September 9 - 30, 2017
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Los Angeles may not be located in the center of the country. It may not have roots stretching back to the earliest English settlements on the continent, to the places that have become synonymous with the essence of America. It may have crippling traffic, a rampant homelessness epidemic, questionable development policies, and a host of other shortcomings.
But Los Angeles is, with all its shortcomings, the quintessential American city of the late 20th and early 21st century. It was here that suburban migration went hand in hand with the rise--and eventual dominance--of the car culture. It is here that so many cultural trends and works of art are conceived and created. It is here that the incipient lifeblood of America--immigrants coming to seek a better life--has such a visible and indeed indispensable role in animating this construct of concrete, steel, languages and laws.
LAyered is the artist's snapshot impression of a city so rich in traditions, it has consumed entire careers dedicated to exploring it. Himself the son of immigrants, and as a transplant to Los Angeles, Toshee has spent the last 17 years observing, pondering, and discussing what makes this town tick. Although balkanized into its many interconnected cities, towns, and hamlets, Los Angeles does indeed have a soul; it is us. To borrow from Walt Whitman: L.A. is large, it contains multitudes. We are the many.
About the Artist
Toshee’s mixed media work features carving and layering techniques inspired by traditional Japanese woodblock printing, sumi-e, cel animation and the constantly evolving art of the North American streetscape.
A native of New York City and first generation American born to Latin American parents, Toshee studied design at Harvard under the late, great Toshihiro Katayama, internationally acclaimed graphic designer, sculptor and painter. His artist name is in fact an homage to his teacher, who passed away in January 2013.
In his life outside of art, Toshee has worked as a university teaching fellow, video game producer, multimedia consultant, primetime network sitcom writer and Internet music company manager.
Toshee has been active in the Los Angeles and Miami contemporary art world since 2013. He had a solo show at Gabba Gallery in March 2016. His work has been shown in group exhibitions at Gabba Gallery, Stone Malone Gallery, Prohibition Gallery, The Hive and with long-standing LA pop-up show Cannibal Flower.