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Black Maria Gallery presents "Innocence of Sexuality"
January 14-February 9, 2006

  • Participating Artists
  • Los Angeles – Black Maria Gallery announced the opening of a new exhibition, entitled “Innocence of Sexuality.” Featuring new and recent works by ten Los Angeles-area artists, the exhibition will open on January 14, 2006.
    Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 7-11 pm.

    “As playful and oxymoronic as the title of the show may sound, there is in fact a serious side to it,” said Black Maria owner Zara Zeitountsian. “First, it’s a nod to certain essential freedoms, particularly considering that ultraconservative forces in this country seem dead-set on enforcing a puritanical set of conventions on the rest of us in social, as well as political and legal, terms. I think it’s important to take a stand, individually and collectively, against the blind demonization of sexuality, even at the risk of stating the obvious.

    “In the main, however, the upcoming show is an invitation to the participating artists to delve into their psyches through the prism of sexuality,” Zeitountsian continued. “We wanted them to explore form and substance as informed by the sexual instinct, or rather to arrive at a purity of sexuality where creative and expressive energies are better understood.”

    Samuel Saga, curator of Black Maria Gallery and an artist participating in the “Innocence of Sexuality” exhibition, commented on the religious undertow of common perceptions of sexuality. “For purposes of social control, Christianity and Islam view sexuality as a source of evil,” he said. “The religious mindset ignores the fact that sexuality is just another name for human _expression, albeit a powerful one, and that it’s present in us the moment we’re born. At puberty it’s already yanked out of its ‘natural’ context and equated with sin, with unacceptable social behavior, obviously paving the way for all sorts of psychological issues. Our upcoming show is a tribute to the child-like in the sexual. It’s a celebration of the fact that an instinct which finds its ultimate fulfillment in the act of sexual consummation is also a hugely dynamic factor in all aspects of our lives.”

    Saga added that to illustrate the age-independence of the theme of sexuality, the upcoming show will feature works by an eight-year-old painter , the youngest artist ever to participate in a Black Maria Gallery exhibition.

    “Innocence of Sexuality” will kick off on Saturday, January 14, at 7 PM, and will remain open until February 9, 2006.

  • Participating Artists
  • Sophia Gasparian

    Sophia Gasparian (b. 1972, Armenia) is a Los Angeles based artist. Gasparian studied with cult filmmaker George Kuchar and received her master's degree in film from San Francisco Art Institute. Gasparian is recipient of several awards and her work is being exhibited internationally. Manuel Ocampo, Barry McGee and Diamanda Galas among many others are a great source of inspiration to her. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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    Samuel Saga

    Sam Saga (Saghatelian) graduated from Yerevan Institute of Architecture and pursued a career in architecture, until in 1988, at the brink of the collapse of the USSR and Armenia’s independence, he started his journey as an artist. He was one of the artists representing the Armenian Pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennale, and his works are part of the permanent collection of the Armenian Museum of Contemporary Art. Inspired by the innovative American art scene, Sam Saga now lives and works in Los Angeles.

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    karyn Karyn Raz

    Karyn Raz graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design, and also holds a degree in Art- Semiotics from Brown University. In her work she expresses observed and imagined worlds with a blend of honesty and humor. Among her loves and influences she cites the diaries of Anais Nin, trashy gossip magazines, early Woody Allen films, glamorous gals from the thirties and seventies, and her own Uruguayan/Israeli family. Karyn currently lives and works in Santa Monica.

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    C. J. Kang

    C. J. Kang was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He moved to Los Angeles in 1985 and graduated from Pierce College, specializing in fine arts and designs. He participated in a number of group shows at Cannibal Flower and The Brewery Art Walk, among others. His art has been featured on numerous television series. C. J. lives and works at the Brewery in Los Angeles.

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    Pamela Henderson

    Pamela Henderson’s work draws from her own life experience, with imagery ranging from object portraiture to narrative scenes that manage to elicit beauty and malevolence at the same time. www.pamelahenderson.com

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    Plain Jane

    Plain Jane was born plain Elizabeth Jane Gotts in Worcestershire England.

    Jane began her working life in animation in Bristol and then London and was eventually shipped out to Los Angeles to work at DreamWorks. She worked in various guises as head of the color model dept, head of 2d-cg and compositing supervisor on such films as Prince of Egypt, El Dorado, Spirit and Sinbad. Things turned digital and she decided to take time off to focus on painting and taking on the alter ego of Plain Jane.

    She is currently concentrating on exploring portraiture, drawing inspiration particularly from Tudor portraits and is obsessed by a painting of the Cholmondeley Sisters at the Tate.

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    Youshi Li

    Youshi Li, born in 1983, China. Graduated from Art Center College of Design, B.F.A. Group Exihibitions 2005: Black Market, Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Inaugural Show, Renowned Gallery, Portland, OR Girl, Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra, CA

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    Jason Houchen

    Jason Houchen is a young Midwestern artist with a BFA from the University of Missouri. Upon his arrival in Los Angeles, he found a new world of underground and lowbrow art, which has influenced him greatly. His paintings are a collage of Midwestern antiquity with hints of his new surroundings.

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    Blackboot is a self taught artist from the East Coast. He draws sexually charged “portraits” from memory, observation and fantasy. He is influenced by Tom of Finland, Andy Warhol, Rothko, Johnny Quest and coloring books.

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    Mari Araki

    Mari Araki’s early influence came from Carlo Mollino, one of the most acclaimed photographers of the early 60s. When she was 12 she began to dabble with stream-of-conscious drawing, which she credits as a major element in her art.

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