It's Beater-Lickin' Good


It has long been my personal belief that ambience is the most important component involved in inspiring creativity.  A variety of factors come into play when creating an atmosphere, and in doing so, the primary challenge is getting things to fall into place properly.  Considering the noisy and often distracting pace of the modern world, finding such a balance is especially important.  The ‘Lick the Beaters’ art show at Café Balcony aims to do exactly that.  At least, that is how I felt when I had the opportunity to view the works therein.

‘Lick the Beaters,’ are a trio of artists, known to many as Kio Griffith, Misato Nagare, and Allen D. Glass II.  Each of these artists has chosen to take a very diverse artistic approach from one another in order to create a show that seems to meet in the same destination. 

Kio takes a very decided approach to his work, which is often very thematic.  For the purposes of this show, he has challenged himself with the art of silkscreen.  In viewing his pieces, I could not help but smile slyly as I was welcomed into his world.  My imagination was stimulated and I found his work to be not only playful and mischievous, but also very mysterious.  I found the duality of his work to be particularly interesting.  I was drawn in by the fact that every image was different from one another, but also retained a distinct cohesion.  It was almost as if there was somewhat of a story to be told.  One piece, titled, ‘Even if you disagree with my plans, won’t you give it whirl’ was a combination of various shapes and likenesses such as several smiles, lips and tongues, all of which appeared to be chattering and engaging in conversation. 

In enjoying Misato’s work, what I found most compelling is the combination of penmanship and craftsmanship that was inherent within many of the pieces.  I feel that she was making a clear statement about the beauty of femininity.  One of her pieces, ‘Misfit’ stood out to me as a humorous nod to pop culture’s influence on modern artists.  As a viewer, I found that piece particularly entertaining because I recognized the subject of the drawing as a pseudo-celebrity on one of the trashiest television shows in recent history.  I couldn’t help but laugh at myself, due to the irony of being in an art show, and still looking at something I would see on television.


I found Allen’s work to be the most conversational of all of the pieces on display at Café Balcony.  The medium that he chose was photography.  Being that my eye for what is and what isn’t a good photograph is one of my most shameful shortcomings, I admire those with the ability to discover art in one’s everyday surroundings.  Allen seems to take his gift a step further, incorporating both natural talent and his ability to create optical illusions, in order to keep the viewers talking.  Some photographs, like one that I will call ‘Loco Joe’s,’ which portrays a pink elephant drinking a martini, tell you all you need to know.  Others, on the other hand, seem to provide you with just enough to draw your own conclusions.

Ultimately, what is normally a quaint café off of Santa Monica Blvd, catering to the many in the artistic community and its admirers provides the perfect frame for a trio of artists whose message seems to ring loud and clear.  Art doesn’t have to take itself too seriously to be good, and many times, it is best when it doesn’t.  As for the meeting challenge of finding the right balance between artists, the show is a resounding success.  So treat yourself to a trip to Café Balcony, have a cup of coffee, and enjoy the art and the atmosphere that it creates.


Lick The Beaters 2.5 runs through June 5th, 2007 at Cafe Balcony 12431 Rochester Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90025. The Cafe is open 7 days from noon till midnight.

Lick The Beaters' group work can be seen on their myspace page at or at their upcoming website

The editor or special guest writer for Entertainment Today.