611 N. Spaulding Ave.
Los Angeles, Ca, USA 90036
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LOS ANGELES – April 2011 – Joshua Prince, aka Dust La Rock, makes his Los Angeles gallery debut with the new exhibition Joking Victim, an intimate, stark exploration into the themes of pain versus pleasure, free will versus destiny, fetishism, the occult and mortality. A true mixed media collaboration, Joking Victim consists of works on paper, photographs, and a short film in which La Rock teamed with a team of innovative artists to help bring his vision to life, including photographers Angela Boatwright, Kareem Black and tattoo artist JK5. The opening reception will feature music by Jokers Of The Scene and culminate with the Los Angeles debut of Bruce LaBruce’s queer cinema horror film L.A. Zombie.
Hailed as a “cult NYC designer” by Dazed and Confused, La Rock’s work has greatly influenced the current landscape of urban fashion and music. As co-founder and creative director of Fool’s Gold, the taste-making record label called an “indie visionary” by Billboard, La Rock’s unique aesthetic has been sought out by MTV, Nike, and Hennessey. La Rock’s latest creative endeavor in psycho-surreal expressionism takes him to the gallery walls of HVW8 for Joking Victim.
As the “victim” or protagonist in a number of pieces, La Rock utilizes his body as both medium and canvas. In his works on paper, including the central piece “Joking Victim,” the artist uses his own bodily fluids combined with ink and paper for a textured, provocative effect. In the photography series “Skin Canvas,” La Rock becomes the subject as Boatwright documents him receiving a tattoo from JK5. The images capture needle against flesh, as art is turned visceral. Using paper towels to soak up the blood and ink, La Rock displays the resulting patterns in a hanging collage. In the short film “The Ritual,” shot by Black, artist becomes subject once again as La Rock submits himself to a dominatrix.
Other works on display further address the themes of BDSM, death and the religious philosophy of magick. A vessel for experiencing both pain and pleasure, “Joking Victim” is a study in duality, exploring the multitude of ways in which people use and abuse their bodies to satisfy divergent impulses.
The opening reception will feature music by Fools Gold producers and DJs Jokers Of The Scene. Acting as artist and muse, the Toronto duo’s moody, experimental single “Joking Victim” inspired the title of La Rock’s exhibit, and their music also serves as a soundtrack to “The Ritual.”
An exclusive 7” vinyl single featuring a new version of Jokers Of The Scene’s “Joking Victim” along with a remix by Vin Sol will be available for purchase at the opening. A limited-edition collaborative print by La Rock and LaBruce, featuring L.A. Zombie star Francois Sagat, will also be made available in honor of the film’s screening during the reception.
The opening takes place on April 14th, 7:00-10:00 p.m. at HVW8 Art and Design Gallery, 661 N. Spaulding Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036. The reception is open to the public w/ RSVP at email@example.com and runs until May 8th. Artists will be in attendance.
The official Joking Victim afterparty will take place at LA’s long-running Dance Right weekly at La Cita, featuring DJ sets by Jokers Of The Scene, Nick Catchdubs and Vin Sol. RSVP at www.danceright.net.
About the artists:
Dust La Rock has helped create a visual identity for an entire scene as co-founder and creative director of the independent music powerhouse Fool’s Gold, home to artists like A-Trak, Kid Sister and Duck Sauce. The Brooklyn based graphic designer, illustrator and “part-time savant” got his start in 1997 as a self-taught designer for Ecko Unlimited, helping the company emerge as a key brand in the early streetwear movement. His work has been featured in art and lifestyle publications worldwide including Swindle, XLR8R, Mass Appeal, Dazed and Confused, Beautiful Decay, Playboy, and Quest (Japan). www.dustlarock.com
Kareem Black is a New York-based, Philly-born photographer and director. After attending SVA on a scholarship, Kareem began to shoot almost immediately for publications like The Fader and Vibe upon graduation. Since then, Kareem has won numerous awards, including a feature as one of the PDN 30. Along with his commissioned work, Kareem keeps occupied with a variety of personal projects including a series of images inspired by the works of Guy Bourdin and a new website, feelsgoodletsgo.com, that captures the downtown New York culture he inhabits. Kareem also loves sushi, steak, karaoke, Star Trek and beer. www.kareemblack.com
Angela Boatwright cut her teeth as a teenager shooting Kurt Cobain in a closet-sized venue and capturing the grittiness of the underground New York hardcore and skateboarding scenes in the early-Nineties. The Ohio-born photographer has since worked her way into major campaign ads for Rock Band, Roxy, Converse, Miller Genuine Draft, American Express and Urban Outfitters. She’s photographed musicians and celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, Depeche Mode, the Black Crowes, and Interpol, and her photos have been featured in major international print media such as New York, Spin, and Nylon. Angela is currently working on her life project: a full-length documentary movie in which she is directing, filming and producing about heavy metal bands that tour relentlessly throughout the year. www.angelaboatwright.com
JK5 aka Joseph Ari Aloi is a Brooklyn based designer, writer, toy creator, media franchiser, filmmaker, Flowbot leader, and tattoo artist. He has collaborated with brands such as Nike, Kid Robot, Converse, Saks 5th Avenue, and Mishka NYC, and his work has been exhibited in galleries across the globe, including Deitch Projects, Laforet Gallery in Tokyo, and Alife NYC. For the last three years, JK5 has been tattooing at the legendary Williamsburg shop Saved. www.jk5nyc.com
Bruce LaBruce is a Toronto-based filmmaker, writer, director, photographer, and artist. He began his career in the mid eighties making a series of short experimental super 8 films and co-editing a punk fanzine called J.D.s, which begat the queercore movement. He has contributed his stories and photography to a host of magazines ranging from Vice, to the National Post, Purple Fashion, Butt, and US porn magazines Honcho and Inches. His film, L.A. Zombie, starring French star Francois Sagat, is a hardcore zombie splatter/gore porn movie. The film premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival in August, 2010. www.brucelabruce.com
Jokers Of The Scene have ranked amongst the brightest, weirdest lights of Canada’s dance music renaissance of the past several years. Between their Fool’s Gold originals and their enviably deep remixography, the duo have passed on a “signature sound” to craft an unpredictable approach that’s as cerebral as it is speaker-decimating. Their music has fueled sweat-soaked gigs from Brazil to Berlin, while providing direction for countless remixes (from Kid Cudi and Passion Pit to Brodinski and Count & Sinden) and signature originals like the anthemic “Baggy Bottom Boys” and the kinky piano monster “Revolting Joks.” www.soundcloud.com/jokers-of-the-scene
HVW8 Art + Design Gallery
The HVW8 Art + Design Gallery was founded by Tyler Gibney and Addison Liu in 2005 with a mandate of supporting avant-garde graphic design. It soon became the premier underground gallery in Los Angeles, and over the past three years has featured exhibitions with artists suchas Parra, Geoff McFetridge, Michael Leon, Kevin Lyons, Ed Templeton, Lance Mountain, Mos Def with Cognito, Charles Munka, Bill McMullen, Noah Butkus, Brent Rollins, Raif Adelberg, Alvaro Illizarbe (Freegums), and Marc McKee.
Short film created by Kareem Black and Dust La Rock for La Rock’s 4.14.11 exhibition “Joking Victim” at HVW8 Gallery in Los Angeles. Featuring Gillian Bowling, Tina Le Noble and Dust La Rock. Edited by Todd Thoenig from Mother New York. Musical score curated by Jokers Of The Scene.