TEN @ CHAINLINK features artworks by 10 Los Angeles-based male artists including Gary Baseman, Alic Daniel, Matt DiGiacomo, Simon Haas, Kevin Lasting, Wyatt Mills, Kolbe Roper, Matthew Adam Ross, Johnny Smith & Aaron Wrinkle. The exhibition will include paintings, drawings, sculpture, digital collages, a video element and a one-of-a-kind custom painted Linus bicycle by Gary Baseman. TEN showcases the talent of these artists whose work is not only aesthetically complementary, but also strikingly unique.
Gary Baseman, born 1960, Los Angeles, California
A prolific illustrator and painter, Baseman’s highly recognizable aesthetic often displays the pain of secrets and truths through playful characters. He has exhibited all over the world, and in 2013 had a major career retrospective at the Skirball Center in L.A. showcasing over 300 of his artworks. His work is featured in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art in Rome. He coined the term ‘pervasive art’ and uses it to describe a broad shift in his and others’ work to more visible avenues of art-making, actively seeking to blur the lines between fine and commercial art. He created the Emmy-winning cartoon series, ‘Teacher’s Pet’ and is the artistic designer of the board game ‘Cranium.’ For the past several years he has collaborated with the American brand Coach, creating designs for clothing and accessories. Baseman grew up in the Fairfax district of L.A., where currently lives, and attended UCLA, he has also resided in New York City.
Alic Daniel, born 1992, Dayton, Ohio
Alic is known for his calligraphic lines that he calls, ‘scribbles.’ These lines are meditations of form and composition. Within the compositions he finds harmony in balance and expression. Typically working with traditional graffiti writing materials and fine bristle brushes, he has painted murals on public and private walls, textiles, sculptures. He has also created neon pieces and digital art, all in his trademark style. Alic’s work is not dependent on the surface it is exhibited, which allows the meditative lines to continue for as long as possible. His aesthetic is very distinct and has a refreshing and vibrant aesthetic. He recently relocated from Nashville, Tennessee to Los Angeles, California.
Matt DiGiacomo, born 1990, Los Angeles, California
Working instinctively and painting illustrations on walls, apparel, surfboards and endless other mediums, Matt is particularly drawn to ordinary and unexpected objects. His work is a lens into the life and times of his mind. At first glance, the work softly disarms and may be described as playful characters accompanied by quirky text, yet upon unraveling the messages further the work confronts socially-minded issues and engages the audience when it is least expected. Not eager to be categorized by traditional genres, he is most fascinated by exploring new applications and initiating conversation through his art. He works extensively with the brand Chrome Hearts as a creative liaison and is based in L.A.
Simon Haas, born 1984, Austin, Texas
Simongrew up in Texas where the creative environment his parents created was a safe haven for his natural sensitivity.After studying painting at RISD, he joined his twin, Niki, to tour in Vincent Gallo's band RRIICCE before settling in L.A. to pursue painting, while also cooking at Echo Park's Elf Cafe.In 2010 The Haas Brothers was born.Fueled by a project with Donatella Versace early in their career, they set out to confront design norms and break barriers between artistic mediums. Simon’s paintings and drawings are indicative of his natural and learned talent, being simultaneously ethereal yet realistic. Helives and works in Los Angeles and continues to serve his passion for exploring, preserving and innovating the crafts he learns on his travels around the world.
Kevin Lasting, born 1975, Los Angeles
Growing up in eclectic L.A. neighborhoods, including Laurel Canyon, creative parents and progressive schooling fostered Kevin’s curiosity about the arts. Lasting has a degree in photography from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. After experimenting with art and commercial photography, living in London and Paris, and playing in a band, he returned to L.A. and began to study painting. In addition to his art, Kevin works for a death penalty mitigation firm on behalf of defendants. Influenced by the stories and faces he would come across in case files, he felt compelled to paint a series of portraits of marginalized people facing death row. Kevin's paintings are often derived from photographs found online and projected onto canvas. Painting with either brushes or palette knives, his style is unique and captivating. The depth and layers subtly reveal mysterious subject-matter, inciting a visceral reaction to each piece. He currently lives in Downtown L.A.
Wyatt Mills, born 1991, Mount Kisco, New York
With a unique painting style that embraces chaos, Wyatt’s work invites us into an alien world of raw emotion where the darker side of the human psyche is revealed. His distorted portraiture demonstrates a subtle fusion of abstract and classical style. After having studied traditional oil painting as a teenager, and graduating with a BFA from New York’s School of Visual Arts, Wyatt chose to find a way to paint that which is right behind the mask of ‘normal.’ Through his art he hopes to expand a private debate about social boundaries people may find hideous, captivating, offensive or attractive. He has been commissioned to create numerous outdoor murals, including one for the Snapchat headquarters in Venice, Los Angeles. Mills is currently working out of a studio in Berlin, Germany.
Kolbe Roper, born 1983, Lawton, Oklahoma
Kolbe uses touchstones in common vernacular of queer subgroups, creating works that play with the ideas of culture, histories, and how they are being presented or forgotten in today’s societies. Changing the covers of magazines or manipulating layers of an image speaks to personal narratives and cultural narratives of presentation to the public. His work includes also includes sculpture and embroidery. Roper is an Oklahoman who currently lives in Los Angeles and received his MFA from California College of the Arts, in San Francisco. He has been included in group exhibitions at LeGrange Museum, LeGrange, Georgia, River Market KCAC, Kansas City, Missouri, Maiden LA, Los Angeles, and SOMA Arts, San Francisco, California.
Matthew Adam Ross, born 1988, Laguna Beach, California
Painting for Ross is primal, not intentional, and developed from a desire to find reason amidst the conflicting sides of his mind. His work displays unconventional marriages of color, asymmetrical linear geometry, and numerical and alphabetical symbolism. Using swift movements, and working mostly with his hands, he is able to capture subliminal evocations in each piece. He was recently featured on the New York Times website in a live podcast for their Art Series program about his artistic process. In 2016 he completed a artist residency in Berlin, Germany. He has show in galleries in California, New York, Massachusetts, China and Germany. Ross is currently based in L.A. and has lived in New York City and Vancouver.
Johnny Smith, born 1980, Houston, Texas
Johnny studied theatre at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and went on to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in film before landing in Los Angeles. Since being in L.A., he has acted in over 34 commercials, written, acted in and directed numerous short films and was featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno when his YouTube series “Scaring Evelyn” went viral.He is an avid fan of comedy and tries to share that through his digital photographic collage work.He enjoys creating image manipulations while listening to old episodes of Howard Stern or half-watching Dateline NBC or The Bachelor/ette. Johnny lives and works in L.A.
Aaron Wrinkle, born 1978, Aurora, Missouri
Aaron received his BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA in Studio Art from CalArts. At CalArts various spoken word, guitar and object-orientated performances were carried out weekly. For his final project he restored CalArts’ former dean Douglas Huebler’s 1977 Volvo with his father, an auto refinisher. The Volvo was exhibited in 2015 at Night Gallery in L.A. In the last few years his focus has returned to an intuitive and somewhat surreal approach to drawing and painting. His works and projects have been featured and reviewed in ‘Artforum,’ ‘ArtJournal,’ ‘Artnet,’ ‘ArtScene,’ ‘Interview Magazine,’ ‘LA WEEKLY,’ ‘Modern Painters,’ ‘Notes on Looking’ and ‘The New York Times.’He has collaborated with Raymond Pettibon and his work was published in the New Museum’s ‘Younger than Jesus Artist Directory’ by Phaidon Press in 2009. Aaron currently resides in Chinatown, Los Angeles.