Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Son of Baby Tattooville Exhibition

If you live in the LA area, don't miss the opening of "Son of Baby Tattooville" at the Riverside Art Museum this weekend.

The exhibition includes that hard-to-classify artzone known as lowbrow, pop surrealism, graffiti, tattoo culture, and contemporary fantasy art. My recent painting called "Birdman" will be included in the show. More on the making of Birdman in a future post.

Other artists include Buff Monster, Johnny KMNDZ Rodriguez, KRK Ryden, Greg “Craola” Simkins, Yoskay Yamamoto, Audrey Kawasaki, Travis Louie, Elizabeth McGrath, Miss Mindy and a few surprise guests.

It's been a tough workout, but I think I'm finally in shape and ready to rock!

The exhibition runs through Nov. 21. There is a special public reception, but I must admit to a bit of confusion as to whether it takes place on Thursday (according to the Press Enterprise) or Friday (according to the Riverside Art Museum blog), or Saturday (according to the official Facebook page).

In any event, the opening reception will include a figure drawing event known as Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, hosted by artist Molly Crabapple. Although the event is open to the public, please be aware that the figure drawing session will have nudity.
The Riverside Art Museum is at 3425 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, 951-684-7111,

For more information at the Riverside Art Museum blog
or the Press Enterprise.


beataalfa said...

I don't live in LA .... that's a pity! :(

Erik Bongers said...

When I first heard of Molly Crabapple's anti-art drawing sessions it got my attention.
Having models dress up in all kinds of (often kinky) costumes in an unconventional sketch group sounded like a good idea to make those all too serious drawing session a little more 'light'.

But from what I've read, the Molly sessions lean too much to the 'having fun' side for my taste.
A pose lasts for 5 or max. 10 minutes and beer seems to be the inspiring drink. Also, the dresses are almost always kinky in a sort of circus-glamour-gothic kind of fashion.
I'd rather have longer sessions, around a certain theme, like Wall Street for clothes, body-builders for muscles or musicians for poses.

Unfortunatly, I'm a bit alone in my quest here. Seems like the 'dull' sessions are actually liked by most people. I wouldn't even dare to bring a radio to a session. They'd throw the anomaly out of the window...followed by the radio.

Lester Yocum said...


The photo of your Birdman painting doesn't half do it credit. I remember you showing it to us at the Creatures class -- I was blown away. I wanted to buy it, but I'll settle (settle?) for a print if nothing else.


I'm in your "dull" corner. What I've seen online about the Dr. Sketchy session would definitely keep me away. It has to be built more for the camaraderie; I don't see how anyone could have a serious art session.

Patrick Dizon said...

The "Birdman" painting is top-notch! The character design and personality stand out.

Steve said...

"...please be aware that the figure drawing session will have nudity."

The artists or the models? Or both? Something about being "in shape and ready to rock" makes a person wonder...

Andwew said...

awesome painting! really wish i could be in LA for this..

i, me said...

FYI Got my copy of Imaginative Realism.. i have only looks AWESOME. as helpful as the blog is, I love the idea of being able to peruse this type of info in book form.

And the quality and scope of the content exceeds my expectations. For example there's a section on imaginary maps!
Great work James! I look forward to devouring the whole thing.

Unknown said...

Birdman turned out great, Jim! I particularly love the little minion with the lamp. It's hard to get that feeling of a character being lost in thought/reverence, but you nailed it! Very funny and appealing.

By Scott Flanders said...

Is the event at the Art Institute in Ontario open to the public? I am planning on coming, but would like to be sure I can get in. Could you please post up some more detailed info on your upcoming appearances in Southern California? Thanks a bunch.

James Gurney said...

Hi, Scott, honestly I don't know which events are open and which are free. I'd suggest calling the school or checking their websites. If it's announced on the school website and there's no mention of a registration fee, it's probably open, but it's a safe bet to call and be sure first.

Paul McCall said...

Imagine my surprise when I got the latest International Artist magazine out of the mailbox today and saw it contained the first of several "Masterclass" articles by James Gurney! I've been dithering about buying the new book - perhaps these articles will be the deciding factor.

Molly Crabapple said...

Hi Erik,

A few corrections. We actually do plenty of 20 minute poses. The idea that we only do 5 minute poses is a common misconception online, but it's not true unless we're doing a special session where our client has requested shorter poses.

We also have explored a number of themes (NSFW links follow)- from Gonzo ( to Colonialism ( to tributes to Ron English (

If you're someone, like me, who doesn't need a quiet environment to work, there's no reason you can't draw at Dr. Sketchy's like you would at any other open figure drawing session. We're just deliberately inclusive of people who can't draw.

motion-beam said...

thats hillarious!

Linda said...

When I stopped by RAM last week, the clerk said it would be Friday from 8-10. I hope that's right! Will you be bringing books with you to sell?

-- Linda

ashton said...

This works out perfect for me, because I am in fact a resident of Riverside.

Christopher Manzanares said...

That's a great picture! It's the blue and red shades that do it for me.

Rachel M. Brenner-Manis said...

Because your not from here,
I live in the I.E. and Riverside County is not in the LA area actually we're 2 hours away from LA. ^_^;

Axel said...

Fantastic xD

Neil Ryan said...


Is birdman based off a Philippine Eagle?

James Gurney said...

Neil, I think I was looking at a harpy eagle from Central and South America. They have that amazing fringe of feathers behind the head.