Jean Bastarache in his studio. 


Julie Rico (R) and Spandau Parks (L) having Thanksgiving Day dinner in 1989 at 208 Los Angeles Street in downtown Los Angeles- Jean is taking the picture. Artist Spandau Parks introduced us to his landlord so that Julie could open a gallery. The space was huge but a giant mess. Julie was a mudball for 3 months cleaning the space. Span would come down and encourage Julie to keep cleaning the space. Jean Bastarache would fly to L.A. and hook up the water heater and work till the last second then jump on the plane back to Michigan. Often not having taken a shower. Poor people on the plane. Julie Rico was determined to open an art gallery for Jean and the other artists she met in Los Angeles. Julie, Jean and Spandau hung out during these few years together in our giant 12,000 sq. ft spaces. Spandau would often awe us by his magnificent paintings, at the time they were greens. He worked on his giant oil paintings for 15 years in this location. While Jean was just emerging as a painter. Spandau had a positive impact on our careers. We owe him a giant debt of gratitude for all that he did for us. Thank you Span. I miss you, JR. 


1999 Jean created the album cover for the Punk Band P.O.D. the album was called Southtown. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fundamental_Elements_of_Southtown

Here is a link to a good sampling of work Jean did for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Jean worked for Ed for 8 years up until he passed on April 4, 2001. Ed's last assignment to Jean was to paint a piece called Monsters Rule.  Jean sent it to his wife in Manti, Utah. We did not photograph it. I have not seen it published anywhere. https://goo.gl/1YINx5


Jean created this mural above on the side of the gallery on Main Street Santa Monica. So cool!



One of the over 100 art shows Jean installed for the Julie Rico/Rico galleries.  For the group show "Industrial Metaphors".

The 2nd gallery, Julie Rico Gallery 2623 Main Street Santa Monica, CA 1992-1995 Here is where Jean Bastarache had his first 1- man exhibition. Juxtaposed with Timothy Leary's book Chaos and Cyber Culture art and artists 1994.

The 2nd gallery, Julie Rico Gallery 2623 Main Street Santa Monica, CA 1992-1995 Here is where Jean Bastarache had his first 1- man exhibition. Juxtaposed with Timothy Leary's book Chaos and Cyber Culture art and artists 1994.


One of the paintings Jean Bastarache painted for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth for the exhibition  "Rat Fink Meets Fred Flypogger Meets Cootchy Cooty" showing with Roth were Robert Willams, and Stanley Mouse. This was the first time they all showed work together. It was an unprecedented exhibition.

One of the paintings Jean Bastarache painted for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth for the exhibition  "Rat Fink Meets Fred Flypogger Meets Cootchy Cooty" showing with Roth were Robert Willams, and Stanley Mouse. This was the first time they all showed work together. It was an unprecedented exhibition.


(Left wall) Jean's work for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and a piece by Stanley Mouse (right wall). Standing in the gallery is  Stash Maleski, assistant to Julie Rico and helper Mike Steele for the "Rat Fink Meets Fred Flypogger Meets Cootchy Cooty" show with work by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Robert Willams, and Stanley Mouse. 

(Left wall) Jean's work for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and a piece by Stanley Mouse (right wall). Standing in the gallery is  Stash Maleski, assistant to Julie Rico and helper Mike Steele for the "Rat Fink Meets Fred Flypogger Meets Cootchy Cooty" show with work by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Robert Willams, and Stanley Mouse. 

Jean with Stash Maleski installing the big Rat Fink Meets Fred Flypogger Meets Cootchy Cooty  exhibition for artists Robert Williams, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and Stanley Mouse 1991.

Jean with Stash Maleski installing the big Rat Fink Meets Fred Flypogger Meets Cootchy Cooty  exhibition for artists Robert Williams, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and Stanley Mouse 1991.


A fax sent to the Julie Rico Gallery. Julie asked Ed to create Rat Fink's surfing. He sent this and did some posters thereafter. 

A fax sent to the Julie Rico Gallery. Julie asked Ed to create Rat Fink's surfing. He sent this and did some posters thereafter. 

Timothy Leary signed his Chaos and Cyber Culture Book for the show he did with Jean Bastarache at the Main Street, Santa Monica Gallery. 

Timothy Leary signed his Chaos and Cyber Culture Book for the show he did with Jean Bastarache at the Main Street, Santa Monica Gallery. 

Jean's 1st exhibition in Los Angeles. Special thanks to Richard Lubrich and TK Nagano. 

Jean's 1st exhibition in Los Angeles. Special thanks to Richard Lubrich and TK Nagano. 

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The 1st gallery effort 1989 in downtown L.A. Jean installed the shows and created some of his first paintings at this location a 12,000 sq. ft. space. It was .10cents a square foot. 

The 1st gallery effort 1989 in downtown L.A. Jean installed the shows and created some of his first paintings at this location a 12,000 sq. ft. space. It was .10cents a square foot. 


Ed "Big Daddy" Roth at his show at the Rico Gallery on Pier ave. Santa Monica, CA Master Finks and Monster Fetish with Dave Burke.

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth at his show at the Rico Gallery on Pier ave. Santa Monica, CA Master Finks and Monster Fetish with Dave Burke.


Jean in front of the Rico Gallery on Pier ave. waiting for Roth to pull up in his car. Roth drove all the way from Manti, Utah for his show.

Jean in front of the Rico Gallery on Pier ave. waiting for Roth to pull up in his car. Roth drove all the way from Manti, Utah for his show.


Julie Rico on tour with Lollapalooza. She represented Robert Williams, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Jean Bastarache, Jainar and Jamex de la Torre, Brian Ruppel, Ray Zone 3-D Art Room, Craig Stecyk, and a whole gang of graffiti artists. LA graffiti artists created all the signs for the tour. We took Von Dutch patches on the tour and sold work shirts with the famous flying eyeball. See it in the background of the 2nd picture. The Von Dutch clothing line was started after the tour. 

Julie Rico on tour with Lollapalooza. She represented Robert Williams, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Jean Bastarache, Jainar and Jamex de la Torre, Brian Ruppel, Ray Zone 3-D Art Room, Craig Stecyk, and a whole gang of graffiti artists. LA graffiti artists created all the signs for the tour. We took Von Dutch patches on the tour and sold work shirts with the famous flying eyeball. See it in the background of the 2nd picture. The Von Dutch clothing line was started after the tour. 


Jean and Julie would attend punk concerts in Detroit Michigan regularly. Jean loved PUNK. Julie not so much but she took pictures at the concerts, here is one of the Bad Brains lead singer. 


With Peter Ludwig AKA Mystic Pete. Jean Bastarache gets interviewed on KXLU!

With music artists: Michael Zentner and The New Division Live in Los Angeles, CA— with Alex GonzalesCherie BugtongBidi CobraMystic PeteJohn Glenn KunkelMichael ZentnerSteve NalepaJulie Rico, Jean Bastarache and Wade Harpootlian at KXLU 88.9 FM Los Angeles.


NEWS FLASH! Bjork the singer was gifted a beautiful painting created by Jean Bastarache November 2016. Our amazing client said that she absolutely loved it! Here it is. 

For Bjork. 


Born Jean Jacques Bastarache in Montreal, Canada, Jean was raised in Westland Michigan.  

The themes of Jean's paintings revolve around key cultural and personal issues such as being lost in a robotic world of consumerism, finding a personal identity when faced with options that are often dehumanized, and the beauty of the animal kingdom often lost inside of an overpopulated planet, and existential issues of meaning and purpose at odds with current therapy and promises of false happiness.

A well known art historian, Gombrich’s stated; “There is no such thing as art. There are only artists.” 

Jean sitting on the church bench that was placed in front of the Rico Gallery.  The Rico Gallery subsidized by artist Manfred Menz was located on 208 Pier Ave, Santa Monica, CA

This statement may well suit the work of Jean Bastarache. For as he appeared on the art scene in the late 80’s his style of painting perplexed the main stream art world. At the time there was no category for his style of work. Yet he kept painting and showing and selling out his shows at the Julie Rico Gallery in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California up until the year 2000.  Jean also showed works on the Lollapalooza tour's “Mean Art Tent” exhibition organized by Julie Rico in 1995. Today for the first time we present some of the work that was available as paintings during that period as archival prints available for purchase. On occasion originals will be available for purchase. 

Traipsing throughout Jean’s work are symbols, signs and images that deliver ulterior messages. His use of realism in the anthropomorphic creatures provides a melange of subliminal messages. When you look at Jean’s art you get the feeling that you are a voyeur. Perhaps an unwanted guest?

Many of the details related to the characters in the paintings are so fine one must sometimes use a magnifying glass to see them. He paints with a 1 hair brush!

The third gallery located just up the street from the other gallery. Artist Manfred Menz sponsored this gallery. Jean continued to hang the art here. He produced 1 show here titled "Tortured Dreams" 2000

The third gallery located just up the street from the other gallery. Artist Manfred Menz sponsored this gallery. Jean continued to hang the art here. He produced 1 show here titled "Tortured Dreams" 2000


In the 80’s Jean rose up with many other artists affected by the liberated american landscape that came from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s golden age of music, cartoons, the Rat Fink, television, graphic design, Frank Frazetta, Warhol, etc. This new wave of artists emerged to create a new art movement, (Low Brow/Pop Surrealists). 

Today the term Pop surrealism has emerged as the new moniker for the movement that originated as Low Brow Art. Although Pop Art and Surreal Art have distinct legacies, Jean’s work inhabits the sweet spot between the two.  Not only does his work have a wide appeal, like Pop Art,  but simultaneously, it illustrates messages rendered deep from within his subconscious, that speaks Surreal, and gives voice to the hidden thoughts within the culture at large. At last, many artists considered Pop Surrealists have taken their rightful place in prominent private and public collections, museums and well respected institutions around the world. Jean’s work was at the forefront of creating work that marks the significant transition from Low Brow to work that shines as important and collectible in its own right.  His paintings were featured in Juxtapoz Fall, 1997 and Art Alternatives, Issue #6 and his one-man shows in Los Angeles and Santa Monica always sold out!

Jean selling t-shirts by Ed " Big Daddy' Roth and Dave Burke paraphernalia at the Julie Rico Gallery in Santa Monica, CA during the Master Finks show 1999.


Ref. 1

Jean’s careers included working on the Ford Motor Company Assembly Line in Wayne Michigan as a painter from 1975-1988.

His creative life started in Hollywood where he worked as a scenic artist for many popular television shows from 1989 till 1997. The artist Spandau Parks hooked Jean up for that job.

Jean also worked for 8 years for the inimitable Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.  You can see a picture of Jean (starting on page 190 inset below) and below 1 of the paintings he did for Ed in the book titled “Rat Fink The Art of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth” by Greg Escalante and Douglas Nason.  


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Jean’s work has been featured in several magazines including Juxtapoz and Art Alternatives and he was asked to design the CD Cover and interior imagery for the Rapcore group P.O.D. for Atlantic Records V.P. John Rubeli. 


Influences:

 

Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, Mike Kelly (A high school friend in Westland, Michigan), Van Gogh, Ed Big Daddy Roth, Frank Frazetta, his uncle a painter living in Canada, Herve Bastarache and Robert Williams. 

 

Jean’s Father Clarence Bastarache originally from Moncton, New Brunswick, moved to Westland, Michigan to work at Ford Motor Company as a tool and die maker. Eventually Clarence worked at home making incredible wood carvings which included Viola de Gumba’s and small creatures, furniture and other interesting wood carvings. Jean’s Mother Schura Komenko originally from the Ukraine in Russia grew up as a ballerina. Captured by the German’s during WWII she worked in Germany as a housemaid for years till the liberation. She was allowed to become a nurse in Canada where she met Clarence. She was an astute woman with creative skills she applied to her needlework projects and her children. (Jean Bastarache is an Acadian family name, see below.)


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His Westland upbringing may have had an impact on his future life as an artist. His friend from high school, Mike Kelly became a well known conceptual artist. Kelly stretched the bounds of the definition of fine art with off the wall installations using stuffed animals and other ephemera gathered throughout his life. Whereas, Kelly’s work is staunchly conceptual, Jean’s work is painting. Perhaps the one thing we can say about both artists is that they took their own path in the art world. Jean’s style of art balances between, surrealism, pop surrealism and low brow art. For the sake of art historians and collectors we are categorizing his work as pop surrealism. 


Ref. 1

 "The term Low Brow art was coined by artists Robert Williams in his book titled, The Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams (San Francisco: Last Gasp, 1979). This movement has morphed into a new terminology called Pop Surrealism. Mainly because as art historian "Joseph R. Givens points out in his thesis “LOWBROW ART: THE UNLIKELY DEFENDER OF ART HISTORY’S TRADITION”", “the name Pop Surrealism was created by the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum for the 1998 namesake exhibit which featured over seventy Lowbrow artists. Since the term draws upon the familiar terminology of two existing styles, it is convenient for art galleries and art dealers. …… ‘Pop Art and Surrealism are two distinct art movements with disparate histories and conflicting intentions. Pop Artists emerged in the 1960s and were preoccupied with material culture and contemporary existence, whereas Surrealists were interested in the subconscious and metaphysical phenomena which were the primary concerns of psychological discourse in the 1920s. The term Pop Surrealism implies that the artists adhere to the formal conventions of Pop Art and Surrealism without acknowledging the intellectual foundations that were the conceptual framework for these styles.”

 


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Special thanks to artist, Ilene Segalove for helping with Jean's Bio. 


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 Canada: 96,145[1][2]
370,000 speakers of Acadian French in Canada [3]

  New Brunswick: 25,400
  Quebec: 32,950
  Nova Scotia: 11,180
  Ontario: 8,745
  Prince Edward Island: 3,020

   United States

 

The Acadians (French: Acadiens, IPA: [akadjɛ̃]) are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia, many of whom are Métis.[4][5][6][7] The colony was located in what is now Eastern Canada's Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island), as well as part of Quebec, and present-day Maine to the Kennebec River. Although today most of the Acadians and Québécois are French speaking (francophone) Canadians, Acadia was a distinctly separate colony of New France. It was geographically and administratively separate from the French colony of Canada (modern-day Quebec). As a result, the Acadians and Québécois developed two distinct histories and cultures.[8] They also developed a slightly different French language. France has one official language and to accomplish this they have an administration in charge of the language. Since the Acadians were separated from this council, their French language evolved independently, and Acadians retain several elements of 17th-century French that have been lost in France. The settlers whose descendants became Acadians came from "all the regions of France but coming predominantly directly from the cities".[9]

Bastarache is a pioneering family name in Acadia. You can find references to the history of this family by doing a Google search .