Artist Highlight: Laurent Mercier

Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.
Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.

Laurent Mercier was born in France in 1967. He spends a good part of his childhood on the road with his parents who are working in the music industry. Later he studies at the « école nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts » in Paris. He started his career as an independent multimedia artist, organizing collective exhibitions. He also worked with the publishing firm, Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.

He exhibits regularly at the Galerie Donguy, 57 rue de la Roquette, in Paris. He organizes collective exhibitions from the artist action group created by Michel Journiac. He takes part in events on the subject of the artist condition and status in the society, in institutions like Unesco.

He joins Jacques Donguy in his publishing structure “Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.”

He eventually created his own school “Studio Mercier” where he trains CG Artists, who are working currently in international production studios. He created his own production studio Callicore which allows him to provide services to musicians without any of the restraints often found in major media conglomerates.  Laurent Mercier, in short, has devoted his life to break through boundaries and to bring genuine, true art and freedom to his creations counter-balancing the boredom of what he calls “the cultural dictatorship of corporate media”.

Now with his own company, Callicore, he is in charge of all aspects of its projects, from pre-production to post-production, and retains a relatively independent and free nature. It is working out well for Laurent Mercier and his artist clients.  They won a Webby Award with John Lee Hooker, Jr. with the animated music video ”Blues ain’t Nothin’ but a Pimp” and expanded Callicore’s service offer with music production and music publishing.  More than a collaboration, John Lee Hooker Jr and Laurent Mercier developed the strong bond of a real brotherhood. Among the many illustrious artists co-produced by Laurent Mercier are a variety of projects with John Lee Hooker jr, Arrested Development, Carbon Silicon,The buzzcocks, The Meteors, The Washington Dead Cats, Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg, We Are The Fury, CAKE, Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Clinic Rodéo, Dr Feelgood and recently Iggy Pop.

Iggy Pop’s rendition of the classic “La Vie en Rose.”

At Callicore Studios, Laurent Mercier is the producer, director, CG artist, who collaborates with Marius Legrand, producer, lead animator, and are supported by their production assistant Anaelle Majidate.

Washington Dead Cats fun video of a groovy nightmare blues song.

One of the first collaborations between Mercier and Xavier Semens, who joined Callicore in 2006, was the animated video for Phantom Rider, a song from the 2007 album, Hymn for the Hellbound, by the British psychobilly group The Meteors. That same year, Callicore produced an animated video for Sound of a Gun, by the British punk band The Buzzcocks (the initial video was considered too violent for broadcast television, and a second, less violent version was released).

Callicore created the animated video for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp, a song from John Lee Hooker, Jr.’s Grammy Award-winning album, All Odds Against Me. The video portrays Hooker as a comic book character, “Bluesman”, who plays in clubs at night and cleans up the streets during the day. The video was a Webby Award honoree in the Special FX/Motion Graphics category in 2009. An image from the video was featured on the album’s cover.

In 2008, Callicore produced its first video for Carbon/Silicon, a band founded by Mick Jones, the former guitarist for The Clash, and bass player Tony James. In 2010, the studio produced the video for hip-hop group Arrested Development’s Bloody, as well as for When We Were Angels by Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, a project of former Ramones drummer, Marky Ramone.[2]

In 2011, Callicore created the video for Cake’s Long Time, a track from the band’s comeback album, Showroom of Compassion. In an interview with Cake singer John McCrea, Mercier said the gloomy mood of the video, which follows the plight of a man and his monkey imprisoned in a dystopian world, was inspired directly by Cake’s music, which reminds him of “melancholy things.” McCrea was impressed by the video’s general movement and choreography, which he suggested are often lacking in music videos, and appreciated how Mercier perceived the non-humorous side of Cake’s music.

Callicore produced and directed videos for artists such as Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Eagle-Eye Cherry and Dr. Feelgood, from 2011 to 2013. The studio has continued its collaboration with John Lee Hooker, Jr., with several videos featuring the “Bluesman” character created for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp.

You can learn more about Laurent Mercier via his website, wiki, and facebook page.

Jim Dennis, historic Artist Talk and Grand Opening of “50 Years in a Flash” Aug. 5th at Joyce Gordon Gallery

Opening Ceremony Joyce Gordon

Join us this Friday, August 5th from 6-9pm for the Opening reception and Artist Talk of “50 Years In A Flash” by renowned Bay Area photographer, Jim Dennis.

50 Years In A Flash | Photography by Jim Dennis
 August 5 - August 27, 2016
 Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, August 5th 6-9pm
Artist Talk by Jim Dennis starts at 7pm

This retrospective of photography includes portraits, nudes, music, flowers and landscapes by internationally renowned Bay Area photographer Jim Dennis.??”50 Years In a Flash” captures an array of moments throughout Jim Dennis’ image making career. including photographs inspired by his early travels as the first African American photographer on assignment with Eastman Kodak in New York. Other works include portraits ranging from famed musicians such as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, John Handy, Faye Carol; dignitaries include the Dali Lama, former S.F. Mayor Willie Brown to celebrated locals. His color and black and white nude portraits are perhaps his most recognized and praised work. Also featured in this exhibit is a KTOP documentary interview “A Glimpse Into Jim Dennis.” Later in the month we celebrate Jim Dennis’ day of birth with an hour exhibition tour in the gallery followed by an extended version of his jazz and music collection at Geoffrey’s InnerCircle including live music and food. The exhibit culminates in a paid photo session where the public is invited to have their portraits taken in the gallery by Jim Dennis.

Pete Escovedo Family
Pete Escovedo Family by Jim Dennis Photography

Jim Dennis’ Birthday Celebration August 18th 6 – 11pm | Gallery Tour 6-7pm | Celebration at Geoffrey’s InnerCircle (410 14th St, Oakland) 7-11pm featuring an extended music collection

Closing Reception: August 27th 1-4pm
Portrait Session w/ makeup artist | Contact gallery for details
Joyce Gordon Gallery presents “50 Years In A Flash,”

Joyce Gordon Gallery is a commercial fine art gallery located in the downtown district of Oakland California. It exhibits art that reflects the social and cultural diversity of the Bay Area and international artists. The aim of the gallery is to respect the creative pursuits of the individual and seeks to make such work accessible to a broad audience.


Joyce Gordon Gallery 
406 14th St
Oakland, California 94612

Joyce Gordon Gallery
406 14th St. ?Oakland, California 94612

Jim Dennis Photography Studio is located in Emeryville. To schedule a private tour please contact Jim Dennis at Learn more at his website:

For a past historic Artist Talk with Jim Dennis the SF Moma wrote: “San Francisco native Jim Dennis’ skills were honed partly in the Jazz club called “The Both And” in North Beach shooting photos of legends such as Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery. He eventually became a staff photographer for Eastman Kodak. After a long career using the most cutting edge camera equipment he’s amassed an accomplished body of work that includes portraits of well-known public figures, landscapes and nudes.” full article

50 years of classic photography by celebrity photographer, Jim Dennis

Internationally renown photography Jim Dennis is celebrating his 50th Anniversary. Historic.
Internationally renown photography Jim Dennis is celebrating his 50th Anniversary. Historic.

Jim Dennis delights international photography lovers for over 50 years.

Jim Dennis is a renowned Bay Area Photographer whose work has spanned over thirty years, with exhibits ?at a variety of artful venues across the nation including: ?Kodak Gallery , New York, New York?Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois?The Oakland Museum, Oakland, California?Dennis, a native of San Francisco recognized at an early age that he was visually oriented and ?was excited to discover that he could capture on film, elements that provoked thought and stirred emotion.

As a young staff photographer with Eastman Kodak, Dennis photographed people and places across the world:?the Taj Mahal in India; life in Morocco; cultural portraits in Turkey. He also photographed the Indy 500 and Grand Prix Races, a cattle round-up in Wyoming and the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. His personal extensive travels have provided him with opportunities to capture exciting photographic images in such places as Haiti, Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, France, Italy, Britain, the Bahamas,Brazil, Costa Rica and the Ivory Coast.

Jim Dennis’ technical skills in photography were honed at Eastman Kodak where he collaborated with engineers?developing state-of-the-art photographic equipment and products. He regularly attends professional development seminars and workshops to stay abreast of new developments in the photography world and has taught technical skills in photography to students at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Additionally, he studied with the famed San Francisco photographer Ruth Bernhard in developing his creative skills.

In addition to his personal clients, present corporate clients include: Pacific Bell, Pacific Gas and Electric, American Airlines, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, East Bay AIDS Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco Unified School District, City of Oakland, Oakland Unified School District, Walter Kaitz Foundation, World Savings Bank, KTVU-Channel 2, Highland Hospital and the Port of Oakland.

Eric Murphy
Gallery Curator,
Joyce Gordon Gallery
406 Fourteenth St.
Oakland, CA. 94612 or
Gallery Phone: 510.465.8928  and

1971 article about Jim Dennis photoshoot in cowboy country.
1971 article about Jim Dennis photoshoot in cowboy country.

What a Wonderful World in the Norwegian Fjords

Happy sheep grazing in emerald green Norwegian Fjords
Happy sheep grazing in emerald green Norwegian Fjords
Jo and Jan visit Gaustatoppen and Rjukan in Norway.

The Fjords in Gaustatoppen and Rjukan are some of the most popular Norwegian secret destination.  The region offers beautiful hiking trails some of them with an incline of 2200 feet.  Great workout and the views are an amazing pay off.  For people who are not in favor of hiking such an incline there are cable cars which are inside the mountain.

If you wish to learn more about how to travel to Norway you could visit: Hardangervidda

Photography courtesy Jo Eliz Lian and Jan Lian.



Marmalade skies of Byholmsviken

Marmalade Skies by artist, designer and photographer Kalervo Karlsson
Marmalade Skies by artist, designer and photographer Kalervo Karlsson
"Northern light and its transparency is very important for the soul and art." Kalervo Karlsson
Marmalade skies of Åland Archipelago

Kalervo Karlsson shares his amazingly artistic photographs. “Nice to share with anyone who wish to see . ”  He points out that you can see swans swimming if you look closely.

The artist and his beautiful wife Niina Karlsson of fame, are on their yearly holiday to the northern lights where they restore their souls.

Natural Art captured by Kalervo Karlsson
How quickly the summer sky changes in Åland – a special place in Finland.

The Karlsson family summer in Byholmsviken, one of the few inhabited islands in Åland.  It is easy to see how rooted their artistic inspiration is in their natural habitat.

Åland is located in the Baltic Sea, at the southern end of the Gulf of Bothnia between mainland Finland and Sweden. The Åland archipelago consists of around 6 500 islands, but only more than 60 are inhabited. Åland has its own taxation system, its own postage stamps, its own flag and Swedish as its only official language. For travelers, the Åland islands offer activities from adventurous island-hopping to boating, fishing, golfing and lots more. It’s easy to get from one island to another thanks to the many bridges and ferries, and Åland’s roads are terrific for cycling holidays.

If you wish to experience the Viking Country you can plan and book your own trip by here.  Visit Finland


Roger uses his keen journalistic observations’ capabilities to bring life to his naturally lit photographs.

Modeling Agencies and News Agencies reach out to Stillmann Photography for quality photographs.
Modeling Agencies and News Agencies reach out to Stillmann Photography for quality photographs.

Stillman’s interest in photography dates back to his early childhood.  At age 10 he recalls helping his granddad, Edgar Rogers, process film and produce black and white enlargements in an improvised home darkroom in back of a ranch house on Central Ridge above Peck, Id. on land that had been homesteaded by his great great grandfather.

After graduating from Lewiston High School, he moved to Tacoma, WA where he attained his BS Degree in communications and broadcast journalism from Pacific Lutheran University.  Most of his early images were taken in Hawaii while on assignments for radio and television stations.  During his US Navy tour of duty in DaNang, Vietnam, he was seldom without his camera. He also anchored three nightly television broadcasts and traveled to Saigon for temporary network assignments.  Upon completion of his military obligation he returned to Oahu, HI, where he continued to enhance his photography skills.

Stillman later traveled extensively throughout the mainland in a career change into management and marketing of regional shopping centers for major developers.  He has working knowledge of locations in every mainland state and Hawaii which has helped him in scouting appropriate locations for photo shoots.

Stillman has an affinity for black and white images and still keeps an extra camera loaded with black and white film because, “some images were just meant to be captured on black and white film.  Even in our digital age there is still drama in black and white film that just can’t be replicated.”

Using outdoor lighting Roger Stillman captures moments of introspection

Stillman’s studio is virtual and all his work is outdoors utilizing natural light.  He has recently expanded into Wedding Photography. Photoshop is seldom used to matriculate any of his images.

He is a model agency approved photographer.

Roger’s online site showcases both his artistic and commercial images.

Heather Thayer knows how to capture moments in time and turns them into art.

Heather Thayer Photography takes special moments and turns them into portraits that capture personalities
Heather Thayer Photography takes special moments and turns them into portraits that capture personalities

Heather Thayer-Taylor has been serving Southern California’s Photography needs for over 35 years. Heather, the owner of Heather Thayer Photography, has a great eye to capture expressions and bring out personalities. She works with clients to get them comfortable in front of the camera when doing portraits. Her candid action photographs aim to capture her subjects being themselves and often times doing what they love; especially when photographing performing musicians. Her artistic eye for light  in combination with expressions make her work stand out,  and exemplifies the art of photography.

Earth Wind Band by Heather Thayer Photography
Earth Wind Band by Heather Thayer Photography

“I have a lot of fun doing what I do and strive to make my clients comfortable in front of the camera and enjoy being photographed.”  -Heather

Heather Thayer Photography provides corporate services as well.
Heather Thayer Photography provides corporate services as well.

Her local Orange County studio set up also allows for head shots, groups, products, fine art objects, paintings and much more. She has a variety of backgrounds to choose from in the studio. The park and beach are also places where she likes to photograph her clients when a more natural setting is desired.


Heather believes that quality images for businesses to use on their websites, social media and printed promotional material, gives a business a quality business image. So much marketing has moved to the web that the demand for fresh content is greater than ever. Heather offers businesses a reasonable way to acquire fresh and appealing images to accompany their text for social media posts and online advertising.  You have just a few seconds to make a good impression and as the saying goes; “a pictures is worth a thousand words”.


The firm’s current focus is corporate events, business portraits, business promotional photography, fine art prints, products, custom stock photography for websites and print. Portrait session are done in studio or she brings the studio to your office or home. Both studio backgrounds and a background at the location are used depending on the size of the group and the end use for the photos.

To learn more about visit:

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Musicians and bands

Portraits, Products and businesses

Kalervo Karlsson stuns fashion world with his amazing photography.

Kalervo Karlsson, stunning photographer.
Kalervo Karlsson, stunning photographer.
Kalervo Karlsson dazzles fashion world with his stunning photography.

Kalervo is a photographer, visual artist and a designer.  He creates Karlsson Portraits. His portraits are Elegantly Glamorous. Sophisticated. Gorgeous.

His gorgeous wife Niina as seen in the picture above is a designer, visual artist and a make-up artist, fashion designer and world renown jewelry artists. (

As a team they create these artistic Karlsson portraits ( together.
They are creating an unforgettable experience in making the Dream come True Portrait of you.

Make-Up and for hair the bring in expert hair stylists.

Want to include your favorite pet in the family portrait?  Nor problem. They have experience in creating portraits of people with their beloved pets and you may be a bit jealous because your pet will fall in love with them, for a day :).

Explore how you can leave the legacy of your own Karlsson-style Portrait to your heirs and luxuriate in the creative and enjoyable process of looking your best.

Explore an estimate for your “Day as a Princess” or a “Day as Queen” or “Day as a King” now!

Contact Kalervo and Niina Karlsson directly:

Kalervo Karlsson
Tel. 011 358 40 746 09 76