Tlayuda LA

I’ve always wanted to decorate a restaurant – and now, alongside my darling bride, I have!!!

Summer 2015, our friends Laura and Ana opened Tlayuda LA in beautiful glamorous Hollywood. They approached us to do the art for the place, which included developing a logo for the signage, the letterhead, and the trash cans. And paintings. Many paintings and drawings for the interior. Of course, we were happy to oblige.

Over the months, this arrangement has led to an ongoing series of murals, including my ever-evolving Tlayudapendence Day, featuring a giant tlayuda hovering over the  Los Angeles basin. In homage to childhood heroes like Richard Scarry and Sergio Aragones, I am slowly cramming this painting with as many delightful details as will fit. Each time I visit, I take a couple hours to add a celebrity home, a civic landmark, a big box store, a freeway overpass, or any other detail that’s needed. It’s a mural of a thousand Easter eggs. It’s a project that never has to end.

Getting meals in exchange for artwork has long been a career benchmark of mine, second only to comped dental work as a sign that one is a Serious Working Artist. I am fortunate to have friends who are cranking out such delicious food as this. And the restaurant is a hit. The results are in, the people have spoken.

Tlayuda LA is at 5450 Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles, CA 90029. Come for the art. Stay for the food.

Grass Gallery – a brief history

Grass Gallery was our follow-up to Avalon Seafood, which had two exciting seasons in North Adams. After flexing our muscles in the tiny Avalon Seafood space, we coordinated with MCLA and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center to program a much larger space around the corner. We christened this space Grass Gallery since grass is ubiquitous, second only to dirt. Once again, the storefront was a diamond in the rough, a “raw” space, though I had helped clean it up three years prior for the first incarnation of the North Adams Artists’ Co-op Gallery. Small world!

Inspired by Mark Danner’s investigative journalism, I wanted to organize a show of anti-war art. So I asked my friend and colleague Richard Rand if he’d be the juror, and we put out a call to artists, and we received dozens of submissions from around the world, and we produced “End of an Empire: a Survey of Anti-War Art”. Eighteen superb artists held down the walls and floor for an extended two month run. There were lectures, artist talks, music, and more. North Adams has a large veterans community, and we were happy so many veterans came to the show and had a positive reaction. We didn’t end war in our time, but we were able to bear witness and host informed debate.

To follow up this success, Claire and I wanted to present an immersive environment with the hundreds of tiny figures she creates. We also wanted to work with our friend Ann Scott, who had curated a show of contemporary political prints from Oaxaca and was keen to exhibit new work from the same collective. We took the risk of intermingling these two ostensibly very different shows. The result was a home run. Bold graphic works hung on the walls, totemic figures flooded the center of the room, and they had a conversation. Turns out disparate schools of art have more in common than one might think.

Artists who showed at Grass Gallery included Rose Desiano, Susan C Dessel, Christina Ernst, Paula Everett, Rosemary Eden Fitzgerald, Claire Fox, David Gyscek, Lisa Hecht, Artemis Herber, Wayne Hopkins, Erin Ko, Daniel Monteavaro, Nabawia El-Soudani Olivera, Kevin Orlosky, Humberto Ramirez, Joy J Rotblatt, Elizabeth White, Cathy Wysocki, and the ASARO Collective of Oaxaca. The gallery was active in 2011.

How it feels to be a “staff pick” at Book Soup

How does it feel to be a “staff pick” at Book Soup? Pretty good.

Whenever I’d visit this legendary independent bookstore on the Sunset Strip, I’d linger over the staff picks one finds throughout the store: those witty, incisive handwritten cards that would single out particular titles for special attention.

When they agreed to stock Trump Noir, I had no idea the book would join the ranks of staff picks! On my last visit though, I saw that it has. And I am honored. Call it another landmark in a long, ephemeral career.

If you live in Los Angeles, I encourage you to buy your copy at Book Soup and support independent bookstores. If you live in the rest of the world, you can buy it here on my site! On the “Trump Noir” page, naturally.

The Story of Avalon Seafood Gallery

My first job ever, as a teenager at the Jersey Shore, was washing dishes at Avalon Seafood. Over twenty years later, I named my first gallery Avalon Seafood.

It was Summer 2009, and Claire and I opened Avalon Seafood Gallery in North Adams, MA. We were already plugged into the local art scene in this small Berkshires mill town, and we worked through MCLA and DownStreet Art to obtain a derelict storefront at a reduced rate, turning it into an emporium for experimental art.

The raw space  at 7 Holden Street had most recently been a pet grooming establishment, but stood vacant a few years before we took it over. It was a diamond in the rough, and we did our renovations on the cheap.

The original tin ceiling and etched-glass windows had not been removed, merely hidden behind one of those acoustic drop ceilings that once were so popular. The walls were matted with dog hair and the tile floor stank from the fossilized urine of discontented pets. We stripped the space down to its bones, showed off the ceiling through the lattice of the subsequent grid, applied some primer white to the walls and some chocolate brown to the floors, built a front desk and a couple positionable walls, and it was go time!

Our sharply reduced rent, offset by our “sweat equity”, gave us the freedom to pursue shows with artists we knew and admired, paying no mind to commercial considerations. In other words, we could do what we wanted without worrying about how to make money. In addition to rotating solo and group exhibitions, we screened movies, hosted lectures, showcased theater productions, and generally made our gallery a space for creative experimentation and community engagement.

We did six shows in 2009 and four shows in 2010. We brought some great art to North Adams, and the city gave us the opportunity to play, flex our curatorial muscles, and show off our talents. The exhibitions were:

Ian George – June 2009

Bryan Heggie – July 2009

Jason Lockyer – August 2009

Claire Fox – September 2009

The Davis Art Foundation – October 2009

Veronica Tyson-Strait – November 2009

State of the Union – June 2010

The Little People from Somewhere Else – July 2010

Drawing Marathon Results – August 2010

The North Adams Makeover – September 2010

Trump Noir Update

Hi Everyone,

Things are going great in Trump Noir land. My book is now on the shelves at Book Soup, the venerable independent bookstore at 8818 Sunset Blvd on the fabulous Sunset Strip! If you live in Los Angeles, I encourage you to support your local bookstore and buy your copy there.

If you want to purchase directly from me, just go through Pay Pal referencing andrew@davisartprojects.com or VenMo referencing Andrew-Davis-134

My initial print run was 150 of the small, 7×7-inch version, and 100 of the large, 8×10-inch version of Trump Noir. Sales are brisk, and I have about 100 small left and 80 large.

This supply won’t last forever. So if you want one for yourself, or for that special someone in your life, or even the misguided Trump supporter you know who now has buyer’s remorse, you can fill that Trump-Noir-sized slot on the bookshelf. $25 for the small, $35 for the large, postpaid.

Lastly, I am discussing a larger print run, in the neighborhood of 1,000 or more, and if sales continue at the current pace I will be setting that in motion. So stay tuned, Dear Readers. This journey has just begun.

Thanks!
Andy

Trump Noir at Book Soup

Here is my book, Trump Noir, in very good company at Book Soup in West Hollywood, on the legendary Sunset Strip! Also a bit of my left foot there, I believe. The book is $25 a copy.

Support independent bookstores! I’ve been selling these, and continue to do so, through my this website, via PayPal and VenMo. If you live in the LA area, and want to buy Trump Noir, I encourage you to buy it through Book Soup.

Trump Noir – the book

Trump Noir is my new book of drawings and words, something between a comic book, a serial of portrait drawings, and a poetic monograph. It’s well on its way to becoming an underground sensation.

Trump Noir is available in two sizes, 7×7″ for $25, and 8×10″ for $35.  You can pay via PayPal andrew@davisartprojects.com or VenMo Andrew-Davis-134

You can see rough cuts from Trump Noir on my instagram  and Facebook.