Tag Archives: isabel samaras

Great feature in the NYTimes on Jonathan Levine Gallery

This past weekend, the New York Times did a fantastic write-up of the Jonathan Levine Gallery, who is celebrating their fifth anniversary.  The Gallery has always been a champion of illustration and shows the work of multiple Parsons Illustration alums and faculty members.  Here’s a snippet from the write-up:

For the current fifth-anniversary exhibition at his New York gallery Jonathan LeVine has filled it with works by 35 artists, most of whom he represents. The space is in Chelsea, but there’s no cerebral conceptualism, cool abstraction or painterly gesture on view.

Instead this work, variously labeled Lowbrow Art, Pop Surrealism and perhaps most accurately Pop Pluralism, is the skateboarding, graffiti-tagging, sometimes bratty and rebellious younger sibling of the art shown in most of the neighborhood’s locations. Still, the art in the Jonathan LeVine Gallery seems at home in Chelsea in a way it did not five years ago. After years on the fringes of the art world, “we’ve come to a turning point,” Mr. LeVine said recently. “The mainstream is embracing this work.”

Read the rest of the article here and also make sure to check out the great multi-media section featuring lots of images and commentary from Jonathan himself.  The Five Year Anniversary Group Exhibition is on view at Jonathan Levine through March 27th and includes works by Parsons Illustration alums Isabel Samaras, AJ Fosik, Andy Kehoe, and Parsons Illustration faculty Tara McPherson.

Congrats to Jonathan, his staff, and all the artists he represents!

Jonathan LeVine Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 9th floor
New York, NY 10011

HOURS: Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm

[image by Andy Kehoe, “Passing Through the Forest Deep”]

Isabel Samaras at La Luz de Jesus Gallery on Nov. 13


Lisa Petrucci and Isabel Samaras double book signing:
“Kickass Cuties – the Art of Lisa Petrucci” and
“On Tender Hooks – the Art of Isabel Samaras”
Friday, November 13, 2009 6 pm – 9 pm
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

These two original “ladies of lowbrow art” are featured in the books ” Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art” by Kirsten Anderson and ” Vicious, Delicious and Ambitious – 20th Century Women Artists” by Sherri Cullison. Both Lisa Petrucci and (Parsons Illustration Alum) Isabel Samaras are making a special trip to Los Angeles for this event only. Please join us at La Luz de Jesus for a fabulous night of female fun! We will have on hand numerous items by both artists and of course, there will be free refreshments for all!

“ On Tender Hooks – The Art of Isabel Samaras”

Isabel Samaras folds in familiar icons from classic TV shows, comic books, and movies to create imagery that is very much of the now. Any archetype, from the Bride of Frankenstein to Little Red Riding Hood, Gilligan to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, can find true love (or at least a sexy entanglement) in a painting by Samaras. Never failing to shock and delight with their eagle-eyed perceptions of human folly and animal passion, the paintings in On Tender Hooks tell stories that are tender, bewitching, and fascinating. On Tender Hooks is a look at Pop Culture as filtered through the eyes of an artist with a bent for twisted narrative, saucy erotica and quirky humor. According to Samaras, “People who like classic monsters, fairy tales, and cheesy American cultural icons will get a kick out of this book.” Essay and orchestration by Colin Berry, Text by Justin Giarla, Lucy Blue, Shag, and The Pizz, published by Chronicle Books.


“ Kickass Kuties: The Art of Lisa Petrucci”

Walk through a sparkling wonderland of make-believe, a cotton-candy-colored dreamworld of hearts, flowers and switchblades, of glamorous, dewey-eyed cartoon pin-up gals, kutie-pie kowgirls, leopard-skinned sweeties, hatchet-wielding honeys, and the cuddliest devil kitties Hell has to offer. The art of Lisa Petrucci is a honey-coated maelstrom of contradictions — the innocence of lost Americana, childhood nostalgia, and traditional feminine iconography all presented with a rebellious spirit. “Kickass Kuties: The Art of Lisa Petrucci,” is the first collection of the artist’s remarkable catalog, a hallucinatory tour through an emporium of cultural chaos, a bipolar gallery of imagery both sacred and profane. Foreword by Kirsten Anderson, Published by Chronicle Books.

R. Sikoryak and Isabel Samaras at APE in San Francisco


One of the country’s most popular and vibrant alternative comics shows returns to its San Francisco home, The Concourse Exhibition Center, for another two big days of fall fun this October. APE, the Alternative Press Expo, rolls into the city by the bay on October 17 and 18, 2009.  Parsons Illustration Alums R. Sikoryak (also adjunct faculty!) and Isabel Samaras will be appearing at APE for a Pop Perversity event, and Bob will be doing signings of his new book, Masterpiece Comics.  Here are the details:

Saturday, October 17

11:00am APE Opens
12-3pm Marc Signing
1-3pm R Sikoryak Signing
3-5pm Anders Signing
7:00pm APE Closes

Sunday, October 18

5:00–5:45 Pop Perversity: Parody in Comics and Art—Isabel Samaras (On Tender Hooks) and R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics), parodists from the worlds of art and comics, show their work and describe how their sharp, sly images blur the boundaries between the popular and the profound, the propagandistic and the profane. Parody is a familiar part of our culture, but when done right it can still shock and awe, revealing deep truths while it makes us cackle.

The APE programming room is located adjacent to the Exhibit Hall.

11:00am APE Opens
12-3pm Marc Signing
1-3pm R Sikoryak Signing
3-5pm Anders Signing
6:00pm APE Closes

The Concourse
620 7th Street
San Francisco


From Adaptation To Mutation: Contemporary Narrative Artists Remix Popular Culture


From Adaptation To Mutation: Contemporary Narrative Artists Remix Popular Culture
September 17, 2009 7PM
66 W 12th St./Room 404

A panel discussion with Nora Krug, Isabel Samaras, and R. Sikoryak, introduced and moderated by Bill Kartalopouluos. Presented by the Illustration Program at Parsons The New School for Design.


Isabel Samaras’ most recent book is On Tender Hooks: The Art of Isabel Samaras (Chronicle Books).  She is a graduate of the Illustration Program at Parsons.

R. Sikoryak is the author of Masterpiece Comics (Drawn & Quarterly). He teaches in the Illustration Program at Parsons and is also a graduate of the Program.

Nora Krug is the author of Red Riding Hood Redux (Bries). She is an associate professor in the Illustration Program at Parsons.

Bill Kartalopoulos teaches classes on comics and illustration at Parsons.



Free; no tickets or reservations required;
seating is first-come first-served.

Don’t miss this amazing event!

[top image created by Noel Claro; middle image by R. Sikoryak; bottom image by Isabel Samaras]

R. Sikoryak Events at Comic-Con this weekend!


POP PERVERSITY panel at Comic-Con

Parsons Illustration Alum Isabel Samaras (On Tender Hooks),
Ron English (Popaganda)
Parsons Illustration Alum and Faculty R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics).

Moderated by Colin Berry (On Tender Hooks). Parodists from the worlds of art and comics show how their sharp, sly images blur the boundaries between the popular and the profound, the propagandistic and the profane. Parody is a familiar part of our culture, but when done right it can still shock and awe, revealing deep truths while it makes us cackle.

Friday, July 24 • 6 – 7 pm • Room 32AB


R. Sikoryak signing his new book at Comic-Con
Drawn and Quarterly table  number 1529

San Diego Convention Center

Yes, this is it, folks, the busiest, most hectic week of the year! We will be in our usual booth, number 1529, around all of our peers and friends, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Giant Robot, and more so please stop by to say hi, get a book signed by Seth, R. Sikoryak and Jason Lutes.

“What?” you say..”a book by R. Sikoryak?!?” Yes, years in the making, we present to you this week in its full color glory, the debut of Masterpiece Comics, which gets a lovely starred review in this week’s Publishers Weekly and last week, Bob was interviewed by the DailyCrosshatch. We will also have plenty of super-duper double-sided Masterpiece Comics posters to give away with each purchase of the book.

Thursday, July 23
5:00-7:00 Seth + R. Sikoryak signing

Friday, July 24
12:00-2:00 R. Sikoryak signing
3:30-5:00 R. Sikoryak signing
6:00-7:00 Pop Perversity Panel featuring R. Sikoryak (Room 32AB)

Saturday, July 25
12:00-2:00 Seth + R. Sikoryak signing
4:00-6:00 R. Sikoryak + Seth signing

Sunday, July 26
12:00-3:00 Jason Lutes + R. Sikoryak signing


Also, please join the Cartoon Art Museum at booth #1930 for its Third Annual Sketch-A-Thon at the San Diego Comic-Con this summer.  Artists will be drawing for the museum all weekend to raise funds to support the Cartoon Art Museum as it gears up for its 25th anniversary celebration this December.  Special guests include Phil Foglio (Girl Genius), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Keith Knight (K Chronicles), Bobby London (Dirty Duck), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta), Ted Naifeh (How Loathsome), and many, many more.

Thursday, July 23
12pm-1pm:  Phil Foglio
1pm-2pm:  Lisa Ann Wilson, Rudy Reyes
2pm-3pm:  Ted Naifeh
3pm-4pm:  Bobby London
4pm-5pm:  Zach Weiner
5pm-6pm:  Debbie Huey
6pm-7pm:  Brian Kolm

Friday, July 24
12pm-1pm:  Brian Kolm, Ron Yavnieli
1pm-2pm:  Anthony Hon
2pm-3pm:  Susie Cagle, Keith Knight
3pm-4pm:  Bobby London, Scott Shaw!
4pm-5pm:  Dirk Tiede, David Lloyd
5pm-6pm:  Mike & Doug Gray

Saturday, July 25
11am-12pm:  Batton Lash
12pm-1pm:  Karen Luk, Brian Kolm
1pm-2pm:  Derek Kirk Kim, Jason Thompson
2pm-3pm:  Jeff Keane, Ryan Germick
3pm-4pm:  Bobby London
4pm-5pm:  Rick Parker
5pm-6pm:  Daniel Salcido
6pm-7pm:  Lanny Liu, Jason Thompson

Sunday, July 26
12pm-1pm:  Ron Yavnieli, Charlie Roberts
1pm-2pm:  Lisa Ann Wilson
2pm-3pm:  Charles Yoakum
3pm-4pm:  Daniel Salcido
4pm-5pm:  R. Sikoryak

Alumni Update: Isabel Samaras in the press for her new book


Illustration Alum Isabel Samaras has been catching a lot of press lately in the wake of her very first monograph, On Tender Hooks.  Here’s a little portion of an interview conducted by the fine folks over at Juxtapoz magazine:

How would you describe yourself? Your art?

Gee that’s hard, um, goofy redhead painter?  They say you can’t ever really have a clear picture of what kind of person you are but you can get some idea from looking around at your friends.  They’re an absolutely terrific lot, so maybe that reflects well on me.

I think of my art as lush, visual storytelling (I’m usually either going for a chuckle or a sympathetic sigh) but I have no idea what other people think!

What’s the first piece of art you remember?

My mom put Gaugin prints up around my crib when I was a baby; honestly, I don’t remember that, but I think they probably fed my love of color.

What part of your personality helps you to continue to produce art?

It sure isn’t the hopeless procrastinator part!  I think I’m a fairly solitary creature and that lends itself well to going into troll-mode in the studio and hunkering down for hours.  I’m really happy to spend big chunks of time by myself—as long as I know there’s some social interaction coming along eventually.  That’s what’s so nice about openings — a chance to scrape off the dust and paint, get out and see people.

Read the full interview and also check out 20 Questions with Isabel.  Keep up with her work via her blog and official website.  Also, Isabel will be participating in a panel at this year’s Comic-Con along with friend and fellow Illustration Alum R. Sikoryak.  The subject will be “Pop Perversity: Parody in Comics & Art.”  We’ll post more information about the panel when it is is confirmed!

Isabel Samaras has first monograph released!

tender hooks

In just a few shorts weeks, on April 29th, Parsons Illustration Alum Isabel Samaras will have her very first monograph, On Tender Hooks, published by Chronicle Books!  Here’s the official description:

On Tender Hooks — Isabel Samaras’s quirky, sexy, pop-surrealist art has had a cult following for years—and now at long last her first monograph, On Tender Hooks, is here. Drawing her influence from classic TV shows and paintings by the Old Masters—for example riffing on Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa by replacing the figures with characters from Gilligan’s Island—Samaras has created a witty, erotic, and surreal body of work. This fresh and dazzling volume includes a three-way interview between Samaras and fellow low-brow artists Shag and The Pizz, as well as delightful and enlightening commentary from gallerist Justin Giarla and art writer Colin Berry, and an erotic short story by Lucy Blue.

Pre-order your copy here and note that you can also get a deluxe version which includes:

Edition limited to 100 and 5 artist’s proofs
Print: Honey Dripper (Goldilocks & the Three Bears), 2008
Signed and numbered by the artist, 8×10 Giclée print

Fancy!  There’s also an accompanying postcard collection if you’re short on cash but still want a little of this beautiful art.


Our congratulations to Isabel on this huge accomplishment.  Seems like she’s pretty happy with the results, as well.  Over at her blog, you can check out her reaction on getting a copy of the completed book.

Illustration Alums in Dark Pop show

Dark Pop: a guest-curated show by Andrew Michael Ford goes up at Last Rites Gallery this week.  Here’s the official description:

Last Rites Gallery and guest curator Andrew Michael Ford (director of Ad Hoc Art, curator of Deep Pop) have decided to find out what several of today’s brightest art stars are capable of when asked to create ONE piece of what could be considered truly ‘dark art’. Many artists find themselves in a nice groove of creating a certain mood or emotion through their work and have, understandably, become quite comfortable following this path in their art-making. We were curious, however, what would happen if things were to get a little uncomfortable, as the artist challenged themselves to search through new or buried feelings and emotions, the kind which might find their place on the ‘darker’ side of the artistic spectrum. With that in mind, Last Rites Gallery and guest curator Andrew Michael Ford proudly present “Dark Pop”: A collection of truly ‘dark art’ from an incredibly talented and diverse group of artists who would normally never get anywhere near this stuff! The results, we believe, are nothing short of astounding!

Artists include: Ron English, Isabel Samaras (Illustration Alum), Gary Taxali, Esao Andrews, Nicole Steen, Yoko D’holbachie, Nathan Lee Picket (Illustration Alum) and more.  Go check out it out!

Dark Pop
Opening Reception: Saturday, 9/6/08, 7:00pm-11:00pm.
Show runs September 6th thru October 11th.

Last Rites Gallery
511 W. 33rd Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues (3 blocks from Penn Station), 3rd floor


In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor

In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor
On view through October 5th, 2008
Laguna Art Museum

In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor is an exhibition that presents the work of 150 artists and posits that there has been a huge, but unacknowledged art movement taking place in this country for the last 40 years. Since 1994, this ground swelling of lowbrow, surrealistic, pop, figurative, narrative work has coalesced and found a voice in the pages of Juxtapoz magazine published in San Francisco. This rag has become the most widely read art magazine in the US. It is an influencing force on the aspiring artists of Generation Y and the Millennials, who are now enrolling in art schools in numbers never seen before.

Juxtapoz magazine was founded by Los Angeles-artist Robert Williams. The “Juxtapoz aesthetic or lowbrow art” is almost always figurative, and is inspired by movies, TV, advertising, black-velvet painting, psychedelic posters, pulp porn, sci-fi and horror, carnival art, comics books and all things lower- and middle-class. The Magazine has and does provide a voice and validation for a brand of artist, like Williams, who has not been accepted traditionally by the typical art-world infrastructure of collector, curator, and critic. However, since its founding, it has been the clear focal point for having been the inspiration for the creation of its own infrastructure that supports Juxtapozian art with galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, collectors, followed by critical attention, followed by museum exhibitions at adventurous institutions. With it’s growing success Juxtapoz has been a major contributor to the reemergence of painting again as a valid practice for artists since the mid-1990s, running counter to forty-years of art-school canon that focused on the Conceptual practice of context, collectivization, and dematerialization of the art object.

For the last decade the art establishment (collector, curator, and critic) has argued that the idea, or construct, of an art movement is outmoded. This exhibition explores the idea of a “Juxtapoz Factor.” Is it an organized movement operating under a singular manifesto? Or is it a wave of talented overlooked artists who decided to reach out to the public and create their own canon?

Check out the full description here, along with a listing of all the fantastic artists involved.  You might notice Illustration Alum Isabel Samaras in that list.  Congrats to her!  You can also read more about the show in this write-up by Richard Chang in the OC Register, who proclaims that this show “could very well be the art show of the year.”  High praise.

Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

[ images by Robert Williams (top) and Isabel Samaras (bottom) ]

The Illustration Holiday Shopping List: Part One

Over the next week, there will be several posts featuring books, crafts, art, and various other wares created by Illustration Department students, alums, and faculty members. Here’s a sneak peek, starting with items from two Illustration Alums. Enjoy!

samaras magi puzzle

Illustration Alum Isabel Samaras has created a limited edition jigsaw puzzle out of her recent painting Song of Birth: The 3 Magi. Here’s what she says on her blog:

The edition for this puzzle is only 50, they are $50 each (plus shipping), and they have 50 pieces — just kidding! They actually have 192 pieces — *that* oughta keep you busy for a while!

Learn more about this special item here and make sure to visit Isabel’s website to see more of her work.

masuda ornament

Coco Masada (Illustration, ’83) recently opened an online store, showcasing apparel and merchandise featuring her artwork. Browse her collection of ornaments, t-shirts, and other goodies here. See more of Coco’s work on her website.

one candle popp

 Illustration Faculty Wendy Popp has several books available including One Candle.  A brief description reads:

Amidst the food and the festivities of Hanukkah, Grandma and Great-Aunt Rose tell their story. Bunting’s touching and joyous story about the importance of remembrance is exquisitely rendered by Popp’s remarkable pastels.

Wendy has taught Sophomore Concepts in the Illustration Department for a number of years.  Find copies of her book here!

Check back soon for new posts with more gift ideas!