In partnership with Torrance Art Museum (TAM), Discover Torrance is featuring rotating exhibits in our office window, located in Del Amo Fashion Center.
You can learn more about our TAM here.
Will Raojenina, also known as WCMTL (Willis Couture Montreal), earned his nickname at age 15, when he turned to painting and clothing design as a creative outlet.
Will is a Canadian/Malagasy self-taught multidisciplinary visual artist who engages with his experimental art to place relevance, not on the differences but on the similarities between the people, in hopes that we can come together from a place of love and understanding. His distinctive technique can be spotted instantaneously through his subtle positive messaging and his colorful, dimensional, and heavily mixed media textured work which he meticulously reinforces layer after layer.
Will likes to paint positive art that provides visual joy and inspiration to others. You’re invited to stop by Discover Torrance (located in the Del Amo Fashion Center on the Main Level – Entrance 6 – near Lucille’s) and take in his work which is sure to make you smile!
https://www.facebook.com/juanvarela.art / @artemixtlan_us
Juan’s artwork is reminiscent of his cultural heritage and his appreciation for pre–Hispanic art. Juan is self–taught and uses contemporary art practices to present traditional pre–Columbian imagery, blending anthropology, history, and fine art.
http://www.mariabjorkdahl.com | @mariabjorkdahl
I’m a Swedish/Moroccan visual artist based in Los Angeles, California. My art practice centers on ideas of unearthing multiple layers and buried memories. I use materiality and process to excavate ideas of hidden meanings, allowing for a wide range of interpretation. In this body of work, I make paintings out of manipulated cotton duck by cutting and unraveling the threads that hold the canvas together. Then, I re-assemble the material into biomorphic shapes that are painted with oil and/or acrylic.
I started out as a figurative painter, which I later found to be too literal and restrictive, not providing enough space for more esoteric ideas. Once I moved into an abstract visual vocabulary, I discovered my predisposition to biomorphic shapes, which echoes the visual language of abstracted generalized human forms and/or cellular building blocks.
At the same time, I began working towards making the physicality of painting as an object visible, composed of a support and paint, primarily by playing with (deconstructing) the painting support by taking the canvas off the stretcher bars and unraveling the warp and weft holding it together and then re-attaching the threads. Some of the pieces are two-sided, featuring a front and a back, further moving the paintings into a tangible and actual arena usually associated with sculptural pieces while still retaining their two-dimensionality by having a very limited depth.
The work is reminiscent of domestic crafts such as tapestries, quilt, and other textile-based works. It’s this fluidity that I find interesting, in that the work refuses to settle into a fixed category.
https://www.deitracharles.com | @deitrac
Art should be thought provoking, expressive, and enchanting. It should gather people together and yet allow for solitude and quiet contemplation. It should mean something to those who acquire it and even more to those who create it. Art should come from a place of passion and longing. Subtlety is a method that I take to deliver messages in my art so as not to dictate what the viewer sees, but offer a slight nudge so that they might look at objects in life with a new-found affinity. I hope that they will appreciate the beauty around us and see beyond what is in their peripheral vision. Identity and culture are just a couple of common themes in my work. Searching ancestry and elevating the unsung, everyday heroes are some of my goals as an artist. An installation that I created of what appears to be dreamcatchers is an ode to my ancestry. While I am an African American woman, my great grandmother was African American and Choctaw. Sadly, I do not know much of my history as it relates to Choctaw. As a child I attended predominately white schools that taught European history. When presenting my family tree, the expectation was to discuss African tribes and plantations. To embrace another culture was not taken seriously. As recent as 2017, I was questioned about cultural appropriation during an artist talk about my dreamcatcher installation. The assumption was that I did not have any ties to Native Americans. Having suppressed this part of my history for so long for fear of skepticism, I find it necessary to elevate and showcase the dreamcatcher-like installations in an open space, slowly turning and casting shadows on walls and floors that are as elusive as the truth in history. Above all, calm and peace resonate from my pieces. It is important for me to share my experiences, break down stereotypes, and provide a comfortable place to slow down for a moment and absorb the peace around. I want to provide a calming oasis within the art world and steer viewers toward a welcoming environment.
www.ginaherrera.com | @gina.herrera1
I have always felt a strong affinity for nature. Growing up in Chicago, I found the most beauty in the trees, the singing birds, the sky above. As a visual learner with a multicultural heritage, I have been influenced by my father’s Tesuque culture and my mother’s Costa Rican heritage. While cultural art fascinates me, experiencing beauty of great European art collections while stationed in Germany early in my military career inspired my professional pursuit of art.
While serving in Iraq, amid the devastation of combat, I was moved by seeing miles of mountainous trash heaps. I viscerally experienced the global extent of the systematic destruction of the planet, exploitative, unsustainable, and perhaps worst, careless, unconscious, accidental. This led me to question my own practices, hoping to lessen my environmental impact. I began to build three-dimensional forms out of discarded and natural objects. I am engaged in an aesthetic and spiritual ritual to channel and honor Mother Earth, to seek connection and communion with a power greater than myself.
Everywhere I go, I gather materials, finding inspiration in my surroundings. Like a scavenger, I play an interventional role in removing garbage from the landscape, preventing it from doing further damage. I am also drawn to natural materials and organic forms — branches, rocks, cocoons, nests. My process is meditative and intuitive – each step revealing a new aspect. Figures emerge, in gravity defying postures on the brink of movement, alive with possibility. Their haunting spiritual presence reminds us they have not gone back to the earth, but asks us to question our connection with our world and the choices we make in our daily existence.
My greatest objective is to awaken individual and societal consciousness; to examine and heal our relationship with Mother Earth.
https://shuquem.com/ | @karim.shuquem
Using the historic phenomenon of kunstkammers – also known as wunderkammers, the so-called cabinets of curiosities – in which European collectors would display acquired objects, this installation serves as a vehicle for examining how metaphysical frameworks determine our personal immersion and interaction with our environment and each other. These randomly curated objects, many of non-European origins collected during colonial campaigns, were presented as decontextualized curiosities.
Die Kunstkammer is an ongoing and evolving sculptural installation made up of individually painted, carved, and stacked wine crates interspersed with various found objects. My contention is that a metaphysics that defines the physicality of objects as made up of dead matter alone, enables the type of collection, hierarchical categorization, and exploitation of resources that occurs within an imperialistic framework. Never fixed or finished, the overall project is inspired by the process-based metaphysics of thinkers such as Deleuze, Alfred North Whitehead, and Heraclitus.. A process-oriented world-view leads to a more relational understanding, in which the things and beings of this world are seen as co-constituent and interdependent.
In a manner of poking fun, the black boxes literalize the idea of static building blocks of matter and have the macabre appearance of a memorial to the dead. Die Kunstkammer is in fact not a static sculpture and very much undead.
I emphasize the inherent relationality of a process-based metaphysics by letting the site of the sculpture influence the form. The arrangement changes with every showing; it is a shape-shifting sculpture that is never stuck in the same position. Through my immersion in assembling Die Kunstkammer, I underline an internal animation that comes with the act of stacking. Objects and engravings are hidden from sight while others are revealed. Electronic candles and figurines are interspersed throughout. Light emanates from cracks and gaps within the boxes. As the facilitator of this eternal becoming, I frequently pull prints from the carved boxes to further expand the form, expand the possibilities of transformation within matter, and to document the process itself.
www.danielbrickman.info | @brickmaniel_studio
I make art that combines sculpture and painting and is composed of rope, hot glue, sawdust, resin, and pigments. I use thick rope as the backbone of the form and build up surfaces around it until a rough and mucky exoskeleton is created. My palette is muted and often monochromatic, giving the pieces a monolithic feel that is both contemporary and ancient.
The finished aesthetic of my work is reductive and primal, and it obscures an intricate process marked by craftsmanship. I begin directly by spatially “sketching” out a form with rope. Often, a single line is my starting point. I layer rope onto itself to give the work its form, then I brush on resin and sawdust until the form is solidified. I am currently exploring new ideas of surface treatment and pigmentation.
My art evokes questions of ritual, process, and growth. Motifs of repetition run throughout the work to suggest the cyclical nature of our daily experiences, such as the establishment of personal routines. The enclosed body of work was informed by my pandemic experience and fixates on germs, bacteria and parasites as well as instruments and tools that we use on our bodies and environments in pursuit of cleanliness.