“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”

– John F. Kennedy

The vision of artists can come in various forms – two are still pictures and moving pictures. When people think of the moving picture, film, they think LA. People are on the move, people are making moves and people are making pictures that move.

Hollywood is always in the spotlight. While the actors, who are part of the moving picture industry, may get all the glory for their moving and thought-provoking performances, there are visual artists, like myself, who can stir up some amazing emotions and thoughts as well.

Two LA artists who do just that and have the work to prove it, are who I am featuring today.

They are two artists with two very different approaches that come from two diverse training backgrounds – one with an art school training and the other artist who learned art from his mother and others on the streets.

How one find’s their path in the world and their process to get there is all one’s own.

The first artist I am featuring is Laura Owens, whose website is http://owenslaura.com. She went the school route receiving a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.

Why did she choose to be an artist? “It was the one subject that didn’t have an answer, and I felt like it would be a lifelong pursuit,” said Owens in an interview online. I can relate to her that if one has the notion to create something, it just runs through your veins and you do it. For more of the interview go to http://www.makers.com/laura-owens

The LA based visual artist, who usually makes largely-scaled paintings that represent a blend of abstract and figurative forms, incorporates whimsical doodles and fine line drawing. Her work has been included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Whitney Museum in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

The next artist also has had his work featured all over the U.S., but his work is street-type art.

“Alec Monopoly” is the alias of an unidentified graffiti artist, originally from New York City. The artist, whose work can be seen at http://alecmonopoly.com/, primarily works in the urban environments of New York, LA, and London using varied materials including stencils, spray paint, epoxies, varnishes and newspapers to subversively depict the mascot of the board game Monopoly. Monopoly has said he learned about art from his mother, also an artist, who eventually abandoned traditional academically-driven art classes to pursue an individual methodology.

Monopoly and his work have been covered by The Huffington Post, the Wooster Collective, Juxtapoz magazine, Complex magazine and The Dirt Floor. Paramount Pictures commissioned Monopoly to design the logo for their new production company Insurge. The artist has also been appointed to design a custom piece of art to be displayed in the soon to be opened Kiehl’s store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, along with the works of other famous street artists, such as KAWS and Shepard Fairey.

Watch an interview with Monopoly at http://youtu.be/ac727Rtqs9Y

I enjoy his artistic crusade of going against the grain. I too feel that crusade.

Here’s hoping that all of you reading this are pursuing a crusade that you are passionate about. I definitely am.

Cheers, color, and contrast,

HiD XoXo