JAVA July:Aug 2018


270 • JULY/AUG 2018





july 7 – august 12



Central and McDowell

in Phoenix

IMAGE CREDIT: Erica Deeman, Untitled 18, 2013. Digital

chromogenic print. Museum purchase with funds provided

by Contemporary Forum.

in the company of



Find yourself in good company as you explore some of the most iconic

artworks exclusively by women artists at Phoenix Art Museum,

including Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Erica Deeman, Cindy Sherman,

Faith Ringgold, and many more.



August 3 | 7:30 p.m.


Born with blues in her

blood, she sings a life

of pain, joy, loss, love,

and heartache.


—Elton John

2018 Concert Series sponsored by | 480.478.6000 | 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ








Cover: Matt Magee

Photo: Scott Baxter

8 12 22




By Lara Plecas



By Rembrandt Quiballo


Photographer: Jonny Stalnaker

Styling: Looks Good Anya Fashion



A Musical Odyssey

By Tom Reardon p. 30



RD Design Team, Building a Dream

By Jenna Duncan









By Robert Sentinery


Euan Macdonald

By Amy Young

Digital Media Artist Casey Farina

By Jenna Duncan

Isse Maloi

By Ashley Naftule


Roland’s Hits the Mark

By Sloane Burwell


A Pea-Sized Proposition

By Celia Beresford


Photos by Robert Sentinery



Robert Sentinery


Victor Vasquez


Amy L. Young


Sloane Burwell


Mitchell L. Hillman


Jenna Duncan


Celia Beresford

Jeff Kronenfeld

Ashley Naftule

Lara Plecas

Rembrandt Quiballo

Tom Reardon


Patricia Sanders


Enrique Garcia

Johnny Jaffe

Jonny Stalnaker


(602) 574-6364

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All rights reserved.

Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph

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PO Box 45448 Phoenix, AZ 85064


tel: (480) 966-6352









By Robert Sentinery


This issue of JAVA covers a range of visual artists in various stages of their

careers. While Phoenix has an energetic art scene, it still lacks the commercial

galleries needed to raise it to the next level as an art center. There are a lot of

fantastic career artists living and working here, but sadly most of them have to

send their work elsewhere to be shown and sold.

Matt Magee is a perfect example. His studio at Cattle Track art compound

is steeped in legacy, having housed many of the Valley’s seminal artists for

decades, including Phillip Curtis and Fritz Scholder. Magee received Contemporary

Forum’s 2017 Arlene and Mort Scult Award for a mid-career artist, and

the fruits of that grant are currently on display at the Phoenix Art Museum. Yet,

when it comes to selling his work in galleries, Magee is represented in London,

Houston and Chicago, among other places, but not Phoenix.

Magee’s life has been interesting. He was born in Paris and lived in Tripoli and

London as a youth. He eventually settled in Brooklyn in the ’80s to attend Pratt

Institute and maintained a studio in NYC until 2012. Magee worked with lauded

American artist Robert Rauschenberg, eventually becoming his chief photo

archivist, while continuing his own art practice, which has been celebrated

with numerous awards and solo exhibitions. In his interview with JAVA, Magee

explains the detailed development of his visual language over the last three

decades (see “The Visual Language of Matt Magee,” p. 8).

The Arizona Biennial held at the Tucson Museum of Art has long been one of the

top shows for identifying important artists working in Arizona. This year, three

young Phoenix artists (all in their 20s) were invited to participate. At just 21

years old, Sam Fresquez is the youngest. Her work is inspired by language and

calligraphy. She cuts intricate characters into wood, fabric and metal to create

politically charged pieces that are also aesthetically eloquent. Being a Mexican-

American female and having been raised bilingual, Fresquez produces work that

often engages themes of language, race and gender.

Lily Reeves’ Aurora MFA show earlier this year at ASU’s Step Gallery was a

knockout success. She transformed the already stunning warehouse space into a

glowing neon temple that felt like a place of worship. Hailing from Birmingham,

Alabama, the 26-year-old is influenced by mysticism, occultism and spiritualism

and uses neon to create transcendental experiences for her viewers.

Papay Solomon has faced many challenges in his 24 years. His early life was

spent in a refugee camp in the African country of Guinea. It was there he started

drawing as a means to cope with the situation. Those drawings helped change

Solomon’s fate, as a social worker was deeply moved by his talent and helped

him and his family relocate to America. Solomon’s work features intriguing portraits

of African immigrants, often donning Western attire. His technical skills

are no less than stunning (see “Three Young Artists to Watch,” p. 12).

This is JAVA’s annual double summer edition, which circulates for July and

August. Look for a new issue on September 1.




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The Visual Language of Matt Magee



By Lara Plecas

Phoenix Art Museum’s Contemporary Forum

awarded Matt Magee the prestigious

Arlene and Morton Scult Artist Award

last year. The artist has spent the last

year creating a new body of work to exhibit in the

Marshall and Handler gallery space on the lower

level of the Phoenix Art Museum.

Magee takes a minimalist approach to his

multidisciplinary work as a visual artist. His

expansive practice includes painting, printmaking,

photography and 3D sculptures made from found

materials. This exhibition, showing through

November 4, offers a variety of oil paintings,

sculptures and found objects. The work utilizes bold

color and formalism, with nods to Op Art and hardedge


Magee has been collecting found objects for decades

that speak to his curiosity, and he reimagines them to

help form his visual language. Some of the materials

were found over 20 years ago, such as colorful

detergent bottles that Magee has cut into various

shapes and strung into sculptural forms. As you

walk down the staircase into the gallery, the largest

sculpture, titled “Purple Rain,” cascades down the

wall. The pop of color from the various hues of purple

and the simplicity in form resemble a familiar midcentury


Several smaller sculptures utilize colorful repurposed

plastic throughout the space, offering a vibrancy of

color. Also included are several paintings that seem

to use a Morse code–like symbolic language. This

author’s favorite pieces are inspired by Op Art and

were rendered in multiple layers of oil paint. Each

piece subtly reveals the artist’s hand, up close, and

allows the eyes to create movement with the line

patterns from a distance.

Magee’s work as a whole comes together to explore

his visual language, and yet each piece tells its

own story. Reverence is shown to other artists

who worked and exhibited in New York City during

the ’60s, such as Agnes Martin, Bridget Riley and

Sol LeWitt. Magee has always gravitated toward

creative people and explored his own creativity.

He studied at Trinity University in San Antonio,

focusing on art history. Magee earned his MFA

from Pratt Institute in NYC, where he focused

on nontraditional media and processes. During

his undergraduate studies, he interned for two

summers at Guggenheim Museum in New York; his

last summer in school was spent interning for the

Guggenheim in Venice, Italy.

Magee went on to work as an art handler and as

the chief photo archivist for the seminal artist

Robert Rauschenberg for over 18 years. This



Figures 1–3

Figures 4– 6

experience offered a wealth of opportunities and had a tremendous impact on

Magee’s life and career. Magee lived in Brooklyn and worked in the five-story

building on Lafayette Street in Manhattan – a 19th-century orphanage – that

Rauschenberg bought back in the 1960s. Over the years, Magee has exhibited

his work in New York, Albuquerque, Houston, Chicago, Connecticut, Marfa,

London and, of course, Phoenix.

After 30 years of living in New York City, Matt and his partner, Randall, decided

to move back to the Southwest and settled in Arizona in 2012. He currently has a

studio at the Cattle Track Arts Compound in Scottsdale, which has a rich history of

important artists who have worked at the historic desert ranch property over the

years. Local art legends Fritz Scholder and the founder of the Phoenix Art Museum,

Phillip Curtis, once lived and worked there.

Magee is currently working on a book that explores the artwork he has created

over the last six years while residing here in the Valley. He enjoys working in his

studio on a daily basis, and has found inspiration in the rich desert landscape and

laid-back lifestyle.

JAVA recently met up with the artist for a studio visit and asked him to discuss the

visual language that informs his artwork:

Matt Magee: In the late 1970s, I was working retail in a mall in Dallas. After

every garment shipment, we were throwing away loads and loads of plastic

garment bags, the kind you get at the dry cleaner. I started bringing them

home and experimenting, twisting the bags so they could be pulled through

metal cloth. I also sewed cotton twine through them (fig. 1), draped them and

hung them in trees and wadded them into balls and melted them with a torch.



Photo: Scott Baxter

I was exploring a found medium and taking it in as

many directions as I was able.

Over the years, I’ve used rubber inner tubes, plastic

bottles, aluminum cans, coral and polyester resin

in my practice, among many other media. Exploring

these materials has made me realize there’s a

communicative property in basically everything; it just

has to be tapped into.

In the mid 1980s, I began collecting cast-iron stove

burners from stoves I found in dumpsters in Brooklyn.

I was attracted to the strangely animate forms and

wrapped them in shrink-wrap, melted that with a

torch, rubbed the objects with graphite and through

this ritual process made them my own. By installing

them in rows they became a kind of alphabet and

visual language, and I took this as a cue (fig. 2, Wrapped

Alphabet, 1985-1989).

In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, I collected coral

from the beaches of Vieques, an island near Puerto

Rico that I visited five times. One day in 1992, I took this

photo of the coral I’d found, and it was suggestive of an

arcane language. Completely natural shapes that were

mimetic of works by 20th-century sculptors I’d studied

in undergraduate art history classes (fig. 3, Coral Key,

1992, c-print).

Around 1994, I began painting again and was inspired

by a work that my great-great-grandfather made in

1870. Jonathan Stickney McDonald was an artist,

mason and philosopher and, like many in his day,

followed the Theosophy teachings of Mme. Blavatsky,

a Russian-born occultist and spiritualist. His personal

cosmology and specifically his spiritual painting inspired

and directed my own series of symbolic paintings that,

when installed, spelled out a personal language and

inaugurated what I call a visual belief system, which has

become the foundation of my practice (fig. 4, c. 1994,

Installation at Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, 2013).

Continuing to the present day, commonplace and found

object remain touchstones for my work. Receipt, a

painting from 2016, directly references a blurry receipt

received from a cashier. All that could be seen in the

small slip was an iteration of abstract shapes in rows,

which in my mind’s eye became an alchemical formula

and the format for a painting on panel. The reference

to an archaic intuitive language of form through tool

and implement shapes emerged simply from the

unfocussed ink generated by a cash register (fig. 5,

Receipt, 2016, oil on panel).

And finally, a recent image taken of an installation in

my studio at Cattle Track in Scottsdale. On the wall

is Poem for Dublin, a 10” x 40’ painting of a doubleprinted

fortune that I found inside a fortune cookie one

day. The randomness of the text and the idea that this

could be some kind of fortune written in JavaScript was

intriguing. The painting was shown at my London

gallery a year or two ago and has a James Joycean

wit with a sense of the Gaelic in its double-printed run.

I’ve titled this studio installation The Upanishads and

Poem for Dublin. I’ve not read the Upanishads but

understand them to be a collection of Sanskrit texts

that form a belief system. The processes, forms and

sequencing in my studio practice are the components

of my own particular visual belief system (fig. 6, The

Upanishads and Poem for Dublin).

The 2017 Contemporary Forum Artists’ Grant Recipients

exhibit will be on display at the Phoenix Art Museum

through November 4. The exhibition also features the

work of Christopher Jagmin, Casey Farina, Jennifer

Day and Laura Spaulding Best.



Photo: Diana Calderon

Three Young Artists to Watch

By Rembrandt Quiballo

A cultural scene is only as strong as its young creatives. It continues to grow thanks to the up-and-coming

artists who push boundaries and explore new creative territory. The Phoenix art scene plays an important role

in providing opportunities for young artists to grow and find success. Young artists who utilize the existing

community as a resource are the ones who usually thrive. JAVA has selected three talented artists to watch

who have worldly art practices yet are distinct to Phoenix. Young artists don’t just develop in a vacuum; they

are shaped and influenced by the existing artists and the environment around them.



Photo: Diana Calderon

Sam Fresquez, 21

Sam Fresquez was born and raised in Phoenix. Her

grandmother owned an art supply store, exposing

her to the arts at a young age. Fresquez attended the

Metropolitan Arts Institute, a visual and performing

arts charter high school in downtown Phoenix, which

furthered the early development of her work. She

was accepted to several nationally prestigious art

schools, but she chose to stay in Phoenix. “I definitely

thought I was going to go out of state for college, but

I’m happy I didn’t,” she said. This choice has been

integral to the content of her art, as her network here

in Phoenix grows.

Fresquez’s Mexican-American heritage has had

an indelible influence on her work. Her family has

resided in the Valley for generations. Her mother

is an educator, and her father does public relations

for NASCAR’s Hispanic audience. “My parents and

grandparents were not allowed to speak Spanish

at school,” she said. “For a really long time, it was

against the law to speak Spanish at schools in Arizona.”

This has made her keenly aware of the power of

language and its fraught history in the state.

Fresquez’s most iconic work thus far is her

calligraphy. She interviews people, employs poetry

and uses anything linguistic that inspires her. She

then creates highly intricate characters that she

renders onto wood, metal or fabric. The aesthetic

beauty of her work is equaled by her eloquent touch

with politically charged topics, such as gender,

religion and race, which are infused throughout.

The work vibrates with the freshness of now, but

Fresquez is quick to acknowledge those that came

before her. “I think it’s really important to have

respect for traditional craft-making,” she said. This

blend of young and old, modern and traditional

informs her work with a sense of timelessness.

The collaborative nature of art has motivated her

to connect with others. “I feel like the community

aspect is one of the most important parts about art –

that we’re talking to each other.”

It’s been a productive year for Fresquez. She was

chosen by renowned Phoenix sculptor Pete Deise

as one of the featured emerging artists for the Art

D’Core Gala during the 30th anniversary of Art

Detour. Fresquez is a current artist-in-residence at

Xico Arte y Cultura, and she curated a show titled

In Your Own Backyard for its gallery. She recently

had a collaborative show with Merryn Alaka at the

Roosevelt Row Hot Box Shipping Container Galleries,

as well as being featured in a group show at the

Sagrado Galleria.



Lily Reeves, 26

Lily Reeves is a neon artist and an advocate for a

more vibrant ecosystem within the arts. Originally

from Birmingham, Alabama, she is influenced by

Southeastern folk art. “I’m interested in mysticism,

occultism, spiritualism, consciousness and things like

that,” she said. Reeves uses notions of ritual and the

supernatural in harmony with the light that emanates

from neon to create immersive spaces that replicate

transcendental experiences.

Her thesis show, Aurora, at Step Gallery, consisted

of small and large sections of purple neon

suspended in the air, radiating a kind of majestic

gateway to another dimension. Included was a

performative component in which a healer gave

floral and sound baths to participants inside a

circular fabric enclosure.

“I recently began working one-on-one with viewers

to explore physical, mental and emotional health

in a society rigid with systemic trauma,” she said.



Photo: Ryan Parra

“This work confronts the lack of deep connection and

support we have in daily interactions and reclaims

personal health as a condition we can address

ourselves instead of handing over our minds and

bodies to the tendencies of Western medicine.”

After completing her MFA at ASU this year, Reeves is

feeling that artists need to be more appreciated and

fairly compensated for their craft. She has aligned

herself with like-minded creatives. “I started working

at a foundry at age 15,” she said. “I’ve always been

around people making art. That’s kind of how I got

into it.” Reeves is interested in new models for

creating and making art, such as Meow Wolf in Santa

Fe, New Mexico, where artists independently create

and run an immersive exhibition.

Reeves wants artists to communicate more with

one another in Phoenix and build strong connective

networks. In doing so, artists can gain creative

and financial freedom. “The art community is very

approachable,” she said. “We need more artist-run

spaces. I think Phoenix is an awesome city. It’s a

“Inside the Sky”

great cultural city. There’s just as much opportunity

here as any other place.”

Reeves has put her words into practice by teaming

up with fellow artist Krista Davis to create an art duo

called The Paradise Boys. Their initial piece combines

Reeves’ light work with Davis’ video content about

a genderless, almost alien being wandering through

a desert landscape. It’s a beautiful meditation on

the environment and subverts the human narrative.

The combination of the two artists’ skill-sets is what

makes this work successful.

Reeves’ custom-made light works are sought after

all over the Valley. She was commissioned by the

City of Scottsdale to create a sculpture as part of the

PlatFORM public art series and was part of a group

show featuring women artists working with neon,

aptly titled She Bends, in California. She is an Arts

Initiative Coordinator, as well as the 2018 artist-inresidence

at the Takoja Institute in New Mexico this

upcoming summer.

Papay Solomon, 24

Papay Solomon has been in the Valley for a decade

now. His path to Phoenix was filled with much

hardship. His pregnant mother was forced to flee

Liberia due to civil war and gave birth to Solomon

between borders. His family ended up at a refugee

camp in Guinea and remained there for nine years.

It was in this perilous environment that he would

discover his artistic abilities. “For me, it was a way

of getting a better perspective of what was actually

going on,” he said. “It made me an observer.”

A social worker at the refugee camp was so affected

by the early drawings of his experiences that she

helped Solomon and his family immigrate to the

United States. Adjusting to a new culture was a

challenge, yet he found solace in others who had

similar experiences. He started taking life-drawing

classes at Phoenix College but grew dissatisfied

with sketching the same types of people. He wanted

to draw people who looked like him, so he did selfportraits

and eventually began asking individuals

with similar experiences if he could draw them.

In the midst of honing his technical skills, he sought

to advance the ideas within his work. “I wanted

my work to be about something important,” he

said. This perspective compelled him to engage

with an underrepresented community. “I started to

understand the African diaspora and the divide – how

I’m looked at differently. I’m not American enough

and I’m not African enough.”

The need to see people represented who looked like

him led Solomon to his current body of work. He

paints large portraits of young people of the African

diaspora dressed in both Western and African attire.

These visual signifiers act as a metaphor for their

interior lives as they acclimate to American ideals.

He cuts out shapes directly into the canvas and

places a mirror behind to reflect the viewer’s own

image in the openings. His technical aptitude is

truly stunning, and the content of the work is deeply

affecting and authentic.

Solomon’s positive attitude, despite enduring a

tumultuous childhood, has helped him overcome the

many challenges of being a young artist. He was

named Outstanding Undergraduate for 2018 by the

Herberger Institute of Design and Arts at ASU. He

was recently featured in the Moniker International

Art Fair in New York and was part of the Young Artist

Salon held by esteemed gallerist Jerre Lynn Vanier

in Paradise Valley. He is a Contemporary Forum

2018 Artists’ Grant recipient, and a documentary is

currently being filmed about him and his ongoing

portrait project.

All three artists have been selected to represent

Phoenix this summer in the Arizona Biennial 2018,

a celebrated survey of the best art in the state at

the Tucson Museum of Art. This year’s exhibition

was juried by Rebecca R. Hart, Curator of Modern

and Contemporary Art at the Denver Art Museum.

Fresquez will have a collaborative metal calligraphy

piece with Merryn Alaka, Reeves will be showing a

video installation as part of The Paradise Boys, and

Solomon will be displaying a self-portrait.

Sam Fresquez:

La Misma, with Merryn Alaka, sterling silver cut calligraphy, 2018

Japanglish, laser cut wooden calligraphy, 2017

Baseline, carved tire, 2018

Papay Solomon:

Diluting Dreams, Portrait of Allesene Ntwali, oil on canvas, mirror, 40” x 40”, 2017

K.O.S. Knowledge of Self, self-portrait, oil on canvas, mirror, 36” x 36”, 2018

Inside the Lappa with Grace, Portrait of Grace Mbola, oil on canvas, mirror,

40” x 40”, 2018





A Bigger Plan

By Amy Young

In each month of the current summer season, the

ASU Art Museum is opening a new exhibition. In

July, it’s A Bigger Plan, which features the work

of Euan Macdonald, and unlike the other summer

shows, this one will operate a bit differently. This

two-part exhibition kicks off on July 28 with Side B,

which runs through September 1. In mid-September,

Side A opens and stays active until the first of


It isn’t surprising that the exhibition will commence

with Side B. When it comes to time, Macdonald is

known to shake things up a bit, often playing with

everyday scenarios to challenge dominant perceptions

and expectations. Macdonald, who was born

in Scotland and resides in California, has been doing

video work since the early ’90s. In this portion of the

two-pronged show, you’ll see an early survey of his

video work, where he uses loops and layered imagery

for multisensory provocation.

In Two Planes, a single-channel video projection from

1998, Macdonald has us focused on two planes flying

next to one another, in unison, against the backdrop

of a blue sky. Because of the synchronicity of the

planes, the video immediately conjures up images

and ideas of an air show – or something equally as

bucolic with a sporting intent.

In its short run time – just over two minutes – the

video plays some tricks on the mind. As you stay

focused on these parallel planes in motion, there are

some seemingly natural interpretations. These metal

beasts look like sharks swimming in unison. But as

your mind stops running the imagery through the

finding-order-in-chaos filter, the simple video – with

its pervasive airplane motor sound looming in the

background – makes you face your own interpretations.

It’s an open-ended scenario. Is it ominous and

frightening? Is it hopeful? How it hits your core can

offer you a self-reflective chuckle. An element of

humor is present in Macdonald’s work and is found

in those self-challenging moments, as well as in his

emphasis of the monotonous grinds that comprise

everyday life.

The 1997 video Interval highlights the daily grind, as

two long shadows are projected across a freeway.

We see the cars relentlessly parade over these

silhouettes. It’s as much of a nod to the relationship

between man and nature as it is, yet again, to the

cogs that help keep everything in motion. Maybe

it’s a subtle call-to-arms – an in-your-face reminder

to find ways to operate outside of those general


A more recent video from 2011 titled 9,000 Pieces

opens like the beginning of one of those energetic,



whistle-while-you-work Disney clips. The oiled-up

machines get clicked on and the devices used to test

the 9,000 parts of a piano in a factory in China get

to work. As they continue, the luster of that initial

electric spirit changes as you settle in on the sounds.

Repetition is common in the labor processes of factory

work, but minus the human factor, here, the

sounds invite thoughts about mechanical quality and


House (everythinghappensatonce) is a compelling

video, in that it knows how to test the viewer’s

patience. A worn-down old house borders a rippling

lake. The slant of the land looks like maybe the house

slid down and has been sitting in its sad state of

wear and tear for a long time. As you hear the water

flow by, there’s a definite expectation that the house

will get swept up in the current to be carried away.

The sound of the water is hypnotic, but in this case it

doesn’t allow you to get totally relaxed, as the fate of

the house ends up being the primary focus. The video

is simultaneously soothing, maddening and funny in

how it inspires multiple emotions.

Side A, the second half of A Bigger Plan, features an

immersive video installation that layers pre-psychedelic

patterning from the end pages of 18th-, 19thand

early 20th-century books from the open stacks of

ASU’s Hayden Library.

In his piece Untitled (End Pages), created this year

as part of Macdonald’s proposal for this video installation,

you can see that structural complexities

are something he likes to explore and deconstruct.

Circular and linear patterns – each with its own

distinct palettes and intricacies – intermingle. Once

again, Macdonald emphasizes that there are layers to

everything, despite what the surface appears to offer.

In hooking us and pulling us into rote patterns and

images, he helps us find a center.

Euan Macdonald

A Bigger Plan

ASU Art Museum

July 28 – Sept. 1 and Sept. 15 – Dec. 1

Euan MacDonald, “Two Planes,” 1998. Single Channel Video Projection.

Courtesy of the artist.

Euan MacDonald, “House (everythinghappensatonce),” 1999. Single Channel

Video Projection. Courtesy of the artist.

Euan MacDonald, “Untitled (end page red),” 2018. Paper collage 28.5 x 40 in.

Courtesy of the artist.

Euan MacDonald, “Untitled (end page orange),” 2018. Paper collage 28.5 x 40 in.

Courtesy of the artist.

Euan MacDonald, “Untitled (End Pages),” 2018. Artist’s proposal for immersive

video installation. Courtesy of the artist.




Digital Media Artist

By Jenna Duncan

Annually, the Contemporary Forum group of Phoenix

Art Museum nominates one mid-career artist and

several emerging artists from the community to

receive grants. This year, the pool of talent spans

traditional art media as well as those that look

forward to the future.

Digital media artist Casey Farina is one of the

latter. By day, he’s a full-time professor at Glendale

Community College, instructing students in

animation, computer-assisted art and nonlinear video

production programs from the Adobe suite. But in

addition to his teaching duties, Farina is a musician,

artist, composer and now an animator and filmmaker.

And add contemporary artist to the list on his resume.

Farina completed his PhD in music technology from

Northwestern University. “When you do that, you

end up playing way more new music than if you play

violin or piano,” Farina says. “There are no ‘classical’

percussion pieces written [for drums]. There are just

a handful of parts for orchestra pieces.” Most of

what he studied and practiced was very new, very

contemporary and minimalist, he says.

Farina’s mother signed him up for high school

marching band as a way to get him to socialize more.

But he discovered that he loved drumming, and it

became more than just a hobby. Percussion led to

electronic music, and that led to video and then

animation. Along the way, he developed an interest

in filmmaking and cinematography, and got into

graphic scores. What are those? Well, it’s almost like

you see the notes come to life, Farina explains.

“Electronic music and generative art, especially

now, have systems that do the same stuff,” he says.

“Like Max MSP, Jitter and all the digital multimedia

systems can control sound and video at the same

time. Whereas, for the last 15 years, those tools

and controls were separate, and they took a lot of

coordination – timing.”

The medium is kind of young; there isn’t a lot of

work out there that does this kind of annotation

with video, Farina says. “Writing percussion music

using standard notation is really kind of a hack,” he

says. “Everyone comes up with their own systems,

especially for the non-pitched stuff.”

In this way, percussion and graphic scores become

a new, abstract medium. There is a lot of room for

interpretation and choices to be made by the performing

musicians. With his own compositional work, Farina

leaves a lot of space for improvisation. He provides very

minimal instruction to the players. With his piece Force.

Line.Border, for example, the composition is written

for “a trio of indeterminate instruments.”

Farina’s experiments in combining music with a

visual score have led to performances with large

video projections in accompaniment. He has shown

his work at the Icehouse, at Hayden Flour Mill in

Tempe and at a residency at the Atlantic Art Center.

At these live performances, the video is projected

on a massive exterior wall while Farina or another

percussionist plays along.

But Farina’s art evolution has morphed again, and

more recently he’s gotten into the practice of creating

smaller-scale, more tangible art objects. The works

on view at Phoenix Art Museum represent a new

direction: smaller-scale, sellable art pieces, each

about four feet square in dimension. The wallmounted

works are made of screens covered by

acrylic laser-cut overlays. On the screens dance many

of Farina’s animations, inspired by cellular and cosmic


Farina is represented by Reyes Contemporary Art in

the Phoenix area.

2017 Contemporary Forum Artists’ Grants Recipients


Marshall and Hendler Galleries

Phoenix Art Museum

Through Nov. 4

Micrologies 1.1

Micrologies 1.2





Himalayan Bath Salt

By Ashley Naftule

“Hey, I can do that” is one of the most effective lures

into the artist life. Phoenix painter Isse Maloi knows

the power of that particular motive. Chatting about

his background as an artist, he talked about his time

studying graphic design and how visiting a student

show after he dropped out changed his life. “I saw

the art and just felt that I could do that,” Maloi says.

“A friend of mine painted a very nice piece for the

show, and I looked at it and it inspired me to paint

again. I had painted in high school and just hadn’t

picked up a brush since then.”

Inspired to leave his mark on the art world, Maloi has

been working steadily ever since, producing bold and

brightly colorful paintings and showing them across

the Valley. “I did a lot of showings at coffeehouses,

restaurants and salons,” Maloi says. “My last big

show was at the GreenHAUS Gallery.”

Maloi has also exhibited at Chaos Theory shows

and made the scene all over downtown, running into

influencers like Michael Oleskow, the cultural curator

at FOUND:RE, who approached him about putting

together the show that would become Himalayan

Bath Salt.

On view at FOUND:RE until July 31, the exhibit

showcases the depth and breadth of Maloi’s work

as a painter. In a statement the artist released about

the show, Maloi said that it wasn’t built around any

particular theme or motifs. “My art doesn’t really

have a theme, and neither does this exhibit. It’s not

one set idea. It’s just me.”

While Maloi says there are no set themes, there are

some constants that appear throughout the show.

It highlights Maloi’s mastery of portraiture: he pays

loving tribute to the human form by painting vivid

depictions of his friends and idols. “I paint people

that I like and people who inspire me,” Maloi says.

But the paintings aren’t straight depictions of reality;

Maloi adds playful touches, like when he puts Mickey

Mouse ears on a portrait of Michael Jordan sailing

into the sky to sink a basket.

He also has a very tactile painting style. One older

work depicting a man in a gray suit holding a fat,

pink bunny renders the suit threads and rabbit fur so

perfectly in acrylic paint that it’s hard to resist the

urge to brush your fingers across the canvas.

Maloi also uses typographic elements to give his

pieces an extra layer of meaning and punch. “I love

fonts, lettering, words,” Maloi says. “A word can

push a piece over the edge and really state what I’m

feeling. Words can influence and provoke emotions.”

While being an artist isn’t his full-time day job (yet),

Maloi spends as much time as possible tracing the

outlines of his shapeshifting muses on one canvas after

another. “I have a regular nine to five, but I still paint

every day,” he says. “If I don’t have a paintbrush in

my hand every day, I’m doing myself a disservice.”

Isse Maloi’s Himalayan Bath Salt


1100 N. Central Ave.

Through July 31




By Sloane Burwell

Roland’s Cafe Market Bar is the new mashup between venerated pizza guru and

all-around nice guy Chris Bianco and the Chihuahuan cuisine enthusiasts behind

the foodie obsession Tacos Chiwas, Nadia Holguin and Armando Hernandez. It’s

located in the lovingly preserved and renovated 101-year-old building that once

housed Roland’s Market – the building still maintains its neon signage out front

proudly proclaiming “Se Habla Espanol.”

Gorgeous red brick has been salvaged and paired with glass, giving an amazing

view of downtown and the city at large. A peek upward reveals the stunning

pressed-tin ceiling, and a glance past the enormous open kitchen – complete with

wood-fired oven – reveals a wall-sized black-and-white photograph that captures

the stark beauty of our natural desert landscape.

Roland’s houses a tiny market, and by tiny I mean Cutino’s Hot Sauce’s entire line

(so good), a smattering of Bianco-branded tomatoes, and a random and changing

offering of seasonal goods and breads. While some super-tasty baked goods

were present when they first opened, I haven’t seen them on any return trips. No

matter, I’ll happily continue to eat here.

And drink here – in order to enter you must pass an impressive espresso bar,

proudly serving local ROC beans, or a full-service bar in the back near the

gorgeous wall art, serving an array of craft cocktails and tequila flights.

But I’m a breakfast fan, and we’ll start there. First of all, kudos to whoever

decided to serve the lovely coffee in giant mugs ($3). Nothing starts any breakfast

better. Second, I never thought I would eat a tortilla that would make me say,

“This is better than Carolina’s.” And now I can. Served with Roland’s superb Pork

Chop ($13), this warm piece of heaven is the perfect delivery mechanism for eggs

and hot sauce, and, well, anything else. And about the pork chop, it’s really two

small chops, grilled to perfection.

These pinkish chops are precisely what I ate on the ranches of my childhood, and

they remind me of the kind of pork that comes from raising it yourself. So good,

it’s like my grandmother moved through time to cook these in her wood-fueled

stove. So try it. The eggs alongside? Also perfect. As are the handful of potato

rounds cooked in just the right amount of caramelized onions. I’m going to be

saying “perfect” a lot today. Because it is. Like the chorizo quesadilla. My co-diner

thought it needed more cheese. Blasphemy! This quesadilla is more cheese crisp

than quesadilla, cooked until crisp and stiff enough to be picked up and eaten like

a slice of pizza, with just the right amount of spicy chorizo smattered on top.

At this point, I can also say I’ve eaten their entire lunch and dinner menu, and

I’ll give you the highs and one low. You’ll love the tacos ($3 each). I am literally

in love with the carnitas, a pile of flaming-hot grilled pork, diced and served

alongside white onion and forkfuls of cilantro, atop a perfect corn tortilla. Ask for

the salsa trios and then dot with the salsa verde – a kicky tomatillo concoction

that packs a punch, although this one won’t linger like the fiery red sauce, which

is hot. I mean sweat-inducing hot, and it’s worth it, so plan accordingly.

I adored the Entomatadas ($12): light-as-air corn tortillas stuffed with a thin layer

of asadero cheese and then loaded with an orangey red sauce and topped with

queso fresco and bits of cabbage. This soft and tender dish was consumed with a

respectful hush. It’s unique and tasty and makes you really think about what might

make the sauce that color, and that perfectly balanced. It’s not really smoky, it’s not

really sweet, it’s not really spicy, but it is savory and, well, perfect.

Like the Wood Fired Tostada ($12), a crispy disk covered in kicky chicken tinga. It

was so crunchy, breaking the shell into pieces launched chicken shreds across the

table. And we ate them all anyway. This is probably my favorite thing on the menu,

and it comes with a bonus side of fideo soup. If you’ve never had fideo, it’s what

Rice-A-Roni wishes it were – toasted pasta strands cooked in savory chicken broth

until you spoon it into bowls and slurp it down. This is the real treat – so buttery

from the reduced broth. This was always eaten with enthusiasm.

And the Empanadas ($13), three perfect moon-shaped pastries stuffed with cabeza

and chile posado: These were amazing. Flaky crusts, sumptuous filling – dotting it

with the red sauce was like gilding the lily. The garbanzo dip served alongside was

rustic and chunky, accompanying the dish like a more savory hummus. I wouldn’t

call it a dip, since we broke our empanadas in bits trying to dip, but it was tasty

when eaten by fork. I couldn’t resist pouring more salsa verde on top, though. It was

excellent, if I do say so myself.

What wasn’t so excellent was the Frutiras ($6), a handful of cabbage and perfectly

sliced radish on top of what was called a “flour chicharrones.” These used to be

called “duritos” when I would buy them from a guy on a bike in my neighborhood

– small squares of a flour-based pasta kind of thing that was deep fried and served

with hot sauce. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly executed here. But it feels like

a vegan salad at the best steakhouse you’ve ever been to – something chefs have

to have on the menu. It was okay, but in the presence of so much perfection, it

suffered in comparison.

No matter. We cleansed our palates with the most perfectly cooked fresh cake

donuts you’ve ever eaten, covered in cajeta caramel and served with more on the

side. Hot and delicate, these four were inhaled in about 3.4 seconds. I’ve never

wanted to order another dessert so quickly in my life. The caramel was so sweet

and balanced, with the tiniest hint of salt, and when you dipped the hot donut into

it, the donut fell apart. Which we loved – it forced us to use the fork to dredge the

hot donut out of the melted caramel.

And the staff – each and every person who greeted us on every visit was efficient

and kind. Each person, even if they were just filling our water glasses, seemed

genuinely interested in making sure we were content. And we were.

So what happens when you combine a pizza legend and a taco team sensation?

Perfection, evidently.

Roland’s Cafe Market Bar

1505 E. Van Buren, Phoenix

Sunday & Monday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Tuesday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday & Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight



















Photographer: Jonny Stalnaker @shotbyjonny

Model and makeup: Tara Hutchison @tarahutchison73

Model and makeup: Lauren Perry @Luckyzombie84

Wardrobe: Looks Good Anya Fashion

Location: Moxy Tempe





By Jenna Duncan



Driving through central Phoenix on East Oak Street, in a transitional neighborhood known as Harvard

Place, it’s impossible not to notice a cluster of newly built, angular white stucco homes gleaming in

the sunlight, opposite the weathered exteriors of the mini ranch homes that have historically lined

these streets. This little commune of design-forward gems is the work of RD Design Team, owned

and operated by Dora Castillo and Rafael Castro. The husband-and-wife duo have been designing and building

together for nearly 30 years.

Castro and Castillo work with numerous artisans and specialists to create provocative details throughout their

residential developments. The home they named 29Shadows has a stunning steel entry gate that swings open

on a single counterweighted pivot. The name of this home was inspired by the interesting shadows that the

gate casts into the front yard as the sun sets. Gabion-style outdoor walls (stacked stones enclosed in a metal

wire/mesh frame) face forward toward the street. Castro says this type of outdoor wall not only looks better

than concrete block but is actually stronger.

Inside there are high, clean white walls and an open concept that connects the kitchen with the main living

area and features many interesting metal, wood and concrete details. “All of our floor plans are very open,”

Castillo says. “We always create nice interior environments and like to add courtyards to bring a little bit of the

outside in.” In the master bedroom, there is an interesting feature built in to the wall – a floor-level window

box, showcasing views into the back patio. It’s a nice way to bring some outdoor elements into the space.

The backyard fence is made of corrugated steel, specially treated to rust. Castillo and Castro say that in their

architectural designs they prefer to expose the materials to create an honest expression of the design. In this

way, the architecture is clean and modern and celebrates the earth’s elements. The floors are made of concrete

that has been ground to expose the aggregate, then sealed to create a smooth, cool finish. “We expose the

concrete. We expose all of the materials. When we have wood, we expose the wood,” Castro explains. “So

that’s the contrast of the house: the raw material elements against the clean architectural lines.”

In almost every home they build, the interior walls have a smooth white finish that goes floor to ceiling. Castro

points out there are no baseboards or trim, reducing visual clutter. Windows are also inset, so there is no extra

window ledge indoors to collect dust. They use spray foam insulation in all of the walls and beneath the roof,

so there is no need for attic space. Less energy is consumed for better sustainability – not to mention more

affordable electric bills in the summer.

Another unique feature that Castro and Castillo like

to add to every home is a specialized water feature.

At 29Shadows, guests on the home’s main patio are

treated to a rectangular fountain finished in black

metal. Adding details like fountains and one-of-a-kind

mailboxes brings character to each home. They often

work with the buyers at the time of sale to create

custom elements, Castillo explains.

The largest home RD Design team has undertaken to

date was 7,000 square feet in the East Valley. They

are currently working on plans to remodel an existing

10,000-square-foot residence in Phoenix, which

includes a 10-car garage.

“We both were architects in Mexico,” Castro says.

“We started our business there, but then we decided

to move to the United States.” Castro explains that

the move was prompted by an economic downturn

at home as well as an appreciation for Frank Lloyd

Wright’s desert architecture. The climate and

geography of Arizona are similar to the Baja region,

where Castillo and Castro went to design school and

started their practice, making it an ideal place for

them to relocate.

Castillo does most of the design, Castro says. “And

I’m the builder. Even though I’m an architect, like

her, I’m more in the field.” Castillo and Castro have

been working in Phoenix since 2000, although they

have been building and designing homes since 1991.



Jointly they hold architect, contractor and realtor

licenses. City officials have thanked them for their

infill projects because of the difficulty and expense

of sending pipes out across the desert, digging

foundations, adding drainage and building new

streets. Sprawl simply costs more, Castro says.

Their business is not just demolishing old houses

and building new ones from the ground up. They

also restore homes, especially mid-century ones. RD

Design has just started another remodel project on

Catalina, near 16th Street and Thomas. “They are fun

to work on,” Castro says of the remodels. “You never

know what to expect. You open a wall, and think

you’re doing one thing, and all of a sudden you have

to replace the whole sewer,” he laughs.

In 2008, due to the recession, there was very little

construction going on in the Valley. Phoenix had

incentives in place for infill and rehab projects. RD

stayed busy during those tough times and kept a

lot of people employed. “There were a lot of badly

damaged houses that we had to totally rehab,”

Castillo says. Since 2008, they estimate they have

completed more than one hundred rehab and infill

projects in the Valley.

“We like to use high-quality, sustainable materials,”

Castillo says. For example, the white coating on the

exterior walls is an advanced product that will last

many more years than traditional stucco. Castillo

also likes to creatively re-use materials. She uses

reclaimed wood from pallets for her barn doors. She

has become so intent on getting hands-on with her

projects that she’s learned to weld. “The guys never

think she’s a girlie-girl,” Castro jokes. “Because she’s out

there working with them – welding in high heels!”

Phoenix has a recent building code that requires new

residential construction to provide a water retention

area, due to the increased risk of flash floods. Instead

of making ugly pits, Castro explains, they would

rather make something beautiful. For one of their

newest homes, they built a steel bridge with a glass

top to cover the retention basin.

A couple of years ago, Castillo and Castro acquired

the block of land bordering Oak Street to build a

cluster of infill homes. However, many copycat

developers and flippers have since moved into the

neighborhood. The home values have gone up, and

it’s truly a seller’s market right now. It’s become more

difficult to find lots or homes to buy. So, now Castro

and Castillo are looking for a new neighborhood to

start buying, remodeling and building on infill lots.

The new homes by RD Design Team in the Oak Street

neighborhood are selling for between $360,000

and $400,000, they say. “We are not building

tract houses,” Castillo says. “We develop good

relationships with our buyers and sell these homes

like pieces of art.”

Castillo’s favorite project is called the Courtyard

House. It is decorated with reclaimed wood and

handmade barn doors and includes a secondstory

patio on top of the garage. Not many

people know, she says, but this is the place that

the couple calls home. They enjoy entertaining so

much that they turned the garage into a full bar. “I

love all of our homes, but I think my house is the

best,” Castillo says. “The courtyard is important to

us because we are from Mexico, and we have the

history of haciendas.”

Castillo and Castro first met in middle school when

Castro’s family moved from Sonora to Mexicali,

where Castillo lived. They didn’t hit it off at first.

“I was very short then. And she was very skinny,”

Castro teases. “She was my bully.” They weren’t

even friends, and after high school, they went their

separate ways. “We met again in college. And I was

taller,” he explains. “And, see, I don’t like short,” she

laughs. Eventually, she started giving him rides to

school because he hitchhiked all the time. And from

there, they became a couple.

Castro has always enjoyed jazz, and for years the

couple would seek out live music venues. Then

one year, Castillo bought him a saxophone. He took

lessons and now he plays, although only for private

audiences. They also enjoy supporting flamenco

dance in the Valley and exploring craft breweries. “I

like IPA and he likes stout,” Castillo says.

“We’ve had a lot of magic in life, a lot of miracles,”

Castillo says. The couple has two adult daughters:

Danielle, who lives in New York City and performs in

musical theatre, and Alejandra, who is a filmmaker

in Los Angeles. They get together as a family and

love to travel, Castillo says. Within a year, they will

journey to Cuba for the first time.

The first project the couple worked on together

was Castillo’s uncle’s house, when they were still

architecture students at Universidad Autonoma de

Baja California. During that time, just for fun, they put

an RD logo on a piece of plywood and leaned the sign

against a palm tree. While they were working, a man

drove up in a brand-new Grand Marquis and asked,

“Who’s the architect?” They said, “It’s us!” And the

man asked to hire them for a property remodel. He

became their first actual client. “He just handed us

his card and said, ‘Go to my office. I have a job for

you guys,’” Castro says. Soon they were working on a

six-family housing project.

That first client led them to their first investor, a

politician in Mexico. “We were 22 years old when

we had this guy come to us and say, ‘I want to invest

with you.’ We were like, ‘Really? Invest with us?’”

Castillo says. But the hopeful man had a vision, just

as Castro and Castillo had a vision that they could

build RD Design into something big.

A few years after they married and started their

design firm, they decided to sell everything and go

to Europe in 1992. They enjoyed their time in Spain

and decided they very much wanted to leave Mexico.

But they couldn’t decide between Europe and the

U.S. They bickered about it for almost a year before

a family member said to just flip a coin. And the rest

is history.

The couple is into meditation and will be going on

two-month meditation retreats this summer and fall

at a monastery in Spain. Castillo will be in Barcelona

for two months, and when she returns Castro will

take his turn for two months. “It helps us a lot in this

stressful environment,” Castro says. “It always helps

us relax and make better decisions. That way, the

design comes from the heart, not just the mind.”

The last time the couple traveled to Barcelona, they

started the process of obtaining building permits

for a project they named the Divine House. “This is

the first time we’ve gotten into obtaining the permits

[in Europe],” Castillo explains. With the Divine House

project on the table in Spain, there is a good possibility

of RD Design opening a European branch.






By Tom Reardon



If you have ever traveled south from Phoenix

and visited Biosphere 2, you have an idea

of what a lovely piece of Arizona the Oracle

area is. Nestled beautifully on the northeast

side of Mount Lemmon, Oracle is also home

to one of the most exciting new-ish bands

in Arizona, Los Puchos, a passion project of

ex-Phoenician Austin Owen.

Owen, 31, is tall with longish, curly hair and an

easy smile. Imagine if Heath Ledger and Rosanna

Arquette had a son who was totally into the music

of the late, great Harry Nilsson, especially if he

had gone through a garage rock phase, and there

you go. The multi-instrumentalist, known in the

Valley for bands like Ladylike, Wooden Indian

and Slow Moses, started Los Puchos in 2013

to challenge himself to write more of his own

material, but timing was not on his side for the

band to come to fruition at that point.

Before Los Puchos could become a full-fledged

band, Owen spent two years in Paraguay between

2014 and 2016 with the Peace Corps.

Figuring out the next step was on Owen’s mind

as he returned to the United States. With a

degree from the University of Arizona in business

management, Owen felt as though joining the

Peace Corps was sort of a last hurrah and that

music, which had been a primary focus for him

prior to his Paraguayan adventure, would take a

back seat to moving on with “real” life when he

got home. The music bug, though, never left, even

while he was abroad.

“Because leading up to Peace Corps, it was like

the whole hustle, bartending and all that stuff,

and playing in a million bands trying to make it,

but always being like, ‘I have a degree and I’ll

probably end up doing something to pay the bills

at some point, in business management.’ Peace

Corps was supposed to be the farewell to trying

to do anything, trying to make it in any way with

music,” says Owen, before continuing:

“But then I found out that in Peace Corps, music

was just as much of a tool as anything else that

volunteers did in that country. And so, when I

came home I was just kinda like, ‘I’m going to take

a shot at music, and I’m not gonna do anything if

it’s not music related for six months or a year and

see how it goes.’ It’s been going really well.”

Prior to Owen’s heading to the Southern

Hemisphere, Rubber Brothers Records released

an EP of Los Puchos material on cassette, as

well as a split cassette with Owen’s former

band Wooden Indian. These early songs are

delightful and have a great garage rock vibe.

Imagine early Sebadoh meets Beach Slang with

a hint of Nick Lowe. Definitely worth checking

out if you have access to a cassette player.

During his time in Paraguay, Owen wrote

several of the songs that will appear on Los

Puchos’ first full-length release, Droom Tapes,

which will come out later this year. Of the

newer songs written for Los Puchos during his

Peace Corps stint, “Floating on the Water” has

a decidedly strong nod to the aforementioned

Nilsson’s fantastic 1970 album The Point,

and could even be a lost track off that record.

Inspired by a trip to the Rio Manduvira with

friends in Paraguay, “Floating on the Water”

is one of the best songs on the album and

will surely bring a smile to the face of many

listeners as Owen confidently sings:

“Cool water deep, I’d like for you to carry me.



I’m trying to take it easy. And just to make it easy,

I lay back my head.

Floating on the water.

Floating on the water, no one else around me

makes a sound that I can hear at all.

It’s like I disappeared when I got in here. And life

is just a breeze when you disappear.”

“Good Love” is another great song Owen wrote

while in Paraguay, about his feelings for his

longtime girlfriend, Tina Bolt. The two were in a

relationship prior to Owen joining the Peace Corps

but decided to go their separate ways while Owen

was out of the country. As the time approached for

Owen to come back home, he realized he wanted

to broach the subject of rekindling their flame but

didn’t know how to bring it up. So he wrote “Good

Love” and sent her the demo.

Luckily for both, the song was a hit, and while it

is reminiscent of the indie rock stylings of James

Mercer (The Shins, Broken Bells), it is nothing

short of brilliant. Like Natalie Portman’s character

Sam said of The Shins’ “New Slang” in the 2004

film Garden State, “This song will change your

life.” Indeed, “Good Love” changed the lives of

Owen and Bolt, who remain together to this day.

Romance is a key element in Los Puchos’ songs,

and Owen clearly displays a deftness for crafting

hook-laden songs featuring well-turned lyrics that

tug the heartstrings.

Owen shows a remarkable talent for storytelling

with lyrics, and it takes his fantastic musicianship

to the next level in Los Puchos songs. Every

track on Droom Tapes has a story behind it, and

according to Owen, there were more than 30

possible songs to choose from before he selected

the 11 songs to release later this year. There is

a diversity in the sound across the album that

is refreshing, as Owen draws his work from a

variety of influences, including what seems to be a

tremendous amount of inspiration from his partner.

Another standout track on Droom Tapes, “Found

Letters,” was inspired by Bolt. After the couple

moved to Oracle, Bolt found an old letter from

1982 whose author was most likely in her teens

and writing to a friend about her sexual desires.

Bolt suggested that Owen write a song about the

letter, and while the two were on a drive from

Oracle to Tucson one night, they saw a full moon



ising over Curves Cabaret (an adult entertainment

establishment on Oracle Road in Tucson, for

those familiar or curious). At that moment, Owen

decided to write the song. The finished product

is tinged strongly by Owen’s neighbor Matthias

Düwell’s skronky saxophone, which is reminiscent

of early 1970s David Bowie songs.

Apparently Düwell had been in some post-punk

bands in Germany in the late ’70s and early ’80s,

along with being a visual arts instructor at Pima

College in Tucson. Owen was pleased to see him

standing outside his house smoking a cigarette

as he walked back from the studio one day after

recording the drums and guitar for “Found Letters.”

Owen put on a German accent as he quoted

Düwell: “This riff you play, I like this riff. But

do I have to hear it anymore? I would change a

couple of things about it, but it’s a good riff.”

Owen continues, “I was like, ‘Yeah, we’re done.

You don’t have to worry about it. Do you want to

play saxophone on it?’ And he was like, ‘I will

play saxophone. No melody though. I don’t like

melody. I make noise.’ And I was like, ‘Great.

That’s perfect.’ And so he came in and did it in

two takes.”

In addition to Düwell, longtime Owen

collaborator Wally Boudway (drums) and Andy

Hillard (guitar), Stephen Booth (bass) and

Cougar Miller (percussion) are all part of the

live version of Los Puchos. At 15, Miller is the

youngest member of the group by 16 years and

a neighbor of Owen’s. Thanks to Owen’s dog,

the two have become fast friends and musical


“Yeah, his dog comes up, eats all our food, then

goes back to his house and throws it all up.

First time I met him I fell out of a car. That was

unusual,” shares Miller.

Miller’s grandfather, renowned Tucson artist

Andrew Rush, is creating the album artwork for

Droom Tapes. Rush is a founder of Tucson’s The

Drawing Studio and lives at the Rancho Linda

Vista arts community, where Owen and Miller

also reside. Working with Rush has been a

dream come true for Owen.

“If I’m half as open-minded as Baba [Rush] is

when I’m 85, I’ll be doing good. It’s an honor

to have him doing the artwork, and he has had

me extremely involved in the process since the

beginning,” says Owen.

If Los Puchos were a stock, our advice would be to

buy, buy, buy and buy some more before everyone

else grabs all they can. Owen’s songwriting is top

notch, fearless and ready for the next challenge

to come along. The band is looking forward to

their first Phoenix performance and are currently

in the process of booking a show at one of the

downtown venues for late summer or early fall, so

keep your eyes open. But for now, if you’d like to

check them out, you can find live videos of several

new Los Puchos songs on YouTube and some

older material from 2014 on the Rubber Brothers

Records page.

Photos: Ivy Miller




The Smell of Romance


At what age did my armpits start to smell? I’m not

sure, but I’d have to guess it was later than everyone

else’s and I was jealous about it. I can safely say that

whenever I did notice I was starting to smell, I did

everything in my power to hide it from my mother, not

because she was a shamer, but because the thought

of discussing any sort of body issues mortified me.

This mortification led to me inventing the double

tank-top look during one summer when I was in

middle school. Instead of telling my mom I needed a

bra, I would double up tank tops in hopes that no one

would notice that my boobs were actually just pointy

nipples. This was the same summer that I enviously

noticed Jan Brimmer’s armpit hair at a pool party. I

assume her pits had already started to smell.

For me, most puberty-related things come with some

dose of shame, or at the very least, secrecy. I never

felt bad or dirty about what was happening to my

body, but I definitely planned to hide it from my family

and flaunt it to my girlfriends. And by flaunt, of course

I mean let them know that I was also experiencing

what they were. But I probably wasn’t, because, as I

mentioned, I was a late bloomer. This led to a lot of

making things up. It was handy that I had a variety of

friend groups. I could take one girl’s period story and

retell it as if it were my own, in the meantime cursing

my own stubborn ovaries for holding out on me. But

something like smelly armpits isn’t something you

can manufacture. It starts and then there it is. I bet

that most girls, eager to be older, start deodorant-ing

before it is truly necessary.

When I noticed that my friend Susan Waitt had

deodorant on her dresser, I naturally decided I needed

some. But I didn’t want to ask my mom, so I did the

obvious, which was to steal hers. I didn’t have smelly

pits yet, but the deodorant was more like a showpiece

I would put on display when a friend came over.

Other times it was hidden deep in my sock drawer so

my brother wouldn’t see it and make fun of me. The

deodorant was called Ban – just in case you didn’t

get the message that you smell and it should be

outlawed, this not-so-subtle name would leave you

with no doubt. This was in the roll-on era, where you

would roll a small, wet round ball all around under

your armpit. It felt gross.



When I noticed that my friend Susan Waitt

had deodorant on her dresser, I naturally

decided I needed some. But I didn’t want to ask

my mom, so I did the obvious, which was to

steal hers.

But where does this come from, this desire to cover up our body odors? Why

do young girls inherently believe that armpit odor, smells their bodies naturally

produce, is something that should be hidden and eliminated? Usually the thing

that is covering it up just smells artificial. Young men are also conditioned to use

deodorant, but the messaging there is that men are just too manly to handle, and

the smell of their armpits needs to be kept in check to avoid a riotous outbreak

of wet vaginas. With women it feels like the message is more targeted toward

elimination, in an effort to stave off embarrassment and shame.

Teens these days have a bazillion more products that they are barraged with,

and they are assaulted by social media and sneaky advertising 24-7 with ways

they can look and smell better. At a family party recently, I used a bathroom that

two teenage girls share. There were products everywhere, but sitting on the

back of the toilet was their deodorant. It was a svelte pink spray can of Secret. It

promised to “eliminate” body odor. Just the word eliminate makes me think of an

army general, with gritted teeth, planning to kill people. It’s so intense! We will

annihilate that smell your dirty body is producing!

On a softer note, the fragrance was called Paris Scent: Romantic. What exactly

does Paris smell like? I’ve only visited once, but the smell of Paris didn’t stick

with me, and I certainly didn’t take a deep whiff and think, “Mmm, romance!”

Maybe croissants and baguettes or cheese and coffee? But this deodorant

smelled nothing like any of those delicious things. I sprayed it after I went to the

bathroom, and it smelled like stuffy bathrooms and baby powder. Coincidentally,

exactly the smell that I associate with those sprays designed and marketed to

cover up the smell of poop. So, I guess what I learned is that romance smells

like toilet spray, and instead of having body odor, it is preferential to smell like a

bathroom, post poo.

It’s been years since I’ve worn real deodorant. I’ve got some hippy sticks that

work, kind of, but mostly they mellow things out when my pits get particularly

smelly. And even then, I only really use it when the smell will possibly interfere

with my engagements in the adult world. But the essence of a human scent is

still there – it hasn’t been eliminated. It may not smell like a romantic toilet in

Paris, but I prefer it that way. That’s my Secret.



Photos By

Robert Sentinery



3 4




8 9

10 11

1. Pretty First Friday attendee at Bentley Gallery

2. Layne Farmer’s show at the Icehouse Gallery

3. Cool painted attire on this handsome duo

4. In town from Philly for The Art of Sound

5. Denise Yaghmourian’s opening at Bentley Gallery

6. Sky Black and his lovely girl Alex, “Coterie” opening at


7. Chris Loomis and Yvette Craddock at SMoCA

8. Mello Jello at the Norman Lykes House for The Art of Sound

9. Lovely duo at JAVA Fuse Sessions I at Thirdspace

10. Joe Willie Smith at Denise Yaghmourian’s opening at Bentley

11. At Gracie’s with Kelly and her beau

ERIK JONES, The Machine

(detail), 2017, Watercolor, pencil,

acrylic, wax pastel, oil on paper

mounted on wood panel, 72 x 96

inches. Courtesy of the artist and

Hashimoto Contemporary.

See Proposal Winner


Sanpaku, Strasbourg,

France, Archival

gelatin silver print,

16 x 20 inches.




We T he


Contemporary American Figurative Art

Continues through Aug 5, 2018

Marilyn Szabo’s

Life &Death


Now on Display!


Now Accepting Proposals



(click on the “Artist Opportunities” tab)

One East Main Street • Mesa, Arizona 85201 • 480-644-6560 •

12 13 14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21

22 23 24 25 26

27 28 29

12. Katharine Leigh Simpson with her piece at Modified Arts

13. Hyperbella headlines JAVA Fuse Session I at Thirdspace

14. Bassim brings the hookah to the party

15. The Art of Sound’s Soundhouse Experience with KJ and friends

16. Kyu from Conceptually Social catering

17. Melissa Rein Lively from The Brand Consortium

18. Chris and pal check out Match at the Found:RE hotel

19. Rembrandt and friends at Bentley Gallery

20. Damiana and Jaime at Match

21. Mellow yellow fellow at the Soundhouse

22. Campari popsicle toast at The Art of Sound

23. Joe and Chaundra at Icehouse Gallery

24. Wayne Rainy introduces the “Coterie” show

25. Nicole and friend at Bentley Gallery

26. All together now, Anita and friends at Soundhouse

27. Kit Abate’s show at Eye Lounge

28. Steve Hanson celebrates his birthday with Chris Trapper

29. Jesse Perry paints live at the Soundhouse




w w w . J A V A M A G A Z . c o m

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32 33 34

35 36

37 38


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45 46


30. Phoenix Ale House Central Kitchen with these lovelies

31. SMoCA opening with Athene, Alan and Abbey

32. Anthony Leroux in the mix at monOrchid

33. JAVA Fuse Session with these guys

34. Ernesto and friends at Thirdspace

35. FL Wright’s Norman Lykes House becomes the Soundhouse

36. Layne Farmer’s opening at the Icehouse

37. Look who brought their doggie to Bentley Gallery

38. Grant and his girl at SMoCA

39. “Adaptions” group show with Katrina Fengler at Modified

40. The Art of Sound participants Mike Ware, Claudia Kappl and Livio


41. Taylor attends The Art of Sound welcome dinner at monOrchid

42. First Friday art goers

43. Fausto and friend at Gracie’s

44. Third Friday at Eye Lounge

45. The Art of Sound welcome dinner at monOrchid

46. “Adaptations” show at Modified Arts

48 49

50 51 52

53 54

55 56


58 59





64 65

47. Tina and Lisa at The Cure vs. The Smiths dance party

48. Yvonne and Preston at the Van Buren club

49. Tracy and pals do Gracie’s

50. Yuko’s beautiful fruit salad

51. Phoenix Fashion Week event attendees at monOrchid

52. Wolfzie and his lady at SMoCA

53. Matt and Sage at the Van Buren

54. Long pocket skirts by KLaunderi

55. Media attendees at The Art of Sound welcome dinner

56. Joe gets to tty out an Austin Martin DB11

57. Sammy and Alexandra behind the bar at Lux

58. B-day boy Steve with Ashley and Sienna

59. DJing the Soundhouse

60. Jennyfer and Marcelle, The Cure vs. The Smiths dance party

61. Mindy and pals at the Van Buren

62. Rafael and pal at Gracie’s

63. Alassane plays JAVA Fuse Sessions I

64. Nicole and Danielle at the Van Buren

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81 82


65. Oscar and friend, Phoenix Fashion Week fete

66. Phx Fashion Week Top 40 model competition

67. Joe gets sandwiched at the Van Buren

68. Misha and pal, The Cure vs. The Smiths dance party

69. Brian Hill, the man behind Phoenix Fashion Week

70. “Coterie” exhibition artist Michael Viglietta and friend

71. Nader and his girl at monOrchid

72. Phx Fashion Week Top 40 attendees

73. Fierce model posing with shark art

74. Tara and her son Legend at SMoCA

75. PFW Top 40 model contender and his gorgeous girl

76. Livio from Sonus faber in from Italy for The Art of Sound

77. SMoCA Summer opening attendees

78. Look who showed up for JAVA Fuse Sessions I

79. Shane dropping beats at “Coterie” exhibition

80. McIntosh tower of power at the Soundhouse

81. Colorful faces in the crowd at The Art of Sound

82. KJ makes new friends at the “Coterie” exhibition

83. Tatiana Crespo opened for Fools Like Me at Lost Leaf








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