The journey of an artist is one of constant learning and evolution, as emphasized by artist Leilani Bustamante in a previous interview. Bustamante, who was largely self-taught until college, highlights the wealth of resources available to aspiring artists today, especially through online platforms.
On Saturday, April 22nd, downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) will proudly present their next major solo show, Ephemeral Existence, from Japanese oil painter Mayuka Yamamoto in the Main Gallery.
Yamamoto is widely recognized as one of Japan’s leading second-generation contemporary artists, whose works depict children sporting animal features and enigmatic expressions. The artist’s oil paintings often appear reticent and introspective. The emotions of the child characters in Yamamoto’s works, or “animal boys” as she often calls them, are meant to be a mystery to the viewer. more » “Mayuka Yamamoto Ephemeral Existence”
Q: Please tell us how CreativeSoul Photography was born and what challenges you encountered along the way to success.
A: CreativeSoul Photography was actually born in my mom’s garage. When Regis decided to go to school for photography I decided to learn along with him and we’ve been doing it ever since. One of our biggest challenges in the beginning was finding our own unique style and narrowing down what bought us joy.
Q: What inspired you to work with children? Tell us about how you have empowered a new generation of young people with your thematic styling.
“Lo, there do I see my father; Lo, there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers; Lo, there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.”
I’ve always been fascinated by Valkyries and the rich myths built around them that dates back to at least the 13th century. In Norse mythology, the Valkyrie possessed the ultimate power – to choose those who would live and die in battle. After a battle, they would take the fallen to Valhalla, the hall of the slain in the afterlife, ruled by the god Odin. While we may see the task as a grim one, the Valkyries exhibited the resolve necessary to complete it nonetheless.
Q: I have heard you say that you sing because there are so many others who can’t. Can you tell us what that means?
A: As an Iranian woman raised during the reign of the oppressive regime of Iran, women in particular were stripped of many basic and fundamental human rights including the right to sing, perform and record music. This unjust continues today. Had I still been living there I would not even begin to dream of having any kind of singing career, let alone of such innovative musical explorations. Many women both older and younger than me have no such hope and so every note I sing on stage is in remembrance and acknowledgement of their lack of freedom. Of course sadly this is not restricted to Iran as oppression of women is nothing new. Even after living in Canada all my adult life I have not fully gotten used to how free I am really to explore my dreams.
Q: Trauma and a need for a safe environment hinders many women in your country from perusing the arts. Can you tell us about the challenges they face?
A: In Iran, often being a woman is enough to make one a target, regardless of what a woman is wearing; how old she is; what her level of education is; what her social status is or what she does for a living. Now add to this toxic mixture the desire to be a performer, a trendsetter, an explorer in the arts and you are then definitely asking for it: to be harassed and accused of bogus charges including spreading immorality in the Iranian society. more » “Interview with the Artist Farnaz”