Katalyst Foundation For The Arts Presents:
“FIND THE VEIN- Eight Artists Reunite With Their Mentor”
Paintings and Drawings by Saul Bernstein, Dan Caplan, Dan Minor Gonzales, Ashley Laurence, Paul Lasaine, Steve Montiglio, Laura Peisner, Diane Nebolon Silver and John Paul Thornton.
Through November 8, 2008
Reception: Saturday, October 18, 6-9 pm

Katalyst Foundation for the Arts
450 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
Contact: Martha Perez Mitchell, Director
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 3-8pm

What impact, really, do our instructors have upon us?

Like a fiery-eyed old -testament prophet, Saul Bernstein not only preaches to his  students, but over time laid the seeds that have made vital impact on the art world.  As a professor teaching at California State University at Northridge through the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, Bernstein’s classes were packed beyond capacity with two generations of kids who were desperately searching for “meaning” during eras of  post-pop minimalism and Boom-time excesses. Bernstein is renowned today for his development of digital imagery as an art form, as well as for his relentless and mind-expanding research into the “secrets” of the old European masters of painting. Young artists who crossed paths with him seem to bare an indelible mark.

Katalyst Foundation presents some of Saul Bernstein’s newest oil Paintings and digital drawings, alongside select works created by former students. This is a bold display of bloodline; a grouping of eight prodigal sons and daughters who have had two decades to forge their own path, nourished by the teachings of their former mentor.

Curator John Paul Thornton writes:  “At night, laying in bed in the dark, a mountain Sherpa might be compelled to ask himself the most pressing question: Did he safely guide his party up to the top peak? Was the trail the right one? Did the expedition reach the summit?

For a teacher of painting, the question could be even more compelling, because there is no “right” trail. There is no true peak. Still, the results of a misguided expedition might result in legions of students marching off of a cliff, or worse, starving in the vastness, clinging to false maps, searching without purpose.

Saul Bernstein- Professor, Artist and Mentor, played a role as guide to the eight other painters in this exhibition, who each reunite here, after twenty years, to bare testament to the expedition they set out upon. Former students might lay in bed in the dark, and be compelled to ask the pressing question: What wisdom took root within us? Were we able to read the prized map? Did we find our own sure footing? Did we stay firmly on the trail, or forge our own?”

This is an exhibition that ponders questions about the essence of education. Saul Bernstein himself exclaimed upon viewing the show, “I did not indoctrinate!”  Each artist in the show stands uniquely and individually free from “A School”.  But the Vein is there, running through the art, manifesting most mightily in the solution of representational imagery, the use of human figure as a delivery system, and color, whether vibrant of delicate, as a device of seduction. Each artist shares recollections about their experiences with Bernstein, which appear to have made a deep impact.

Artist Bios:

Saul Bernstein-
Painter, digital art innovator, lecturer and conceptualist, Saul Bernstein has won acclaim for his exhaustive research into the hidden processes of the “Old Masters”. In the 1980s He pioneered Computer art as a viable form of expression and as a tool for creative exploration, which radically altered the future of design and entertainment.  His current paintings reflect his application of optics and physics in relationship to time and multi- dimensional space.

Dan Caplan-
A leader in Film and television, Caplan has worked successfully as storyboard artist for countless projects, including the acclaimed “Six Feet Under” and Ally McBeal” shows. His dedication to communicate ideas with clarity and intelligence manifests in his personal painting, which is influenced by European classicism and symbolic imagery infused with references to pictorial cinematography.

Dan Milnor Gonzales-
Creating art outside the defined boundaries of any established system, Gonzales has forged his own creative path, from his first solo exhibition of monumental nudes in wheelchairs at Barry Goldfarb Galleries in 1990 to the present day. His drawings on orange traffic cones depict conflicting messages of spiritual salvation and damnation for humanity. Gonzales blends the surreal with literary and popular culture imagery, which he lays out, like a codified language, at the viewer’s quivering feet.

Ashley Laurence-
An icon in the cinematic world, actress and visual artist Ashley Laurence has always immersed herself in painting. While best known for her screen performances in Clive Barker‘s ground breaking “HellRaiser” series, her paintings also reflect highly personal and intimate experiences at the core of their conception. The symbolic imagery and refined glazes of Laurence’s canvases recall altar panels found in European churches, as she references cultural and popular archetypes of spiritual confrontation and victory over manifestations of evil.

Paul Lasaine-
As one of the world’s most respected Matte painters and an acknowledged leader in cinema special effects, Lasaine has worked as Designer, Painting Supervisor, and Art Director for Walt Disney, Dreamworks and Sony Pictures. He had the opportunity to live in New Zealand where he worked as an Art Director on Peter Jackson’s Acclaimed Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Lasaine’s private, traditional paintings focus upon an acute appreciation for the beauty and complexity of nature.

Steve Montiglio-
Accomplished figurative painter, Designer and digital Illustrator, Montiglio’s sleek, sexy, dominating style has been embraced by the dark cultural demi-monde as well as the shining elite of the entertainment world. His work is exhibited internationally.

Laura Peisner-
As an expressionist painter, Peisner ‘s series of guitars as sacred fetishes explore the seduction of music and the faith that is required of individuals to carry on through personal transformation. For years Peisner was co-Director of Gallery X in Hollywood. She is now currently serving as an art educator with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Diane Nebolon Silver-
and lives in the Los Angeles area.

John Paul Thornton-
Thornton’s portraits of America’s missing children have been displayed by the hundreds in public exhibitions on the National Mall, at The White House and at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.   Honored by the California State Senate, the United States Congress and CBS television, Thornton has created International projects with The United Nations Environment Programme, the Tibetan Government in Exile, the Chinese Government in Beijing,  and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. His work was recently displayed at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo Norway.

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