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spacer FREEDOM & REVOLUTION
A Conversation with Curators Cat Jimenez and Veronica Thomas

Cat Jimenez founded Edition One Hundred to provide beautifully packaged and produced art and photography at prices within reach. Operating on the Internet, Edition One Hundred is a gallery without walls, open twenty-four hours a day in any time zone around the globe.

Cat Jimenez, founder of Edition One Hundred, is currently the Executive Director of the Lucie Foundation, a position she has held since 2005. The Lucie Foundation’s mission is three tiered: to honor master photographers; to discover and cultivate emerging talent; and to promote the appreciation of photography through various programs, which Jimenez has spearheaded during her tenure. In 2009 Ms. Jimenez and Lucie Foundation founder Hossein Farmani co-founded the Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA), an annual month-long celebration of the still image on the left coast. MOPLA’s mission is to create a comprehensive, citywide, collaborative effort that brings together media partners, galleries, institutions and museums in celebration of the photographic form.

Veronica Thomas is the Director of Marketing, PR and Events at A&I Photographic and Digital Lab in Hollywood, CA. She was formerly the Gallery Director of Kopeikin Gallery in West Hollywood where she oversaw shows for Chris Jordan, Andy Freeberg, and Susan Anderson. During her tenure at Kopeikin, Thomas booked Edition One Hundred artist Estevan Oriol for his first exhibition with his father, Eriberto Oriol, scheduled for 2011, curated by Aaron Rose. Thomas has an aggressive strategy to re-brand A&I’s Gallery space to become a studio that will be on the forefront of progressive exhibitions in the Los Angeles area. She is looking forward to presnting curated exhibitions with up-and-coming photographer Rick Shameless, Amy Arbus (Diane Arbus’ daughter), Alix Smith, Steve Olson in conjunction with Juice Magazine and many more.

We are fortunate to have Cat Jimenez and Veronica Thomas discuss their vision for “FREEDOM & REVOLUTION” the second exhibition at Edition One Hundred.

Please talk about your ideas of Freedom & Revolution. What do these words mean to you?
Cat Jimenez: Freedom equals Peace. It's simultaneously politicized and equally simplified. Both words are personal and sweepingly global which is why I chose the theme wherein with everyone can identify. On a personal level, the words Freedom and Revolution translate into a state of being fully self-expressed, ideally or tangibly and Edition One Hundred represents that sense of liberation and evolution that comes when an idea becomes a reality and takes shape, living and breathing in the world. I believe the very nature of an artist is endemic to my definition of Freedom, and the aim of both the artists and myself are to evolve through our expressions; and Revolution is simply about transformation.

Veronica Thomas: I think Americans fail to realize how privileged we are as far as our basic human rights. There is so much injustice in this world; our counterparts are stripped of so many simple liberties. Freedom to me seems so cliché – how can we as Americans throw such a loaded word around when there is so much oppression in the world. I can be austere, but I think I was born in the wrong era, I wish I was around in the 60s to see people unify for a common cause. We are no longer revolutionary by numbers, it would be nice to see us all rally as a collective community around discrimination, corruption, and fundamental civil rights. That is why it is important to have organizations like Edition of One Hundred. EOH’s founder, Cat Jimenez obviously saw the lack of accessible art and instilled Edition of One Hundred to be a purveyor in an industry that taps on the lines of chauvinism. EOH accomplished this nicely, the idea of attainable art by paying attention to collectors buying trends and our apparent economic crisis.

How do the selected artists piece illustrate these ideas?
Cat Jimenez: I wanted to work with a few artists we've already introduced through the I LOVE LA exhibition, B+ and Miles Regis, to see how they'd translate the concept of Freedom and Revolution. B+ introduced a photograph of the late J Dilla who was a pioneering musician and producer. The image has a very ethereal feeling connoting freedom in its truest sense by being out of the physical realm, or body capsule and elsewhere. Since his passing, his music has become even more appreciated, and continues to evolve and transform through projects like "A Suite For Ma Dukes" (his mother) which is an orchestral tribute composed by Miguel Atwood Ferguson. I haven't heard anything like it, to run the risk of sounding cliché it's revolutionary. The project was advanced through B+'s (and Eric Coleman's) production company MOCHILLA as a part of the composer/arranger series entitled Timeless.  From a musical and visual standpoint, it's absolutely breathtaking.

Miles Regis created an original piece for this show which continues to explore a character that appears in most of his work, and he challenges the view to consider the concept of Freedom as a state of mind.

When I conceived the theme, the artist Brooke Ashe emerged. I have purchased her art over the last 7 years. She is the embodiment of Freedom and Revolution. Her spirit is afire and she comes from a long line of fighters, ancestral and spiritual. She is a fighter without a doubt. Her piece will explore cultural and personal symbols of Freedom and Revolution and is as bold and original as it's maker. Brooke Ashe connected me to artist Wendell Mc Shine who is a Mexican resident of Trinidadian descent who successfully fuses old and new world symbolisms fluidly through his art and animations. There is an expansive feeling to his detailed work that demands more than mere minutes of pause, but arrested moments of examination, questioning and introspection.

Ardith Ibanez is an innovator who is considered a pioneering woman in web design. She is also a Pilipino compatriot whose work I've come to know through Barkada Ko (translation = "My Posse" in Tagalog). She is artist, designer, illustrator and soulful human being who has travelled the world and kept all of her art to herself in her journals, for the most part. Introducing her art through Edition One Hundred is a pure pleasure and an honor.

Veronica Thomas:
RETNA’s reputation as a marketing beast proceeds him, he has the hustle because his art manifested on the streets, and because of that he evokes all the elements of freedom & revolution – not only what’s being displayed within his work, but what he, as an artist, stands for. A blueprint if you will. His formula is inclined with today’s constant changing technology; he has utilized the web to serve as a component of his means of revenue. And that is artistic freedom! Where the “new” collector started a revolution rejecting the bourgeoisie mentality and artists like RETNA can profit from it.

I found Kevin Hayes’ work by a fluke – just your everyday web surfin. I stumbled upon his blog via his good friend David Choe. What I was most intrigued by was a series he did of provocatively photographing highly obese women. What I found so interesting is how Kevin was able to document – to some what may be considered grotesque – so beautifully. The layers upon layers of curvatures of the subjects were almost, seductive. He was successful at being able to alter a viewer’s perception of a pre-conceived societal judgment.

Cynthia Loebe is an eccentric. She is a bohemian, a nomad, a gypsy, a vamp! She is simply brilliant. And her work exudes all this – she is the personification of a free spirit, and she will be starting a revolution so you better get “dialed-in”.


How would you describe the Art in the Digital Era as a testament to the power of “FREEDOM & REVOLUTION”?
Cat Jimenez: New technologies in the Digital Era are offering artists limitless possibilities for sharing, exhibiting, making, marketing and selling art, which is and of itself an act of revolution. The concept of "Freedom and Revolution" represents the ethos of Edition One Hundred which is to make incredible art affordable to the new breed of collectors which are born of this digital era, and to those already existing collectors open to expanding their collections, and their concepts around collecting. This movement, or revolution, if you will, is similar to that of the Slow Food movement, where good food is a right, not a privilege. By good I mean, local, fresh, pesticide-free, affordable fruits and vegetables that supports local farmers, and communities. We are in the midst of a food revolution and Art shouldn't be any different. It has a different appeal of course but art sustains our existence. And, many would argue that food is necessary for survival. Art is just as necessary to those who thrive on creativity.

As more people begin to understand that art, and great art at that, can be accessible, I hope they'll consider supporting more artists, not just those that are championed by the Art World. And if we're fortunate at EOH, we'll get some of that talent out there that has been embraced by the Art World because they are at the end of the day, free thinkers that believe art is just as much for the masses as it is for the wealthy.

Veronica Thomas: Some would say that art being offered on the web devalues the piece—well I’d say to those critics, “the buyer got to affordably acquire a great print, and the artist got money in their pocket from that purchase.” It’s a win-win formula that in no way devalues the artists’ body of work as a whole—it’s a single print of an edition of one hundred.

 

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