Friday, October 23, 2009

Beautiful Losers

BEAUTIFUL LOSERS celebrates the spirit behind one of the most influential cultural moments of a generation

In the early 1990's a loose-knit group of likeminded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop & graffiti, they made art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Developing their craft with almost no influence from the "establishment" art world, this group, and the subcultures they sprang from, have now become a movement that has been transforming pop culture.

Starring a selection of artists who are considered leaders within this culture, Beautiful Losers focuses on the telling of personal stories. It speaks to themes of what happens when the outside becomes "in" as it explores the creative ethos connecting these artists and today's youth.

Some of my favorite artist from the film are:

Ed Templeton was born in Orange County, California, a sprawling suburb of Los Angeles where he still lives today with his wife of 16 years, Deanna. He discovered skateboarding in middle school and quickly went pro before finishing high school. He has devoted his life to it since then. It was skateboarding that gave him opportunities to tour Europe where he spent every free moment absorbing its galleries and art museums. Templeton began to exhibit his works in small galleries and skateboard shops, eventually moving on to large galleries and institutions. His photographs give a sun-drenched glimpse of what it might be like to be young and alive in what Templeton refers to as "the suburban domestic incubator". His first major European museum exhibition opened in October 2002 at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Since then, he has exhibited his paintings and photographs worldwide. Templeton is the founder of Toy Machine, a blood-sucking skateboard company. He has also done design work for Grand Royal, Spin, Geffen and Factory Records and is currently one of the principles behind ANP Quarterly, a large format art & culture magazine.

Aaron Rose is an artist, writer and independent curator currently living in Los Angeles. Aaron founded the highly influential Alleged Gallery in New York, curating shows there for ten years. In the 1990s, Rose produced numerous short films and worked as a producer/director for MTV Networks producing on-air promos in conjunction with contemporary artists and indie-directors. Since 2002, Rose has been working as a freelance curator, choosing artists for the Undefeated Billboard Project, a public art project in Los Angeles produced in conjunction with Nike. He is co-curator of the large-scale museum exhibition Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art & Street Culture", which will tour the world through the end of 2008. In addition to curating other exhibitions and publishing books under a new publishing label, Alleged Press, Rose is co-editing a quarterly large format art magazine (ANP Quarterly), which is offered free as an outreach of RVCA Clothing's non-profit initiative the Artist Network Program.

Thomas Campbell is a painter, photographer and filmmaker. An entirely self-taught artist, his work directly reflects his life and draws from his experience traversing around the globe on surf trips. During his short breaks between adventures, he has been known to lock himself in for days on binges that produce literally hundreds of fresh drawings and works on canvas. Campbell has mounted solo exhibitions at galleries in New York, Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris and Morocco. His feature length surfing films The Seedling and Sprout have been avidly embraced by the surfing community worldwide. He is also creative director for a small independent record label, Galaxia, which has released records by contemporary artists Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee, Peggy Honeywell and Black Heart Procession.

Deanna Templeton has always taken photos. When she was 15, her mother bought her a Cannon T-90 for coming back home after running away. When she was 21, she got a Yashica point and shoot. She now has a whole bevy of cameras to choose from, and seems to always have one with her. In Deanna's photographs you see an eye to the feminine experience, –the cracks that are forming in that false persona of being a girl in this day and age. She explores what being a child, or a woman feels like today. The photos leave you with more questions than answers, like good art should. Her work has previously been shown at n44 in Paris, Museum Het Domein in The Netherlands and the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia.

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