Mark Gleason, Heather Watts, Danni Shinya Luo, Daniel Lim

April 1 – May 1, 2011
Friday, April 1st; 8-11 PM

Mark Gleason “Mannerism” 

In these paintings, Mark Gleason continues to use Mannerist techniques to explore existential themes via absurdist situations. Animals are often included to define aspects of the relationship of a central character’s orientation or connection to the world. Specific influences to these pieces include the works of Samuel Beckett, Cormac McCarthy, and Buster Keaton.

In addition to painting, Mark teaches high school art in Palo Alto, California and writes a daily music blog.
This is his second featured exhibition at La Luz de Jesus.

Heather Watts “Small Heroes”

Suffused with pessimistic shadows and redemptive illumination, Canadian pop-surrealist painter Heather Watts’ intricate paintings harness the pageantry of anthropomorphic heroes and martyrs to tell the story of individuals grappling with forces larger than themselves. “Some of the pieces for this show are quite dark thematically, but I’m not interested on focusing on the darkness for its own sake in my work, I’m interested in using it to show light, to paint darkness as something that reveals light, to see the darkness as a canvas for light, an opportunity for light to shine,” states the artist.

Watts, who is well-known for her past tiki-inspired paintings has exhibited works in galleries across the US and overseas, including La Luz de Jesus, Strychnin, The Shooting Gallery, M Modern, and Roq la Rue among others. She is a self-taught painter with a Bachelors Degree in Asian Area Studies from the University of British Columbia.

Danni Shinya Luo “Chaotic Harmony”

Danni Shinya Luo’s female forms breathe with a sensuality and intuition that will shatter your preconceptions about her chosen medium, the watercolor painting. Shinya’s fluid and organic figures are quite lovely, full of feminine mystery and romance. Her colorful animals are magnificently fierce, emanating a primal magnetism that is practically pheremonic. In Chaotic Harmony, using whimsical and subtly erotic figures, the interactions of human beings with their avatars from the animal kingdom convey modern psychological truths while relating age-old mythologies. The concept of this new collection is birthed from the artist’s own internal world; her past experiences are transformed into physical creatures, textures and color palettes. The subtextural inclusion of archetypal symbolism is never forced nor heavy-handed, but further enriches the central, “surface” view with allegorical depth –a reward for those willing to investigate just a bit further…

Originally from Shanghai, China, Danni Shinya Luo moved to California in 1995. She fell in love with art in grade school and after a few years of private study (and an apprenticeship with Chinese watercolor master, Ding Ha) was accepted into Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where she majored in illustration and graduated with honor in 2006. Quickly transitioning from recent-art-school-student to next-big-thing, Shinya participated in key group shows, select solo exhibitions, and saw her work published in periodicals like Bust and Initiativa, books like Eye Candy and Sugar & Spice, as well as design projects like Nickelodeon’s Neopets and a line of toy dolls for Hasbro. In the year that has passed since her last featured exhibition (2010’s Spiritual Deficiencies), Shinya has published (and completely sold-out of) a collected volume of her gallery exhibited work, Breaking the Ice. She also helped develop the re-branding of Marvel Comics’ signature female mutant X-23 (providing the cover art for the first three issues). Later this year, her second book, Soft Candy: The Art of Danni Shinya Luo, will be released through seminal art publisher Last Gasp Books, featuring a collection of 200 full color pages of brand-new drawings and paintings, including those featured in Chaotic Harmony.


Daniel Lim “Sweet Imperfections”

The artist is donating 100% of his proceeds from this show to relief efforts in Japan.

Fawn Fruits aka Daniel Hyun Lim relishes the spontaneity of the art and moves things as he goes with colored pencils and acrylics. His works are timeless with a striking juxtaposition of muted versus vibrant hues. The colors are an anchor to reality and are a huge factor to the symbolic message that he is telling. “Somewhere over the colors of the rainbow there lies a significantly beautiful truth, a truth that can only be realized with an intimate encounter. Sweet Imperfections is an artistic interpretation of a promise between the creation and his/her creator” states the artist. Rather than forcefully preaching to the viewer with religious imagery and symbolism, Lim brings new life to the genre by producing work that is based on his personal views on religion.

“Although we see ourselves as imperfect souls, in the eyes of a loved one, we are perfect” states Lim who feels that there are enough serious paintings in the world that shout and make big statements. He wants his work to be more subtle and speak peacefully to the viewer and to bring a moment of tranquility. His dream is to show the world some love, one Fawn Fruits at a time. Lim is an illustration instructor at Otis college of Art and Design, Santa Monica College and Red Engine Studios.

Contact Gallery Director Matthew Gardocki for purchase info:  (323)666-7667