Quirky 3-D art displayed


by Stacey A. Morse

Patrons are rarely invited to touch works of art, but an exception is made at the “Touchable Art – Untouchable Artist” installation now up at Java Man coffeehouse. A meet-the-artist will be Sunday morning, Feb. 1, and the exhibit will close Saturday, Feb. 27.

Jon LaMar’s touchable art began with mailboxes that he created, and used to receive letters at his quiet Redondo home. The handmade mailboxes followed seasonal themes, or sported cartoonish characters, manifesting LaMar’s fancy in foam, paint, and even googly eyes.

One neighbor, upon moving, left him a photo-collage of her favorites, including Lady Liberty, a moose, a killer whale, giant owl, lions, cats, dogs, birds, a giant turkey and a golden horse.

Along the way, LaMar created other pieces of touchable art, delighting friends and collectors by using his foam and paint processes for indoor wall art, and decorating gates and fences. The 3-D paint-sculptures feature sunsets, seascapes, cacophonies of color, guitars and kitchen objects.

Some pieces pay homage to Escher, Pollack, or Miró, but LaMar’s style of organic abstract art is all his own. Simple vases become nightlights or mood lamps, and lamps become art. No household object is safe from LaMar’s imaginings.

“There’s obviously a sense of movement; like motion has been frozen in time,” said L.A. visual arts instructor Toni Espinosa of Redondo.

“It’s wholly unique,” said collector Jim Marks of Torrance. “He’s created his own medium.”

Local artist and mailbox master Jon LaMar will be at Java Man, 157 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach on Sunday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. ER

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