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Andrew Berardini

20141118185630-dinner_emmaus Fake It Till You Make It: A Few Words on Forgery   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/18/14

Picasso’s oft quoted “Good artists borrow, great artists steal” is one of those dubious chestnuts likely repeated in the halls of art schools enough to be painted over the doors. William S Burroughs’ notion of language as a virus presupposes that nothing or little of what we say is original—everything starts out as a borrowing, a theft. Theft, forgery, fakery, authenticity, and homage underlie all art and literature, always softly shadowing their meaning and troublin... [more]

20141028000922-screenshot_2014-10-27_at_4 A Cool, Darkling Swirl: Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Works at the Ace   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/28/14

What literature is to words and music is to sound, dance is to movement. Refined into a language—from the cosmic shimmy to the mash-potato, Viennese waltzing to a raver’s speaker humping, and of course, that formal staging from ballet to music videos we call simply Dance—we take movement and communicate joy or boredom, despair or titillation, or if good, all of the above. Seeing the LA Dance Project last weekend at the Ace in Los Angeles, it was hard not to find the whole affair intensely beautiful. Stylized as hell, drawi... [more]

20140809063353-unnamed Transitioning Through a Love Affair   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Zackary Drucker, Rhys Ernst at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles September 13th - November 1st
Posted 10/21/14

Have you ever fallen in love? Her face is open, unselfconscious, laughing. Framed by wash of blonde hair, the light sheen of sweat settles on her skin and both eyes beam, full of trust and free of tension. Here is unalloyed happiness on the face of a full-grown woman, a joy one rarely sees in adults. Of course, she’s looking at her love, the man holding the camera. As a love-story between this couple unfolds in scattered pictures, videos, and poems read aloud (each word a thud, but so c... [more]

20141021055353-calarts-frontsign-campus “CalArts to Alleged Rape Victim: How Long Was Your Dress?”  
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10/21/14

The above headline from an article on Al-Jazeera America started circulating online through my social media in the past week. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of CalArts alumni, staff, and current students sounding out in solidarity with the student, now a sophomore at the Institute. In response, the school sent out an email outlining its policies and its efforts to make them better. CalArts is a small community, and so this current scandal is having a real effect on it. But despite its... [more]

20141009135649-i_am_violet Copper Pyramid and Promethean Fire   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Kathryn Garcia, Joel Holmberg at Harmony Murphy Gallery September 19th - November 8th
Posted 10/9/14

A copper pyramid skeleton on a white square contains a mirrored firepit with a purple flame. The subtle elements of Kathryn Garcia's sculpture in the courtyard of the newly opened Harmony Murphy Gallery downtown uses subtle, elementary materials to craft a metaphysical gathering place, borrowing aesthetically from the basic materials of minimalism with a presence drawn from the ethereal end of conceptualism. Dave Hickey wrote in his beautiful essay "Detroit Dharma Diva" in a Michael Werner catalog... [more]

20141005225740-themirandacover Miranda July's Curious Handbag Is Just For You   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/5/14

This is just for you. If every outfit you owned were cut to your body, every shoe shaped just for your foot, all the doorways in the house adjusted perfectly for your height. If in the fridge, your favorites things to eat filled the shelves, rare culinary delights and hearty comfort foods, prepared especial, ready to be placed directly into your mouth to let their deliciousness spread through your being and satisfy all possible hungers. You could never decide which was your favorite ice cream,... [more]

20140904172728-hede No Longer Lonely (but maybe still a bit brutal): September Openings Across Los Angeles   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/4/14

The long languor of summer never truly fades in Los Angeles, but the heat simmers down just enough for the long sunsets to subside into cool nights, when prodigal travelers hurry home from sunstroked beaches and slaving artists vernissage across the city. Autumnal LA, though it certainly colors, hardly chills. Art exhibitions thickly dapple across this considerable town: Giuseppe Penone at Gagosian and Sam Falls at Hannah Hoffman on the 5th. On the 6th, Culver City unbolts with Ryan Mosley and Edgar Arcenaux at Susanne Vielmetter, Fay Ra... [more]

20140708085045-tezcatlipoca The Standard Book of Color: Obsidian Black #161928   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 7/8/14

Surely black, but so lively one cannot catch its true hue. Volcanic glass cooled too fast to crystalize, scientists never can quite call it a mineral or capture its color too closely. Depending on the angle of shimmer however, approximates exist. Named by Pliny the Elder as Obsius Lapsis, after a dubious claim that it was discovered by a Greek of that name, the gem gained its "d" from a printer’s error. The Aztecs called obsidian itzli, a force that found form in the macahuitl. A wood sw... [more]

20140408094327-x You Are Free: On Self-Exploitation in Art   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/8/14

“You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like a cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent. I pity with all my heart the artist, whether he writes or paints, who is entirely dependent for subsiste... [more]

20140325082555-p Light Writer   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Anthony Pearson at David Kordansky Gallery March 1st - April 12th
Posted 3/25/14

Who needs the sun? The dappling of sunlight through the branches of trees plays on pavement with incredible beauty. The shifting leaves shift light and the ground brightens and shadows with each rustle like the ambient waves of a gentle lake reflecting a midday sun. Coming out of photography, artist Anthony Pearson here etches plaster to mimic the play of light. He used to solarize photopaper and sometimes cast bronzes out of that. All very process oriented, swirling and tweaking the formal re... [more]

20140308120935-12910607184_17c7a2e7b0_o The Vitality of the Unknown: The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive January 29th - May 25th
Posted 3/8/14

On a large circular rug in the yawning atrium of the brutalist Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, they are playing a game. A sign welcomes you on the carpet though it requests you take off your shoes. It’s not too hard to figure out, but the MC pads across the carpet with bare feet and whispers to you the rules. Most but all wear white sleeveless sheets belted over their clothes, but not all. Echoing sounds of a couple playing music on a laptop and synths, they stand and lay and be... [more]

Trans-Optical: An Interview with John Houck  
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2/25/14

Los Angeles, Feb. 2014: We begin with color, the composite of visual reality, refracted through a camera lens, a computer screen; its possibilities seem almost limitless in what it can capture, manipulate, reveal. But not its colors. The combinations are limited, it can be coded. And John Houck has. The combinatorics, a four square of color possibilities reiterated in grids, make for a string of chromatic hieroglyphs, a novel of what’s possible, titled Digital Guides for Conceptual Photography (201... [more]

20140128233713-soo_kim Fairways: ALAC, LA Art Book Fair, and Paramount Ranch   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/28/14

Polar vortex is only a distant poem to Los Angeles. Uttered on the news by harried meteorologists with names like strippers, the weather here is droughty for caring locals, simply sunny for everybody else. Yes, one of the many good reasons we live in Los Angeles is the definite lack of polar vortices. Not a few of the farflung, chilled by arctic weather, flock to Los Angeles this weekend, for one of our three fairs, two for art and one for art books. Not quite an Art Basel Miami Beach (mercifully... [more]

20140122200409-picture_207 Word and Image: A Conversation with Raymond Pettibon   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/22/14

This interview was originally published on ArtSlant Los Angeles in February 2010. Venice, CA, 2009: An inveterate punk, aesthetically and politically, the contemporary art world has adopted Raymond Pettibon, LA’s native son for any number of polemics, exhibitions, and critiques. And for good reason, the iconic work of his pen and ink drawings capture a epic range of human emotion and experience that's distinctly dark, literary, and American. Besides the official art beatification, it’... [more]

20131203082557-o Lemonade   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Mateo Tannatt at Marc Foxx November 23rd, 2013 - January 11th
Posted 12/8/13

A white mannequin lounges stiffly on two saw horses, naked except for a blue-and-white gingham cloth, carefully placed. Mannequin doesn’t quite capture the pure whiteness of the skin, how careful and articulate are the details or how idealized his looks. Like some Greek statuary temporarily taken down from its pedestal to be cleaned. It’s not Greek though, too particular. Maybe Roman? Not quite tough enough really. Those Romans always added extra brawn to their imperial statues.... [more]

20131106182256-casolaro Autumn in Torino   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Artissima November 8th, 2013 - November 10th, 2013
Posted 11/6/13

Long-necked blue cranes lurch over ancient churches filled with forged relics. Stiffly clothed bourgeois stroll under weeping Chinese maples, leaves burned and creamed, and past high-booted prostitutes shivering in the autumn chill. A woman in a distant window waves to an unseen lover. The symphony of umbrellas opening as travelers step out from the underground. Click, whoosh, click, whoosh, click-click, whoosh. Torino is my favorite autumn city. The wide regal streets ringing with trolleys, the r... [more]

20131031191721-l The perfect shudder of spectral light upon a terrible beauty.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Pierre-Laurent Cassiere, Isabelle Cornaro, Florian & Michaël QUISTREBERT at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) October 17th, 2013 - December 22nd, 2013
Posted 10/31/13

Words like psychedelic get trotted out by acid amateurs at every flickering bulb and swirl of color. Real psychedelic experiences are punishing in their power: a nauseating kaleidoscope; a universe decentered and dismantled; still things gyrate and dancers stay still in a blurry wash of purest energy; atoms are split inside your skull and come bursting through glassy eyes; other humans dissolve into electric atmospheres and social mores collapse into mere theater. Henri-Georges Clouzot's L'Enfer is truly psychedeli... [more]

20130926073926-rocksdetail1 Excite the right electron and it'll glow.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Emilie Halpern at Pepin Moore September 22nd, 2013 - December 21st, 2013
Posted 9/28/13

A single splash in an ocean of invisible waves, the spectrum of visible light hints just enough radiance to tease the rest. Outside our paltry paintbox of chroma hide rays gamma and long, thermal and micro, radar and TV, radio both AM and FM depending on the shimmy of the music or the monotone of the talk. All this invisible radiance penetrates buildings and molecules, tables and oil tankers, you and me, vibrating the air with ghostly resonance. Infrared just above and ultraviolet just below,... [more]

20130910213305-timthumb Fall Preview: New Skin for an Old Ceremony   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/10/13

Autumnal heatwaves in Los Angeles never fail to diminish the refreshing thrust of new energy breezing from art spaces around the city. Summer wilts galleries into group shows and makes museums ever welcome air-conditioned hideouts for long-installs. But the fall, hardly ever cool in September, still brings in new skin for the old ceremony, fresh air before the mildish winter chills, not only in premiering first shows from new artists but also in bringing veterans to the city who rarely exhibit... [more]

20130709193144-96_sa1310 Doors of Perception   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Stephen Aldahl at Young Art June 15th, 2013 - July 20th, 2013
Posted 7/9/13

It's just outside the doors. A long horizon line striping gray through most of those oblong holes, though there's a spot of green streaming the bottom over there. Maybe it's underworld strata, blocked off by the purity of its chosen color, a nice foundation, a firm earth to craft other planets, other doors out to them, into them. Doors are always body-size, even the doubles, like these here are made for two, arm-in-arm, coupled and linked. The double-door peeks into a vision that makes coupl... [more]

She's a Confection  
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davide balula, Neil Beloufa, Andrew Berardini, Isabelle Cornaro, Nikki Darling, Travis Diehl, Eve Fowler, Nicolas Garait, Rita Gonzalez, Camille Henrot, Brian Kennon, Hedi El Kholti, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Jonathan Lethem, Joseph Mosconi, Aude Pariset, Veronica Gonzalez Pena, Bernard Piffaretti, Tif Sigfrids, Ivette Soler, Charlie White at Public Fiction March 1st, 2013 - June 15th, 2013
Posted 6/10/13

Though a non-descript, signless space, bricked and fortified with bars, she looks soft inside, the toughness dropping away. Opened now­—wide by hand—she's entered into with cautionary eagerness. Inside her arrangement appears fixed as if one mussed her carefully constructed visage it would be righted magically to how it began.   Her bare walls provide room for thoughts to bounce toward and from which to peel away. These thoughts lap down upon desks, huddled together, which rest waiting for a ne... [more]

20130605170041-213128_017 Space-Time   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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James Turrell at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art May 26th, 2013 - April 6th
Posted 6/4/13

I've always wanted to make a light that looks like the light you see in your dream. —James Turrell, excerpted from James Turrell: A Retrospective   Art is always stumbling into someone else's dream. At LACMA, be warned of lines and guards; turns out someone else's dream forces you to book a place months in advance, pay $45, sign a waiver to lab-coated girls in exchange for ten or so minutes with flickering lights. Just one of a dozen logistical hiccups. The precision of other people's dream... [more]

20130425221611-gf1991-084-untitled-location-1 Sheets   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/24/13

It all ends in sex or death, usually. Both even. I think I've been writing about shadows on bedroom walls and tangled sheets all of my life. These will, with some likelihood, be my last thoughts as well. The sheets, the crisp unloving whites of a hospital bed, the shadows dancing on the eggshell walls of an antiseptic ward. But there have been other walls and other sheets. I think it comes from the stillness of being awake in bed. If you immediately roll out, bare feet scraping on hardwood, the... [more]

20130402061516-sg12-036b Cover Song   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Sam Gilliam at David Kordansky Gallery March 28th, 2013 - May 11th, 2013
Posted 4/6/13

I want all of Sam Gilliam's paintings here to be book covers. Perhaps it's because their flatness and angles handily resemble package design of a certain era. I've always felt similarly about Ellsworth Kelly's bright, cheerful paintings that look like they'd been stolen from the detergent aisle and had their explosively optimistic names removed. Gilliam’s paintings on view at David Kordansky look mostly to me like one of the more recent cover designs for JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, which is... [more]

20130224093005-422 A last love letter from a sunsetting civilization   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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JJ PEET at Redling Fine Art January 11th, 2013 - February 23rd, 2013
Posted 2/24/13

There's hope this might be seen, yet a humbling acceptance of the vast loneliness of space. It is a gesture. A last love letter from a sunsetting civilization, a temple left on an abandoned planet, a spare record jettisoned into the cosmos whispering its enigmas through these worn remnants. Do words fail? Maybe. So do civilizations. After a people’s peak troughs, do objects reclaim their lost souls? The first and last humans doubtlessly were and will be animists. I wish we had a verb for once... [more]

GEOslant with Andrew Berardini: The Legend of Georgia Fee  
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Posted 2/3/13

Georgia Fee has been and will forever be the most important person in my professional life. I owe all these words, and all the words that come after these to a woman I had the happy accident to meet one day on Craigslist. I love that lady and miss her painfully. Every trenchant phrase and heartfelt plea, every joke and every song, every review and every poem has Georgia's fingerprints on them. She gave me something more valuable than even time or money to a young writer (though she fierce... [more]

20130201043439-40 I want you to to go the LA Art Book Fair   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at MOCA Geffen Contemporary February 1st, 2013 - February 3rd, 2013
Posted 2/1/13

Let's be honest here. Fuck art fairs. Long live art book fairs. This weekend Printed Matter opens the first ever LA Art Book Fair. This is important. I want you to go. Art books are generally everything you wanted art to be but you can actually afford it. I don't know how much Laura Owen's paintings are going for, more than I make a year or five it's safe to assume, but her book, Fruits and Nuts is available at Ooga Booga for $500; each is its own unique beauty, handmade with love by the art... [more]

20130124233819-bp_report_install_view6_web Some Shows We Think You Should See   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/24/13

Perhaps the art fair brought you to LA, or maybe you live here but are looking for a little international flavor from the coterie of foreign art dealers caravanning in art from far-flung lands. There is a certain, dynamic allure to any assembly, party, fair. But in the end, nobody really loves an art fair. There's the art fairs in the Grand Palais in Paris, whose beautiful glass dome certainly takes the sting out, but as a rule a convention hall will only ever be a conventional hall: harsh over... [more]

20121128211420-handinglove Take This Personally: Lisa Anne Auerbach   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/28/12

"Don't take it personally," a backhanded cliche only firing bosses and leaving lovers sink to say. Failure, success, love, sex, politics, the environment. These are not vague abstractions. Or at least, they don't have to be. Take all this personally. Lisa Anne Auerbach does. An erotic sweaterist, a reclaimer of torn porn, cycling zinemaker, artist. In sizable prints, shredded S&M porn abandoned in an airport parking garage gets blown up, each thread of its frazzled paper, stain on the pelte... [more]

20121122172221-caravaggio9 Caravaggio's John the Baptist in the Wilderness, c. 1604   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art November 11th, 2012 - February 10th, 2013
Posted 11/28/12

I almost want to fuck him. Is this John the Baptist? The big JC's notable cousin, claimed second-coming of Elijah and pre-ambler to the messiah, the fiery Jewish prophet, whose head a mere few paintings away gets plattered for the sexy, slithery, fourteen-year-old sexpot Salome? This pale northern European beauty never burned in a Judean summer or strained too strenuously under an imperial Roman yoke; this John, who in the gospel is in the deserts till the moment he manifests to Israel, seems to... [more]

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