WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA.- Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art presents one of their most important exhibits to date: Pour Me Some Smoke, a group exhibition featuring the works of Charming Baker (UK), Case (Germany), Guy Denning (UK), Ian Strawn (USA), and TRXTR (UK). Artwork on display will include oil on canvas, linen, paper and wood, hand-touched and layered digital collage, and acrylic on birch panel. Artists featured in this show represent some of the strongest voices in contemporary figurative artwork and have surpassed the delineations of lowbrow or urban into a new fine art movement.
Charming Baker paints beautifully in oil; his pictures are deftly decanted concoctions of familiarity and unease. "I like it when something is not quite right. I like to take people along a path which leads to a place they don't expect to be. They might discover a personal or political subtext.they might simply enjoy the view. The effect I'm aiming for in my work is that slightly unnerving feeling you get when you have your arse patted in public - but you're not exactly sure who's patting it". His influences include: cheap books, heroes, Zulus, odd-looking women, suburbia, tea and the smell of cheap perfume.
Case is one quarter of the sensationally talented German crew Ma'Claim. His photorealistic graffiti and fine art has set new standards and gained a following throughout the world. He painted his first piece when he was sixteen and "liked the blood I tasted while painting it. After that things came one after the other." Case has been featured in numerous leading publications and has exhibited his work internationally alongside fellow Ma'Claim members Akut, Tasso and Rusk.
Hailing from Bristol, and now residing in France, Guy Denning has taken the urban art world by storm with his beautiful, often haunting works. His androgynous figures, with their strange and often ethereal beauty, form a statement about the modern obsession with the fantasy of youth, beauty and cosmetic surgery as a surreal substitute for real life. Denning is often viewed as an enigma. Sexual and temporal politics, objectification, and isolation are themes which are widely explored in his work, illuminated through the carefully honed juxtaposition of shape and shade to create a mood as well as a theme. The paintings blend the smoothness of classical form with harsh yet truthful statements about contemporary issues that plague Western Society.
Born in San Bernardino, CA to parents who are both artists, Strawn pursued a nomadic life across the US and New Zealand, which fed his fascination with the people around him. Strawn's paintings combine a deadpan photo-realistic sense with a graphic approach, offering an arresting visual analysis of the cross-section of humanity one encounters in the streets. His work has been shown in galleries in LA, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, New York and London.
After studying fine art, printmaking and sculpture with a focus on anti-war and anti-art art, TRXTR spent his time producing biodegradable natural sculptures in hidden landscapes across the UK and USA. Chemical based photographs were the only evidence of this work. This involvement with photography led him into alternative filmmaking with the Bristol Filmmakers Co-operative. During his three years of composing music for films with this organization, TRXTR became increasingly interested in the freedom and creative flexibility of digital imaging. His artwork displays a distinctive style that fuses layer upon layer of digital collage with hand-finished effects on archival canvas.