Pop Art is Back!
Get ready to immerse yourself in a new experiential art form that is coming to Sedona this weekend.
On October 13 - 15, 2023, Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art is bringing cutting-edge artists and art to a predominantly southwestern conservative town by featuring a “Contemporary Pop Art Experience.”
Instead of art collectors having to go to major cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, or even Toyko, Japan, to find this caliber of art, Gallery Owner, Marty Herman is bringing a cultural pop-up art show here to Sedona.
"We are anxiously anticipating the third weekend of our 27th Annual Fall Artists Shows. It will be a Contemporary Pop Art Experience with celebrities who create art and artists who create celebrity art. I invite you to the gallery to meet these unique artists!" Marty Herman, owner of Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art said.
Artists such as Shadoe Stevens, Grant Rosen and Micha Kuechenhoff, Matt Elson, Greg Creason, De Von, Joe Woolf and Liz Cruz and Sue Haan will be on-site during the three-day event.
Pop Art in the Past
In the late 1950s artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Peter Max, Keith Haring and Banksy among others experimented with a different form of art, challenging traditional approaches to art and culture. Many connected their work to the mass culture of television, advertising, movies and cartoons creating new edgy elements between mediums and techniques while dispelling the notion of what art should be.
Art became a conversation, and, in many instances, it made a statement.
Although Warhol is strongly linked with the Pop Art movement, he truly believed that art should not be defined by a time or concept — but rather that art should create a new feeling and movement every time.
Today’s artists are merging the Pop Art concept by incorporating technology, creativity, augmented reality and bringing immersive experiences to new heights. Their artistic endeavors showcase their thoughts, feelings, emotions and messages that they embrace.
ArtNWordz is the brainchild of Grant Rosen and Micha Kuechenhoff, who describe their work as a blending of pop art, graffiti and impressionistic styles to create a mixed-media art form that comes to life in augmented reality.
Kuechenhoff is from Berlin, Germany and her attention to detail can be found in graphic design, creating fashion jewelry and precision in map making.
Rosen is from Los Angeles, Calif., and is a professional Broadway dancer, singer, actor and artist.
Together they have created a contemporary body of work that is memorable and engaging — conversation-starters designed to make consumers smile, laugh and think.
Using old pages from vintage dictionaries and books to begin their process, they incorporate public figures, cartoons and celebrities into their work which makes people stop and look, while pondering the twisted art concepts and play on words that are so much a part of their art.
“The words we paint on actually match the artwork. It’s very visual, and those words are there to enhance what we're trying to say. So, instead of me telling the story of the artwork, the artwork tells the story itself,” Rosen states.
In 2020, the duo gifted an art piece they designed to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, wearing a Brooklyn Dodger’s cap. The U.S. Supreme Court Justice wrote them a thank-you note saying, “Your portrait of me with a Brooklyn Dodger’s cap is hanging in the entrance to my bedroom. It is a gem that lifts my spirits and brings smiles whenever I pass it.”
“When you create something as an artist, you never know if anybody's going to like the concept you created in the first place. And then, when you find out somebody does love it, then you have to have the right landing spot for it. You have to have the right perspective, Rosen noted. “Bravo to Marty and Exposures for taking the chance on something that is a completely different voice from everything else I think that they have done in the past in terms of art with a very different viewpoint or very different voice for the presentation of the art,” he said.
Kuechenhoff and Rosen have been experimenting with augmented reality in their work. Holding a mobile phone up to the art, it comes alive, filling you in about the art piece itself.
“We’re about to launch cutting-edge art with our augmented reality. And people are just gravitating towards pop art. They're so fascinated by what they see that they take the time to want to know what they're looking at and amazingly enough, people will remember us from the shows, and they'll call us, sometimes years later, wanting that particular piece of art,” Rosen said.
According to Rosen, Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art will be the first gallery to showcase its augmented reality works of art.
“We have the ability to create something and break boundaries that people just don't even realize they haven't even had a chance to see yet. Exposures is the first gallery or the only gallery that actually will be carrying these pieces in the United States,” Rosen stated.
To artist Matt Elson, human perception is his medium, consciousness the playground and social connection the goal. He creates Infinity Boxes that take the viewer to another realm using color, light and mirrors while creating highly imaginative worlds where viewers become the center of a psychedelic kaleidoscope. His work has been displayed across the U.S. and Europe and featured everywhere from Google headquarters to the Science Museum of London.
Elson’s optical illusions have evolved into creative, playful art that connects people. Most of the boxes are built for two people where social engagement occurs. Viewers are encouraged to take photographs, record their experience and share it with their family and friends.
Elson was born in San Francisco and raised in Modesto California. He attended Pratt Institute in New York City and graduated with a BFA in painting. He completed a master’s degree in communications at the New York Institute of Technology. As a pioneering computer graphics artist, Elson worked with Symbolics, Inc., a company that evolved out of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab.
He has also worked with DreamWorks Animations and Walt Disney Feature Animations, working on films like Shrek and The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons. He says that he discovered Burning Man in 2007, which ignited more of his creativity.
In fact, Elson’s Infinity Ship was displayed on the Playa at Burning Man, along with commissioned Infinity Boxes at Area 15 in Las Vegas.
Explaining his work, Elson noted the intricacies of the Infinity Ship.
“Stepping inside the Infinity Ship will alter your perception of reality and change the way you see the world. An ADA-compliant shipping container reimagined as a kaleidoscope giving the participant a glimpse into the infinite, which is more than just a killer photo opp.”
Elson believes that creativity and psychology go hand in hand.
“Augmented and virtual reality are really fascinating topics. Immersion through technology is a fascinating development, Elson said. “We're interested in ourselves as human beings. Everything revolves around the question of us and our perception. So, all of this is lending us tools to explore the mind and explore perception with each other — and art is riding that wave.”
Elson says that he left Hollywood because he was getting further and further away from the creative process.
“What I found is that [these Infinity Boxes] don’t have an age limit. If you are alive, if you're over two years old — you’ll get it. And it works across socioeconomic levels, education levels and age levels. It doesn't have a gender. It doesn't have a hipness factor. I've done 190 shows now — with the installations in Vegas and London, various places, roughly 6 million people have experienced them.”
Each box that he creates can take anywhere from three weeks to a couple of months to complete. Elson says that he is going through a quality upgrade and incorporating more robotics into his work.
“There’s always an experiment. I'm always working. I'm always trying something new in every particular box — right now I'm on number 45.”
Elson’s new tabletop Infinity Module will be debuting this weekend at Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art.
Shadoe Stevens has been creating art since he was seven years old. He attended the University of North Dakota, and the University of Arizona and was a student at the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles.
Stevens is a creative. He is also a producer, writer, actor, announcer, motivational speaker and an award-winning radio personality. He says, "This is due to an overactive adrenal gland, and chemical imbalance.”
As an actor, he starred in movies and numerous television shows like Baywatch and Beverly Hills 90210 among others. He is a voiceover actor, television personality and was the host of American Top 40 from 1988 to 1995. He currently hosts the internationally syndicated radio show, “Top of the World,” and co-hosts “Mental Radio,” an approach to UFOs and paranormal topics.
Stevens' work is thought-provoking. With each art piece, the viewer is taken into his world, melding images with subliminal messaging. The narrative could have a hidden meaning, or none at all — it all depends on what the viewer sees.
Additionally, he supplements his work with an audio narration explaining its meaning, which turns his art into a multimedia experience.
“I can't help myself. I'm drawn to creating," Stevens said. “I aspire to explosive visual statements, things that have optical illusions and forced perspective and visual contradictions and spiritual revelations with a dollop of humor or wit.”
Stevens noted that some of his work may not make the person laugh out loud, or isn’t funny at the moment, but later they may come back and find themselves laughing for no reason, calling it “humor time release.”
Stevens says that he calls his work “Kaleidoscopic Expressionism,” because he is trying to create things that are visually engaging but have something to say. His work is large in scale — nine feet long and five feet tall.
As for inspiration, Stevens says that ideas just appear, even when he is not looking for them.
“I carry notebooks with me all the time. I am an obsessive note-taker. I have them in my car and I have them on my bed. I have my phone, and I'm always scribbling notes that may come from something that I hear in a restaurant or see on a billboard or just listening to the radio or a piece of music. I don't know where these words are going — I have no idea — but I have vast resources."
Friday, October 13, 2023 - 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday Show, please RSVP.
Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 15, 2023 – Private Artist Appointments Available
Regular Gallery Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Daily.