Patrick Castles of Refine Mixers, the first all-natural zero-calorie cocktail mixer, hosted a unique First Friday event in Venice filled with music, art and, of course, Refine Cocktails in the swanky beach house headquarters in Venice.
Guests were treated to hand-crafted Refine specialty cocktails and a display of recent artwork by two up and coming local artists, Louie Ferrigno Jr. and Kelcey Fisher, that spread throughout all three levels of the loft. Both artists’ processes are innovative and thought provoking in different ways. And like the founder of Refine Mixers, a four-time national rugby champion while playing for UC Berkeley, both artists are collegiate athletes.
Louie Ferrigno Jr., former University of Southern California football player, and, yes, the son of The Incredible Hulk (aka Lou Ferrigno Sr.), showcased a splattering of illustrative paintings layered with juxtaposing imagery and symbolism. In an effort to slow down the viewer and to reveal his thinking behind each piece, Louie’s paintings were accompanied with a free-form narrative that described each of the elements within his work.
From giant lacerated tongues, a tunneled heart within an explosive lion, to a squirrel holding the world in his paws as his tail extends up a mountain side, to a great tribute to his dad as the Incredible Hulk, his characters and writing bring the viewer into an imaginary world that perhaps reveals the inner world of this young artist. Louie says that he wants his viewers to be brought into an experience while taking in his paintings. And the deeper you look and think about what he’s laid upon his canvases, the wilder the experience becomes.
Kelcey Fisher, a Lacrosse midfielder for Layola Marymount University, from which he graduated mere weeks ago, has been studying under the legendary artist Jack Armstrong and is already off to Belgium to show his work. This young and ambitious artist displayed two separate bodies of work, one of which was developed through commission work while he was hitting the books.
Having a background in graphic design, Kelcey figured out a means to eliminate any miscommunication between the commissioner and artist by utilizing these skills within his process. He digitally creates all the layers of colors, lines, shadows, etc. to present to the buyer before his brush even touches the canvas, so they know exactly what they will be getting.
The other body of work, which personally is my favorite of the two, feels more immediate in process, but carries a strong element of design as well. Posting pages of books as a background, he has layered a circa-60′s James Bond sort of imagery in this series of paintings, which will be showcased in a gallery in Belgium later this fall.
Look for more about these two new artists on the scene in LA and worldwide and, of course, more fantastic events hosted by Refine Mixers. And in the mean time, pick up your own bottle of zero-calorie, all-natural Refine Mixer and make yourself a cocktail to counter the heat waves of summer.