SKÜT (aka Scott Lewallen) is best known as the co-founder and designer of the popular social networking app, Grindr. Several of SKÜT’s works are on display as part of The Artist Tree’s Pride Exhibit, including a custom installation on the entryway wall at our West Hollywood store titled “Heart Stone Wall.” It celebrates the colors of the Gay Pride Flag in 68 individual heart paintings. In Scott’s words, “The Gay Pride Flag, designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, is a celebration of queer life, activism, inclusion, and social awareness. Each color represents a distinct virtue (sex, life, healing, sun, nature, magic, serenity, spirit) uniting us with this all inclusive beacon of our community. I infuse these colors and meaning into my rainbow artwork as homage to LGBTQIA+ history, honoring the trailblazers who came before us, and representing a full spectrum of race, gender, equity, and spirit for the movement.
After working in the field of CG Animation for 9 years, Perez chose to focus on her passion, painting. Perez’s primary inspiration for her work is the “magical connections found inside all of us when we choose to connect with our inner selves”. You can view several of Perez’s works as part of our Pride Exhibit, including No Longer at War and The Beautiful Fraud.
Emily Eizen is a multimedia artist working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, modeling, and home decor. Her ‘60s psychedelic inspired works showcase the beauty, freedom and diversity Eizen considers essential to establishing equity in the cannabis space and beyond. Her work highlights her ability to adapt to different styles and aesthetic across spectrums of gender and sexuality, defying convention. You can view several of Eizen’s works are as part of our Pride Exhibit, including Always Back to the Dark Place and Turn Your Magic On.
Armen Ges is a Los Angeles native with a background in psychology. His artwork revolves around the countless facets of the human psyche. He creates primarily with acrylic paint to express his interpretation of the world, while alluding to familiar aspects of our physical realm. Ges employs classical painting techniques combined with graffiti-like painting. His works convey a dream-like state, combining optical illusions and geometry. His works Humanity, Candy, Numbers, and Untitled 19 are currently on display at The Artist Tree West Hollywood.
Upendo Taylor combines fonts, verbiage, illustrations, apparel, abstract art and design to create what he calls “Graphic Poetry.” Upendo is a Watts, California native, artist, designer, and lover of life. His inspiration is drawn from the streets, sports, music, fashion, friends, political and social issues, pop culture, cartoon characters and his favorite food – the hamburger. Through hand drawn skills, computer design and a can of paint, Upendo has developed an original design aesthetic that has led to collaborations with a wide variety of brands and artists. In 2005 Upendo partnered with Ron Upperman, and together, two artists started the apparel brand, Leroy Jenkins, which has built a global audience.
The Artist Tree is thrilled to feature over 30 of Upendo’s works and an original mural at our Koreatown location’s inaugural art exhibit.
Matty Mo is a Los Angeles-based contemporary artist best known for creating the conceptual art group, “The Most Famous Artist.” Through this platform, Monahan makes social media-themed installations, performance art and exhibitions to challenge viewers to examine how technology and the Internet impact society. Mo is a multi media artist who has created numerous murals throughout the city, including the “most instagrammable wall” in Venice. His moniker, The Most Famous Artist, pokes fun at our social media driven culture.
Mo’s colorful geometric mural spans the entire exterior of The Artist Tree Koreatown storefront.
Hunter Reynolds has his roots in Los Angeles. As a runaway gay teenager, he escaped to LA in 1975 at the age of 15. He experienced 1970s West Hollywood, attended the Fashion Institute Design and Merchandising, and graduated from the Otis Parsons School of Art and Design in 1984.
Reynolds notes, “I could not have survived that journey which as you can imagine was filled with difficult obstacles and amazing stories. It was the new Gay and Lesbian Services Center which had just opened and the many gay men I had met of the 70’s who helped to mentor me through that difficult time, and I owe them and their spirits eternal gratitude.”
His pieces, “Healing Hands Flying With Patina du Prey” and “Healing Hands on the Beach” represent that gratitude and is currently on display at The Artist Tree. (Gold hands photographed by George Lyter. Patina du Prey photographed by Michael Wakefield.)
Cody is mainly a painter of unconventional canvases. He believes that art can (and probably should) be everywhere. Cody takes the commonplace and gives it another life.
The Artist Tree West Hollywood is thrilled to showcase of number of pieces from Cody’s collection of #PennyPopArt. Code created the works by either altering Abe’s appearance with acrylic paint using numerous methods, to turn him into iconic celebrities such as Leonardo di Caprio, Rihanna, or even Waldo, or painting over Abe altogether, replacing him with whomever or whatever he feels inspired by (in this case, well known cannabis enthusiasts).
“I have always taken the roll of challenging the status quo, of making people think about things differently. When I was younger, I wasn’t aware this was a gift and it rarely worked out in my favor. I’ve learned from those experiences, and I’m now having nothing but fun with it!”
Danielle Garza aka “Ellierex” is a Los Angeles-based mixed media and installation artist. An avid practitioner of paper marbling, Ellierex captures swirled, kaleidoscopic colors and intricately designed patterns painted from an aqueous surface and then transfers them onto paper or fabric. She uniquely combines traditional marbling methods with her own innovative and meditative techniques, utilizing the concepts of intuitive or automatic painting. The “flow” within her work creates a space where viewer’s minds can truly wander.
Ellierex’s creative achievements include large-scale installation public artworks, album covers for musical recording artists, print design for film and television, and exhibitions throughout galleries across the United States. For The Artist Tree West Hollywood, she created an original, mesmerizing mural, which adorns the walls of the store’s VIP shopping lounge.
Contemporary American artist Jahlil Nzinga seeks to transform the art world from the inside out with his highly emotional visual art, avant-garde techniques, and an understanding that an artist cannot be separated from any component of his life-affirming work.
Nzinga understands his art to be the purest expression of himself. So improvisational is his work that he equates it to a passion murder—exploding with emotion and without constraint or premeditated design. Nzinga has no desire to instruct his audience by using literal imagery but instead calls his viewers to wonder, be provoked, and conjure individual interpretation and analysis of his often-surreal renderings.
Nzinga created a custom floor-to-ceiling mural in his trademark freehand style for The Artist Tree West Hollywood. The mural, positioned at the rear of the retail showroom and the entryway to the VIP shopping lounge, inspires viewers to examine each of Nzinga’s unique interpretations of the human face.