Preview: COPRO GALLERY 20th ANNIVERSARY – Group Art Exhibit [Santa Monica]

copro flyer

Tonight, Santa Monica‘s internationally respected Copro Gallery will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary by hosting a very special exhibit that features a lineup that is packed with some of the most important names to the past, present, and future of the Low Brow, Pop Surrealist, and underground contemporary art worlds.  Over the last 2 decades, Copro has worked with a mind-boggling array of monstrously influential, forward thinking, and high caliber artists, and tonight’s tribute show will be showcasing work from contributors that have been with them from the beginning spanning through contemporary talents that they have formed relationships with more recently.  Not only will undeniably groundbreaking and oft-imitated veterans such as Mark Ryden and Robert Williams (read our feature on him here),  have pieces on display, but works will also be featured by legends like Von Dutch and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, who laid the groundwork before them.  Past MonsterFresh interviewees, Dave MacDowell and Brian Despain will be represented, as will with fellow innovators/contemporaries like Andy Kehoe, Luke Chueh, Chet Zar, Frank Kozik, and, literally, dozens more!  This show is absolutely no joke and you aren’t likely to see a more impressive list of names on an exhibit flier anytime in the near future.

This is the point where I would generally continue to ramble, attempting to piece together some sort of insightful assessment on the whole operation, before encouraging you to simply hit up the opening, and/or check out the exhibit during regular gallery hours, while the show is still running, etc.  But this opening is tonight, and we don’t have a whole lot of time to fuck around here–not to mention that this exhibit has a pretty thorough press release that’s going to break things down much more thoroughly and accurately than whatever I’d be planning to muster up.  So let’s get to it!  Read all of this informational jive covering the history of the gallery, followed by the event details, or simply peep out the sample images posted below all of it.

Press Release

Copro Gallery celebrates its 20th anniversary. Hatched from a friendship of Douglas Nason and Greg Escalante, that began when Doug bought a Robert Williams seriagraph from Greg that he published in 1989, Copro Nason Fine Art Publishing was formed in 1993. Publishing several serigraphs with Robert Williams, Big Daddy Roth, Sandow Birk, Russell Crotty and many other luminaries during the 1990’s and curating several group shows, Greg Escalante, Douglas Nason and occasionally Gary Pressman collaborated with many artists during the beginnings of the Lowbrow / Pop Surreal movement. Greg Escalante’s art juggernaut led him to co-found Juxtapoz Magazine as well as sit on the board of several local art museums during this time and working with Doug Nason curated many important museum exhibitions as well as gallery shows. Copro/Nason didn’t have a permanent venue until December1999 when Copro/Nason Fine Art Gallery opened in Culver City with an exhibition called the “Leeteg Tribute”. Followed by “The Art of Robert Williams” in March 2000, Mark Ryden Illustration show, Night of the Tiki with Shag and solo and group shows with artists such as Liz Mcgrath, Keith Weesner, Coop, Kozik, Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Sandow Birk, David Choe, Brian Viveros, Van Arno the gallery continued to grow.

Gary Pressman started as Gallery Director at Copro/Nason gallery, Culver City 2002 and began curating feature and group shows with artists such as Isabel Samaras, Ausgang, Sas Christian, Chris Mars, Mark Ryden, Marion Peck, Esao Andrews, Glenn Barr, Shag, Tim Biskup, Kenny Scharf, John John Jesse, Joe Vaux, Ray Caesar, Luke Chueh, Alex Gross, Joe Ledbetter, Naoto Hattori, Jeff Gillette, Brian Viveros, and several others.

In the interest of expanding, June 2005 saw Copro/Nason’s “Bergamot Invasion group show” christening Copro into a new space in Santa Monica at Bergamot Station. Some of the early exhibitons at Bergamot Station up to 2008, when Douglas Nason left the gallery were Ron English/Daniel Johnston, BLAB, Cannibal Flower, Chet Zar, Dan Quintana, Audrey Kawasaki, Lori Earley, Amy Sol, Luke Chueh, Kris Lewis, Kukula, becca, Yosuke Ueno, Lola, Travis Louie. From these formative years Copro grew into a serious art gallery and continues to hunt for new artists and break new ground. 20 years from inception to Copro Gallery 2013 we’re still here with the same mission.

Copro Gallery 20th anniversary will feature many artists dating back to the beginning as well as current artists that are exhibiting at Copro today!

Artist List:

Mark Ryden, Robert WIlliams, Big Daddy Roth, Liz Mcgrath, Shag, Sandow Birk, Brian Viveros, Andy Kehoe, Esao Andrews, Chris Mars, Adam Miller, Alexandra Manukyan, Ana Bagayan, Annie Owens, Ausgang, becca, Cathie Bleck, Chet Zar, Chloe Trujillo, Brian Smith, Chris Peters, Chrystal Chan, Clare Toms, Clark, Craig Larotonda, Dan Quintana, Dave MacDowell, David Molesky, Eric Fortune, Erik Alos, Genevive Zacconi, Germs, Glenn Barr, Isabel Samaras, Jason Hite, Jason Maloney, Jeff Christensen, Kelly Allen, Leslie Ditto, Luke Chueh, Macsorro,, Mark Garro, Matt Dangler, Miran Kim, Miss Van, Naoto Hattori, Nathan Spoor, Nouar, Peter Chan, Peter Gric, Phil Lumbang, Richard Kirk, Robert Connett, Rose Freymuth-Frazier Santiago Caruso, Stella Im Hultberg, Timothy Smith, Tin, Vincent Cacciotti, Brian Despain. Von Dutch, Yoko dHolbachie and More!

Check out a selection of preview images below the following event details…


Copro 20th Anniversary
Group Art Exhibit


Saturday, August 17th



Copro Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Complex
2525 Michigan Ave , Unit T5, Santa Monica , CA 90404



Select artists will be in attendance
Show on view until September 7th, 2013
Gallery hours: Wed through Sat. 1 – 6pm
Facebook Event Page:

[click images to enlarge]

Jeff Christensen

Lying Through My Faceplate” (Crossed Paths)
oil on canvas, 18″x 14″

Elizabeth McGrath

“Say Hello to My Little Friend”
mixed media, 12” x 9” x 8″

Andy Kehoe


“Mother of the Lone Wolf”
24″ x 18″ Oil, Acrylic, and Resin in Wood Box

Naoto Hattori

“Inner Eye”
30″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas

Robert Williams

robert williams
38″ x 30″ / 49″ x 41″ framed
oil on canvas

Mark Garro


28″ X 15″ image size
acrylic and oil on panel

Brian Despain

7″ x 5″ image size (10″ x 8″ framed)
oil on wood panel

Kelly Allen

r_kelly_karma (2)
“My Arrow”
48″ x 48″ oil on canvas

Adam Miller

30″ x 40″ oil on canvas

Leslie Ditto

30″ x 15″ /  36″ x 21″ framed
Oil on Linen

Nathan Spoor

“Into the Abyss”
10″ x 15″ / acrylic on panel


36″ x 24″ framed size acrylic on board

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."

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Flickr - YouTube