AN ARTIST, NOT A FELON : HOW TUPAC, ART, AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF YOUTH MADE OSCAR MAGALLENES THE ARTIST HE IS TODAY

Oscar MagallanesFor Los Angeles based artist Oscar Magallanes, childhood wasn’t rose colored or child like. While some kids spent their days capturing the flag and learning to paint in their high school art classes, Oscar, and the majority of his peers in Azusa, CA, spent most of their time getting into trouble and trying to avoid a prison sentence. His school didn’t have the funding for art programs and most kids had to work to help pay the bills instead of play sports – art wasn’t something learned, practiced, or even talked about in his circle of peers.

But when Oscar was almost arrested and kicked out of school at the age of 15, an administrator sent Oscar to an underprivileged youth art class at Ryman Arts, and it was this event that radically changed the trajectory of his life.

Ryman Arts opened Oscar’s eyes to never before imagined possibilities for his life and for creative self expression. His print, REALEYES, symbolizes this moment when as a Chicano youth, he “REALIZED” the truth – the truth about the criminalization of youth, the truth about the lies he’d been told, and the truth about the power of art to inspire individuals and transform our society. Suddenly, he realized, his voice mattered.

He credits hip hop as a major inspiration and motivator for his art, for getting him off the streets and into the studio. Tupac in particular had a lasting effect on Oscar, “ Tupac was a complex artist who used his music as a vehicle for social change and social justice for the benefit of his community. His short life was so prolific.
Regardless of the time that passes his message is still as potent and relevant as ever.”

20 years later, Oscar’s career spans prestigious galleries and institutions across California, and Oscar continues to create art that stirs up the conversation around race and sheds light on the criminalization of youth as well as working class issues within the Chicano community.

Oscar is now a member of the young professionals board of inner city arts, where he gives back to students in the hopes that art will have the same sort of positive impact on their lives as it’s had on his own.

Brian Rea

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Confession – we’re stalkers. But somehow when It comes to artist Brian Rea’s illustrations, paintings, and murals, we’re not ashamed to admit it. We look forward to Sundays, when Brian creates fresh, entertaining, and irreverent illustrations for the New York Times “Modern Love” column. 

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Image from The New York Times’ ‘Modern Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

We were over the moon when Brian created the exclusive, limited edition print, “California” for Charly West, benefiting Oceana. When Brian isn’t creating awesome art, or teaching at Art Center College of Desgin, he can be found traveling the world in search of the perfect break. For him, the Ocean is a second home, so he likes to keep in clean and protected by supporting Oceana.(clickable to ocean) http://oceana.org/en

 

 

Collect this limited edition print at Charly West and help Brian support his passion to protect and keep our Oceans clean and shiny. 

 

This Is Our Ocean. Start Acting Like It.

 

ShelbyandSandy

Rags to Riches

We spotted Charly West artists ShelbyandSandy got a lot of love (or “likes” if you will) on instagram last week when they sold one of their huge original works to Chris “Drama: Pfaff.

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For those of you who don’t know who Chris “drama” Pfaff is, he’s best known as the founder and owner of the Young and Reckless Clothing Company. He’s also a music producer, and appeared on the MTV reality series Rob & Big (he’s Roby Dyrdek’s cousin).  His days as the brunt of Rob & Big practical jokes are clearly behind him  now that he’s evolved into a successful Music producer and fashion king, he’s also got a new hidden talent- an amazing eye for rising star artists. 

 Congratulations to ShelbyandSandy on their continued success!

Inner-City Arts

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Charly West loves Inner-City Arts. 

Inner-City Arts, widely regarded as one of the nation’s most effective arts education providers, is an oasis of learning, achievement and creativity in the heart of Skid Row, and a vital partner in the work of creating a safer, healthier Los Angeles.  

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Fun Fact: Prince William and Princess Kate chose to visit Inner-City Arts on their trip to Los Angeles-one of only two non-profits they decided worthy of their royal presence!

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Providing access to the arts and the endless possibilities they offer, Inner-City Arts is an investment in the youth of Los Angeles. Creating a bridge between the studio and the classroom, Inner-City Arts’ unique approach to arts education measurably improves academic and personal outcomes for children and youth, including those students with Limited English Proficiency who are at risk of academic failure.

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Inner-City Arts’ beautiful, award-winning campus—a safe and tranquil environment designed to fuel the dreams of children, especially those living in poverty who may believe dreams are for other children—is a source of inspiration to all who visit. During the school day, after school and on weekends, elementary, middle and high school students come to Inner-City Arts to work with professional teaching artists in well-equipped studios, receiving hands-on instruction in a range of subject areas within the visual, performing and media arts.

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Equally essential to Inner-City Arts’ mission, the Inner-City Arts – Annenberg Professional Development Program provides experiential training for educators, graduate students and others dedicated to bringing high-quality arts education to students of all ages and backgrounds. Programs for parents and families strengthen families and communities, supporting student achievement both inside and outside the classroom.

 You can visit Inner-City Arts on the web @ www.inner-cityarts.org

Prada Marfa

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Collect Gray Mailin’s exclusive, limited edition print featured above, here.

 See The Prada Store, Marfa, TX

Located in the West Texas desert near the little town of Marfa (a small town known for its’ eclectic artist community) on a stretch of Highway known as the loneliest road in America, sits the Prada store that got left behind. 

No sales clerks work behind the counters, though it is stocked with veblen bags and shoes, nothing is actually functional except for the lights, which glow at night and make the glass frontage the only illumination for miles around.

The Prada Marfa is a permanent art installation, built by a Berlin-based artistic couple called Elmgreen and Dragset, with the approval and oversight of Miuccia Prada herself- who provided their logo and the goods on display within. Shortly after it was constructed it was smashed and looted, as you might expect, but the artists only returned with more goods, smash-proof glass, and some serious alarm systems, rebuilding it as a little commercial fortress in the desert.

It is made of a biodegradable adobe-like substance, designed to slowly dissolve back into the land over time. It cost $80,000 to build, and all the goods on display within are authentic, if imperfect- the shoes are all right-footed and the bags have no bottoms.

Now it provides surreal amusement to anyone driving through that stretch of blasted land.

The work was produced by Ballroom Marfa and the Art Production Fund. 

The fate of Prada Marfa lies in the Texas department of transport’s hands- they classified the installation as an illegal outdoor advertising sign and are in the process of trying to get it removed.

Many community members have rallied behind Prada Marfa, and as of now, although the transport department maintains that the work is illegal, it has not issued a removal order.

Want to save the Prada Store?  

Check out Photographer Gray Malin’s limited edition print “Banana Peel” on Charly West, benefiting Ballroom Marfa, the original producer of the installation. Donating to Ballroom Marfa helps them better defend and preserve the installation, something Gray is very passionate about. 

Isabelle Alford-Lago

Check  out a sneak peak into Isabelle’s studio as she explains the humor behind her gorillas, her process, and why she’s passionate about the cause, The Art of Elysium.


Street Gorillas

For our first issue, the Charly West crew chose to feature rising star, Venice, CA based artist Isabelle Alford-Lago. Isabelle was the first artist we approached to collaborate. Isabelle is quite the celebrity amongst Venice locals. Anyone familiar with her laid back, easy charm and humble attitude can see how her personality influences and inspires the success and  popularity of her cheeky Gorilla murals that light up the buildings of Venice, CA.  

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Collect Isabelle’s exclusive, limited edition print, Cake Boy, at Charly West. With every Gorilla that finds a new home, you’ll be supporting Isabelle’s favorite cause, The Art of Elysium.