Artbound 2012: Best of Visual Arts


There are endless permutations of visual art. Paintings, sculpture, and assemblage each employ different methods and media to convey ideas or express emotions that are so often left unsaid. Across Southern California, Artbound witnessed a wide swath of artists who create works that enter our consciousness through our eyes. The West is an occularcentric society: our brains organize memories by images and much of the information we consume arrives as symbols, signs, and signifiers. So then, it is visual artists who wield the capability to harness these images for maximum impact. We witnessed the works of skate and beefcake photographers, who both treated the swimming pool as muse. Native American artist Gerald Clarke Jr., whose paintings and basket-like sculptures, made of 668 crushed and coiled soda and beer cans, defy expectations of what traditional indigenous art can be. Ken Gonzales-Day's photographic works investigated the history of lynching in California. The plein air paintings of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, captured the imagination of the world, as the region's landscapes represented the unspoiled natural environments of our home. Visual art can be beautiful, but it also can be ugly. Either way, visual art changes the way we see and think, forever etching images into our memory.

Today Artbound looks back at our year here in Los Angeles and presents some of our most read articles about the visual arts. Enjoy!

Brickbats and Fat Cats: the Animated Watercolors of Moira Hahn

<strong>Godzilla vs. Atom Boy</strong> by Moira Hahn, 2002 Mixed media, 14 x 20.

In the second installment of the "Japanese Accents" series, Meher McArthur examines the the cross-cultural fantasy artwork of Moira Hahn.

The Space Between: Gina Osterloh's "Shadow" Residency at LACE

Gina Osterloh, 'Loose - Shooting Blanks,' 2008. Lambda photograph, 30 x 38 inches. | Photo: Courtesy of the artist and François Ghebaly Gallery.

Gina Osterloh explores the wavering line between figure and ground during her residency at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).

Mario Ybarra, Jr. The Tío Collection

Mario Ybarra Jr., Recollected Robot Toy Collection, 2012, Mixed media, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Wayne McCall.

Mario Ybarra, Jr. exhibits his work The Tío Collection riffing on childhood memories rather than high-culture aesthetics, and filling the gallery space with artifacts that Ybarra discovered in the homes of his uncles.

A Moon-Age Daydream: The Collision of Arts and the Aerospace Industry

Fred Eversely: William Turner Gallery.

Two things Southern California has in abundance: sunshine and plastic. Chief among the artistic prime movers that pushed L.A. onto the international art-world stage was the Light & Space movement, the ultimate byproduct of Southern California's sunkissed and spaceward-thinking intellectual environment.

Postcards from Tijuana: La Mona, A Concrete Tijuanense Queen

Photo: Jason Thomas Fritz.

Armando Muñoz Garcia's 18-ton, naked-as-the-day-you-were-born sculpture rises a triumphant five stories from a ravine in Tijuana. "La Mona" is the architectural incarnate of the ingenuity and absurdity that defines this most surreal of cities.

Weekly Video Vote Winners from the Visual Arts Discipline

With your help, our editorial team reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. One of these articles was passed along to our video production unit, who produced a short-format documentary based on the selected story. Every week, a new video debuted online. And every other month, we compiled the best online material to create a broadcast television episode. Check out all the 2012 head-to-head matches on our vote page.

Dig this story? Vote by hitting the Facebook like button above and tweet it out, and it could be turned into a short video documentary. Also, follow Artbound on Facebook and Twitter.

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section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline


Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline


Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline


A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline


Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.

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