LUSH LIFE 2 Exhibit @ Roq La Rue

Laurie Hogin

“Diorama of Endless Desires”

oil on canvas
48″x 60″ image

New York has the Jonathan Levine Gallery among others.  Los Angeles offers art venues like Gallery 1988San Francisco is the birthplace of Upper Playground with galleries like Fifty24SF and Fecal Face.  For many years, Seattle was far less acknowledging of the underground art movement.  Although the city is home to artistic innovators like the subversive Charles Krafft, there was never really a place tailored to display works of such members of the Pop Surrealism/Underground Contemporary art movement.  Fortunately for us that live in the city , Kirsten Anderson changed all of that.  Coupled with her love of the culture and the realization that there was a huge void to be filled, Anderson opened the Roq La Rue Gallery in 1998 and has remained an integral part of “LowBrow” and underground art movements ever since.  In 2004, Anderson even released the first real comprehensive book on the subject entitled, Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art (Last Gasp), which featured essays by artist Robert Williams, curator/critic Carlo McCormick, and FantagraphicsLarry Reid.  Not only has Roq La Rue provided a forum for established names like Mark Ryden and Chet Zar, but the gallery has also made us personally aware of amazing work by lesser known artists on the rise, such as Victor Castillo.

Last year Anderson curated a group exhibit at Roq La Rue titled, LUSH LIFE.  The following quotation, which is taken from the press release of that event, explains the intention of the show as well as why Roq La Rue has continued to remain such a unique venue throughout the rise of these underground art movements:

While many galleries in the “underground”/Pop Surrealism art scene have increasing turned towards street art, Roq la Rue has decided to instead focus on the more formal, Symbolist -inspired painters in the genre. “Lush Life” brings together painters in both the alt-art world as well as contemporary art scene, who all work within a guideline of tight technical craftsmanship as well the use of opulent and decadent imagery to convey higher inner truths and emotions. This take on “Neo-Symbolism” is different from it’s predecessor in that while it still mines the unconscious for a sense of mythic gravitas, it incorporates American culture’s pervasive pop culture-flavored and cartoony aesthetic.

Beginning last Friday, March 12th, and running all the way until May 7th, is the sequel to that event, LUSH LIFE 2.  When we contacted Kirsten for more details on the event, she explained to us that, while last years LUSH LIFE exhibit “was focused on painters who worked with a bit of an opulent or lush tone either in subject matter or in technique (ie: painterly)“… “this time (she) opened it to sculpture as well.”  Among contributors of new work to this exhibit are Pop-Surrealist powerhouses, Marion Peck and Charlie ImmerLes Claypool favorite, Travis Louie, and, helping to round out the 3-dimensional aspects of the show, the intricate sculptural work of Kris KuksiAnderson was also kind enough to provide us with a full list of pieces in the exhibit along with their images (featured below)

If you are interested in acquiring any of the available pieces and/or viewing them in person, please contact Roq La Rue at :

2316 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121-1710
(206) 374-8977

Gallery is open on Wed – Sat.
From 1 – 6pm

or visit

Travis Louie

“The Ghost Of Laura From The Reeds”

acrylic, graphite on board
16″ x 20″ image
20″ x 24″ framed (ornate oval frame with convex glass)

Laura was a garden spirit who danced around the
vegetable planting fields and herb gardens of royal families
throughout Eastern Europe. She smelled of oregano, basil, and rosemary.
Everywhere she went, her scent increased people’s appetites.
This upset a particular despot, who was on a diet. He had her captured
and banished to the marshlands near Belarus. She disappeared into the marshes and was not seen for hundreds of years.

It is said, her spirit haunts the Pinsk Marshes north-west of Ukraine, confirmed by the appearance of a ghostly figure of a woman seen wandering the wetlands by soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian fourth army during World War 1. The troops claimed that they smelled paprika, garlic, and onions.

[Click Image to View Detail]

“Laura From The Reeds” study

graphite,chalk on paper
9″ x 15″ image
comes framed
Please Inquire

Ryan Heshka

“Garden of Torment”

acrylic on panel
20″ x 28″ image
30″ x 38″ framed (ornate gold frame)

Chris Berens

[Click Image to View Detail]

“Stage One”

mixed media (ink, paint, on photopaper,on panel)
approx 40″x 40″

Madeline Von Foerster

“Invasive Species”

oil on panel
11″ x 15″ image
15.5″ x 19″ framed (ornate gold frame)

Marion Peck

[Click Image to View Detail]

“Lady Clown”

oil on panel
10″ x 16″ image
15″ x 25″ framed (ornate distressed gold frame)

Gail Potocki

“Saving Myself From What I Knew”

oil on linen
25″ x 50″ image
32″ x 57″ framed (ornate silvery gold frame)
Please inquire

Kris Kuksi

[Click Image to View Detail]


mixed media assemblage
10″ x 6.5″ x 13″

Joe Sorren

“At Prayer With The Swimmers and The Bouncers”

oil on canvas
20″ x 24″ image

Charlie Immer

[Click Image to View Detail]

“Bleeding Lean”

oil on cradled panel
10″ x 30″ image
Please Inquire

Martin Wittfooth

[Click Image to View Detail]

“Hiding Place”

oil on canvas
8″ x 8″ image
12″ x 12″ framed

Michael Brown

[Click Image to View Detail]


acrylic on canvas
22″ x 28″ image
30″ x 36″ framed (thick dark wood frame)

[Click Image to View Detail]


acrylic on panel
14″ x 20″ image
24″ x 28″ framed (thick dark wood frame)

Andrew Arconti

[Click Image to View Detail]

“A Stinging Disappearance”

oil on panel
12″ x 20″ image

Brian Despain

“Canon Fodder”

10″ x 14″ image
16″ x 19″ framed
Please Inquire

(Read our 2009 interview with Brian HERE)

Mandy Greer

“Emerald Chandelier”

mixed media
3 ft diameter / 8 ft tall
Contact for availability

“Lime Chandelier”

mixed media
3.5 ft diameter / 8 ft tall
Contact for availability

“Olive Chandelier”

mixed media
2.5 ft diameter / 14 ft tall
Contact for availability

Boomer Torvik

[Click Image to View Detail]


carved carerra white marble
18″ x 18″ x 6ft approx
Please Inquire

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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