Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Higher Artist: Jon Planas Makes Art with, a Pop Sensibility, but He's Got Deeper Things on His Mind. (Art)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Higher Artist: Jon Planas Makes Art with, a Pop Sensibility, but He's Got Deeper Things on His Mind. (Art)

Article excerpt

At first glance, the work of out Los Angeles-based artist Jon Planas seems like pure candy-colored fun. But it actually reflects his spiritual touchstones. Consider these seemingly random facts: Planas, who has two concurrent shows in New York in January, is a practicing Buddhist; Andy Warhol was his first major mentor; and alcohol bottles provide his canvas.

"Art," Planas likes to say, "is a second opportunity for life." That Buddhist axiom is put to poignant use in his most recent painting, The Red, White, and Blue Story, a tribute to friends lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Rudolph Giuliani was invited to unveil the piece on January 16, when Planas's exhibit was set to open at the Michael Perez Gallery in New York City's TriBeCa neighborhood.

Meanwhile, just a subway ride up town, Planas was appearing in an ongoing performance art piece in the 42nd Street window of the spectacular Chashama Performance Art space. During the show, called "Planas's Living Room," Planas painted portraits on commonplace objects--anything from kitchenware to coats--brought to him by anyone passing by. For Planas, "Living Room" symbolizes his Buddhist tenderness toward all beings, animate or inanimate. …

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