Friday, August 19, 2011

The Greenhouse Show Opens at FLAG STOP in Torrance, California September 3, & 4th 2011

THE GREENHOUSE SHOW  Curated by Ginger Van Hook 
opens at FLAGSTOP September 3, & 4, 2011 featuring artists

Steve Fujimoto, Michael Giancristiano, Trent Reynolds
Hung Viet Nguyen, Luke Van Hook and Mark X Farina

and is one of over 50 shows opening during the 
Extravaganza of alternative contemporary art spaces

The Greenhouse Show is Curated by            Ginger Van Hook   
Category:    Emerging Artists

Artists:                     Steve Fujimoto
                                 Michael Giancristiano
                                 Hung Viet Nguyen
                                 Trent Reynolds
                                 Luke Van Hook
                                 Mark X Farina

            The Greenhouse Show reflects upon the cultivation of fine art in California. Sunshine, plein-air and a diverse landscape provide a unique recipe for the development of inspired artworks. Within the tradition of mark making through painting and layering of processes that demonstrate an emergence of talent within the circumference of Los Angeles, these artists maintain the metaphor of a Greenhouse Exhibition in a POD where the talent is incubated. The Greenhouse Show incorporates a variety of artists that are in conversation with the abstraction of landscape and figure. These artists blend the concepts of painting while keeping the tradition alive and consider the concepts of a green revolution. Utilizing a layering of media and technique exploring both form and process they thus achieve successful images on wood or canvas with a variety of unique processes that evolve into representations of our art culture.  The Greenhouse Show also reveals explorations of recycled materials to create painting in a new medium and a new dimension just as exhibiting artworks in Portable On-Demand Structures reveals a fresh contemporary fast-paced culture of On-Demand Art that may travel deep into the city to reach it’s audience. I selected the artists for this show based on their investigations of experimental mediums and their integration of contemporary processes into their painting and art practice.



The Green Zone by Steve Fujimoto. Sculpture 2007
The Green Zone (Detail of back) by Steve Fujimoto. Sculpture 2007
Steve Fujimoto 
Tacit, organic, and decidedly conceptual, the artwork of Steven Rey Fujimoto explores the metaphoric ties that bind the human experience with the natural world.  Veiled glimpses of the physiological intersect randomly with distant galaxies; the biotic and abiotic worlds collide in agitated bliss, and life assumes a renewed but hopelessly ephemeral meaning even while integrated into masculine, three-dimensional form.  
For more information about Steve Fujimoto’s artwork please visit his Website:


Awaiting The Thaw #3   12 inches x12 inches x 2 inches  Plywood,acrylic stain,dirt,live plants- by Michael Giancristiano
What will happen when the ice caps melt?
Microorganisms that have been frozen in time for 8 million years are waiting to evolve.
Scientists have taken core samples from Antarctica and successfully reanimated these microbes in the lab, proving that it can occur naturally.

Is this the new beginning of the past?
Are we are all…,
"Awaiting the Thaw"?

Awaiting The Thaw:

This Exciting body of work incorporates the use of live Tillandsia air plants.

Plants and flowers are a symbol of hope, life and a new beginning. They invoke powerful emotions and often relax us. I find that this enhances the overall viewing experience. The relaxed eye can delve deeper into the more intense and subtle abstract elements.

Tillandsia air plants don’t require soil. They live off of air particles, light and a small amount of water. Attaching them to the work with industrial fasteners allows the plant to be easily removed from the work, properly nurtured and later reinstalled without harming the sculpture.

The work requires a wall that will capture natural light along with artificial, not only to nurture the plants but to allow the surface texture of the work to change, revealing the wood grains when exposed to different lighting conditions.

For more information about Michael Giancristiano's artworks please visit:



Portraiture is Hung Viet Nguyen's starting point for his artwork.
As part of his process, Nguyen builds up his canvas and in some cases his wood panels, to the point that the paint is thick and crackly. This augments the texture of his work and creates interesting images with depth and mystery. Early work in portraiture led Nguyen to apply what he learned from this process onto the work he now does in landscapes. As Nguyen progresses in his quest to create works of art, he shifts his focus. His landscapes are intricate, painterly, vibrant in color, and demonstrate not only the skill in his brush strokes, but also reveals a world of abstraction and curiosity.

Hung Viet Nguyen is a traditional oil painter, yet he continues to experiment with his medium to reveal nuances of contemporary directions as he re-invents his process. Additionally, he experiments with documentary video. Hung often brings elements of exotic far-away lands to his artwork by the influences that surround him in different countries where he travels. By documenting some of these experiences in video, Hung also preserves the moment to later integrate it in his painting work. Once you experience one of Hung’s landscapes you know you are in a different realm. There is a quality of magic to the work Hung produces. His landscapes are full of color, with purple mountain ridges, pink coves and patches of yellow, orange and browns to represent the clay and earth. Plus he implements a variety of greens to create the palm trees and the bushes and the variety of blues he uses to demonstrate the rivers, lakes, oceans, and sky are often brilliant hues that attracts the viewer. In his artist statement, Hung Viet Nguyen states:

"The end result of a painting is a pleasant reward, but it is not as important as what I experienced during the creation process. I have struggled with conflicting emotions, with falsity and truth, hope and despair, joy and sadness, comfort and pain, loss and revelation…The journey of solitude to the unknown to explore new spaces, forms, colors, and my true self."

To experience more of Hung Viet Nguyen’s artwork you may visit

or visit Fine Art Trekkin Torrance  for additional revealing images and commentaries on his work as well.




The Hummingbird Feeder 6' x 9' Oil on Panel by Trent Reynolds

Portraits and often more specifically self-portraits dominate the artwork created by Trent Reynolds, but like all the artists in the Greenhouse show, painting in oils on canvas or oils on panels is not the only venue which intrigues Trent. Reynolds not only experiments with traditional painting mediums, but he has crossed over into motion graphics videos as well. He explores his environment in a virtual realm where he moves  between both real concrete creations having form, depth, and substance to videos having  dimensions in raw electronic capacity.
For more information pertaining to the work of Trent Reynolds,
please visit his website:



"February 2010"   25" x 40" Oil on panel by Luke Van Hook
This work is a simplification and analysis of the transcendence in painting. Through a fusion of minimalist and expressionist geometric abstraction, Luke Van Hook explores the art historical myth of the 12th century artist, Giotto and his “perfect circle”.  Now deviated from this singular idea of perfection, after studying the history of pi and its relationship to the circle, Luke Van Hook learned that a perfect circle does not exist. However, his fascination of these repetitive brush strokes has gone to the point that the circles have become ritualistic, marking a time and space that he has  touched as an artist. These painted or drawn circles on raw canvas, burlap, and linen have an intuitive, rhythmic order often seen through patterns. This circular motif is intimate and vast yet obvious and oblique. The work often begins like western written form, from left to right, which has caused some to suggest that the paintings appear to possibly be a secret code or language.
Recently Luke also learned that there might be a connection in his work to a practice done in Zen monasteries in Japan that is referred to as Enso. Luke Van Hook states, "Though I don’t know how this connection relates I believe that a spiritual one exists. Begun as a challenge to myself to see if a “perfect circle” was even possible- these circles have evolved into “expressions of the moment”. Each day that I work on circles gets me one step closer to unearthing a hidden truth that I know they contain."

Detail of "February 2010"   25" x 40" Oil on panel by Luke Van Hook

Luke Van Hook has also begun experiments in light and space installations in collaboration with artist and curator Ginger Van Hook. The audience at Flagstop will find intriguing new work hanging in one of the dark stairwells at the Lexus Showroom during the Labor Day Extravaganza Opening September  3 and 4th, 2011.
Light and Space June 20, 2011 is a collaborative work
made up of Vellum, LED lights and lithium batteries.
This style of work which Luke Van Hook has begun experiments with
 is a new direction in collaboration  which he shares with his wife, 

artist and curator, Ginger Van Hook. 

This upcoming exhibition/installation will focus on light and spaces, extending our investigation of color and transparency to raise new questions about the human condition and the functionality of materials. Also, explores the unique phenomenon of refraction of light, in the confines of a dark area. (Refraction is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium where it's speed is different. The refraction of light when it passes from a fast medium to a slow medium bends the light ray toward the normal to the boundary between the two media.)

The purpose of this work is to investigate how physical materials can transcend their mediums to generate further dialogue about the human condition via the metaphor of recycling and reincarnation.
To explore light and spaces in the confinement of an individual work is an inevitable evolution in our practice. These aesthetic choices inform and extend prior questions of the sublime in abstraction. By inserting ephemeral elements with materials meant for destruction should also raise a new dialogue of function and a redirection of purpose.

Our involvement with the 2010 “See Thru” scientific exhibition was the impetus, which opened our eyes to this invisible realm of possibility in giving inanimate objects a new life. This collaborative process has driven our artistic direction to combine the elements of painting with oils (plastics) and painting with lights (LED lights).

For more information about the work of Luke Van Hook
please visit his website at
and Ginger Van Hook is at


 "the birds of westworld" Sculpture Detail 2011 by Mark X Farina
"the birds of westworld" Sculpture Detail 2011 by Mark X Farina
Both the artist and the artwork here share a special bond that is indistinguishable. Mark X Farina's artwork is original, quirky, cartoonish in his own personal style, often ironic and certainly politically charged. Although Mark starts out in his career as a painter, his involvement with paint is far more diversified. He grew up reading comic books, collecting them, and later making paintings out of the hero's in those books. He also, like all the artists in the Greenhouse Show, has evolved his practice into other mediums. Mark X Farina exhibits work in sculpture, video, painting, drawing, screen printing and books.

Mark X Farina's artist philosophy self proclaimed:

Pure Pop Art with an emphasis on Gooey Americana.
Work fast, Cure slow- Destroy before collecting dust.  

Artist Bio:

Mark X Farina
Reverse Engineer

Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
BFA  Edinboro University 
Lives in Venice California

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