Tag Archives | Billy Shire

4/7: L.A. Collects L.A. – Latin America in Southern California Collections Book Event

L.A. Collects L.A. – Latin America in Southern California Collections

Saturday, April 7, 2018
7 – 9 PM

Wacko / Soap Plant
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Saturday, April 7, Soap Plant Wacko: Purveyor of Post-Pop Culture hosts the editor (Jesse Lerner) & photographer (Rubén Ortiz Torres) of ‘L.A. Collects L.A. – Latin America in Southern California Collections’ (Vincent Price Art Museum, 2018) for a night of engaging discussion with some of the book’s featured collectors (Billy Shire, Carl Baldwin, Tom Patchett).

About the book:

Photographs by Rubén Ortiz Torres document the wide range of Latin American art in the collections of Carl Baldwin’s Velvetería, April and Ron Dammann, E. Michael ‘Baltazar’ Díaz, Betty Duker, Armando and María Durón, Alonso Elías and Patricia Fontes Rosas de Elias, Lêda Leitão Martins, Nicholas Pardon, Tom Patchett, Sammy Sayago, Dan Segal, Enrique Serrato, Billy Shire, Esperanza Valverde, Elisabeth Waldo, Richard and Rebecca Zapanta, the Stendahl Gallery, and Bill London’s Pedorrero Muffler repair shop. Six essays explore the cultural, political, and social histories of Latin American art and artifacts in Southern California collections, including Matthew H. Robb’s sleuthing on the pre-Columbian as MacGuffin in mid-century Los Angeles, Ana Elena Mallet on Taxco Silver in California, Jesse Lerner on the meeting of ancient and modern in the Arensberg collection, Selene Preciado on Chicano art collections and collectors, Rubén Ortiz Torres on the Pedorrero, and Amy Sánchez-Arteaga and Misael Díaz on the Elías Fontes collection.

The catalog is accompanying the exhibition L.A. collects L.A., Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park (CA) in the frame of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (September 2017-January 2018) led by The Getty.

Featured Bios:

JESSE LERNER is a documentary filmmaker, curator, and writer based in Los Angeles. His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), Magnavoz (2006), and T.S.H. (2004), and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland(1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999), The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010), and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America, and Japan, and have has screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Sundance, Rotterdam, and Los Angeles Film Festivals. His books include The Maya of Modernism, F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing (with Alex Juhasz), The Shock of Modernity, Ism IsmIsm (with Luciano Piazza), and The Catherwood Project (with Leandro Katz).

RUBEN ORTIZ TORRES was born in Mexico City in 1964. Educated within the utopian models of republican Spanish anarchism soon confronted the tragedies and cultural clashes of post colonial third world. Being the son of a couple of Latin American folklore musicians he soon identified more with the noises of urban punk music. After giving up the dream of playing baseball in the major leagues, and some architecture training (Harvard Graduate School of Design) he decided to study art. He went first to the oldest and one of the most academic art schools of the Americas (the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City) and later to one of the newest and more experimental (Calarts in Valencia CA). After enduring Mexico City’s earthquake and pollution he moved to Los Angeles with a Fullbright grant to survive riots, fires, floods, more earthquakes, and proposition 187. During all this he has been able to produce artwork in the form of paintings, photographs, objects, installations, videos, films, customized machines, curatorial projects and even an opera. He is part of the permanent Faculty of the University of California in San Diego. He has participated in several international exhibitions and film festivals. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Artpace in San Antonio, the California Museum of Photography in Riverside CA, the Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid Spain among others.

After showing his work and teaching art around the world, he now realizes that his dad’s music was in fact better than most rock ‘n’ roll.


For press inquiries, please contact Lee Joseph at Reverberations Media.
For book purchase inquiries, please contact Tricia Fetters at tricia at soapplant.com


9/20: Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide…Event!

Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists 
Book Signing & Discussion

Sunday, September 20th, 4-7pm
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists
By Alix Sloan. With special guests Roni Feldman, Camille Rose Garcia, Andrew Hosner, Aaron Smith, and Billy Shire.
Book Signing and panel discussion.
Sunday, September 20th, 2015
4-7 PM

It’s only fitting that the release party for Alix Sloan’s first non-fiction book take place at La Luz de Jesus Gallery. Sloan began her career in the arts under the mentorship of owner Billy Shire when the gallery was still on Melrose Ave. Since then she has worked with hundreds of artists as a curator, consultant, and at her own gallery Sloan Fine Art in New York City. She also lectures at art schools and organizations.

Frustrated by the lack of practical career information available to artists, Sloan set out to write the definitive resource herself. “Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists” is an encouraging, easy-to-read handbook with advice and information to help artists successfully launch or accelerate their careers. Topics include: Setting goals, networking, finding & creating exhibition opportunities, selling & pricing art, working with galleries, websites, artist statements and studio management. Also included: Online resources and additional advice from over forty working artists and art dealers.

Five of these contributors – artists Roni Feldman, Camille Rose Garcia and Aaron Smith, along with Billy Shire and Thinkspace’s Andrew Hosner – will join Sloan for a panel discussion moderated by La Luz de Jesus Gallery Director Matt Kennedy. Topics from the book will be addressed and questions taken from the audience. The discussion begins promptly at 4:30pm. Seating is limited. Books will be available for purchase.


Click here to purchase the book online.

Alix SloanLaunching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists
Retail price $12.99
Paperback: 162 pages
Publisher: Sloan Fine Art Press (July 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1514628449
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounce



Preview José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros “Wonder Pop”

Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros “Wonder Pop”
showing with J.A.W. Cooper “Viscera”
August 7 – 30, 2015
Artist reception: Friday, August 7th; 8-11PM
La Luz de Jesus Gallery

Mexico’s José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros has been painting America’s most beloved animated characters in situations more in line with the human condition, and on the darker side, for a number of years. Without fail, images of his pieces go viral and his shows sell out. Rodolfo Loaiza’s previous La Luz de Jesus exhibitions include “Profanity Pop,” “DisHollywood,” and “Disasterland,” plus numerous group show appearances. His new body of mostly oil on canvas works, “Wonder Pop”, will be displayed at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in August along with J.A.W. Cooper’s “Viscera”.

Below are a few images from the show.

Put “José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros” in Google and see for yourself what comes up!!

Media inquires please contact Reverberations Media via our contact form.

La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027




6/5: Don Fritz Atomic Icons at La Luz de Jesus

Don Fritz  “Atomic Icons”
also showing wtih Doug Fogelson, So Youn Lee, Justine Lin, Mayuko Nakamura, and Naoshi

June 5 – 28, 2015
Artist reception: Friday, June 5th; 8-11PM

La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
to view the entire show click here

Children’s toys and books become objects of ritual when they are imbued with conscious and unconscious meaning based in cultural constructs of gender and power. Heavy and fragile are the underlying presence and psychological consequence of the menacing cultural narratives intrinsic in everyday objects; banality is easily transcended by over-sizing, but power is also trivialized. Guns, jet planes, and rocket cars hide violence beneath their glazed surfaces.

Fantasies of power are closely linked to gender identities, which are formed in adolescence. The toys that seem to reflect the innocence and freedom of childhood are embedded with weighty social contracts dictating gender roles. Here the objects are incorporated with the menacing presence of the atomic symbol as an investigation within American pop culture to show the disparity between our idealized dreams and our physical realities.

Don Fritz‘s works have been collected by the likes of

Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
Microsoft Corporation, Seattle, Washington
Otaru Museum, Hokaido, Japan
Ceech Marin, San Francisco, California
Jim Carrey, Actor, los Angeles, California
Nicolas Cage, Actor, Los Angeles, California
Miklos Forman, Director, Los Angeles, California
Billy Shire, La Luz De Jesus, Hollywood California
Mark Ryden, Pasadena California



Jessica Dalva “Hapax Legomena” Studio Visit

Many of Jessica Dalva’s multidimensional, mixed media works are self-referential in concept, some based on nightmares, internal and external struggles, and even an overheard conversation on a walk where she heard the frightening line “yeah, and everything around her was on fire.”  However, in the darkness of these situations, the artist manages to find light, stating, “As much as things can fall apart there’s always something you can find – a positive experience”

Hapax Legomena” is Dalva’s second solo show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery

The term “Hapax Legomena” is used to describe words that only appear once in a text or language, often rendering them untranslatable. Each piece in this series revolves around an individual word, a facet, a unique expression of a part of the complex variety of personal battles we fight. These experiences can be difficult to convey due to the lack of a context to anchor them as well as the inherent gap between understanding and expression. The pieces are singular expressions of an idea, hapax legomena, in that they are representing distinctive concepts, as well as attempting to communicate the untranslatable through the imperfect language of art. The show focuses on one’s relationship with oneself, internal wars, and the entanglements of love. The sculptures are a navigation through fears, moments of clarity and joy, and nightmares – Jessica Dalva

Dalva’s works start with loose ideas and take shape as they progress – As her pieces come together the concept becomes more clear – the artist places importance on the specific wording of her titles, though these titles are not set in stone until the piece has reached completion.
Dalva, who often works in the stop-motion animation industry, had originally planned to study fashion design in school, but switched to a major in illustration, with additional study in sculpting and design. Her wide variety of interests, as well as encouragement in school to experiment with as many mediums as possible, has had a major influence on her creative process.
Among the materials neatly organized in her home studio, Dalva works with acrylic paint, aluminum armature wire, aluminum foil, mohair or alpaca hair, glass beads (for eyes), fake & real flower parts, feathers, wood, gold leaf, resin, silver, metal, brass, fabric including silk, flocking and Super Sculpey (polymer clay) to create her incredibly detailed pieces.

“Hapax Legmena” opens on Friday, May 1 at La Luz de Jesus Gallery with Annie Murphy-Robinson’s “Roles and Poses” and remains up through May 31.


4/19: Fred Ladd Father of American Anime @ La Luz de Jesus

Glitter Red Gigantor Hikari Exclusive USA Toy Release & Signing Party
LaLuz_FredLaddFlyerwith Fred Ladd

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 3-6pm
Wacko / Soap Plant
(La Luz de Jesus Gallery)
4633 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 666-7667

Fred Ladd, the “Father of American Anime” will be making an in-store appearance at Wacko / Soap Plant to promote the new Funko GIGANTOR Hikari vinyl robots on Sunday, April 19th, between 3:00 pm ~ 6:00 pm. This is a very rare opportunity to meet, and have merchandise signed by the man who introduced Japanese animated cartoons to North America. Mr. Ladd is one of the true pioneers from the Golden Age of Television and recently celebrated his 88th birthday.

Fred will autograph any Funko GIGANTOR toy purchased at Wacko for FREE. For any other GIGANTOR item (Japanese toys, DVDs, books, comics, etc.) he will charge $ 20.00 (same for any ASTRO-BOY or KIMBA THE WHITE LION items).

The limited edition “Glitter Fire” Red Glitter Gigantor Hikari Sofubi figure manufactured by American toy company, Funko, will be available exclusively at Wacko / Soap Plant in Los Angeles, CA. The total run of this edition is 500 with 84 pieces going overseas and the remaining pieces for sale only at Wacko / Soap Plant. The retail price is $50 each and there will be a strict limit of only two per customer. BUY YOURS NOW!

Funko has licensed the classic black and white, 1960’s GIGANTOR TV series property for all new GIGANTOR merchandise, from writer/producer/director Fred Ladd (GIGANTOR, KIMBA THE WHITE LION, ASTRO-BOY) and his company Entercolor Technologies Corp., thru GIGANTOR official merchandise licensing agent William Winckler Productions, Inc. Fred Ladd / Entercolor Technologies Corp. is the owner of the classic GIGANTOR TV series and its merchandising for all English speaking world territories, and has owned and exercised all English speaking rights since the 1960’s.


Funko will be producing 7-8 inch tall HIKARI Japanese Vinyl Robot Figures, 4-inch tall Pop! style Vinyl Robot Figures, and 3-inch tall Mini Blind Box Vinyl Figures from the GIGANTOR series. The HIKARI vinyls are all “hand-made” using the exact classic Japanese style of Vinyl toy making pioneered by companies such as Bullmark. The Funko GIGANTOR Hikari figures are set to be platform released in March and April 2015, and the Pop! Vinyls around August 2015.

In 1963 Ladd wrote, produced and directed the American English version of Osamu Tezuka’s MIGHTY ATOM series (Japan’s very first major anime TV series) as ASTRO-BOY and it aired all across America on major network television on NBC-TV. ASTRO-BOY was the first successful anime series ever dubbed in English for American TV audiences and it became a hit. Following ASTRO-BOY’S success, in 1965 Ladd wrote, produced and directed the American English version of TETSUJIN 28-GO, known in the U.S. as GIGANTOR. GIGANTOR ran 52 half-hour episodes and became a huge hit in syndicated television throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Mr. Ladd actually purchased all rights to the original GIGANTOR series for all English speaking territories of the world, and has owned the show and its merchandising rights ever since. The late Peter Fernandez (original voice of SPEED RACER) was one of the talented voice actors on GIGANTOR, and the series became the most popular show Ladd ever wrote, produced and directed. In GIGANTOR, a little boy named Jimmy Sparks uses a remote control device to control a powerful giant robot, GIGANTOR, in order to stop diabolical villains (who often have their own evil giant robots), and to help people whenever they are in danger.

Ladd had yet another English language anime hit in 1966 with KIMBA THE WHITE LION, another syndicated television success based on Osamu Tezuka’s anime series JUNGLE EMPEROR. It has been widely stated that Disney’s THE LION KING was a blatant copy of KIMBA THE WHITE LION.

Ladd went on to writing and producing the animated feature films PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE and JOURNEY BACK TO OZ, the animated series THE BIG WORLD OF LITTLE ADAM, G-FORCE GUARDIANS OF SPACE (aka BATTLE OF THE PLANETS), and even a new updated color series of GIGANTOR in 1980. Other animated series writing work included shows at Filmation studios – GHOSTBUSTERS, MASK, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, SHAZAM!, and TARZAN.

Ladd also wrote, produced and directed the English language dubbed versions of the famous live-action children’s movies based on PIPPI LONGSTOCKING starring Swedish child actress Inger Nilsson – PIPPI IN THE SOUTH SEAS and PIPPI ON THE RUN (co-produced by Swedish & German production companies). PIPPI IN THE SOUTH SEAS was theatrically distributed all over America, and the rest of the English speaking world, to great success. In the film, Pippi Longstocking must rescue her father who was kidnapped by pirates.

Ladd served as creative consultant on the hit 1992 anime series SAILOR MOON, and he was also a pioneer in the colorization of black and white cartoons to color, for classics such as Looney Tunes, Betty Boop, Popeye and Merry Melodies. Today he is working with William Winckler Productions, Inc. on licensing his classic GIGANTOR series and related merchandise, as well as his BIG WORLD OF LITTLE ADAM series. FUNKO is currently releasing Hikari vinyl and Pop! Style vinyl figures of the classic GIGANTOR robot, and MEZCO TOYZ will soon be releasing a very large GIGANTOR figure of their own.

Funko was established in 1999, and has produced licensed goods for Marvel, Hello Kitty, Star Wars, Disney/Pixar, Transformers, Elvis Presley, Simpsons, Family Guy, Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes, Betty Boop, Austin Powers, Cat in the Hat movies, Scooby Doo, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and many more. The company now adds GIGANTOR to its list of classic TV icons. Funko is one of the world’s leading collectibles companies with distribution in Europe, Australia, and North America. Funko produces stylized vinyl, tin, plush, action figures, and licensed electronics.

In addition to housing La Luz de Jesus Gallery, the birthplace of Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow Art, Wacko / Soap Plant has one of Southern California’s most extensive selections of vinyl art and sci-fi toys including long out-of circulation limited editions.

Only toys purchased at the shop will qualify for free signing, but Mr. Ladd will sign other items for $20 each. Reserve your signed copies today!
Contact the book store for purchase information.
(323)663-0122 or sales@soapplant.com or click here to purchase online.


3/6: Laluzapalooza 2015, 29th Annual Group Show!

March 6 – 29, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, March 6th, 8-11 PM

La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027


La Luz De Jesus Gallery proudly presents their annual juried group exhibition, LALUZAPALOOZA. This gigantic, no-theme show features works from some of the freshest and most relevant artists working today. Last year they sorted through 16,000 submissions from commercial illustrators, graphic designers, tattooists, scenics, students, street taggers, animators and working gallery artists.

Past shows have featured as many as 330 pieces and as few as 100, making this the most exclusive selection of tastefully, jam-packed, salon-style exhibited works in Post-Pop. There will be some familiar names from our ever-growing roster of feature artists, but an overwhelming percentage of the work this year will come from a brand new batch of previously undiscovered, emerging talent. Will you be a patron of the next great generation?

Artist List (more to come!)

Donna Abbate
Peter Adamyan
Nathan Anderson
Briana Bainbridge
Dan Barry
Alexandra Bastien
Davidd Batalon
Vicki Berndt
Michelle Bickford
Sue Blanchard
Jason Brammer
Katherine Brannock
Jennifer Celio
Adrian Cherry
Carol Connett
Robert Steven Connett
Edward Robin Coronel
Matthew Couper
brian dombrowsky
Mike Egan
Bruce Eichelberger
Haunted Euth
Joshua Flint
Frank Forte
Michael Foulkrod
Francisco Franco
Don Fritz
Richard J Frost
Wendy Lee Gadzuk
Jeff Gillette
Bruce Gossett
Conrad Haberland
Walt Hall
Howard Hallis
Derek Harrison
Annette Hassell
Scott Holloway
Jack Howe
Stephanie Inagaki
Nozomi Kanai
Simon Kangiser
Jeffrey R. Kibbe
Craig LaRotonda
Gabe Larson
Josh Lawyer
Mavis Leahy
Dave Lebow
Chris Leib
MJ Lindo
Alexis Lopez
Danni Shinya Luo
Dion Macellari
Jon MacNair
Drew Mancilla
D.W. Marino
Aya Masuda
Caitlin McCormack
Patrick McGrath Muniz
Genie Melisande
Jason Miracle
Moore Graham
Pamela Mower-Conner
Azygous (Diana C. Munoz)
Michael Murphy
Dave Naz
Jaya Nicely
Ron Norman
Daisuke Okamoto
Cristina Paulos
Andrea Palves
Valerie Pobjoy
Matthew J. Price
Eric “Q” Quezada
Rob Reger
Jeffrey Richter
Aaron Rivera
Lena Rushing
Ken Ruzic
Jeanny Jean Sandoval
Van Saro
Josh Stebbins
Sean Stepanoff
Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman
Annie Terrazzo
Paul Torres
Rocío Torres
Pol Turgeon
Inge Vandormael
Dave Warshaw
Nicole Waszak
Lauren Wilde
March Willey
Christine Wu
Kate Zambrano


Johnny Depp at La Luz de Jesus Gallery

BillyJohnnyDeppJohnny Depp dropped in to La Luz de Jesus Gallery to see his old pal Billy Shire and purchase some art. Here’s Johnny and Billy with one of Bruce Eichelberger’s pieces, “Ilan” (brushed ink & pyrography on horse skull with hand carved & painted chambers) from Eichleberger’s 12/2013 La Luz de Jesus exhibition “Babel” . The piece blew Johnny’s mind ! Click here to see a studio visit with the artist and read more about the piece on the Art Nerd website. Photo by  Alma Jimenez-Eichelberger.


Photos: Second Annual Coaster Show Install


The install and preview of La Luz de Jesus and LA Beer Week’s 2nd Annual Coaster Show, shot between September 2- September 4, 2014. A phenomenal show featuring over 1050 pieces, running from September 5- September 28. The show was put together by gallery director Matt Kennedy with LA Beer Week’s Brandon Bradford, mapped out by Billy Shire, and hung by interns and La Luz de Jesus staff. Also showing, Harold Fox “On the Fringe of the Mundane” Click here for show preview!

Photos by Lee Joseph


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