Rachel O’Donnell was born in Dallas, TX and attended a performing arts school where she studied ballet and contemporary dance. “That’s kind of where I thought my creative path was going. Then I ended up taking art classes and really enjoyed it. I had a teacher who said I should pursue this on a professional level.”
It was early morning in Japan when Jessie Noguchi called in for the interview. She was visiting her family there, following the loss of her grandmother who deeply influenced her life and her art. “My grandmother had an eye for art and she knew what she liked. It always came from her soul and not because the painter was famous or anything like that. In February 2018, before my grandmother passed away, she requested that I do something to express myself to the world because she knew that I am the kind of person who is still dreaming of things I want to do. So I started posting Instagram photos and also digital paintings and paintings on canvas.”
Thony Loui was born and raised in Haiti and always knew he would be an artist. “I loved art, but I didn’t get serious until I was in high school when I made a logo for a famous local band.” This brush with fame wouldn’t be Loui’s last. In 2018, he was commissioned by Conan O’Brien to paint Conan’s portrait on the back of one of Haiti’s tap-tap buses. “He gave me 24 hours to do the painting on the tap-tap bus, which I did!”
Monica Leal Cueva was born in Mexico City and grew up in Monterrey, Mexico. After relocating to Los Angeles twelve years ago, she found it challenging to adapt and suffered bouts of anxiety and depression. Sometimes, her anxiety was such that she couldn’t do everyday tasks like go to the grocery store. Taking art classes and working at an art studio “changed everything,” shared Leal Cueva.
Marguerite Kalhor grew up in Roseville, CA, a small suburban town outside of Sacramento, complete with rural farmland, tract homes, and a mall. In high school, Kalhor was considered weird for making art. When Kalhor learned that she had won the Not Real Art grant, she was “stoked.”
Karen Fiorito is no stranger to being different and in full view. Her controversial ‘Trumpocalypse’ billboard in downtown Phoenix gained international media attention. In high school, she was bullied for standing out. “I was kind of punk rock. Kids would pick on me because I was different and looked different.”
Eben Eldridge is a painter, a musician, and a preschool teacher who says his duty to the kids is to teach them the basics, the “straight-up, social-emotional reality.”
Maria Delvs is a newcomer to L.A., but certainly not to the art scene. The daughter of an oil painter, Delvs’ first memories as an artist began in her childhood home in Miami, Florida. She says, “The best thing about being an artist is channeling myself through my hands. You can’t buy that. You can’t make that. Nobody can take that from you. No matter what you have or don’t have financially, you always have that.”
Talya Covello was born and raised in Culver City, California. While in film school, she discovered that she naturally gravitated towards production design because she “liked that whole aspect of building worlds.” But, production design didn’t fully engage her artistic expression and she had always liked photography, a talent her father recognized in her early on. “He knew I was going to be a photographer. He always told me, ‘follow my heart, do what you need to do.’”
Bustillo describes her art as abstracted cityscapes, doodles, with an anything goes motto. “Because when it’s anything goes, you can MacGyver the sh**t out of it!”
Edmund Arevalo is not a typical Filipino artist – they like to do portraits and they think art is about beauty. But to me, I look at art differently. Art doesn’t have to be beautiful to be art. “The best thing about being an artist is having the freedom to say what you want to say on the canvas.”
Beth Abaravich is a working artist focused on bridging fashion and sculpture. “The best thing about being an artist is having a voice that is completely unique.”
What do the holidays mean to you? Learn what some contemporary visual artists tell NOT REAL ART about what they think about the holidays!
Discover why art makes the best gift and where to shop online for great art.
Frances Anderton of KCRW’s DnA: Design+Architecture, Talks to NOT REAL ART’s Katie Love: MUST READ
We asked art journalist Mark Brickey, host of the Adventures in Design podcast, to go on special assignment at Adobe Max 2019 and tell us what he thought about it. Listen now.
NOT REAL ART: The Exhibition featuring our 12 grant winners was held at Art Share LA on October 19. The artists “explore, experiment, question and disrupt” the art world’s status quo with their art.
Chicago’s new Nevermore Park is an immersive pop-up art experience created by contemporary artist Hebru Brantley.
Must See New Art Video: Mayfair Hotel Commissions Artists RISK and Mear One for Beautiful New Street Art Mural in L.A.
Must see video: Novelist Deb Spera Discusses Her New Book, Call Your Daughter Home
Conceived in 2009 by Ken Feldman, The 747 Project relies on radical collaboration and community support as much as it does on creative vision. It is equal parts communal performance art, labor of love, aspirational social experiment, giant art installation and spectacle.
Artist ShowzArt set up shop at NOT REAL ART Club on October 4 with his easel, canvas and paints and shared his beautiful talents with the club. Thanks ShowzArt!!
At our second event on October 2, NOT REAL ART Club attendees used Sharpie Markers again to create original art for the NOT REAL ART Gallery. The creativity was off the charts — again. Check it out!…
NOT REAL ART Club opened its doors again on October 2 and it was a blast! Great artists enjoying each others vibe and having fun. If you weren’t there you definitely missed out. So, be sure to come to the next one!
On Sunday, September 30 at Los Angeles Public Library, artists Man One and Sourdough, co-host of the podcast Not Real Art, moderated a discussion panel with artists Chaz Bojorquez, Petal, Eric Skotnes, AiseBorn,