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Monday, December 3, 2012
Fringe skate artists go Hollywood

Usher and Marsea Goldberg, owner of New Image Art Gallery, contemplate the essence of Neckface's face.

Hendrix Die Posers Die Cali Photo Now

This past Saturday, the "California Photography Now" exhibit opened at New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, Calif.

Since 1994 New Image has supported emerging artists, including professional skateboarder Ed Templeton, Shepard Fairey and Neckface. Owner Marsea Goldberg has made a name for the gallery by seeking out characters on the fringes, visionary skater and surfers, and humorists of fine art.

"California Photography Now" features more than a dozen photographers, utilizing a variety of shooting and processing techniques, from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Photographer Curtis Buchanan, who is well known around Los Angeles from his years working at famed street and skate shop, Supreme, presented three contrasting images which all shared a common thread of amity.

Curtis Buchanan is an LA skate fixture and kept it clean and simple with his photos.

Retna, the acclaimed L.A. based street artist and graffiti writer, offered two large black and white portraits, in which the printing emulsion and his glyph writing he's famous for created layers and dimensions.

Both Sandy Kim and Teen Witch (AKA Andrea Sonnenberg) are from San Francisco and both women are featured prominently within their frames. Kim's work juxtaposes some challenging and disturbing imagery with easily digestible sunsets. Whereas Teen Witch's work took up the entire back wall of the gallery with images that could be described as the life of the party and the demise of the after party.

Los Angeles fine arts photographer Gregory Bojorquez, whose work is included in the collection of famed fashion photographer Mario Testino, captures ironic local still lives with captivating colors and masterful technique.

Retna wowed the crowd with large prints, hand painted and scribbed over with his signature style.

Fairfax local, Sagan Lockhart is best known for his off the cuff shots of Odd Future. His photos speak to the casual nature of his relationships with his subjects, as Lockhart manages the Odd Future Pop-up shop and skates with members of the crew in addition to providing the imagery of the popular hip-hop group.

The largest wall in the gallery was dedicated to the Now I Remember collective, which is made up of a group of friends who initially began sharing their cell phone photos among themselves and began printing the collection and showing in earnest within the last few years. The images are profane, hilarious and as unique as the NIR gang, which includes professional skateboarders Jerry Hsu, Todd Jordan and Kevin "Spanky" Long, scene makers Tino Razo and Aaron Bondaroff, artist Neckface, it-girl Jen "JR" Reynolds, and photographer Curtis Buchanan.

On hand for the opening night were Odd Future, skate fans, street wear kids, and Retna collector, pop music sensation Usher, who'd previously commissioned a portrait of Marvin Gaye from the artist and showed up after seeing the event on Retna's Instagram.

Although the celebrity infused opening is over, you can still see what all the buzz is about. "California Photography Now" runs through December 29th. Go to for more information and gallery hours.