Rest in Peace Steve Olson | Hangin

March 02 2012 . 09:15pm


Steve Olson, a pro skateboarder in the 70’s and 80’s and prominent figure in the L.A. and San Francisco Punk Rock scene, creates Post Modern work that weaves narrative themes of capitalism, pop culture, social decay, and modern banality with the energy and fun of early Punk. Steve Olson’s work confronts and undermines the way society constructs and imposes a traditional hierarchy of cultural values and meanings by critiquing contemporary society and our relationship with it. The artwork explores power and the way economic and social forces exert that power by shaping the identities of individuals and culture. Questioning the nature and extent of our freedom his art challenges our acquiescence to authority and conventional thought.

“My Art gives contemporary art a juvenile delinquent phase. It’s self-made style icons gleefully trashed conventions of beauty and society while pick pocketing from the coolest underground styles and beliefs of the previous centuries…” -Steve Olson

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February 08 2012 . 12:42am

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Michael Miller and Ernest Holzman featured in Huffington Post

February 07 2012 . 10:07pm

Michael Miller, Smoked Out #2, Giclee fiber base 310g/m, 17 x 22 in, Claremont, 2000

If you were to believe Westside Connection back in the late 90s, then “Gangstas Make the World Go Round.” In a new exhibition at Known Gallery in Los Angeles, photographer Michael Miller investigates the life and times of the larger-than-life personalities for which the city is known.

For his inaugural show and book release for “West Coast Hip Hop, A History In Pictures,” Miller puts a spotlight on his city and provides candid moments of hip hop superstars. The images, many of which have never been shown before, show a different side to Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and others.

Though Miller began his prolific career focusing on fashion in Paris, the call from seminal LA radio station KDAY during Miller’s youth brought him back to focusing on the LA scene. Having photographed the images for over 300 major record covers, Miller seems just as at home on Skid Row as he is in the studio.

Ernest Holzman, Glamour Shack, Archival pigment print, 20 x 28 in, Pikeville, Kentucky, 1969, Courtesy of Known Gallery

Ernest Holzman, the other photographer on view at Known Gallery, has arrived at this juncture through a much different avenue. Given a camera by his father when he was 15 years old, Holzman displayed a youthful naivete that translated into a fearless desire to gain access to places closed off to the public. Holzman’s curiosity got him into hot water on more than a few occasions, and he reportedly spent the night in jail. After his release, he returned the following day and asked the jailer for permission to photograph the inmates he had recently befriended. The jailer agreed, with the condition that Holzman maintain their anonymity and only shoot their silhouettes, as seen in the photograph titled SOLITAIRE.

Though they represent vastly different periods and places, there are definitely parallels between these two artists’ approaches. The exhibition looks past any superficial dissimilarities between the two and instead focus on what makes each a great photographer: the willingness to follow the story and get the right shot.

View a slideshow of work from both exhibitions below and let us know if you think the mashup works in the comments section.

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More photos from Michael Miller and Ernest Holzman opening night

February 07 2012 . 10:15am

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Photos: Willie T

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Steve and Alex Olson at Known Gallery | video

September 02 2011 . 12:45am


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