Jwan Yosef at Praz-Delavallade Gallery

Artist Jwan Yosef is cool, calm and collected. With serious countenance, he jokes often. Through his work, Yosef has been trying to answer his own questions–identity, politics, religion, sexuality and sense of belonging are the topics he addresses. The concept of duality presents itself frequently in Yosef’s work and the origin of it stems from his personal history, filled with many opposites that produced so much unity. Only a person who questions his feelings about and understanding of his environment and his place in it, can eventually arrive at certainty about feeling uncertain and find confidence in spite of the inner ambivalence.

A walk through the exhibition rooms at Praz-Delavallade in Los Angeles reveals a number of paintings, sculptures and objects that ambiguously fall in either of the two categories. If this is your first time seeing the work of Jwan Yosef, questions, one after another, will certainly pop up in your head. You may or may not think of the answers, but you most likely will not stay emotionally indifferent.

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Carlos Luna James: artist, philosopher and Galactic wizard

More then two thousand years ago, Plato compared society to life-time prisoners in a cave, where the reality they see and deem to be the only truth is a mere reflection of the world outside. According to Plato, people should not be taking sensory knowledge of reality (which comes from what we see and hear in the world) for reality itself and only philosophers are able to see beyond our perception and comprehend alternative possibilities. Artists, however, have that capability as well.

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John Duncan, career retrospective and a first solo show in Los Angeles at Nicodim Gallery (February 3 – March 17, 2018)

After being senselessly attacked by strangers and experiencing terror of imminent death, artist John Duncan felt a range of intense emotions: panic, fear, anger and also relief. Such emotional high made him feel so alive that he wanted to share these sensations with others. That was the origin of Scare (1976), where Duncan was knocking on friends’s doors in the middle of the night, while wearing a mask, and shooting them in the face with a gun loaded with blanks.

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