News

Studio Visit With Victor Castillo

WE WERE ALL TO BE KINGS: A STUDIO VISIT WITH VICTOR CASTILLO

Carlos Gonzalez stopped by Victor Castillo‘s studio ahead of his upcoming exhibition opening on April 1st at Jonathan LeVine Projects at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City.

The artist has show with LeVine in the past, but will making a debut at the Jersey space. The LA-based Castillo has long been creating work with an almost sinister surrealism, smiling characters with blacked-out eyes that seem to be on the verge of witnessing a tragedy. The show runs through April 29, 2017.

JuxtapozVictorCastillo00

JuxtapozVictorCastillo01

JuxtapozVictorCastillo02

JuxtapozVictorCastillo03

JuxtapozVictorCastillo04

JuxtapozVictorCastillo05

JuxtapozVictorCastillo06

JuxtapozVictorCastillo07

JuxtapozVictorCastillo08

Originally featured on Juxtapoz

JLP Art Competition

Delusional:

Jonathan LeVine’s Search for the Next Great Artist

1

Jonathan Levine Projects is committed to new and cutting edge art, exploring the terrain of the high/low and everything in between. As a youth growing up in Trenton, New Jersey during the 1980s, Jonathan LeVine recognized the appeal of countercultural aesthetics including punk flyers, comics, graffiti and tattoos. In 2001, after years of independently curating at alternative venues, he decided to open a gallery specializing in this nascent art movement. Many people called him and this risky endeavor “delusional”, however, sixteen years later, he’s now the owner of one of the most well know gallery’s in the world and has cultivated the careers of many renowned artists. Jonathan LeVine is now looking for the world’s next great artist and wants to see if YOU have what it takes. Are you delusional enough? Click HERE to submit!

Jonathan LeVine Projects’ first annual art competition is open to artists ages 18 and older of all backgrounds and experience. After the submission deadline, a selection of artworks will be chosen to be exhibited in Delusional, a group show highlighting the finalists, opening on August 9, 2017. Jonathan LeVine will choose first, second and third place winners and will grant the following prizes:

1st Place – Solo Exhibition at Jonathan LeVine Projects
2nd Place – Participation in a group show at Jonathan LeVine Projects
3rd Place – A week of promotion via Jonathan LeVine Projects website and social media platforms

**Additional prizes and awards to be announced! Be sure to keep checking in for updates!

Entry Requirements:

All submitted artworks must be for sale (priced at a reasonable market rate) and available to be exhibited from August 9 – 29, 2017. Upon the sale of an artwork, Jonathan LeVine Projects will earn a commission of fifty percent (50%) of the net proceeds from the sale.
Please include the following with each submission:
-CV/Bio
-1 image for two dimensional works and 2 images for 3 dimensional works
-Work details (title, year, medium, dimensions, price)
**Size limit: Paintings – 6 x 6 feet; Sculptures – 6 x 4 feet

Pricing: $45 for 3 submissions ($10 for each additional submission)

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: July 5, 2017

David Choong Lee in Hi-Fructose

David Choong Lee Crafts Lush, Abstract Worlds in New Mixed-Media Works

By Andy Smith

David-Choong-Lee-Pond

Korea-born artist David Choong Lee made a notable shift from realism to abstraction in recent years, his new work containing lush, vibrant landscapes and otherworldly figures. An upcoming show at Jonathan Levine Projects, titled “Gravity,” offers new works from the San Francisco art scene vet. The show kicks off April 1 and runs through April 29.

David-Choong-Lee-Home

The gallery says that although he’s been around for decades, he’s just “getting started” in a new chapter of his career. “Unlike his past realistic figurative work, his new imagery stems entirely from his imagination and is the result of laborious studies: painting and rearranging over and over to develop a new visual vocabulary,” the gallery says.

David-Choong-Lee-Figure-3

These new works are created with acrylics, latex and aerosol paint. The result is a visual language that moves between the geometric and the seemingly organic. The artist has said this, when reflecting on audience interpretation of these current works: “When someone understands one of these paintings, it’s like they’re hugging me really deep from inside,” he said.

David-Choong-Lee-Hole-1

Originally featured on Hi-Fructose

Jonathan LeVine on Chasing News

Jonathan Levine is a working class punk rock kid from Trenton who was — as the title of the book about him suggests — “Delusional” enough to think he could earn a living selling and curating the art he loves. Call it “lowbrow” or “pop surrealism” or “street art.” Whatever you call it, Levine, with galleries in New Hope PA, then Philadelphia and finally New York City, rode a wave of popularity that, by the late 1990s, saw him connecting unknown artists across the globe with collectors ranging from corporate CEO’s to rock stars.

But now, Levine is making another off-beat move.

He’s moving his Jonathan Levine Gallery from Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood to the Mana Center for Contemporary Art in Jersey City, New Jersey. It’s a huge move for Levine and a big coup for Jersey City’s exploding art scene. Brian, an old pal of Levine since their days spent in Jersey City and Trenton in the 1990s, paid a visit to Levine on the eve of his great New Jersey grand opening.

Carlos Ramirez in The Huffington Post

Carlos-Ramirez-Snake-Oil-and-Fools-Gold

The New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood just wrapped up a solo exhibition, Complejo de Cristo y Vampiros, by Carlos Ramirez. The narrative reflects a highly paranoid and fearful state – a symbol of ultra-violent times. According to Ramirez, it is an examination of the political climate, societal changes, and other such concerns today. He says, “Something’s happening, but you can’t quite grasp what it is, and you don’t know if you should be scared or not.” Ramirez doesn’t offer solutions, he just raises the questions and contributes to the overall national dialogue of fear. The piece that captures it the most is, Strangers in the Night, which highlights two characters that lurk in the darkness with weaponry in hands, one with a ski-mask, and another in slick-backed hair. Their eyes convey the alarm that hovers over them. They stand tall, but slanted, with tattooed bodies and a cross positioned in front of them like a shield for protection.

Like in other of Ramirez’ pieces, the central characters loom larger than life. It is a way to interrogate his surroundings, and it is a nod to his childhood, where people are over-exaggerated and disproportionate in size. Everything about the image looks right and familiar, but the boxy non-human like limbs or bodies communicate something darker than just night. They are big and small simultaneously – ugly and beautiful. They live in the gray and in-between space where his work rests and reaches for balance. This is symbolic of dark progressivism, to be directly informed by the somber landscape, yet turn it into something supernatural and abstract. This is where Ramirez shows true craftsmanship and intelligence, by manipulating time and space through direct observation that baffles the observer. His work is nuanced with such great layers of complexity. For example, if you see a monster-like character, it sometimes represents someone acting like a monster, like wearing a mask, because often people have to front in society. Ramirez also brings in real elements like bottle caps and ice cream sticks into his work that frequently dictate the outcome. By cross-examining the elements, they offer endless possibilities and scenarios, and they become part of the landscape to tell their own story.

Carlos-Ramirez-Ugly-Toys

Carlos Ramirez’ work is mostly about healing and struggling. He composes with universal ideas that attach to the human condition. He documents the built environment and engages with social commentary, which is why his work is so relatable. If you observe closely you will find things like graffiti, candy wrappers, a juror badge, and any other component that continues the narrative. When an observer participates with his work, he/she connects to pop culture and imagery that is familiar, but must make sense of it on a more intimate level. Currently he is in a group show in New Jersey at the Jonathan Levine Gallery with other Southern California artists like Augustine Kofie, Cryptik, and Jeff Soto, and he is part of a boxed set limited edition print run, 24/7 365 at Modern Multiples with Johnny Rodriguez, David Flores, and a few others. You can also catch him on a panel discussion at the Museum of Latin American Art on 3/3 7-9 pm in Long Beach, which will look at the influence of Frank Romero’s iconic work, and the legacy of social justice and public art today. Follow Carlos Ramirez @c.ramirez2323 and for inquiries reach him at carlosramirezart@weebly.com

Jonathan LeVine Interviewed by The Star Ledger

Erik-Jones-Bloom

Bloom by Erik Jones

Art lovers were surprised by the success Jonathan Levine and his eponymous Chelsea gallery found over the last 12 years. He’s a blue-collar Jersey guy — then and now — with a few edges. The art he promotes was considered lowbrow, street art created by former graffiti taggers, aficionados of pop culture and comic book fans.

This month, Levine is moving his exhibition space in Jersey City’s Mana Contemporary, bringing his stable of artists that includes Shepard Fairey, EVOL, Hush and Beth Cavener. The inaugural show, “Welcome to New Jersey,” opening Feb. 18, features those artists as well as more than 30 others.

“Jersey City is what Chelsea was in 2005,” Levine said in an interview with NJ Advance Media. “I wanted to be in a place where I could feel the liveliness and rawness of how Chelsea was when I first moved there.”

Ron-English-Ecstatic-Grin

Ecstatic Grin by Ron English

The move to Mana Contemporary, an arts complex in the Journal Square neighborhood is in part an economic one, Levine said. Manhattan rental costs aren’t kind, and their continued rise has driven out many of the businesses that once surrounded Levine’s.

Chelsea, he said, “has lost its authenticity, if that’s the word. It feels very contrived, just for rich people. It’s too much about commerce. We obviously have to sell work, and that’s what we do, but that’s not all we do. That’s not exciting to me.

“It allows me to lower overhead and take more risks and do things in a new way.”

The high cost of living has also naturally culled the local arts community, he said.

“In order to be creatively vital, you have to have creative people who can afford to be there and who can afford to take risks,” he said. “I want to feel connected to my community. I want to do something that people are excited about.”

Mary-Iverson-Everglades-National-Park-With-Containers

Everglades National Park with Containers by Mary Iverson

Levine is from Trenton and has a tattoo of the “Trenton Makes, the World Takes” bridge across his back. But his father’s family is from Jersey City and he’s already tapped into the local art scene. Partnering with Mana Contemporary will give him access to a new audience and new gallery locations around the country. (Mana has satellite locations in Chicago and Miami.)

“There aren’t a ton of galleries in New Jersey to begin with. We specialize in something specific and we’re high end,” he said. “I’m hoping to get new clients and find a new excitement.”

Levine thinks the Hudson River is a psychological as well as a physical barrier between New York and New Jersey. He expects Garden State residents who never attended events at his Chelsea space to visit him in Jersey City. And he wants the New Yorkers who are griping about the move to note his new location is a 25-minute train ride from Manhattan.

“My hope is other galleries follow,” he said. “If it becomes a destination, that will be a dream.”

Originally featured in The Star Ledger

Exhibition Preview: Welcome to New Jersey

Jeremy-Geddes-Fall

Fall by Jeremy Geddes

After twelve years of inhabiting the famous Chelsea art district in New York City, Jonathan LeVine Gallery is now relocating to Jersey City with a newfound focus on community and collaboration. The latest Jonathan LeVine group show will now open as their inaugural exhibition in Jersey City. Titled Welcome to New Jersey, the exhibition will feature works by Adam Wallacavage, AJ Fosik, Alessandro Gallo, Alex Diamond, Andy Kehoe, Ashley Wood, Augustine Kofie, Beth Cavener, Camille Rose Garcia, Carlos Ramirez, Chloe Early, Cryptik, Dan Witz, Diego Gravinese, Dylan Egon, Eloy Morales, Erik Jones, EVOL, Gary Taxali, Handiedan, Haroshi, Hush, Jeff Soto, Jim Houser, Joel Rea, John Jacobsmeyer, Josh Agle (Shag), Kazuki Takamatsu, Mab Graves, Martin Wittfooth, Mary Iverson, Matt Leines, Matthew Grabelsky, Miss Van, Nychos, Phil Hale, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Tara McPherson and Tristan Eaton.

Tara-McPherson-Precarious-Position

Precarious Position by Tara McPherson

Cryptik-Golden-Dawn

Golden Dawn by Cryptik

Contemporary Painting, Sculpture And Installation
With featuring over 40 artists, the exhibition will show a diverse selection that includes sculptures, paintings, and illustrations. While the American artist Adam Wallacavage is best known for his surreal and highly ornamented interior design details such as octopus chandeliers, Aj Fosik creates vividly colored and totem-inspired feral creations out of wood. On the other hand, sculptures by Alessandro Gallo, Haroshi and Beth Cavener are all inspired by the animal world. While painters Camille Rose Garcia, Mab Graves and Tara McPherson create work within the tradition of Pop Surrealism, the work of Joel Rea and Mary Iverson presents a contemporary take on landscape painting. On the other hand, Dan Witz, Diego Gravinese, Eloy Morales and Matthew Grabelsky all paint highly detailed photorealistic works. Jim Houser is best known for his works in installations, painting, sculpture and collage.

Chloe-Early-The-Gathering

The Gathering by Chloe Early

Street Art, Illustration and Assemblage
While the work of legends Ron English and Shepard Fairey comments on the issues facing contemporary society, Augustine Kofie is inspired by the basic building block of the geometric world and the work of Jeff Soto shows his affinity for fantastical narratives. While Cryptic explores the realm of spirituality and consciousness, EVOL is best-known for his urban installations and paintings made on used cardboard. Ashley Wood rotates around comic books, cover art, concept design and art direction with a painterly approach, while Josh Agle aka Shag works in the style based on a commercial illustration from the 1950s and 1960s. While Matt Leines creates drawings and paintings rich in color and detail that explore the kaleidoscope of memory and outer zones of imagination, Dylan Egon is best known for his assemblage art with an American pop culture imagery and motifs.

John-Jacobsmeyer-Against-Thee-Wickedly

Against Thee Wickedly by John Jacobsmeyer

Jonathan Levine Group Show
Committed to new and cutting edge art, Jonathan LeVine Gallery has nurtured careers of many celebrated artists. The gallery creates engaging programs and interesting partnerships beyond their gallery space, such as public murals and pop-up exhibitions. The newly opened place in Jersey City is named Jonathan LeVine Projects and it is located within Mana Contemporary, a leading arts organization dedicated to celebrating the creative process. The exhibition Welcome to New Jersey will be on view at the gallery from February 18th until March 18th, 2017. The opening reception will be held on February 18th from 6 to 8pm.

Originally featured on Widewalls

John Jacobsmeyer on Hi-Fructose

John Jacobsmeyer’s Paintings Ring of Nostalgia, Imagined Worlds

By Andy Smith

John Jacobsmeyer’s oil paintings on aluminum recall nostalgic and imaginative experience, using wooden backdrops and technology-inspired shapes. These works at once feel aged and modern, and while humor runs throughout his recent works, several ring of sincerity and vulnerability. And a few others have skeleton warriors. Jacobsmeyer has cited Gene Roddenberry, Nietzsche, David Lynch, and Mary Shelley as influences.

The artist has commented on his continued use of wooden textures, which runs through several pieces past and present: “Clubhouse construction offers the greatest possibilities for world creation,” Jacobsmeyer said, in a past statement. “The wood grain’s wild figuring appears to be constantly changing, invoking alien creatures and landscapes. These possibilities are why my paintings represent wooden interiors. I imagine places from popular culture, history and virtual reality as elaborate clubhouses, as though a pack of 12 year olds had the where-with-all to build their most extravagant fantasies.”

The Ann Arbor-born painter has had solo shows across the world. His schooling includes a BFA from University of New Hampshire an MFA at Yale. Recent solo shows include Gallery Poulsen in Denmark, New Center for Book Arts in New York City, and Seattle’s Davidson Galleries.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Originally featured on Hi-Fructose

Jonathan LeVine Gallery Moving to Jersey City

JONATHAN LEVINE GALLERY MOVING TO JERSEY CITY

Jonathan--LeVine-Gallery

After twelve years of inhabiting the famous Chelsea art district in New York City, Jonathan LeVine Gallery is now relocating to Jersey City, the roots of its owner, following a partnership established with the famous Mana Contemporary. With the new location comes a new name as well – Jonathan LeVine Projects, which will continue the dedicated promotion of the arts, through a newfound focus on community and collaboration. There is no doubt that the new/old initiative will become an integral part of Jersey City and essential to the cultivation of its arts, artists and events. What will await us at the new venue in the exciting upcoming period?

Jonathan-LeVine-Gallery-2

Jonathan LeVine Relocates to Jersey

The new venture that is Jonathan LeVine Projects will be located at Mana Contemporary, which is already familiar to contemporary art lovers as a leading destination dedicated to celebrating the creative process. Founded in 2011, the organization continues to unite artist studios, exhibition spaces and ancillary services in a single, vast location in New Jersey. Jonathan LeVine has already had a fruitful collaboration with the venue, through murals by Shepard Fairey, How & Noms and Nychos, and the two also presented The Juxtapoz Clubhouse at Mana Wynwood during Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2016.

Jonathan-LeVine-Gallery1

A New Era for JLG

The ongoing partnership between the two entities promises even more unique programing, as well as further development of engaging events, such as pop-up shows and museum-quality exhibitions. There is the possibility that these shows travel to satellite Mana locations in Chicago and Miami as well! About the move, Jonathan LeVine elaborates: “Moving out to Mana in Jersey City is like moving to Chelsea in the mid-90s’. My aim is to pioneer new territory, rethink the changing nature of the brick and mortar gallery and collaborate with artists on new ideas. A partnership with Mana comes with multiple resources, endless space and the possibility of reinvention in new and exciting ways.”

Jonathan-LeVine-and-exhibiting-artist-Olek

The Upcoming Show

The very first show at Jonathan LeVine Projects in Jersey City is symbolically named Welcome to New Jersey. Opening on February 18th, 2017, the exhibition will feature only the greatest names we were used to seeing at the gallery in New York, such as Adam Wallacavage, AJ Fosik, Alessandro Gallo, Alexis Diaz, Andy Kehoe, Ashley Wood, Augustine Kofie, Beth Cavener, Camille Rose Garcia, Carlos Ramirez, Chloe Early, Cryptik, Dan Witz, Diego Gravinese, Eloy Morales, Erik Jones, EVOL, Gary Taxali, Haroshi, Hush, Jeff Soto, Jim Houser, Joel Rea, John Jacobsmeyer, Jorg Heikhaus/Alex Diamond, Josh Agle (Shag), Kazuki Takamatsu, Mab Graves, Martin Wittfooth, Mary Iverson, Matt Leines, Matthew Grabelsky, Michael Reeder, Miss Van, Nick Walker, Nychos, Phil Hale, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Tara McPherson and Tristan Eaton. Make sure you visit the show at the new location, at Newark Ave., on view until March 18th, 2017!

Originally featured on Widewalls

Fulvio di Piazza on ARTINFO

Fulvio di Piazza’s ‘Entangled’ at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York

“Entangled,” an exhibition featuring the works of Italian-artist Fulvio di Piazza (b. 1969) will run from January 7 through January 28, 2017 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York.

The selection of works on display depicts solitary faces and levitating animals in the centre of the canvas. At first glance, it may look that the subject matter is abstract in nature but on closer inspection, we realize that they are delicate environments comprising mountains, lakes, forests, stars and debris that ultimately gives rise to an entire form. Di Piazza’s meticulous attention to details in his paintings represents contemporary models of communication where the background noise becomes the message, which can be difficult to discern due to sensory overload. This is his second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Fulvio-di-Piazza-Nantucket

Fulvio-di-Piazza-Universe

Fulvio-di-Piazza-Sul-Tramonto-Di-Seth

Originally featured on ARTINFO

Dan Witz x Dior Homme

Brooklyn-based artist Dan Witz recently collaborated with Dior Homme for their Winter 2017 line, which made its debut during Paris Fashion Week on January 21st, 2017. Featuring dramatic outerwear pieces printed with the artists iconic mosh-pit imagery, Dior describes the collection as follows:

A ‘Dior’ attitude that is pure and raw.
A ‘hardcore’ energy reminiscent of the « mosh pits » captured by artist Dan Witz :
The birth of a HarDior style.

A new vision for tailoring with a double-edged silhouette:
When « sartorial » meets « street ».
A renewed, youthful interpretation of luxury.

Dan-Witz-Dior-1

Dan-Witz-Dior-2

Dan-Witz-Dior-3

Dan-Witz-Dior-4

Dan-Witz-Dior-5

Dan-Witz-Dior-6

Dan-Witz-Dior-7

Rapper and producer A$AP Rocky

Dan-Witz-Dior-8

Dan Witz

Dan-Witz-Dior-9

Dan Witz with his wife, Tiffaney McCannon, and son, Mack