Spring is in full effect and art is blooming all around us. March has been another busy month and the staff at AM picks some of the freshest stories of the month in this edition of Second Helpings.

Get served after the jump.

Juggernut3 recommends:

1) Openings: Ryan McGinness – “Works” @ Dietch Projects

Ryan McGinness‘ show at Dietch Projectswas one to remember. Utilizing his signature silkscreening techniques, he created a remarkable show on various mediums and transformed the legendary gallery into a visual playground for all in attendance.

2) Openings: Tomokazu Matsuyama – Glancing at Twin Peaks @ Joshua Liner Gallery

Tomokazu Matsuyama(Matsu) held his first solo in New York and it was a demonstration of tradition meets innovation. Similar to  Takashi Murakami, Matsu takes his Japanese heritage and pushes the boundaries and inspires the imagination.  Check out his take on “Playmobil x Lee Custard”. (above) Later in the month Matsu also garnered top ten honors at the prestigous Art Dubai.

3) Armory Week 2009 New York

Ikeda Manabu

Ikeda Manabu

The Armory show in New York spawned numerous satellite art fairs which AM took advantage of. Running from show to show and party to party, it was a grind to try and catch everything. We are still catching our breath from this crazy week of art indulgence.

Sleepboy recommends:

1) Todd Schorr – “The World We Live In” @ Merry Karnowsky Gallery

Todd Schorr (interviewed) “American Surreal” master and Low Brow OG, made his triumphant return to Los Angeles with his stupendous show at Merry Karnowsky.  The celebrity filled opening and the amazing body of work definitely did not disappoint.  Don’t miss this show as it may be another five years before he returns to Los Angeles.

2) Luke Chueh – “From Light Cometh Darkness” @ Corey Helford Gallery

Luke Chueh’s (interviewed) solo show at Corey Helford was one of our highlights of the month.  It’s nice to see him experimenting a little yet maintaining his signature style.  Look for even more changes when he opens his Dante’s Inferno themed show in September.

3) Openings/Signing: Brendan Monroe @ Park Life

Finally, a book from Brendan Monroe (interviewed) documenting all his paintings and sculptures. A definite must-buy for all his fans as there is no other online or published source for all his work. The nice show to go along with the book release was a bonus.

4) Matt Small @ Black Rat Press

If you haven’t heard of Matt Small before, take notice.  His stunning show “Youngstarrs” at Black Rat Press was definitely an eye-opener for us.  We will be keeping tabs on Mr. Small in the future.

Stephen recommends:

1) Armory Focus: Bast Studio Visit by New Image Art

After a long hiatus, we finally got a good look at some of the stunning new pieces BAST has been working on when AM friend Marsea Goldberg of New Image Art paid a visit to his studio. We are definitely looking forward to his next show.

2) Lance Armstrong x Nike Sportswear – “Stages” Touring Art Exhibition Supporting Livestrong

Lance Armstrong, Nike CEO Mark Parker, and Livestrong president Doug Ulman discuss the inception of and motivation behind the “Stages” art exhibition in which artwork from over twenty-one of today’s most prominent artists from across the globe will be exhibited and sold to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation. An amazing roster of artists supporting an great cause.

3) Openings: São Paulo @ Scion Installation LA

It was awesome to get a little taste of São Paulo’s flair and vibrancy at this amazing show put together by Choque Cultural and Jonathan LeVine. The colors, the grittiness, and the beautiful crowd surely made this a night to remember.