OB artist foresees thriving local scene

Undoubtedly, one of the must-see artists on the San Diego scene is Ocean Beach's own Richard James Yozamp. Channeling the pop art sensibilities of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat with his own creative vision, he brings vibrancy, color and contextual potency to the growing local art movement.

With a string of solo shows under his belt, both locally and in San Francisco, Yozamp's vision is to rouse a fine arts scene in Ocean Beach. DiscoverSD sat down with the artist before his upcoming show, "Buzzword," which opens Oct. 14 at ArtBox and includes fellow artists Madison Tomsic and Devan Mandregan:

DiscoverSD: How did you get started in the San Diego art scene?

Richard James Yozamp: Since I can remember, I've been drawing and painting and being creative on some type of blank surface. I went to college for art but after two years switched to marketing, but continued to paint and displaying in shows. When I moved to San Diego in 2012, I started an apprenticeship with a prolific artist out of La Jolla, which opened my eyes to having a realistic career in the art industry.

DSD: When did you start your own shows locally?

Yozamp: In 2014, and I've had six solo shows since then.

DSD: What's the style of your work?

Yozamp: I try to tell a moment of a story in my work using natural imagery and pop silkscreen techniques, but you as the viewer need to fill in the introduction and conclusion to the piece.

DSD: Who are your greatest influences?

Yozamp: Shane Bowden, the Australian pop artist; Salvador Dali; Francis Bacon; and of course, Andy Warhol and Basquiat.

DSD: Why OB?

Yozamp: To slowly start to establish a fine arts scene - right now, it's loosey-goosey and hodgepodge, but there is a lot of talent here. To move beyond just "Let's get some beers and there happens to be art on the wall."

DSD: What will you be showing at ArtBox?

Yozamp: I am debuting a new body of work that is guiding my style in a new and unique direction, but there will also be past works from 2015 and 2016.

DSD: What's the vibe of your shows?

Yozamp: It's kind of like a rock 'n' roll show - there's always music, you can drink, you can dance, and there is always a charitable donation, even if you don't buy art. But please ... buy art.

DSD: A lot of people assume art is too expensive for them. How do you answer that?

Yozamp: I'm tailoring this show to my generation, trying to make it affordable to buy. Prices range from prints for $20, 30 new pieces at $75, and up to $500 for larger pieces. It's like a person's first tattoo: They start their collection, then they want more. Buying art is addictive. They just need a gateway painting.

DSD: What can fans of your work look forward to next?

Yozamp: In February 2016, I did a piece using real homeless signs called "Time, Money, & Love." In 2017, I want to do a show doing 12 to 15 pieces of a similar nature, but involving real humans from around the world and touch on border issues, deportation, segregation, racism, and socioeconomic issues that divides humans into categories.

The "Buzzword" opening reception will be from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14 at Artbox. Admission is free, with a portion of art sales and bar sales donated to the Ocean Beach Elementary School art program. Music will be provided by beach-rock band SanDollar.

Artbox is located at 1919 Cable St. and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information about the gallery, art supplies and classes, call (619) 796-5350 or visit artboxofoceanbeach.com.

To see more of Yozamp's work, visit yozampart.com, Instagram @yozamp, and facebook.com/yozampart.

Laurie Delk is an avid art historian, holding a master's degree in art history, with concentrations in the modern and postmodern movements. She has taught classes at Tulane University, and has been published with several art publications including Sculpture Magazine and New Orleans Art Review. Send ideas for art stories to lauriedelk101@gmail.com.

Source: Discover SD

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