Group Art Exhibition

Space / Time

July 13 - August 11, 2024

Clayton Bond
Shannon Hull
Logan Kruidenier
Walter Macdonald
Ed Rivera
Nicolas Zondowicz


“Space/Time” delves into the interplay between two fundamental aspects of existence—space and time. Through various artistic mediums, and considering the timeless dichotomy of good vs. evil and light vs. dark, Space/Time explores our relationship to these perceptions of reality within a contemporary lens. Through a diverse array of artistic expressions, this show invites folks to consider the fluidity of identity, the passage of memory, and the interconnectedness of past, present, and future.

For this show, artists drew inspiration from historical references (ie. archeological findings, hieroglyphics, etc.), myth and storytelling, current events and personal experiences to craft their works.

Join us for the opening reception on Saturday, July 13 from 6 - 9 PM at WANTS/NEEDS Gallery (208 E Main St. Ventura, CA 93001).

Past Shows

All That Is Not Seen

April 27 - June 2, 2024

Joel Baca + Heath Nock

All That Is Not Seen

April 27 - June 2, 2024

‘All That Is Not Seen’ serves as a catalyst for introspection, compelling viewers to explore beneath the surface. Drawing from diverse influences and experiences, Joel Baca and Heath Nock’s work explore memory and perception, blurring the lines between past and present, reality and imagination. Together, they aim to peel back the layers of the unseen, revealing the overlooked beauty and complexity within.

The Frontier Project

February 24 - April 14, 2024

Group Exhibition

The Frontier Project

February 24 - April 14, 2024

The Frontier Project, opening February 24, 2024, will consist of a group of seven (7) artists that WANTS/NEEDS curators have been hand-selecting over the previous year. This group of emerging artists has been chosen because we believe they are positively challenging the contemporary art scene. The artists include: Demi Boelsterli, Sofia Heftersmith, Jake Himovitz, Matt Hunter, Elijah Jimenez, Michael Matheson, and Jason Vivona. 

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Ca., 32-year-old Demi Boelsterli is a self taught artist. She enjoys a vast variety of mediums, including but not limited to painting, videography, poetry, photography, college, digital works, and sculptures. For the last decade Boelsterli has been creating and has no plan of stopping. Boelsterli has shown in dozens of group and solo shows throughout California, as well as having work publicly displayed in Tokyo, Japan.

Elijah Jimenez is a California based artist and musician who works in various media including oil, watercolor, sculpture and collage. In 2020, Jimenez received a BA in Studio Art from California State University of Channel Islands. Jimenez confronts the terror and wonder that occupy his thoughts by creating works that often critique aspects of the self, religion, politics, and society.

Jake Himovitz (b. 1991) is a father, painter, performer, designer, and educator. He holds an MFA from Columbia College of Chicago and a BA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Jake grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. He is a founding company member and designer of Proximity Theatre and has been devising new works of performance since 2008. Jake and his partner Kyra Lehman create theatrical productions, art events, and workshops bringing a rigorous embodied approach to creativity and community. Jake currently works at Santa Barbara High School as the Technical Director and Production Designer of the theater program. Jake’s work emerges from play, curiosity, and a meticulously wild archiving of images and meaning.

Matt Hunter is a multimedia artist living and working out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hunter received formal education from Pratt Institute and Carlow University, and is committed to growth in all areas as a lifelong learner. Matt’s paintings and design work can be seen in public and private collections around the US and he has shown in numerous exhibitions at art spaces including Gallery 4, 3G Gallery, and The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. Hunter derives much of his inspiration from his gathered experiences, interactions, and observations.

Michael Matheson’s work is bold and graphic in approach and focuses on the simplification of shape and form. Equally influenced by outsider art culture, art history, illustration, and design, he explores themes of memory, nostalgia, good vibes, and the human condition. His work incorporates elements of classic design, hand-drawn typography, geometric collage using vintage printed ephemera, and found objects.

Sofia Heftersmith is a self-taught, multi-disciplinary artist born and raised on the beaches of Southern California. Her love of art started with her parents, who both painted and exposed her to other artists and forms of art. Growing up submerged in skate and surf culture, she was influenced by the like-minded artists that made up Beautiful Losers, as well as art history icons Frida Kahlo, Philip Guston, Harry Who, Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, Picabia, Pauline Boty and countless others.

Jason Matthew Henry Vivona, born in Massachusetts, and now resides in Ventura with their lovely wife and two wonderful step kids. Not to mention Waffles and Rorschach, the actual rulers of the kingdom. Captain of his own, very awkward, ship.

 

A Collection of Works

JANUARY 20 - FEBRUARY 18, 2024

Jill Freedman

A Collection of Works

JANUARY 20 - FEBRUARY 18, 2024

Jill Freedman’s striking and impactful photographs have left a permanent mark on the art world, earning her position amongst the most impactful and influential photographers of her generation. Jill Freedman's work, characterized by its raw authenticity and her documentary-style approach, has covered a wide range of subjects focusing on the realness of human-kind. This collection of works at WANTS/NEEDS Art Gallery promises to be a celebration of Freedman’s legacy and her innate ability to capture the essence of humanity.

Jill Freedman was a highly respected New York City documentary photographer whose award-winning work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, George Eastman House, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, among others. She appeared in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world and contributed to many prominent publications.

Jill Freedman was best known for her street and documentary photography, recalling the work of André Kertész, W. Eugene Smith, Dorothea Lange, and Cartier-Bresson. She published seven books: Old News: Resurrection City; Circus Days; Firehouse; Street Cops; A Time That Was: Irish Moments; Jill’s Dogs; and Ireland Ever. Jill Freedman lived and worked on the Upper West Side of New York City.

Dancing with Death

DECEMBER 9, 2023 - JANUARY 7, 2024

Craig Chazen + Kyle Butler

Dancing with Death

DECEMBER 9, 2023 - JANUARY 7, 2024

CRAIG CHAZEN & KYLE BUTLER

DECEMBER 9, 2023 - JANUARY 7, 2024

Dancing with Death is the collaborative art exhibition between Craig Alan Chazen (‘Boxcar’) and Kyle Butler (‘KyBut’), who both tattoo and paint in Chicago, Illinois.

Craig Alan Chazen, born in 1985 in Buffalo, New York, has had an unconventional artistic journey from a young age. Raised in a nomadic lifestyle, Craig tattooed himself at 13 with a sewing needle. Dropping out of high school at 16, Chazen became a teen runaway and experienced homelessness in his early teens. Eventually train hopping, he gained unique life perspectives while also working in factories. It was during this time that he discovered a passion for photography. Chazen's artistic evolution continued with a significant shift into tattooing, a craft he has passionately pursued for 18 years. His global travels have seen him create art on every continent. Beyond tattooing, he has delved into various mediums such as photography, music, and painting. This year commemorates nearly two decades of Chazen's tattooing journey, a testament to his commitment to bridging the gaps between artistic mediums. From a self-tattooed teenager to a seasoned artist, Chazen's life story weaves together resilience, creativity, and a relentless passion for pushing artistic boundaries.

Kyle Butler lives and works in Chicago, tattooing at Red Devil Tattoo. He learned to tattoo in his house in 2015. He has extensively traveled the world collecting tattoos and experience from elders of the craft. He has been building tattoo machines since 2020 and opened Red Devil in 2021. Kyle’s work is heavily influenced by his study of the history of tattooing, from early American sailors and carnies, to the Ukiyo art style of Japan, to the tribal people of Borneo. Drawn to the bold, raw, and rugged simplicity of these early and evolving forms of tattooing, Kyle strives to make artwork that honors the past, and looks to the future. His work is neither new or old, but rather, forever and timeless. The need to be tattooed is a primal force: equally destructive and creative. It ties us all together regardless of background or time and place. Kyle strives to make high energy work that evokes the animalistic nature of life, love, and death.

Vollo Dalle Filipine All'Eternita

October 28 - November 26, 2023

Manny Lyn

Vollo Dalle Filipine All'Eternita

October 28 - November 26, 2023

MANNY LYN

The title, meaning “I Fly from the Philippines to Eternity,” is a nod to the late Rosie Camanga, a self-taught tattoo artist who lived and worked in Honolulu from the 1930s to the 1990s, and often used the phrase “I fly from Honolulu to eternity” in his work. Rosie Camanga has been an inspiration to a number of artists featured at WANTS/NEEDS Art Gallery. Manny Lyn is one artist who has mastered Camanga’s style of folky, loose adaptations of early American traditional tattoos. Manny has also managed to infuse their Filipino heritage with the influence of surrounding Italian artists within their work. 

Manny Lyn lives and works in Italy, tattooing out of Blue Port Tattoo in Genova.

Manny’s work is strongly influenced by the folk artist Rosie Camanga, both in terms of design and technique. Manny manages to study and draw with the same stylistic “imperfections” that were spontaneously drawn by Rosie. Manny started tattooing after several years of coaching and guidance of tattooer Stefano Prestileo. In 2009 Manny Lyn met Stefano, who also currently works out of Blue Port Tattoo. In 2011, Manny started working as an assistant in Stefano’s old studio and in 2012, they opened Blue Port Tattoo.

 

What Came First

September 16 - October 15, 2023

Tanner Ramsey + Jack Watts

What Came First

September 16 - October 15, 2023

JACK WATTS


Jack Watts grew up just outside North West London in Hertfordshire, England. Now living and working in Los Angeles. He tattoos at Nathan's Lounge in Echo Park.

Before starting tattooing in 2014, Jack studied photography. He abandoned digital cameras quickly and turned his attention to experimenting with alternative processes. He later had the opportunity to be a guest lecturer at the local university sharing the skillsets he had developed over the years of him studying and working within photography.

In 2012, Jack began working for Martin Clark at Bluebird Tattoo in Watford. After 2 years of shop duties he began tattooing under the moniker Tattoos for your Enemies. The name came from a zine first released in 2012 full of drawings that “were so loose and strange that if they were to be tattoos, they would have to be on someone you didn’t like.”

Jack's artistic influences range from photographers like Weegee, Diane Arbus and Richard Billingham to artists like Man Ray, Rene Magritte and Leonara Carrington. His artistic focus is varied and, therefore, he creates work utilizing various mediums and techniques.

 

TANNER RAMSEY



Tanner Ramsey grew up in Carlsbad, CA a small beach town in San Diego. He is now living and working in Los Angeles, tattooing at Nathan's Lounge in Echo Park. 

Tanner grew up in a large family as the eldest of six kids. His mother filled his home with love, art & music. His family's limited resources never affected the creative drive in the household. 

Before starting tattooing, Tanner had a hand in sewing, painting, printmaking, and many other mediums made available through the guidance of family members. As he journeyed into the art world, trying different mediums through trial and error, tattooing became his focus and joy. 

After working in corporate fashion, Tanner and his wife decided to move to Ventura to chase their dreams of being full time artists. Tanner was able to find an apprenticeship in Ventura under a handful of amazing tattooers, one of them being his mentor Joe Romero. 

Joe Romero passed soon after Tanner finished his apprenticeship, which didn’t lead him to slow down, yet instead pushed him harder to work at his craft and shape a career in tattooing and the arts. 

Ventura was Tanner’s home for 11 years and built the foundation of his life as an artist. The community here in Ventura supported him, allowed him the opportunity to reach goals, and always showed up for him, even after moving to Los Angeles 4 years ago.

Tanner has a desire to explore different mediums and continue the trial and error process that he has come to find comfort in. 

I've Got My Own Show To Do

JULY 22 - SEPTEMBER 3, 2023

Jeff Sypherd

I've Got My Own Show To Do

JULY 22 - SEPTEMBER 3, 2023

I’ve Got My Own Show To Do, is the debut solo exhibition of Jeff Sypherd, who is a tattooist and painter based in New York City. 

Jeff Sypherd was born in 1989 in Newport Beach, California, and was raised in Riverside, California. After years of informally hanging around Inland Empire tattoo shops, Jeff began formally apprenticing and tattooing at the age of 19. In 2018, he headed East to New York City to work at Greenpoint Tattoo Company and to develop a studio painting practice. Today, Jeff owns and operates Car Phone Studios in Brooklyn, New York, where he tattoos and pursues painting full time.

“I paint, above all else, in an attempt to join the lineage and conversation of the artists I admire who have come before me. These inspirations include fine artists such as painters as well as craftsmen such as tattooers. Through a visual language that mixes all of the above, I aim to explore doom, hope, and the gray area that lies between.”

Out of Bound

May 27 - July 9, 2023

Ryan Cooper Thompson

Out of Bound

May 27 - July 9, 2023

Out of Bound, is the debut solo exhibition of Ryan Cooper Thompson, who is an analog multi-disciplinary artist currently settled in Portland, OR. Exploring ideas of personal freedom, solitude, minimalism and being connected to nature, Thompson’s pieces provoke a sense of genuine intimacy and beg his audience to be present in our increasingly digital world. 

 

Thompson, known for his tattooing since 2004, has taken time since the pandemic to return to canvas and painting for this body of work. Out of Bound is both a direct connection to Thompson’s ‘Huck Finn’ spirit, and his inspiration found in the work of the late Tino “Rosie” Camanga. Rosie was a self-taught tattoo artist in Honolulu, and is a largely influential artist for countless tattooists. Nods to Camanga can be found in Thompson’s portrait of the late artist (Lonely Boy) as well as the ‘wavy hearts’ seen on a few works in the exhibition. “Out of Bound” is a text quote from Camanga found on a piece of flash found in Ed Hardy’s book, Folk Art Tattoo Flash.

This collection of nine works, including one diptych, are presented in a selective color palette of rust and various browns, alongside black water and olive-toned succulents. Thompson encourages his audience to jump into his muted, yet animated world and witness the authentic testimonies presented through his canvases.

 

Comfort Food

April 1 - May 14, 2023

Group Exhibition

Comfort Food

April 1 - May 14, 2023

Comfort Food is a group exhibition showcasing the work of Emma Bagley, Theo G, Britt Kuechenmeister, and Travis Turpin. This show features a vibrant display of fun, colorful pieces, displaying the full spectrum of the rainbow, which elicits a strong sense of nostalgia and playfulness. It is this sentimental feeling, reminiscent of childhood that inspired the name for the show, Comfort Food. 

The artists featured in this show are very dear to our WANTS/NEEDS family, and although they come from different shops in different towns, these talented folks have all become friends through a shared appreciation of valiant creativity. We hope that the bright, bold colors of these striking pieces, evocative of a full box of crayons, will bring you back to your childhood and make you feel right at home in the presence of these vivid works.

To celebrate this playful, fun show we are hosting a lively celebration on April Fools (April 1st), complete with live music by Ruben Zarate of Dante Elephante. There will also be food available from Kaapicat Cafe and drinks from Apiary. We hope you’ll come out to play and support some of our local community partners!

 

Moments of Clarity

February 11 – March 19, 2023

Group Exhibition

Moments of Clarity

February 11 – March 19, 2023

“The Moments of Clarity” Show is a benefit show in honor of Allie Greenberg, @alliegtattoo. Allie is an incredibly talented local Santa Barbara tattoo artist, who was part of the 805 Ink tattoo team. Due to a degenerative nerve disease and stenosis in her cervical spine, Allie’s health has taken a rapid decline and she has been forced to slow down and focus on her treatment. Her journey towards a clear diagnosis and cohesive treatment plan has been long and full of obstacles; physically, mentally, and financially. It is our hope that through this show, we can help ease these burdens, so she can focus on doing what she loves most, creating beautiful art. 

This show features an inspired collection of donated art by 21 local tattoo artists throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, including work created by Allie. All of the Moments of Clarity pieces are available in store and on our online shop until 3/19. 100% of all proceeds from the artwork sold during this show will be donated directly to Allie to help pay for her medical bills and treatment.

We chose the name for the show, “Moments of Clarity,” to symbolize hope for clarity and ease for Allie moving forward in her health journey. 

 

Duality

December 3, 2022 – January 29, 2023

Robert Ryan

Duality

December 3, 2022 – January 29, 2023

Robert Ryan was born in New Jersey in 1973 and began tattooing in 1997. He is now one of the most sought after tattoo artists in the world and is the co-owner of the acclaimed Electric Tattoo located in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He’s considered a pioneer of spiritually themed tattoos, which are heavily influenced by his Hare Krishna beliefs. To most, receiving a tattoo by Robert is much more than just adding a piece of permanent artwork to their body – it’s a highly spiritual experience.

Robert grew up on the East Coast where he was influenced by hip-hop, punk rock, beat poetry and graffiti culture. After a moving encounter with a Hare Krishna devotee, Robert became dedicated to spiritual learning and practice, which heavily influenced his artistic style. His understanding of Western occult symbolism, Eastern Vedic philosophy and Amazonian shamanism, all presented through the filter of traditional American tattoo style, creates a unique artistic aesthetic, rich in experience and mystery.

Robert is an incredibly talented painter. His paintings are representative of his iconic style, merging his spiritual influence with traditional American tattoo art style. His artwork has been displayed in numerous publications and galleries, as well as a strong catalog of commercial art projects. Robert is also the author of two books "Inborn Absolute" and "Deity", and was featured on the Vice series “Tattoo Age” in the episode titled; “Robert Ryan Brings Spirituality To His Tattooing."

 

Sunburnt

June 8 - July 7, 2024

Group Exhibition

Sunburnt

June 8 - July 7, 2024

'Sunburnt' is a wittingly provocative, yet light-hearted, art show that offers a candid exploration of the downsides and consequences of ‘going to the beach’. With this concept, we ask you all to explore your memories, media portrayals, and stories about the “dark side” of the beach experience and beach culture. Sand in your clothes, sunburns, getting pummeled by waves, surfer lingo, tar on the bottom of your feet, and more. Let’s be honest - sometimes, the beach sucks.

Featuring the work of:

Joshua Hedlund
Josh Stover

Anthony Verstraete
Michelle Wanhala