James Griffith @Craig Krull Gallery

Never mind Halloween, it’s been a scary week, and overnight more fires erupted, many much closer to home. Checking the Los Angeles Times for the grim wildfire updates brought some unexpected and sorely needed happy news: “La Brea tar is his paint. How one man turns ‘primordial goo’ into celestial art” — a lengthy, well-deserved article on Los Angeles artist James Griffith.

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” The Earth – Wilderness Still” tar on canvas, 58″x58″,2019
James Griffith

We all seem to be engaged, willingly or not, in a massive, crowd-sourced project to break irony. The length of the state is studded with wildfires exacerbated by climate change, while we are simultaneously involved in a lawsuit with the federal government to settle  “whether California has the right to set its own greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards.” It’s surreal enough that I feel like I’m living trapped in one of James’ tar paintings. (Happy Halloween!)

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It would add this other dimension…this primordial goo that had this history of having trapped all these animals that are now extinct.”

You can catch up with his most recent work at the current exhibit “Terrestrial and Celestial”:

  • Where: Craig Krull Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Building B-3, Santa Monica
  • When: Tuesdays-Saturdays, through Nov. 30
  • Info: (310) 828-6410, craigkrullgallery.com
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James Griffith talking about his tar paintings at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles in 2015

And if you haven’t heard James speak about his work, you’re in for a treat on Saturday, November 16, 2019, 11 a.m., at the Craig Krull Gallery. He’s a rare bird indeed, bearing witness to his time with brainy artistry and profound concern over this increasingly imperiled human project and the many species we’re hurrying to extinction — and he’s an absolute hoot to hear speak.

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(Oh, and in case you still need a scare… boo!)

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3 Responses to James Griffith @Craig Krull Gallery

  1. Kris P says:

    Love the art, especially the crow. Happy Halloween to you too, Denise. In the midst of remodel drama, I entirely forgot to buy candy to give away in the event some stray trick-or-treaters show up at the door. That seldom happens but, as I have no candy, it would be my luck to have a flock appear at the door.

  2. Elaine says:

    What a novel medium to work with. The resulting pieces are intriguing and incredibly well done. If I lived closer would love to see his exhibit and hear him speak. Happy Halloween.

  3. hb says:

    The crow and butterfly are gorgeous. Santa Monica might as well be the moon, 10 million people between here and there.

    Tumult and chaos come in so many forms.

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