Abel has accepted the role as the wedding portraitist. He will be drawing a unique diptych of the couple by marrying images of the couple from their youth.

Untitled (River Phoenix) 2006, graphite markings on graphite covered paper, 30"x 46" / Untitled (Jeremy) 2006. Graphite on paper, 30"x 46"

My first visit with Abel in Feb. 2011, in the first Get Hubbied incarnation: I drove out to CalArts. It is a skooch off the beaten track, but what glorious weather - it was like a vacation in an afternoon. I was a bit early, and it was a bank holiday so the halls were empty but for a few hard cores, which served to up the mystique of my visit.

Abel will do a drawing of Liz and one of Jon - the portraits will form a diptych. He'll use the charcoal pencil on pencil technique so that depending on where you are in the room, the imagery appears and disappears. This is as good a photograph I was able to get in the studio lighting, but its good enough to get the point across. Jon and Liz will be supplying Abel with a couple of images of each of them as teens to choose from. I like that they'll be rendered at the age at which they were on the verge of becoming adults.

I couldn't resist getting a snap of the strewn paint. Just like looking at people's bookshelves, its a portrait of the person in a way to see how they set up their studio.

And here, a slice of Abel's shelf. There are some curious titles, one of which has the word Bride on it. Hard to imagine what that book can be, unless the author's name has the word in it. Are there two copies of a book called "Terror Hospital"? There are several boy oriented books, even an author named Kidd, but I gotta borrow this one: "Some Faggy Gestures," by Henrik Olesen.

Abel's upcoming thesis show will be focusing on images of boys in water. The imagery in the painting and Cyanotypes are sourced from life-saving instruction photographs. Taken out of context, underscored and isolated by Abel, they become eerie and romantic. To me, the boys in his work communicate a wistfulness, a glorious naivete, a physical and spirited admiration of youth. The painted shirtless bodies with limbs flailing, posing seriously for portraits, or floating in water submissively held by another - they all capture some essence of communal innocence on the edge of being lost.

and the man himself

This is a graphic I found in one of the non-Braille versions of Boys Life. It reminds me of a family crest, or a wonderful tattoo

On my way out I saw this magazine - the cover, and pages within blew my mind - I haven't stopped thinking about its formal beauty but ultimately, its lilting sadness. I imagined a blind boy reading the braille to know more about the 'Boys Life,' most certainly describing sports and a lifestyle not easily partaken of by the blind.

Abel Gutierrez is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. His works explores a world of post-teen angst, development of sexual identity, and representations of masculinity in adolescence. Taking inspiration from rock music's aesthetic trends to internet subcultures to old masters paintings, Gutierrez experiments with art materials and photography to create portraits and installations which reflect our obsession with youth culture and issues of 'growing up'.

Gutierrez's work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in California and recently exhibited work in the Keeper of Light show at Sandroni Rey Gallery, Los Angeles. He is currently working on a two-person collaboration with Bettina Hubby called A Picnic in Eden at the Company Gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Its a three-day project October 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2009. For more information: The Company Gallery

Click here for his website