Aaron Karten is an artist whose work has been creating quite a buzz around the art world for quite some time now. His style is very unique and very much his own, utilizing his characters, mixed media, photographs and any other randomness he may want to add to his work. He was voted artist of the year by OCWeekly a couple years ago, his work has been featured in many galleries around the world.It is my pleasure to introduce the first Aaron Kraten feature on Tiny Avenger. - Jose Cerda
Aaron Kraten Spotlight
"Funeral Party"Acrylic, mixed media, on canvas.
Iconic girl that has cemented AK's work into the art world.Acrylic, mixed media, photographs, chips on wood.
"Pine"Oil, mixed media on wood
"Recording lights"Oil, mixed media, randomness
A Word with Aaron Kraten
TA: A little bit about yourself?
AK: I am an Artist and all Around Goofball.
TA: Where did you grow up?
AK: Huntington Beach California
TA: When did you discover your talent as an artist? Any art schools, artist in the family?
AK: I have been drawing since I was a wee lad. I took art classes in high school beside that no formal training. My sister is creative beside that no.
TA: You have created quite an incredible style for yourself with no formal train.
TA: Preferred mediums?
AK: I dig mixed media, Acrylic, oils, Spray paint and whatever else I can find to add to the mix.
TA: Inspirational Artist past or present?
AK: Early on I was influenced by comic book art, especially Geoff Darrow and Brian Bolland. In high school I really got into skateboard graphics, like the stuff Mark Gonzales was creating for Vision. I have always enjoyed going to museums and looking at art as well as looking at graffiti on the way home after school from Ocean View.
TA: Where and how often do you show your work?
AK: I have been showing a minimum of twice per year, though oftentimes more since 2000. I have shown in various spaces around the world. I've had the opportunity to own and operate my gallery, "Gallery 23" for a year in 2000, in Costa Mesa, Ca. I was given the space on a loan from the owner of the property, where I exhibited local emerging artist along with my own work. Running a gallery of my own a really enriching and wonderful experience as I was able to learn hands on about the art business from both the gallery and artist perspective. I was also chosen in the summer of 2001 to occupy a live/work space for four months, cumulating in my largest one man show to date at Seven Degrees, in the Laguna Canyon, Laguna Beach, Ca, Last year I traveled to Germany, where my work was exhibited in Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin in conjunction with Haye, who is currently producing my work into puzzles and calendars. Also, for the past three years I have been a part of the annual MoCA benefit show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Los Angeles. It's very cool have been selected to show my art there, I have always really loved the MoCA.
TA: It just shows that passion and drive will take you in the direction you want to go.
TA: Interest outside of Art/ Painting?
AK: I like to skateboard. I really dig Japanese bullet hell shooter video games. Analog Synthesizer.
TA: Favorite Places traveled, places hoping to travel?
AK: Germany was really fun, I would love to go to Japan.
TA: Past times you wish you did more of?
AK: Skateboarding, there aren't any skateparks that are nearby and most spots are a bust.
TA: When fun is outlawed only outlaws will have fun.
TA: Favorite writers, books, websites, blogs?
AK: Bill Sienkiewicz "Stray Toasters" is a great book. I also dig "Hard Boiled" by Frank Miller.
TA: What's next for AK?
AK: Hopefully making larger work and showing more internationally.
TA: Well the best of luck to you with your endeavors, you seem to be doing a great job thus far.
TA: Thanks to:
AK: Thanks to my wife Erin Kraten for being so radical.
Loyal fans! Some fans showing their love towards Kraten's art through tattoos.
Aaron having a man size Bier in Germany.
Aaron snapping an ollie in his Doc Martins at Murdy Park in Huntington Beach, Ca.
Acrlic, Mixed media on canvas.
"Sig Girl 23"
Oil, spray paint, mixed media, random material
"Wax Poetic" AK Solo Show
Oil, random scraps on wood
"Sleep Over"AK Sketch, markers on paper
"Tijuana Alley Art"
Last Saturday March 9th I had the honor to attend "Tijuana Alley Art" a journey of photographer/ writer Jill Marie Holslin through the artistic jungle that is Tijuana, Mexico. The show featured her photos along with works from Tijuana Street Artist, Once Cero Dos, Panca, Spel Uno Hem, and many others that work was photographed throughout Tijuana.The show took place at VISUAL art Studio in San Diego. I was actually quite blown away by what VISUAL Owner Jason has going on, its an art supply store / gallery and he carries the best of the best products. Hats off Jason, your store is next level. Along with everything, there is street art in every corner of the store, I didn't have one dull moment. -Jose CerdaThe show ends April 7th so there is still time to check it out,VISUAL3524 Adams Ave.San Diego, CA. 92116 (619) 501-5585With wheatpaste art & paintings by Tijuana artists: 1102, Panca, and SpelTeodora Craft beer by Francisco J. Garcia of TijuanaThe concept of my exhibition is to explore—through my photos— “that which remains” in the alleys of Tijuana. Often, graffiti writers arrive at a spot to paint, they paint, and they leave, and they don’t come back again. “That which remains” can be the remembered image, the photograph, or a video of painting, or even the stories we tell and continue to tell. In this way, “that which remains” links space and time—the past, present and future of a space remains inscribed on the wall. The photograph participates in the history of these urban spaces, documenting these ephemeral expressions of everyday life. - Jill Marie Holslin
Tiny Avenger X Schoph Profile
TA: A little bit about yourself, Where were you born?
Schoph: I was born and grew up in Yorkshire in the North of England.
TA: How did your evolution into the arts become, and how long ago?
Schoph: I've painted all my life, it's the first thing I can remember I ever did .........from drawing on the walls in my families home to filling a ton of colouring books and sketch books, I think every kid does it I just carried on through my snowboard life been on the road with a sketch book right through to finally exhibiting my work for the first time 4 years back.
TA: what's your inspiration behind your creations?
Schoph: I dunno man, I just let my art evolve as I make it, the music I listen to forsure plays a big part another is recently I've been traveling alot through my shows and don't really like to stay in the same place for to long which i think is important for me, my art and life in general...... you know like hangout or live in a different place, meet new folks, colaborate on new shows and see what effect that has on the outcome of maybe a new series I'm working on. Nowadays there's so much to be influenced by through the www and certain trends and what's in and not .......I try to stay away from that and make the art I wanna see that I'd be happy to have hanging on my walls.
TA: I was able to attend your show at the T.F.R. Gallery in Lucadia with my Friend Ron Chatman, it was great to see your work, meet you and have a couple brews. The work you displayed seemed to be a bit different from the work I have discovered from your previous work?
Schoph: Well, look at Art as an on going progress a more of an exploration its a free creative outlet,
i think the art worlds a bit nuts anyhow so im constantly trying have my own thing going on ........when it comes to different styles of how id make the art or what imagery id like to see .... if a different medium will get that across for me i go with it a learn about it ...rather than just working from within and producing the same style that i know i can do ,if you work from inside you'll go around in circles and just produce the same stuff....my last show in Lucadia was rad as its the first time id worked with mixed media and collage i got across what i wanted to ...some hated on my collage work and wernt really fans,.....but i got across my art and what i wanted to see .So job done.
TA: I was quite impressed on the overall feel of your new body of work as was Ron.
Schoph: Yeah man thank you! it was great that yourself and Ron made it down good times and good friendships were made.
TA: I know you have been displaying your work around the world, any favorites galleries or shows you'd like to mention? Show you feel accomplished being a part of?
Schoph: Everywhere i go i get a good vibe from shows and enjoy the whole thing about exhibiting my work , bringing people together, having a good time and not making Art shows as stale as alot make it out to be, give me a rock and roll band ,a heap of booze, a bunch of art and good mates and thats all that counts . Stand outs have been my very first show going into an industry that wasnt the snowboard one and not knowing anything about anything showing with Shepard fairy ,Banksy , Blek le rat was a bit of trip aswell as one last year in Austria with Ed Templeton ,Blaise Rosenthal and other artists i appreciate ........Ive gotta say for me showing in the US has been paticularly awesome especially in recent years everyone has made me feel so welcome , ive made some epic mates and some great shows with some talented artists to which point my work is now alot more popular in SoCal than it ever was in the UK and Europe .It seems each time i go there now the longer i stay just by having more opportunity out in Cali.
TA: So from what I see you are quite a great snowboarder, when and where did you start snowboarding?
Schoph: Ha thanks dude, i wouldnt say great more like having a laugh, i was just fortunate to have the sponsors to keep me living the life yknow been in the mountains / traveling and to have the support from sponsors made a big difference to how my snowboard life panned out .I began when i was like 12 and a local dryslope in sheffield opened up near the village i was brought up , my bro passed his driving test so we were there each week religiously...... i had 3 jobs to save up for my first snowboard when i was like 15 from that all i wanted to do is shred and be in the mountains ....spending time out there my first hook up happened then sponsors just fell into place. From that im now supported by the same brands 12 years later that do the same for me as an artist and im able to build and continue a good working relationship.
TA: Any artist, writers, athletes, musicians that inspire you in your ventures in the past /present?
Schoph: Lemmy,Ozzy Osbourne,Arthur Guinness ,Jack Daniels
TA: What are your future plans, goals, shows in your immediate future?
Schoph: As it stands London in Sept , Beverly Hills Oct - Dec ,LA from the 14th Dec - Jan ,as well as 2 possible shows in NYC /San Diego in Oct /Nov . On going with my Signature lines with the brands that support me released for 2014.But hey man we'll see im just getting my head down making art ,things can change from month to month and i try not to plan to far ahead , already up till April 14 is booked out for me with Art ,some film work coming up and some great opportunities for Music and Dalikfodda the brand i own and apart of. Its busy but the busy im into.
TA: Anybody you would like to thank:
Schoph: Rhythm, Dragon ,Vans , Lib Tech and anyone who's ever supported Dalikfodda
TA: where can people check out more of your work?
TA: Thanks for sharing your work and yourself with Tiny Avenger and all art enthusiast. We look forward to following your work and progression in the future.
Schoph: Thanks to you dude, its a pleasure, see you in Oct my friend for a black milk .Keep on keeping on.
Once Cero Dos markers on paper
The works of street artist, painter, skateboarder Mike Kershnar. "Slam Dance" was an exhibit of painting, street art and graphics hosted at the RVCA Gallery in San Francisco California. Mike is a California native artist from Irvine, he's been a part of the skateboard industry for quite sometime, started working at the Visalia skate camp where he met Element founder Johnny S. and Todd Larson fromElemental Awareness. He's created many skateboard graphics for Element,Toy Machine, Baker and t-shirts for many brands. Mike has also created poster art for rock bands. Today Mike is an internationally known street artist and currently resides in San Francisco and where ever his passion of art takes him.I was fortunate enough to check out Mike's show in San Francisco at the RVCA Gallery on my last visit to the bay area. It was cool to meet up with him, have a couple brews and explore the streets. Below are some photos of his show, enjoy. - Jose Cerda
"Love and Guts" photo / art show.
Thrasher Magazine had a show in celebration of "30" Years of Thrasher Magazine.
The show took place at the Lab in Costa Mesa and featured iconic photographs over the years featured in the magazine along with some Art from influential skateboarding artist.
Thrasher magazine has always been the pulse to raw skateboarding with some of the best staff photographers skateboarding has ever witnessed. Big thanks to Fausto Vittello and Kevin Thatcher for creating the magazine and toMofo and BK for taking some of the greatest skateboarding photos that still influence me to this day. Also thanks to Jake Phelps and all the new photographers for keeping the legacy alive. Viva Thasher Magazine, Skate and Destroy! - Jose Cerda
"Tijuana Alley Art"
Love and Guts
Above L to R: Once Cero Uno (Wheat paste up) handdrawn and painted, Panca! , Once Cero Uno (wheat paste up) handdrawn and painted.
S.U.H. getting busy
The greatest art supply store in San Diego-VISUAL
Gypsy Treasures in Long Beach California hosted "First Communion" a group art show featuring a religious themed show. It was quiet a pleasant night with art music and lots of food catered by The Crosby. A Special Thanks to Lisa Orem from Switchblade Stiletto / Gypsy Treasures for putting on the event, it was an honor to be a part of the show. - Jose Cerda
Above L to R: Bobby Mendez, John Hall ,Rachel Snyder
Chris Hamrock and Josh "Skreech" Sandervol
Jose Cerda and Sergio Sandervol
Marco Almera and Michelle Jefcoat
Press arrows below to view slideshow
On my last trip to up San Francisco I was fortunate enough to hit up some spots I haven't been to in a while, one was the skatepark near the mission district. It was a good session with exception for it getting cut short due to fog that wet the concrete. Another was just the Mission district in general, the art and murals all over the walls and to top it off the mexican food restaurants. They have burrito places that put Chipotle to shame. I always make it to legendary "Pop's Bar" also, a local bar with a great juke box and usually some local skaters to kick it with. This time around I was able to reconnect with a friend Jill Johnson that I knew from elementary school that lives in the city. We met up at a wine bar / restaurant around the corner from her place for a couple drinks and some appetizers. She was telling me about this alleyway called "Clarion Alley" that was a designated art alley where artist could paint without being hassled by the man. So we went and checked it out, the place is amazing and I highly suggest anyone interesting in the arts to check it out while in San Francisco.
Enjoy, Jose Cerda
Thanks to Jill Johnson for showing me this gem called Clarion Alley!
¡Hecho en Mexico!
During the week, I work in Tijuana manufacturing skateboards, I stay in Playas which is the first beach town next to the U.S. / Mexican border. Its a quite town with not much going on, some really good mexican seafood restaurants, taco stands and even some fast food american chains have moved in.
I usually go for walks on the beach just to absorb the ocean breeze and sunsets, its quite pleasant. The following photos were taken while on one of my walks, some street art and others murals commissioned by artist. I hope you enjoy them.
- Jose Cerda
La Luz de mi amor.
Street Art vs. Playas de Tijuana.
This is the famous Bullring of Playas.
Commissioned piece of musicians.
This lighthouse is located right on the beach in Playas.
Random Street Art in Playas de Tijuana
Tu eres el poeta = you are the poet.
This metal wall is what separates Mexico from the United States.
This is a commissioned piece promoting an Expo.
Que vaya en pas.
Long Beach Art Musuem: Vitality and Verve
Transforming the Urban Landscape
Long Beach is home to many creatives; artists, musicians, and skaters alike. Not only is Long Beach rich in the people that create but also in the community who help showcase the work created. This summer from June 26th thru September 27th the Long Beach Art Musuem is displaying a wide variety of work from artists around the world. Participating artists include: Aaron Horkey, Alex Yanes, Andrew Schoultz, Audrey Kawasaki, Brendan Monroe, Brandon Shigeta, Cryptik, Esao Andrews, Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins, Hot Tea, James Bullough, Jeff Soto, John S. Culqui, Low Bros, Meggs, Nosego, Nychos, Saber, and Tristan Eaton.
In collaboration with POW WOW Long Beach, Ron Nelson, Executive Director of the Long Beach Museum of Art stated, “One of
the goals behind ‘Vitality and Verve’ is to spotlight artists who are stepping out of their studios to paint on a grand scale using outdoor walls as their canvas as well as urban artists who are beginning to work in a traditional studio setting.” The musuem is just one of the locations throughout Long Beach that will be showcasing mural art, other places include the Varden Hotel on Long Beach Blvd and 4th as well as Broadway and Junipero. At some point this summer, pull out your bikes and go on ride throughout Long Beach to see all the hardwork these collabrative artists have done! Below is a map of locations.
"Too many names"
Mixed media on museum wall
Mark Dean Veca
Acrylic on canvas
Acrylic and Spray paint on canvas
Explosions, Burst, and Breakage 2015
Mixed media on museum wall
Untitled mural 2015
Acrylic paint on museum wall
Sarawati (Goddess of Wisdom, Music & the Arts)
Acrylic on wood panel
Capricorn Blues, 2015
Acrylic and latex paint on museum wall
Tic Tac Toe, 2015
Spray Paint on museum wall
Going, Going, Gone 2015
Mixed media on museum wall
Word to Mother
Mixed media on salvaged wood panel
Hard Times, 2015
Aerosol on portfolio cover
A Look at Josh Mattson
Skater, Artist & Explorer
Tiny Avenger: Where are you from and where did you grow up?
Josh Mattson: I am from Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I would hitchhike to school/work, cross mudslides in the winter with rubber boots. Escape the wrath of drunk hillbillies, crazy rednecks, and their angry unleashed dogs....
TA: How long have you been skateboarding and painting?
JM: I've been skating my whole life, I recently started painting almost everyday. Unfortunately I found my painting talent during my down time from a severe injury a couple months back. I guess that's the way things are sometimes!
TA: Any favorite terrains or mediums you like to work with?
JM: I Iove being in the wilderness and everything about it! I am obsessed with mountaineering, hiking and learning survival tactics. I only feel normal when I'm out in the wild on a trail or a summit of a large mountain. I imagine places I would like to be and create it as best as I can with yee ol' paint brush!
TA: What have you been up to lately?
JM: Well, lately I have been losing my mind at home, been resting, healing, painting and waiting for a surgery to finally be healed up. I escape to these places I paint, or I read books on wilderness survival. Anything to keep busy and my mind free of negativity!
TA: Any other hobbies or interests?
JM: I love to be outdoors, fishing, camping, exploring! I also like to surf and be in the ocean. Drawing stuff, taking photos and filming things....Skateboarding is entangled in there and always will be a part of my life!
TA: Any career interests or trades?
JM: I install Hardwood Floors for a living, I work for a great little company out of Huntington Beach.
TA: Where do you live now and how do you like it?
JM: I moved down south with no plans other then skateboarding around, everything happened as it does, I met an awesome girl named Laurel and we have been together ever since! We live in Sunset Beach just north of Huntington Beach and we are near the beach that has occasional good surf.
TA: Do you have any pets?
JM: I have two Dogs! Chewy Gomez "the adventure pooch", and Doc Holliday "nightmare weasel"
TA: What are your future goals?
JM: I want to heal up and feel healthy again! That's my main goal for now!!!!
TA: Any special thanks?
JM: I would like to thank everybody who has helped me through the toughest of times and supported me in times of need! Big thanks to my girlfriend Laurel for being a inspiration to my paintings and life!
"Josh Mattson is a strictly pure surfer, painter, outdoorsman/ McGyver type of mutation...probably has a gnarly IQ. From Nor Cal living in So Cal."
Against the Grain
Put on by El Cuervo Gallery in Feburary, "Against the Grain 3" highlighted artist within the skate world in its 3rd installment of the show series. Artists such as Steve Caballero, Joey Vela and Steve Alba showed their work. The El Cuervo Gallery was opened up by Mark Waldman last year in June. Since then the gallery has put on various shows such as "Marauding Hordes of Hooligans" and "Space Truckin" as well as being a part of the Hermosa Beach Art Walk. In the gallery, there is a plethera of artist made merchandise as well as skateboards from wall to wall. With this type of enviroment it seemed appropriate for "Against the Grain 3" to be there!