Casey Jex Smith

Casey Jex Smith, Chapel

Casey Jex Smith makes work which draws images sacred to high-geekdom, art, and religion together until they are inseparable.  I have been into his work since seeing it in person at the Drawing Center a couple of years ago.  Some of Smith’s influences are: Dungeons & Dragons manuals, Agnes Martin paintings, Mormon architecture, and Sunday School flannel-board cut-outs.  Casey and his wife – who is also an artist, Amanda Michelle Smith, both teach high school art in CA.

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Josh Podoll

Green

When looking at Josh Podoll’s paintings they won’t give you anything to think about, and that is sort of the point.  My eye gets caught in the air-brushed, optical illusion like, geometric patterns in a sort of empty, humming, awake way.  Josh grew up in Fairfield Iowa – which is the former home of the Maharishi (of Beatles White Album fame) and one of the main centers for Transcendental Meditation in the US.  He is in a show at Christopher Grimes Gallery in LA that opens January 16.

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Gianna Commito

droit, wcolor and gouache, 12 x 18

Gianna Commito makes paintings that feel almost sign-like – like a road sign warning you that the road has erupted and time is about to stop.  The watercolor and gouache, or w.color and casein paintings don’t let you through the rabbit’s hole too quickly, but when given consideration they transform into tumultuous, imploding space scapes with virtuoso shifts in direction and scale.  Using architectural source imagery allows the abstract paintings to have oddly real looking color and light shifts.  In an interview Gianna compared the space in her paintings to origami or the inside of a tent.  More paintings and a studio shot after the jump…