Interested in bringing RAW to your part of the globe? RAW is currently hiring. Learn more


Santa Monica

Monday, September 12, 2011

ART: Adam Nisenson

Adam Nisenson was only 19 when he began to use clothing as an artistic medium.  His first pieces focused on denim jeans and shirts, and with that, an art form was born.

Adam pursued a fine arts degree with an emphasis in graphic communication, which he forayed into a successful career first as a graphic designer, then as an entrepreneur and marketer. For 16 years he owned and operated an award-winning design/marketing agency in Houston, Texas with as many as 15 employees. There he merged his passion for art with the advertising world, and worked with such companies as ESPN, NBC Sports, Pepsi, PGA Tour, Houston Astros and Texans as well as many others in the sports and entertainment world.

Rediscovering his love for found objects and old clothing, Adam dove back into his art and started to study the works of Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Willie Cole. In 2008, Adam sold his firm and moved to Los Angeles where he launched his art studio. Since that time, he has brought to life old ideas that he played with while in college using everyday items of clothing and commercialism, crafting his technique of molding and sculpting denim jeans, shirts and other everyday objects from the retail world.

Adam’s creativity is not limited to his art. He still designs, consults and is the author of Captivate, a how-to book about the use of archetypes and storytelling in sports marketing. He currently lives, works and plays in Los Angeles with his wife of 16 years and his son.

"I’m fascinated by clothing. And in particular, jeans. Each pair has a story to tell. In an effort to capture their history and create a new narrative, I allow the jeans to decide the feel of the piece. For me, it’s a new discovery each time I carefully choose which pair will be that day’s paintbrush. I never know what pattern or texture will appear when I repeatedly apply a pair of jeans, saturated in different mixtures of paint, to the canvas.

Some of my compositions lean toward literal. Others explode with texture and color, beckoning the viewer to search for a glimpse of a pocket or button. Look closely and you will see the texture of the fabric, stitching, belt loops, imperfections, tags, or rivets. Look closer yet, and you may find the unique story that each pair of jeans has to tell.

I use a brush only for the canvas base coat and to apply a unique mixture of paint to the denim. Then the jeans themselves become my paintbrush. Layer by layer, I stamp them onto the canvas with various pressure and patterns. The jeans, each with their own texture, style and character, help me engineer the design that emerges on the canvas."

- Adam Nisenson

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ART: Tom Hofer

Tom Hofer began his graphic artist career as a layout artist at the Palisadian-Post weekly newspaper in Pacific Palisades, CA, in 1989, after having had WAY too much fun in the thrilling field of insurance administration. Years of slicing news copy and his own fingers later, he hit upon the concept of re-creating vintage matchbooks with the tools and materials he was familiar with: paper, knives and glue (bandaids were no longer necessary at this point). Continuing to evolve, he is now tackling portraiture through colored paper, turning some of his creations into faux movie posters and pulp paperback covers. Before his turn as a struggling artist, Tom was a struggling musician in the pioneering LA alternative/blues-punk band the Leaving Trains and performing alongside much better-known bands as the Bangles, Tool, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Born on January 25, 1983, Gino never knew that his life’s path would lead to being an artist. In his youth, he expressed his love of the arts in theatre, comedy, and music. However, one day at the age of 20, Gino picked up the paintbrush and fell in love. Without any schooling, Gino taught himself how to perfect the form of drawing. Using a pen so that he can’t erase any mistakes, Gino believes in the concept of “one-line drawing." He claims that his mistakes create something extraordinary, just like in life.

His drawings are an intellectual way of expressing his feelings on politics, humor, love, family, psychology, and his deepest fears. Gino wants his audience to see each piece as comprising of little pieces that all together make a whole. It’s the serenity in the midst of chaos, in which he thrives for, in life and in his art. He feels his art symbolizes each human being. All around us is noise, distractions, and struggles but deep down, in our inner heart and soul is a complex silence that he loves to capture. Each piece of his work holds inner secrets that he enjoys seeing people depict as their own. For example, you can find letters in many of Gino’s artwork that although you can’t read it, has the words he could never say but wishes he could. Art is his outlet to expose vulnerability.

Gino is influenced by many diverse artists such as Dali for his surreal and unique form of capturing metaphors, Basquiat for his sincerity and raw style, MC Escher for his mathematical approach to making things work together, and Picasso for his juxtaposed style of shapes. His art is at a constant evolution. As he continues to grow in his life and in his art, Gino hopes to show the world that our imperfections are what make us complete. Our failures as well as our accomplishments fill each piece of our personalities and make us the unique individuals we are. Never regret, never erase.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ART: Kurisutein Takagi

I can be summed up with these words: Japan. California. San Fernando Valley. El Camino Real High School. Swimming. Surfing. Art Departmental Award. Risk Averse. BA psychology UCLA. Corporate America. Paralegal. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama. Debt. Death. Hong Kong. Calculated Risk. Recession. Mortgage. Love. MA psychology CSUN. Law Firm.  Assistant.

Painting is how I vent.

I took trips alone. I played alone. I studied alone. I deal with my problems alone.  Not because I have to, but because I am most comfortable when I do.  I never shared my accomplishments.  I never liked celebrating anything me.  Because of this, I never really developed a vocabulary to express how I feel, so it has become difficult for me to do, if or when I try. As a human being though, I think it is necessary for ones feelings to be expressed and acknowledged.  Luckily, I have always liked to draw and paint, and this is how I express myself and when people react to what they see in my paintings it makes me feel like my feelings have been acknowledged.

- Kurisutein Takagi

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ART: Masahana Kato

Computer-made imagery is slick and clever as ever, but it's important to me to be able to take on the challenge of creating things manually that could otherwise be crafted with a computer. Analog art, you could say?

I'm very simple-minded when it comes to expression. I love colors, shapes, and textures. Which colors go well together with which shapes and which textures?

I love making things with my hands, with the aid of pens, paper, scissors, glue, knives, and ink. From childhood to environmental inspirations, I just enjoy designing and creating things that others will enjoy looking at.

You can take a peek at some of my work at

Thanks again!

- Masahana Kato

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ART:Carol Zou

My name is Carol Zou. I've been living in Los Angeles for the past two years, and only loving it for half as long. My work is is about my relationship with the city and its inhabitants - especially our collective need to find a home and make a life in this vibrant, patchwork city of angels. Using the language of textiles, I make a range of work that addresses these questions of self sufficiency, labor, nomadism, community, and the sense of wonder that comes with living in an all-consuming megacity.

The funny thing is, I didn't start working in textiles until after art school. I was wandering around Los Angeles trying to think of ways to represent the city, and textiles appeared to me as a medium that spoke to the need for home and protection, and whose sheer diversity of colors and threads reflected the diversity of people Los Angeles. I also loved how images and textiles have been used throughout history to tell stories, and that in Native American mythology, it is the Spider Woman who weaves the world out of light. My work weaves together the fabric of our world, our homes, our lives.

I am indebted to the great generation of land artists before me who asserted that art could reach into the environment, engage with it, and transform it. Robert Smithson, Maya Lin, Anne Hamilton, and more recently, Tara Donovan and Florian Maier Aichen are artists who I hold very dear to my heart.

More of my work can be found on my site:

- Carol Zou

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ART: Allison Kunath

My work has always been about identity. Sometimes literally. Sometimes abstractly. Sometimes obsessive. Sometimes more informative than others. But always cathartic. Creation has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it has been an amazing tool in learning about myself. I find myself at peace when I am creating, and I seek that sacred space as often as possible.

I am fascinated by the textiles and adornments of antiquity, and lately my work has had strong pattern and geometric influences. Life without connection with others is an empty existence -- so another constant in my work is the human element.  If you would like to see more of my work, or connect with me and be part of my inspiration -- check out my digital sketchbook and my design portfolio 

- Allison Kunath

Monday, August 15, 2011

ART: Meagan Segal

I was born in Anaheim, CA in 1986 and grew up in sunny San Pedro, CA.  My childhood dream was to become fluent in French and attend art school in Paris, one that was quelled when I discovered I much preferred Spanish class to French. By then, my new aspiration was to attend the prestigious RISD, until I visited it and decided, quaint as it was, I would rather be in New York than Providence, RI. So, I spent four years at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where I received my BFA with an emphasis in painting in 2008, and promptly returned to LA. 

Along with the development of my love/hate relationship with New York, in my time at Pratt, I discovered my penchant for all things visceral, mainly including (oddly enough) internal organs and raw eggs, drawing on my experiences as both the daughter of a doctor and nurse, and as an avid baker. I work in a baroque-esque style, painting from life in combination with my own imagination, creating a scene that is as life-like and emotionally engrossing as possible.

I imagine my paintings as snapshot views into the life of someone with a sick and twisted decorating taste, a place where I would at once feel both at home and ill-at-ease.  The work has developed a narrative of its own, a proud sort of freak-show display of a collection of oddities, simultaneously making the viewer uncomfortable and yet engrossed. I am very intrigued by the fine line between the grotesque and the beautiful, as well as the relationship between repulsion and intrigue, and that is what my work is all about. Most of the time.

- Meagan Segal

Monday, August 15, 2011

ART: Richardo Norte

I was born in Frankfurt Germany and raised outside of Washington D.C.  I went to college in Texas tostudy computer science.  In my late twenties I moved to San Francisco.  I've been living in the hills of San Francisco for 20 years now.  I spend as much time as I can in my art studio when I'm not at my full-time job being a geek writing software code.
As a child my father used my room as his art studio.  It was his way of bonding with me when he wasn't at his fulltime job being a soldier in the U.S. Army.  He took me to the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. every weekend when he had a chance.  All this was fun and great at an early age, but I really didn't revisit my artistic side until I turned 40.  I studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco for a couple of summers then struck out on my own to find my message and medium.  A couple of art receptions in New York City several years ago accelerated my creative drive to pursue mixing glass with bronze.
I would describe my aesthetic as smooth and raw surfaces, colorful, liquid and melting.  I draw inspiration from the visible and non-visible spectrum of light in the world, the fires that forge and melt away our life for all the good and bad, and the angels we look to find but never discover how close and present they are already in our life.
For my glass work, I start with very basic shapes and build up to create my puddles of melt most common in my current work. For my cast figurative glass work, I'll create several positive and negative molds to ultimately fuse glass into. For my bronze work, I like to construct skeletal frames and slowly lay the muscle tissue down from the bone to the surface of skin or wing.  My process moves from the inside out to the physical world.
Dale Chihuly's versatility and Marvin Lipofsky's psychedelic shapes inspire me from a glass artwork perspective.  As for my bronze work, I draw inspiration from the aesthetic and expressive style of Stephen De Staebler.
In the future, I'd like to see my melting dichoric glass artwork hanging in the Los Angeles Getty and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington D.C.  I'd also like to do the Museums of Modern Art in San Francisco, New York, Miami, and Chicago.  I'll look to create bronze sculptures with colorful brawny dichoric glass elements when the time is right.  The expressive and broken abstracted winged figures of Stephan De Staebler will be my inspiration.
- Richardo Norte
Monday, August 15, 2011

ART: Kodai Yoshizawa

I was born and raised in Nagano, Japan. I came to the United States at the age of 18 in June of 2005 to study film and special effects at De Anza College in San Jose, California. During my time at De Anza, I directed two student films. Additionally, I assisted and provided special effects makeup on several other student films. In 2008, I moved to Los Angeles to be closer to the heart of the film industry and attend California State University Northridge as a film major. Due to my growing interest in special effects, I changed my major to three-dimensional art. I graduated with a bachelor’s in three-dimensional art from CSU Northridge in the fall of 2010.

As a child, the Japanese monster movie, “Godzilla," originally sparked my interest in film making and special effects. My childhood interest in Godzilla has carried into my stylized-realism approach when it comes to my work. The stylized part comes from Japanese monster influences while the realism, since formal drawing classes at CSU Northridge, comes from my growing interest in anatomy. When I am working on personal sculptures, I like to combine humans and animals, mix different types of animals, or combine different mythical monsters and creatures. I strive to make interesting (sometimes grotesque) structured pieces.

I have been sculpting for over two years, using oil and water based clay as my main medium. Currently, I work in the special effects industry for film. Being able to work in special effects gives me a feeling of fulfillment, knowing that I achieved my goal I had set while still a young student in Japan. I am still new in the industry, but being able to sculpt as my career is the part I love most about what I do.

Want to see more of my work? Please visit:

- Kodai Yoshizawa

Page 2 of 3