ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Art is his way of overcoming horrendous tragedies. The brutal murder
of his beloved mother at the hands of his paranoid schizophrenic
brother in 1989 ended Thom's 20s and his three-year gig as a regular
on the soap opera The Young and the Restless. Most of his 30s were
spent in silent catharsis as he labored intensively over his art,
motivated by the primal desire to make sense of the matricide. In
2000, another blow would enter the artist's life when his other
brother, in a paranoid depression, committed suicide. Thom's need
to express his inner fears became an obsession. "Each painting
became an earnest attempt to make sense out of the senseless; to
make something beautiful out of something tragic," says Thom.
What emerges from his personal journey onto the canvas is at times
heartbreaking, haunting and profoundly affecting. Thom's body of
work ultimately proves to be an uplifting and inspiring experience
of transcendence, a compelling testimony on the resilience of the
Thom Bierdz' best-selling Men in Trees series of paintings
depicts classic male nudes amongst the leafless limbs of a metaphorical
tree of life. Thom elaborates: "Stripped of camouflage or defense,
the bare branches and figures suggest a netherworld between dreaming
and waking - awareness and unconsciousness - life and death. The
men inhabiting these personal purgatories struggle, pray, contemplate
and rejoice; they are icons of our individual journeys and interaction
with the infinite. Each viewer's perspective determines whether
the rich amber atmosphere glows with fire or reflects the light
of rebirth. Through painting and writing, Bierdz sheds and shreds
his psyche - exposing and laying it bare as the bodies and branches
on these canvases. Censorship would corrupt their beauty. There
are no fig leaves for the soul."
Hector explores themes of cultural identity, eroticism and beauty.
His mastery of light and shadow on skin is captured on paper with
pencil. He draws from photographic stills. Known internationally
as an emblematic Los Angeles artist, Hector Silva’s erotic,
playful and politically charged work re-invents and queers what
scholar Richard T. Rodriguez describes as the “homeboy aesthetic.”
Living in Los Angeles with its rich Chicano culture, Hector draws
from both his gay identity and the Latino tradition. Often in his
art he juxtaposes homoeroticism with religious iconography. Among
his influences: religious iconography, pornography, Tom of Finland,
Frida Kahlo, M. C. Escher and Chicano prison art. His subjects are
usually proud brown men, Latinos who exude an overt sexuality that
they communicate in their gaze. As in real life, it is sometimes
unclear whether this gaze is an invitation or a threat.
Hector is the recipient of the prestigious Sandie & Nicky Awards.
.He has participated in exhibitions at the Museum of Art in Balboa
Park, the Tom of Finland Gallery and the Advocate Gallery. He has
been featured in publications such as Pepper/Golden Hill, The Edge,
The Update and Adelante.
FREE RECEPTION PARKING: across the street from the
gallery at the Citibank Building Parking Lot located at the corner
of 5001 Lankershim Blvd.& Ostego St.1 block south of Magnolia
Blvd. Courtesy of Chandler Partners.
FREE RECEPTION PARKING: 5200 Lankershim Blvd. 1/2
block north of Magnolia Blvd. on the east side of Lankershim Blvd.
in the open lot in front of the Emmy Plaza courtesy of The Community
Redevelopment Agency of The City of Los Angeles - East Valley Region.