Last week Bergamot Station in Santa Monica had a series of openings. I was especially excited to see two very different SoCal artists.

Mike Watt, punk pioneer, Minutemen, Secondmen, super session bass-man, plays with Iggy, jams econo, lives in Pedro (San Pedro, our local South Bay port town–which as Watt once showed me on a tour that include the WPA mural at the post office–has north, south, east and west facing beaches!) now exhibiting his photographs of the hometown at Track 16; and

Craig Kaufman–a Los Angeles artist now based in the Philippines, part of the New Cool movement here in the 60s and 70s, who forms luminescent acrylic sculptures–at Frank Lloyd. Both men revel in nature, using different mediums and expressions to show their reverence.

Next week I take off for Baja California to see what promises to be an incredible, color saturated art show, Virgins Warriors & Dreamers at La Casa de la Tunel in Tijuana, featuring Clark V Fox, Elizabeth Conroy Benati and Peggy Reavey.

In his current series, Fox–who founded The Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C. and continued its development for 14 years–explores the history of Native Americans and the vibrant culture buried by the white man’s assumptions and sensibility using pop culture iconography.

Clark is an amazing man, a real champion of contemporary art, and a wonderful painter. The two other artists are old and good friends of his, well-respected and fine painters.

Reavey’s mixed media artworks engage history, re-imagining familiar figures from Anne Frank to Meriwether Lewis and Sacagawea, altering outcomes while Benati’s works of social realism are inspired by her love of Venezuela, its people, and the intensity of the noonday Caribbean sun.

Plus I want to see who is showing up as subjects of paintings on velvet. For while Bart Simpson was everywhere, plus a some renderings of Jim Morrison, but very few portraits of Elvis…

More photos of the art work on La Figa