Orignially published on Greater Long Beach- 10/08/2011: http://greaterlongbeach.com/18/10/2011/kendrick-does-her-take-on-graffiti-beside-a-street-master-kapow
By Jimmy Dolan
October 18, 2011|Visual arts
The images that abound in Kirby Kendrick’s traveling exhibit, Ka-POW!—now residing at the EXPO Arts Center in Bixby Knolls—range from mass culture to historical and personal references, but they all center on her contemporary, graffiti-inspired work.
“I fell in love with Renaissance art,” Kendrick says in her artist statement for Ka-POW! “Then I fell in love with icons.”
Kendrick is typically known for her Impressionist paintings, but in this show she explores new relationships between form, function and historic meaning. She expresses her icon-love, graffiti-style, in ways that include a reprinted section of the Berlin Wall and spray-painted 1950s cartoon characters.
Showcasing Ka-POW! alongside Los Angeles graffiti artist Randy “Rebornz” DeLeon seems a perfect fit. He spent years with a tagging crew in Los Angeles until his art became too dangerous to continue.
The difference between Kendrick and DeLeon is the direction from which they arrive at this exhibit. For Kendrick, the graffiti influence represents new territory. For DeLeon, it represents a personal renaissance of sorts—a new awakening in his life and artistic career, and an exploration of the everyday.
Both artists have been brought to Long Beach during GLOBAL—Long Beach Arts Month—and at a time when street art is entering both the mainstream culture and local consciousness.
In addition to MOCA’s recently closed Art in the Streets exhibit, which traced the history of the street-art form from public space to gallery walls, Long Beach’s own HELPDESK has been increasingly covering utility boxes and abandoned walls citywide with his handmade wheat paste art. And recently, a stencil artist has been speaking to local issues concerning the breakwater, putting up a series of “Wrong Beach” works, each with a simple photo of an oil pump or a man holding a surfboard.
KIRBY KENDRICK’S Ka-POW! THE EXPO BUILDING • 4321 ATLANTIC AVE • LONG BEACH 90807 • 562.595.0081 • FRI-SAT, 4PM TO 8PM • THROUGH OCT 30 • FREE
Read more: EXPO Arts Ce nter, GLOBAL Arts Month, Ka-POW!, MOCA, Randy “Rebornz” DeLeon