Fresh Friday Finds (Rerun): Angry Tiki God aka Allan Cruz

“We gotta get out while we’re young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run” 

image2The Boss, spray paint on plywood, 2016. © Angry Tiki God

Those of you who know me, know that I adore my family and am super close to them despite living 3,000 miles away. So it’s moments like when my brother, Fresh Friday Finds alum Angry Tiki God (Allan Cruz), recently painted and gifted this Bruce Springsteen painting to my brother-in-law and huge Boss fan, Henry, that makes me miss spending time with them even more. So for this week’s Fresh Friday Finds, I’m rerunning an old post about an amazingly talented artist (yes, I’m biased!), my big brother Angry Tiki God. Enjoy and have a rad weekend everyone! Spend it with people you love! ❤

GonzGonz, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

New Jersey-based Angry Tiki God (Allan Cruz) is not only an awesome stencil spray paint artist, but he’s also my big brother. It’s his raw, unapologetic style that prompted me to share his work in this week’s Fresh Friday Finds. Inspired by his lifelong love of skateboarding and music, and artists like Logan Hicks, Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, and Jason Adams, Angry Tiki God has been cranking out some really rad art featuring some of the most iconic figures of our lifetime.

BlondieBlondie, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

JoeyJoey Ramone, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

Growing up, I can’t remember a time when Allan wasn’t creating in some way. He built a mini ramp with our dad and uncles in the backyard, skated it day and night with his friends, spray painted logos, cut out grip tape designs, played Bouncing Souls and The Misfits songs on drums, wrote songs for the various incarnations of his band, and worked on his motorcycles. His need to express himself was loud and clear. So after decades of creating mostly for himself, it was no surprise that Allan kicked it into high gear in 2008, when the ladies of Sic Chix Productions and Subculture Skateshop asked him to be part of their first of many group art parties called The Movement.

Since then, under the moniker Angry Tiki God, Allan’s fresh talent and technique continues to evolve. He focuses now on his stencil spray paint art continuing to showcase his work in solo shows and with The Movement. He is also available for commission work so hit him up with your concepts and ideas. You can keep up with Angry Tiki God on his blog and Etsy shop, where he’ll be adding works for sale soon, like those posted above.

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In my personal collection. Thanks, bro! ❤

Joe Strummer, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

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Monday Funday: Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary

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Acrylic on wood by (L-R) Jim Phillips, son Jimbo Phillips, and grandson Colby Phillips

I had the pleasure of volunteering for the Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Show during the VIP preview event on Thursday night at Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). Artists featured in the show, MAH members, and the who’s who of Santa Cruz skateboarding came together for an awesome night. Honoring one of the most iconic images in skateboard culture and its creator Jim Phillips, the MAH was screaming with so much energy and excitement, and so was I. It was my first night volunteering at the museum, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

The Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Show has been traveling around the world for the past year, showcasing Jim Phillips’ original logo interpreted by 50+ artists from all over the world. The final stop is where it all began (Santa Cruz circa 1985), and opened to the general public during First Friday Santa Cruz festivities. The celebration will continue as the show remains at the MAH for the next eight months.

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In addition to hearing words from MAH Executive Director Nina Simon and Jim Phillips himself, I mingled with some of the artists in the show who were so incredibly stoked to be included. A MAH member was equally excited that the event was bringing together a variety of different people for a common interest and spectacular show. What an exciting event for the Santa Cruz community, the MAH and their mission, “To ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections.”

Seeing how different artists portray the Screaming Hand in their own format and style really gives the show its exuberance. It’s an epic collection of inspired works. From a fun and bright mixed media on panel by Mark Gonzalez, a stencil spray paint on panel by Jason Adams, a hand lettering acrylic on wood by Thomas Campbell, an ink/pencil on paper by Eric Dressen, to photographs of screaming  Jason Adams by Jai Tanju, a modern Bauhaus-like spray paint on panel by Ben Raney, a neoclassic inspired oil on canvas by Jason C. Arnold, and so many more. These pieces are bound to transcend expectations of skate art for museum goers.

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So much fun both Thursday and Friday nights. I bumped into and caught up with friends, some people I haven’t seen in awhile like Jai Tanju and Jimbo Phillips. I met artists I’ve admired for awhile like Jeremy Fish and Caia Koopman, and then legends like Jason Jesse. He is genuinely one of the nicest dudes I’ve ever met. I’m so thankful to call Santa Cruz home and stoked that “my life is dope, and I do dope sh*t!” (- K. West)

Stay tuned for more art, culture, and design I think is rad! Thanks for stopping by! xo ❤

Fresh Friday Finds: Caia Koopman

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“Grease Monkey” Painting © Caia Koopman

I first discovered Santa Cruz artist Caia Koopman a few weeks after moving here in fall 2013. She was showing and selling some pieces at Rachael & Steve Caballero’s old Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery in Campbell. I even featured that “Gear Up” show in an old blog post on .stART here. Little did I know I’d become such a huge fan after seeing Koopman’s surrealistic masterpieces in person that night.

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“Dream Escape” Painting © Caia Koopman

What I find so rad about Koopman’s work are the rich dreamscapes and activist themes. She even refers to herself as being an “artivist” on her Instagram (super clever!). The majority of her art features women exuding femininity juxtaposed with being badass, ready to kick ass and take names. Gorgeously woven into the portraits are animals, like hummingbirds, owls, dragons, and unicorns. I love the ethereal approach she takes on realistic issues, and I basically want to be or be friends with every woman she paints! All inspired by her enthusiasm for skate culture, punk rock roots, and love of animals – I feel like we’re kindred spirits.

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“Let Me Out” Painting © Caia Koopman
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“Moonrise Owl” Painting © Caia Koopman

I often see Koopman’s work displayed at restaurants and galleries all over town. I’d be stoked every time I could spot her art, recognizing the symbolic look and feel. The same unreal style seen in collections of Caia Koopman products, like shirts, leggings, jewelry, and more.

BubotheWiseOwl
❤ my new watch!

I always regretted not buying a print that night in Campbell. I must have gone back and forth, in and out of the shop, trying to decide which print and what size about five times. In the end, I walked away with nil. It’s now three years since I first saw those original Koopman’s, and I finally own one as of earlier this week. It’s not a painting but rather a more functional, wearable piece of Koopman art – a Bubo the Wise Owl Sport from Modify Watches. It’s so sick, and I’ve already gotten tons of compliments the few times I’ve rocked it. Can’t wait to add to my collection with a painting one of these days!

Caia Koopman has work featured in some upcoming group shows here in California. First, at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles opening on August 27 for their 10th Anniversary Exhibition and Femme to Femme Fatale: The Feminine in Contemporary Art show at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco opening September 17. Do yourself a favor, and visit caiakoopman.com to check out this Fresh Friday Finds!

Fresh Friday Finds: Angry Tiki God A.K.A. Allan Cruz

GonzGonz, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

New Jersey-based Angry Tiki God (Allan Cruz) is not only an awesome stencil spray paint artist, but he’s also my big brother. It’s his raw, unapologetic style that prompted me to share his work in this week’s Fresh Friday Finds. Inspired by his lifelong love of skateboarding and music, and artists like Logan Hicks, Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, and Jason Adams, Angry Tiki God has been cranking out some really rad art featuring some of the most iconic figures of our lifetime.

BlondieBlondie, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

JoeyJoey Ramone, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

Growing up, I can’t remember a time when Allan wasn’t creating in some way. He built a mini ramp with our dad and uncles in the backyard, skated it day and night with his friends, spray painted logos, cut out grip tape designs, played Bouncing Souls and The Misfits songs on drums, wrote songs for the various incarnations of his band, and worked on his motorcycles. His need to express himself was loud and clear. So after decades of creating mostly for himself, it was no surprise that Allan kicked it into high gear in 2008, when the ladies of Sic Chix Productions and Subculture Skateshop asked him to be part of their first of many group art parties called The Movement.

Since then, under the moniker Angry Tiki God, Allan’s fresh talent and technique continues to evolve. He focuses now on his stencil spray paint art continuing to showcase his work in solo shows and with The Movement. He is also available for commission work so hit him up with your concepts and ideas. You can keep up with Angry Tiki God on his blog and Etsy shop, where he’ll be adding works for sale soon, like those posted above.

IMG_6801

In my personal collection. Thanks, bro! ❤

Joe Strummer, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

Monday Funday: Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” at Seeing Things Gallery

I went to the opening night of Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” show at Jai Tanju‘s Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose this past Saturday. I checked out some rad art, met and congratulated Mountain, caught up with some dudes, and met the artist’s father and skateboard legend, Lance Mountain too. Somebody pinch me!

photo 4photo © Bernadette Cruz

Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” exhibits minimalism through a variety of works – from mixed media collages with typewritten messages and large scale paintings to framed photographs, screen prints, and paintings on canvas. His pieces go back to basics by showcasing familiar lines, shapes, primary colors, earth tones and splashes of metallic. This approach provides viewers with an accessible and unassuming window into Mountain’s abstract visual form of expression.

photo 3photo © Bernadette Cruz

I got the chance to see owner Jai Tanju again and reconnect with San Jose local skater Jason Adams. I hadn’t seen Adams since his NYC visit back in 2010 when we checked out his “American Boarders” portrait at Paul Rusconi‘s solo show at Upper East Side’s Stellan Holm Gallery, and then a couple months later at The Movement‘s fifth art party presented by Jersey’s own Sic Chix Production. I got to catch up with The Kid again, but now on this cool spring Saturday night on the west coast in San Jose – just over the hill from my new hood and home. After nearly six months out here, I still can’t believe this is my life!

seeingthingsgalleryphoto © Bernadette Cruz

Be sure to check out Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” at Seeing Things in San Jose if you find yourself in the South Bay these next few weeks. Visit http://www.seeinghthingsgallery.com for a full list of all artwork, pricing, and shows!

Hump Day Hot Seat: Emilio Florentine

Fresh Friday Finds alum Emilio Florentine is in today’s Hump Day Hot Seat! Get to know this Jersey City based artist as he answers questions provided by Finch & Ada. Thanks for stopping by, Emilio!

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Excursions, Aerosol Paint. © Emilio Florentine

1. Who are you?

Emilio Florentine

2. What do you do?

I paint exploding flowers. They are a visual study of the chaos within beauty.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I began drawing cartoon and comic book characters at an early age. In my early teens, I enrolled in advanced art lessons after school in Somerville, NJ.

4. How long have you been at it?

A long time.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I own a fine art and apparel screen-printing business called Jersey City Screen Printing.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

The local artists and graffiti writers of Jersey City and Newark

7. What other types of art are you in to?

Screen-printing and colored pencil

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Skateboarding and Snowboarding

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Tequila

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

The answer to the previous question.

11. If someone was to write a craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say?

The guy on the path train with paint all over his clothes, messy hair, and drawing in a sketch-book.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Today, ink dried in my screens too fast.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My drafting table

Art Opening: Caia Koopman’s “Gear up” at Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery

The “Gear up” show featuring paintings by pop surrealist Caia Koopman at Rachael and Steve Caballero‘s Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery is this Saturday, October 19 from 7-10pm at 311 E. Campbell Ave. in Campbell, CA. Come support local shops & artists if you are around!

Caia Koopman Gear Up Art Show Bela La Vie Boutique

From CaiaKoopman.com:

From the land of surf and sea, Caia Koopman has emerged as one of lowbrow’s preeminent female artists.

With a well-rounded background from her years spent obtaining her BA in Fine arts from UC Santa Cruz, to her time spent in the skateboarding and snowboarding scenes, Caia’s environment has both molded and provided an eclectic background that makes her paintings come to life. With her fine detail for beauty, inclinations toward nature, and collectiveness of the female spirit, Caia has quickly become one of the quintessential artists fully encompassing the elegance, strengths, and vulnerabilities of femininity.

Her work is alluring and has a hint of whimsy. It delves into the fascination of women, in both our conscious and subconscious ideals of the feminine role in society. Caia consistently submerses herself in subject that matter that is ingrained and full of cultural connotations.

Caia’s work is infused with a variety of cultural, political, environmental, sociological, and dreamscape references. Her influences serve as an amalgamation bringing her world to life through deliberate references and reverent imagery, with the finished work deriving strength and beauty from the artist herself. Her playfulness in her brush strokes is a constant struggle with the reality and solidity of the paint itself which comes across in her work as complimentary forces bringing together a gorgeous and powerful masterpiece.

Art Opening: Jimbo Phillips’ “Skate and Create” at Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery

Pro skater Steve Caballero and wife Rachael Caballero opened Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery in Campbell, CA a year ago. Tonight they celebrate the store’s one year anniversary with an art opening reception for graphic designer & illustrator Jimbo Phillips‘ “Skate and Create” show from 7-10 pm at Bela La Vie located at 311 E. Campbell Ave. Support local shops and artists and check it out if you are in the area!

jimbophillips

Patrick O’Dell’s “Skateboard High School” at Known Gallery

Altamont Apparel presented “Skateboard High School: Years of Pictures” by Patrick O’Dell at Known Gallery in Los Angeles over the weekend. Robin Fleming for Juxtapoz magazine was there.

odell

From Robin Fleming:

During his early photo career, shooting skaters in San Francisco and New York City, O’Dell’s shutter kept snapping away between the tricks, in the van rides, and long after the session had ended. Looking at his work today, the candid and carefree images are a collective memory of skateboarding’s recent history.

O’Dell has more than a decade of images, some of which have ended up on his popular blog epiclylaterd.com, which quickly became an online skater look-book when it was launched in 2004. To pull together “Skateboard High School” O’Dell’s sister went through boxes of prints and negatives in their parent’s basement in Ohio and he specified that she should send anything that “looked like skaters” to him in Los Angeles. With those marching orders, his sister even sent pictures of the photographer himself, as a teenager, skating at his local skatepark in Ohio.

Deadbeat Club Press has full color zines of the show available for $10.

Opening Reception: “Friendly Fire” at Seeing Things Gallery

Jason Adams & friends collaborative art show opening reception for “Friendly Fire” at Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose, CA this Friday, March 29 at 7pm PT!

friendlyfire