Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I know what I like...

Isn't that what people always say about art? I have a particular weakness for certain forms of art (screen printing, lino & wood cuts and photography).

Buying art is not exactly easy when you're living on starter salaries, but we've managed to pick up some pieces we love, and many of them are from Self Help Graphics.

Monoprint by unknown artist
{my first art purchase ever, by an unknown artist}

SHG is a wonderful organization located in East Los Angeles, started over 30 years ago by an amazing nun. It has evolved into a community organization that offers classes and work space to the local community, with a strong emphasis on Chicano art. They've been sadly plagued with financial problems and for a while it looked like we might lose them altogether, but so far they've pulled through.

Chavez Ravine by Vincent Valdez
{one corner of last year's purchase - Chavez Ravine by Vincent Valdez}

Every year they hold a print show, where you have a chance to buy pieces from resident and visiting artists. There are lots of limited edition screenprints and lino cuts, which makes it affordable. Last Sunday was our fifth year to attend the show.

I fell in love. Madly in love. I am a very, very practical person and I can spend hours deciding whether or not to indulge in a $30 pair of shoes. But I found this giant piece of art and I knew I was buying it. There was no thought process, no evaluation of the cost, no consideration of where in our tiny apartment it would fit, just an instinctive reaction. And really, I think that's how it should be, with art. I mean, this is why I'm practical the rest of the time, right?

On Route to County by William Acedo

It is a large format serigraph called On Route to County by William Acedo and it depicts the beautiful bridge that leads into East Los Angeles. I am not doing it justice because it is so incredibly detailed that a picture just won't cut it. This is a teeny tiny sliver of it. When you see it in person you just about fall into it - it's intense. I'm going to have to get a custom frame for it because it's too large for any of the standard sizes. And I better do it soon, because right now it is taking up our entire dining room table.

D picked up two amazing (and more reasonably sized) pieces as well. I'll share once we've got them all framed.


  1. That's so beautiful! Congratulations!

    I'm only sad that I'm missing the show by not moving to LA earlier!

  2. congratulations...your new piece is so intricately beautiful, i see why you love it!

  3. Incredible! Buying original art work such as this is exhilarating :)

  4. so how much did your new art run you? I love the pieces! I need to get some nice feel good art. but I too over analize the buying of things such as 30$ shoes... totally get buyers remorse.

  5. How awesome. I agree -- art appreciation is definitely an instinctive thing. I love that feeling when you've found a piece and you know you'll never tire of it.

  6. Art is the best investment, I say.

    By the way, besides Etsy and awesome companies like the one you list, people interested in buying art should check out the grad school MFA exhibitions in their area. You can get stuff for cheap while supporting new artists at the most critical time in their career development. Yay!

    Also, while on the soapbox, please always visit the contemporary wing of art museums while you're there. It's the only way to get them to stick around.

  7. Oh. Wow. I can see how you instantly fell in love with that last one. I especially love art that depicts my city, it's so interestnig to see how other locals perceive and love the same place.

  8. wonderful pieces - I really love the first one

  9. That is stunning. I can see why you took one look at it and had to have it.

  10. Each piece is so special. I love that you know what to splurge on, and what to say no to.

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  12. what a great resource! thank you for sharing.

    received your lovely gift last week and i just wanted to say thank you... i really enjoyed it. my 'pay it forward' post is today so please send your readers over!!


  13. I'm a total sucker for a good screen print. Buying art can be quite exciting!


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