Mark Dean Veca & Amy Davila discuss MARK DEAN VECA : EVERLAST

Saturday, November 01
3:00pm to 4:00pm
- Los Angeles
Exhibit Preview & Tour

    Come join Amy Davila, founder of ArtSmart Inc., and Mark Dean Veca in a discussion of Mark Dean Veca's latest exhibition EVERLAST at Western Project.

    Western Project Press Release:

    Western Project is proud to present the third solo exhibition at the gallery by Los Angeles artist, Mark Dean Veca. His new body of work, EVERLAST, is comprised of seven new paintings and twelve works on paper. Veca grew up around the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by words; words in the sky, words on the streets, words on the billboards – an environment of language, letters and images. For this work he writes:

    Particular street signs and logos started to jump out at me as perfect combinations of subject matter and composition. I'm not picking words or images at random, but those that I find have some kind of resonance personally as well as universally, be they mundane or iconic, and are redolent of my 1970's California upbringing…

    For years now I've been interested in the negative space in and around letterforms, particularly logos in a certain script, like the Fender logo. When I see these spaces I get an urge or compulsion to define and articulate them, to make them the figure, not the ground. 

    It is the atmosphere which seems to have won out as an undulating miasma or vapor, enveloping the signage from neighborhood stores (LIQUOR MART), to international corporate logos (EVERLAST and Zildjian). Perhaps they recall the brown smog atmosphere from the 1970’s in LA, along with the Pop culture explosion of the era; his paintings reek of immersion in a climate of billowing energy, a charged atmosphere where background shifts to and fro:

    Duality seems to be a consistent theme in much of my work. In these word paintings the eye wants to flatten the text, especially from a distance, but upon closer inspection the forms flip. The atmospheric quality that fills the letterforms heightens the effect of creating depth and contrast to the crisp linework defining the biomorphic abstraction surrounding them.

    Veca’s paintings are indeed icons; not ironic, but psychedelic celebrations. FENDER is enveloped by a surging purple ooze (or is it haze?) while BREAKFAST BURRITO is a crazy trip down the street at sunrise; both seemingly familiar visual sensations. And what’s that funk of adolescent testosterone wafting around the paintings? His deft and masterful drawing skills give the works a tremendous gravity and visionary exactness. It is an un-academic rigor compounded by immaculate craftsmanship. The logo paintings are punctuated by early Warner Brothers Looney Tunes characters: Tweety Bird (created in 1945), and the Tasmanian Devil (1957). Each image is an historic cartoon favorite known for their wacky and cunning charms. Having survived endless cliché and a million bad tattoos over the years, Veca’s images are now more sirens luring contemporary audiences to reconsider an un-snarky and daring, new attitude in the 2010s. FLY UNITED is a sexier side, from an image recycled from a 1970’s underground poster; the image is a wink and a nod to human desire (the mile high club), stealing back the method of corporate advertisement into mainstream erotic humor. Perhaps this is the covert messaging of the artist – employing logos more as flavors, manipulating corporate identity into notions of pleasure, emotion and imagination. The words become formal playgrounds for both the artist and audience to reinterpret experience and memory as subjective space. Taking back an age of greed to a realm of personal exaltation.   

    About the artist

    Mark Dean Veca

    Mark Dean Veca

    1963     Born in Shreveport, LA
    Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

    1985     BFA, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA

    Sole Exhibitions

    2010     _
    When the Shit Hits the Fan_, Western Project, Los Angeles, California

    2009     _
    Mark Dean Veca: Painting, Wall Drawings and Collaborations, University Art Gallery, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
    As Cold As They Come, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, New York
    Revenge of Phantasmagoria_, Instituto Cultural de Cabanas, Guadalajara, Mexico

    2008     _
    Phantasmagoria, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA (catalogue)
    New Paintings_, Milieu Gallery, Bern, Switzerland

    2007     _
    Imbroglio_, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY

    2006     _
    Florida_, Schmidt Center Gallery, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL (with Ellen Harvey)

    2004     _
    Pulsation_, 255 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY (catalogue)

    2003     _
    Pleasure Machine, Mars Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
    Royale,_ Jessica Murray Projects, Brooklyn, NY

    2002     _
    New Drawings_, Daniel Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY (with Cotter Luppi)

    2001          _
    Toile de Brooklyn_, g-module, Paris, France

    2000     _
    Magnificent Compulsion, Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
    Harum-Scarum_, Gallery at Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, CA

    1999     _
    Funky Jungle, DiverseWorks Art Space, Houston, TX
    New Paintings_, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York, NY

    1998     _
    El Gloominator, State University of New York at Buffalo Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (catalogue)
    Gummi Grotto_, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York, NY

    Selected Group Exhibitions

    2011     _
    C.O.L.A. Fellowship Exhibition, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California
    On the Wall, Arena 1, Santa Monica, curated by Carl Berg
    Dark Pop 3.0, Last Rites Gallery, New York, New York
    Shoe Shine_, Summer Music Hall, Denver, Colorado

    2010     _
    Cherry Pie, Western Project, Los Angeles, California
    Five Year Anniversary Show, Jonathon LeVine Gallery, New York
    Movers and Shakers. Le Basse Projects, Culver City, California
    Hotrwire 3, Scott Elder Gallery, New York, New York
    Love Conquers All_, Thinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, California

    2009          _
    The First Six Years, Western Project, Culver City, California
    Theme and Variations: On the Use of Repetition in the 21st Century Art,_
    Cristin Tierny Fine Art Advisory Services, New York, New York

    2008     _
    In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz FactorLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA (catalogue)
    Group Exhibition, Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, England
    Hef, Jail Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    Inaugural Exhibition, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NY
    Pattern Recognition, Adamson Gallery, Washington, DC
    Deep Pop, Ad Hoc Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    Sideshow, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
    First Anniversary Group Exhibition_, Limited Addiction Gallery, Denver, CO

    2007     _
    Urban Gothic, Cafe Gallery Projects, London, England (catalogue)
    BMG Artists’ Annual, BLK/MRKT Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (catalogue)
    SITEings, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston Salem, NC\
    Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, Galerie Schuster, Berlin, Germany (catalogue)
    Winter Faction, Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
    Elevation, Limited Addiction Gallery, Denver, CO
    Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, Colette, Paris, France
    Inaugural Exhibition, Addict Galerie, Paris, France
    Urban Gothic_, Quartair Contemporary Art Initiatives, The Hague, The Netherlands

    2006   _
    Otis: Nine Decades of Los Angeles Art, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (catalogue)
    Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo_, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany travels to
    Kunstverein Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany and Cercle Munster, Munster, Luxembourg (catalogue)

    2005   _
    Contemporary Erotic Drawing, DiverseWorks, Houston, TX, traveled to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (catalogue)
    Identity Crisis, Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
    Inked!, Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Branch, NJ, curated by Koan Jeff Baysa
    Pulp, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada
    Smack!, The Brewery Project, Los Angeles, CA
    Last Exit to Brooklyn_, Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, England

    Open House: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY, (catalogue)_
    Next_Next Visual Art, curated by Dan Cameron, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY_
    The Ludovico Treatment, curated by David Hunt, Muller de Chiara Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    Finesse, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    Impact: New Mural Projects, PPOW Gallery, New York, NY
    Grotto II_, Jessica Murray Projects, Brooklyn, NY

    2003     _
    Pavilion, Bloomberg Space, London, England (catalogue)
    Labor Day, curated by David Hunt, RARE, New York, NY
    Cartoon, Riva Gallery, New York, NY, curated by David Gibson & Charles Riva
    Selections 2003, Muller De Chiara Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    Metastasize, Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY
    On and Off the Wall, Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg, New York, NY, curated by William Stover
    Blue-Mars 1993-2003, Mars Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
    Drawings and Works on Paper: SF/NY/LA_, San Luis Obispo Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA

    2002     _
    Proper Villains, Untitled Space, New Haven, CT
    Grotto, Jessica Murray Projects, Brooklyn, NY
    Necessary Fictions, De Chiara Gallery, New York, NY
    Déjà Vu,_ g-module, Paris, France

    2001     _
    Mural II, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA (catalogue)
    Cartoon and Art, Rudolph Projects, Houston, TX
    Dreamscapes_, Wignall Museum/Gallery, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (catalogue)

    2000          _
    Greater New York, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY
    Multiple Sensations, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
    Good Business is the Best Art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
    Yard Sale_, New York City Lab School, New York, NY

    1999     _
    Monumental Drawings, Exit Art: The First World, New York, NY
    Pictorial Abstraction, Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
    Relay Drawings: Eye, Hand, Other, Bucknell University Art Gallery, Lewisburg, PA (catalogue)
    Size Matters, Gale Gates Gallery, New York, NY
    Tripindicular_, Lemon Sky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA_
    A Room with a View_, Sixth @ Prince Gallery, New York, NY

    1998     _
    Pop Surrealism, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT, (catalogue)
    Relay: Drawn to Readymades, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY,  (catalogue)
    Inner Child: Wanna Come Out and Play?, The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    Take This Job and Shove It!, HERE Gallery, New York, NY
    Borrowing, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY\
    Mark Dean Veca: Grovel in the Hovel; Nicole Pillorge: Sculpture, PS 122 Gallery, New York, NY
    Yikes!, Deven Golden Fine Art, New York, NY
    New York Drawers_, Pierogi 2000, Brooklyn, NY, traveled to The Gasworks, London England and Corner House, Manchester, England

    1997          _
    Current Undercurrent: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
    XVII Annual Artist in the Marketplace Exhibition,_ The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY (catalogue)

    1996     _
    Wall Drawings ‘96, The Drawing Center, New York, NY
    Recent Work: Phillippe Pasqua, Mark Dean Veca, Mad River Post, New York, NY
    The Codpiece Project, Griffin Linton Contemporary Exhibitions, Venice, CA
    The Light is Heavy_, Fox & Howell Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

    1995     _
    Wacko, The Work Space, New York, NY
    Hodgepodge Lodge, The Art Store Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    Works for a Fun House,_ E. S. Van Dam, New York, NY

    1994     _
    Splat Figures, White Columns, New York, NY
    WaterWorks, Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY
    Animated, Art in General, New York, NY
    Le Temps d’un Dessin, Galerie de L’Ecole des Beaux – Arts de Lorient, Lorient, France (catalogue)
    The New Pop_, Leo Tony Gallery, New York, NY

    1993          _
    Cartoonal Knowledge_, Dooley LeCappellaine Gallery, New York, NY

    House of LeCappellaine au Go-Go, Dooley LeCappellaine Gallery, New York, NY

    1991          _
    Exhibitions I_, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

    1990          _
    Project Angelfood_, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

    1989          _
    Carecen_Fred Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

    1988          _
    Contemporary Icons_, Westwood Place, Los Angeles, CA

    Salon des Independants, Richard Bennett Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

    1986          _
    Loose Association_, The Art Store Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

    1985          _
    A Farewell to the Bridal District_, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA

    *Awards and Honors

    C.O.L.A. 2010 Individual Artist Fellowship, Los Angeles, California, Fellowship, Painting

    2008          _
    Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA, Jennifer Howard Coleman Distinguished Lectureship and Residency
    New York Foundation for the Arts_, New York, NY, Fellowship, Painting

    Pollock- Krasner Foundation, New York, NY, Grant

    2003     _
    Lower East Side Printshop_, New York, NY, Special Editions Fellowship

    2002     _
    New York Foundation for the Arts_, New York, NY, Fellowship, Painting

    New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY, Fellowship, Painting_
    The MacDowell Colony_, Peterborough, NH, Artist Residency

    The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, Artist in the Marketplace Program
    Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, CA, Artist Residency

    Selected Bibliography

    Hall, John. “Pop Goes the Easel: the Art of Mark Dean Veca”, The Hundreds, Fall/Winter 2010
    Nys Dambrot, Shana, ”Mark Veca: When the Sh*t Hits the Fan: New Paintings”, Flavorpill, October 12, 2010

    Bullock, Lara. “Mark Dean Veca: Painting, Wall Drawings and Collaborations”, THE Magazine, May 2009

    Amir, Yaelle. “Mark Dean Veca, Jonathan LeVine Gallery”, Beautiful/Decay, Issue V, 2008
    Eastman, Janet. “Trends: Rug Art Turns Floor into Canvas”,, February 8, 2008

    Turner, Elisa. “Critic’s Pick”, The Miami Herald, March 17, 2006
    McCormick, Carlo. “Mark Dean Veca: Secret Symmetries”, Juxtapoz, March 2006

    Harris, Larissa. “Reviews, ‘Contemporary Erotic Drawing’”, ARTFORUM, September, 2005
    Glueck, Grace.  “Art Review, ‘Contemporary Erotic Drawing':  Airborne Sex and Wicked Wallpaper: Sensual Samplings”The New York Times, July 29, 2005
    Genocchio, Benjamin. “Erotic Goes Mainstream”, The New York Times, May 8, 2005
    Hernandez, Jesse. “Laser Burn”, Juxtapoz, Spring, 2005
    “Inner City”, Art Review, March, 2005
    Plocek, Keith. “The Art of Sex”, Houston Press, February 17, 2005

    “The Year in Prints: The First Annual New Prints Review”, Art on Paper, November, 2004
    Johnson, Ken. “Art in Review: Impact: New Mural Projects”, The New York Times, July 30, 2004
    Bing, Alison. “Art Review: Finesse”, SF Gate, July 31, 2004
    Maine, Stephen. “Dateline Brooklyn: Rewards and Disappointments in Open House:
    Working in Brooklyn”,, May 26, 2004
    Cohen, David. “Museums, Open House: Working in Brooklyn”, The New York Sun, April 22, 2004
    Simon, Stephanie. “Brooklyn Museum Set to Open After Multi-Million Dollar Face  Lift”, NY1 News, April 16, 2004

    Hackworth, Nick. “The Arts: Art Meets Commerce in a Space to Watch”, Evening Standard, April 9, 2003
    Herbert, Martin. “Art: Preview, Pavilion”, Time out London, April 16-23, 2003
    “Where Else to see the Artists”, The Observer, April 20, 2003

    Ebony, David. “Artworld: Grants”, Art in America, November, 2002
    Clifford, Katie. “Front Page: New Hotel Art Fair for NYC”, Art in America, July 2002
    Johnson, Ken. “Art Guide, Galleries: Chelsea, Cotter Luppi and Mark Dean Veca”, The New York Times, March 22, 2002
    Henry, Max. “Gotham Dispatch: The Armory Show 2002”,, February 26, 2002

    Kaplan, Shari. “Villa Montalvo Gallery Becomes Artist’s Canvas”, Saratoga News, July 26, 2001
    Letran, Vivian. “As Big as All Outdoors”, Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2001

    Bonetti, David. “Collections, Series Form ‘Multiple Sensations’,” San Francisco Examiner, September 4, 2000
    Friedman, Roberto. “Out There”, Bay Area Reporter, August 10, 2000
    Shire, Kara. “Native Paints His Way Home”, The Valley Times, August 6, 2000
    “Multiple Orgasm”, Flaunt Magazine, August, 2000
    “2000/01 Museum Preview: Mark Dean Veca”, Art in America, August, 2000
    Gilman-Sevcik, Tim and Frantiska. “New York’s Mega Shows: Whitney Biennial and
    Greater New York”, Flash Art, May-June, 2000
    Frank, Peter. “Art Picks of the Week: John Altoon, Mark Dean Veca, Erika Rothenberg with Tracy Tynan”, L.A.Weekly, May 19-25, 2000
    Cotter, Holland. “A Showcase for Emerging Talent Nurtured Within the Same Environment”, The New York Times, May 12, 2000
    MacAdam, Barbara K. “New York Reviews, Up Now: Greater New York”, Art News, May, 2000
    Thorson, Alice. “Call it Now York”, Kansas City Star, April 16, 2000
    Halle, Howard. “Art, Reviews: State of the Art”, Time Out New York, March 16, 2000
    Cotter, Holland. “Art Review: New York Contemporary, Defined 150 Ways”, The New York Times, March 6, 2000

    “Goings On About Town, Art: Galleries- Downtown ‘Monumental Drawings’”, The New  Yorker, October 4, 1999
    Rice, Robin. “Drawing Blood: Pictorial Abstraction”, Philadelphia City Paper, September 30, 1999
    Sozanski, Edward J“Art: Pictorial abstraction: Between reality, invention”, The Philadelphia Inquirer,September 26, 1999
    Jarvis, Leslie. “’Tripindicular’ at Lemon Sky”, Artweek, September, 1999

    Huntington, Richard. “At UB, a Meditation on Women and an Aggressive Cartoon Mural”, The Buffalo News, May 1, 1999
    Johnson, Ken. “Art Guide, Galleries: Chelsea”, The New York Times, April 30, 1999
    Harrison, Helen. “Art Reviews: Borrowing”, The New York Times, October 11, 1998
    McCormick, Carlo. “Surrealism Goes POP!”, Juxtapoz, Winter, 1998
    Zimmer, William. “Art Review: Recipe for a Good Time: Surrealism and Pop Culture”, The New York Times, August 2, 1998
    Huntington, Richard. “Review, Art: One Thing or Another”, The Buffalo News, May 16, 1998
    Levin, Kim. “Art, Galleries: Mark Dean Veca: Gummi Grotto”, The Village Voice, February 17, 1998
    Tabb, George. “Art Review: Gummi Grotto”, New York Press, February 11, 1998
    Freedman, Matt. “Reviews, New York: Mark Dean Veca, Nicole Pillorge”, New Art Examiner, February, 1998

    Arning, Bill. “Art, Reviews: XVII Annual Artist in the Marketplace Exhibition”, Time Out New York, August 14, 1997
    Cotter, Holland. “Art Review: A Flock of Fledglings, Testing Their Wings”, The New York Times, August 1, 1997
    Levin, Kim.  “Art, Galleries:  (Yikes!)”, The Village Voice, July 29, 1997

    Karmel, Pepe.  “Art in Review: Wall Drawings ‘96”, The New York Times, January 26, 1996
    Levin, Kim.  “Art, Galleries, Art Short List: Wall Drawings ‘96”, The Village Voice, February 6, 1996
    Schmerler, Sarah.  “Art:  Wall Drawings ‘96”, Time Out New YorkJanuary 31, 1996
    Servetar, Stuart.  “Art, Galleries: Wall Drawings ‘96”, New York Press, January 24, 1996

    Servetar, Stuart. Art, Galleries: The New Pop”, New York Press, July 6, 1995

    Levin, Kim.  “Art in Brief: Cartoonal Knowledge,” The Village Voice, June 29, 1993

    Presented by
    Venue (details disclosed after RSVP)