September 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment




Brace yourselves art lovers! Before we all get swept up in the tide of a shiny new art season, I'd like to share some highlights from my dry hot American summer. I'm happy to have finally exhibited my series Armchair in the Sky, first on the east side at Art Share LA, then on the west, in a 3-person show at FAB Gallery with Sabine Gebser and Tori White, curated by Delia Cabral.

I’ve been working on this project for over 20 years, but never considered how it connects to my Desert Windows and Flirting with Disaster series, all three examining the world through different windows – airplanes, buildings, and automobiles. The incomparable Betty Ann Brown explores these matters in a remarkable piece of writing published last week in the Coagula Art Journal. I do hope you’ll take a moment to read it:

Coagula Art Journal - Feature Story - Fall 2016Coagula Art Journal - Feature Story - Fall 2016Windows and Lenses: The Photography of Osceola Refetoff by Betty Brown

Feature Story – Coagula Art Journal – Fall 2016

Speaking of the Ms. Brown, she's co-curating GUNS at The Loft at Liz’s, opening Saturday, Sept 24, 7-10pm. The exhibition, featuring the work of many talented artists, is intended to advance the cultural dialog on this all-too-relevant and timely issue. One of the images I created for the show is a bit um… cheeky, and quite a departure from anything of mine you may have seen to date.


Guns: An Exhibition - The Loft at Liz's - Los Angeles, CA - Sept-Nov 2016Guns: An Exhibition - The Loft at Liz's - Los Angeles, CA - Sept-Nov 2016

GUNS: An Exhibition at The Loft at Liz's – Sept 24-Oct 28 

I also currently have six images in The Art Classic: OASIS at the Millard Sheets Art Center in the Pomona Fairplex through Sept 25. The exhibition coincides with the LA County Fair, which draws over 3 million visitors. Last year, the vintage entrance turnstiles counted some 65,000 guests seeking out the artwork from amongst all the other attractions.

Finally, for my loyal collectors, and in deference to all the faithful willing to forego deep fried Twinkies in favor of art, I've drawn this Photo of the Month from Ms. Brown’s article:


St. Madeleine Catholic Church - Infrared Exposure - Trona, CA - 2010PRAYER CHANGES THINGSOne of my most personally affecting portfolios, and by far the most difficult to discuss. It's all too easy to quip about forsaken outposts with more churches than bars, or to genuinely wonder at the apparent strengthening of faith amongst populations suffering economic and environmental hardship. Yet every attempt to articulate what draws me to make these pictures only serves to further remind me of my outsider status, on multiple levels. In the end, the range of vernacular architectural solutions, and the surreal dissonance of these structures in the landscapes they punctuate, are aesthetically compelling. It may not be possible to say for certain what these images mean, even to myself, but it feels important to document them, if only because they are so important to the people who build them.

St. Madeleine Catholic Church - Trona, CA - 2010

Infrared Exposure - First printed: 2014

Presenting a stark, Brutalist exterior, the Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Roman Catholic Church was completed in 1958. Perhaps the height of Cold War contributed to the creation of such an imposing structure, though a central stained glass feature, not visible from the outside, brings unexpected warmth and luminosity to the interior. The California desert offers a tough environment for any being, so the church may indeed be well suited to Trona, a struggling 100-plus-year-old mining town on the southern border of Death Valley.

Analog vs. Digital – The Hive Gallery – Los Angeles, CA – 2018
Pinholes & Infrareds - Chungking Studio - Los Angeles, CA - 2016
Uniting the World Though Art - LA Art Show/Arts District Alliance - 2015
Cultural Excavation - Curated by Elizabeth James (Cherry and Martin) - Gallery 825 - 2014

Photo of the Month:  St Madeleine Catholic Church - Trona, CA - 2010

The image is available for purchase at 20% off directly from Chungking Studio in either large (24x30") or medium-size (17x22”) limited edition prints through Sept 30. Please contact us for details.

Wishing you all a happy (and artful) September!

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