The William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica will present “Mikel Alatza: Portraits of Martin Kippenberger, other artists, madmen, fish heads, fake fruit and sundry clowns” beginning Saturday, January 23rd through February 20th.

An opening reception is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. January 23rd at the gallery at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. E-1, Santa Monica.

This marks the third exhibit at the gallery for Alatza, who has been showing with William Turner Gallery since his first solo exhibition in 1991.

His paintings are portraits of people, some of them famous. The portraits feature faces contorted in a “full-tilt, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall assault,” a gallery spokesman explains.

Alatza has been a well-known part of the Venice art scene for the last ten years and has developed a strong and loyal following, according to the gallery.

Alatza is also known for his early paintings commissioned by renowned German artist Kippenberger between 1989 and 1990. Kippenberger later manipulated the works with painted frogs and beer bottles and appropriated the works as his own.

One of these paintings was recently featured in the retrospective of Kippenberger’s work at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Alatza later photographed the artist for a prospective series of “self-portraits,” but Kippenberger moved back to Europe before the paintings were realized. A series of paintings in the upcoming William Turner exhibition will highlight the images taken of Kippenberger during this portrait sitting.

Also on display will be Alatza’s “Celebrity Clown” series. This critique on celebrity culture features images of some of pop cultures most famous and infamous Hollywood starlets depicted as circus clowns, created in oil and on sculptural shaped panels.

Alatza’s works are represented in numerous collections.

For information and gallery hours, www.williamturnergallery.com/.

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