and children's book illustrations, Sieben works in a style he refers to as "soft-core gore." Monsters tread a fine line between sweet and grotesque and serve as a friendly reminder that everybody has problems, but that's no reason not to smile.

Michael Sieben lives and works in Austin, Texas with his wife Allison and their two cats Nathan and Josie. He spends his days designing skateboards for Bueno (The Good Company), writing and illustrating articles for Thrasher Magazine (The Bible), collaborating on projects with the Volcom Art Loft, operating Okay Mountain Gallery with his fellow mountaineers, and riding his skateboard on his backyard ramp.

Ron English, a New York-based painter, billboard liberator, and toy designer has exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide for over twenty years his unique sensibility, in which the familiar is reflected through funhouse mirrors into something startlingly new. Recently his commentary and art were featured in the hit movie "Supersize Me," widening his audience beyond the boundaries of intrepid art seekers, and he has appeared on television in the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan. He is also the subject of an award-winning documentary, "POPaganda, the Art and Crimes of Ron English."

In addition to painting, Ron English is widely considered to be one of the seminal figures in the culture jamming movement, in which artists and activists subvert existing advertisements to encourage free thought. He has pirated more than a thousand billboards over the last twenty years, replacing existing advertisements with his own "subvertisements," ranging from his "Cancer Kids" campaign featuring preadolescent camels hawking cigarettes to children, to Apple computer's "Think Different" campaign, where Ron added such 20th Century luminaries as Charles Manson to Apple's roster of spokesmen. Most recently Ron staged an elaborate "tribute" to Ronald McDonald in San Francisco, in collaboration with the Billboard Liberation Front, featuring animatronic sculpture, billboard art and the spontaneous performance of fifty-odd Ronalds, Hamburglars, and assorted clowns.

In July of 2006, Ron premiered his 12 x 27-foot interpretation of "Guernica" at the Station Museum in Houston. Ron's painting, Grade School Guernica, is one foot longer and one foot taller than Picasso's original, featuring a psychodrama acted out by his children, and viewed from the point of view of the bomber airplane. In 2007 the artist celebrates the 70th anniversary of Guernica with a series of billboard installations in Spain depicting modern variations of Picasso's classic painting.

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