Meandering through West Hollywood’s crowded streets—filled with trendy boutiques, coffee shops, and upscale salons—it’s difficult to come across vestiges of the city’s queer roots. Long gentrified by high rents is a rich history ensconced in leather bars, tea rooms, sex shops, and the like. It’s a history that while obscured, is still vibrantly alive in the memory of Tom of Finland Foundation Co-founder, Durk Dehner. Since 1984, Dehner served as the official h... [more]
Nathaniel Mary Quinn’s fragmented portraits recall his childhood growing up in the Robert Taylor Homes, a notorious housing project in Chicago. His new series Highlights, now on view at M+B in Los Angeles, features highly personal works that reflect on his upbringing and the people he knew who were able to escape the violence and poverty so many experienced in the now demolished project.
Though his pieces resemble collages, they are in fact improvised paintings. Quinn does not do initial sketches of his... [more]
Nathan Mabry’s exhibition gripgrabstacksqueeze, at Cherry and Martin, opens with a black, partially abstract, figurative sculpture suggestive of indigenous art placed on an oil drum. The upper half of this totemic form seems to have emerged from the drum, its dark and glutinous texture reminiscent of tar. With this opening work, Mabry succinctly kicks off the show with a meditation on the fetishism of early peoples and their artifacts, as well as the loss of these cultures as a result of m... [more]
In Funeral Doom Spiritual, a multimedia installation that recently opened at ONE Gay and Lesbian National Archives at the USC Libraries, artist and composer M. Lamar confronts themes of Black masculinity, collective trauma, and the white gaze through his singular “Negrogothic” vision.
Combining Lamar’s operatic sounds, sadomasochistic visuals, and lots of smoke, the exhibition’s multichannel black-and-white videos are beautifully Gothic, yet also haunted by symbols of racial violence, slavery,... [more]
Walking down the nonlinear streets in Downtown’s Arts District, Traction Avenue looks about the same today as it did two weeks ago, but it’s changed a lot from how it looked last summer, when I first reported on the gentrification and development of the area.
Storefronts and tenants continue to shuffle—the retail space 12345 once occupied has sat empty with a “For Lease” sign in its window since August; District Gallery is gone; Traction Avenue Gallery closed down a fe... [more]
Annette Weisser is interested in the remnants of history on the human psyche. The Berlin-based artist came of age in rural Germany in the 1980s, grappling with the specter of National Socialism and her own political socialization in West Germany. As part of the Kriegsenkel generation (the “grandchildren of the war”), Weisser and her contemporaries are caught in a moral crisis, horrified by the fascism of the past and unsettled by their nation’s ethos of repentance since the 1960s. H... [more]
For the first time in Los Angeles, the entirety of Catherine Opie’s black-and-white photogravures from her series O is on display at the Hammer Building at LACMA. In conversation with two other shows Opie currently has up in Los Angeles—700 Nimes Road at MOCA and Portraits, also at LACMA—as well as with Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium, on view now at LACMA, the seven images are contextualized in a larger photography moment.
Opie’s work has long mediated the contrad... [more]
Hobbes Ginsberg walked out of Sunday Gallery in Los Angeles on what was supposed to be the final day of filming.
“There's literally one shot left,” said Ginsberg, wearing a fitted white T-shirt that was plain except for a hot pink applique on the front that spelled out “Hollywood” in sparkly bold cursive.
“But it's so teeny tiny—can we get rid of it?” said Chloe Feller, with a faint air of hope in her voice.
“Uh, no,” Ginsberg said. The remaining... [more]
What does the interior architecture of the artist's workspace tell us about their process and practice? In psychoanalytic terms, perhaps what's in the artist's studio is what's on the artist's mind.
In our times, though, the spaces artists inhabit are quite different to the cavernous, secluded spaces of the past: they've had to adapt to a more migratory lifestyle, and have succumbed to the economic squeeze in urban centers. The only universal marker left of the resplendent artist's studio, reall... [more]
Los Angeles hasn’t always been an art fair destination—its commercial art scene development has yet to reach the breakneck pace and spectacle seen in New York, Miami, or London. Nevertheless, it’s got a solid core that’s been expanding and garnering more attention in recent years. Long-standing regional fairs, the LA Art Show and Photo LA, have entered their 21st and 25th seasons respectively, and they’re joined this January by the 7th edition of the increasingly inf... [more]
At 6:50 pm on opening night, a ladder is still out in the middle of the gallery floor. Frederick Guerrero stands nearby, co-founder of Slow Culture and co-organizer of the finale show at its current Highland Park spot, set to begin at his space in less than ten minutes: What A Time To Be Alive.
Atop the ladder sits Adi Rajkovic of Sunday gallery, who is busy helping to align a piece with floral lettering that will soon spell the phrase “SAY HER NAME,” as others around her either tidy up or ska... [more]
Day one at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, and there's a clear trend emerging for chunky, rough-looking ceramics and heavy concrete. Why? We'd like to think that galleries are enjoying presenting art made with these materials, as they're an aesthetic antidote to the shiny plasticity that is expected in Los Angeles.
Why are so many artists are experimenting with these mediums? All over the world of late, there's been a revived interest in clay and concrete from the market and makers, with new ar... [more]
Art Los Angeles Contemporary opens this week—arguably the West Coast's key commercial event for the year, especially for local galleries who feature heavily in the line-up. Looking at artwork in an art fair can be a bit like viewing art on the internet: the structure often strips work of its full effect. To remedy the fatigue of serial image consumption—and give more credit to the artists, looking past their works' obvious marketability and apparent aesthetic trends—we're giving you so... [more]
What does the interior architecture of the artist's workspace tell us about their process and practice? In psychoanalytic terms, it's often assumed that the artist's studio is a reflection of the artist's thinking.
But nowadays, the spaces artists inhabit are very different than what they once were: they've had to adapt to a more migratory life, squeezed by bigger economic problems. The desk is really the only universal marker left, a synecdoche of the artist's studio; it's where the action is c... [more]
Polish native V5MT (aka Małgosia Woźnica) is one of the most beloved GIF artists working today. She creates work that resonates strongly with both the international new media community and the Tumblr generation of kids hungry for cool things to post on social media. Her art certainly feels like part of the net art zeitgeist, but is elevated above the pack by her flawless technical skills coupled with a wonderfully anarchic aesthetic identity. The name V5MT itself reflects the universal appeal of... [more]
'Tis the season for stocking stuffers: So instead of facing the crush at the malls at this time of year, make shopping an art by ordering an artist-made Christmas gift. From skull-printed toilet paper to Playmobil self-portraits, there are some clever artist multiples, which are great for ironic gifting this year. Besides, it is the season of goodwill, and the proceeds will (probably) go towards supporting an artist.
Here are some of the best festive buys on our art gift guide list: