When I first heard of Shaun Leonardo’s performance project, I Can't Breathe—a performance that taught spectators self-defense moves like how to break a chokehold if they are in a situation where they are being accosted—I was skeptical of its merit. Was it benefiting from a tragedy, or addressing real concerns? Would it incite citizens to resist arrest, or would it give people a sense of agency if they ever felt unjustly threatened? The performance follows the death of Eric Garner a... [more]
In 2009, Noah Davis completed his painting The Year of the Coxswain. Five brown-bodied figures carry a boat across the frame and past a figure clad in black holding a trumpet at his side. It is a painting tremendous for its potent symbolism that lays no precise claims, for its mysterious foreboding rendered like a summer landscape.
Much of the art world is still in mourning for Noah who on died Saturday, August 29th, at his home in Ojai, California. He was 32, his far-too-soon passing caused b... [more]
The Broad Museum’s September 20 opening in downtown Los Angeles is just under a month away. “You had to remind me of that,” Joanne Heyler laughs—her humility doesn’t quite feel nervous, more pragmatic. If there is anyone capable of executing the huge task ahead, it’s her. “Ars longus, vita brevis. I’m living that,” says Heyler, describing her long-standing career with the Broads.
Heyler began working at The Broad Art Foundation back in 1989, and... [more]
Like other industries, the art world should come under the scrutiny of fair and equitable business practices. With so much privatization in the gallery and museum world, it's as good a time as any for consumers of culture to question where funds come from—and where profits are going. This summer, we're seeking out the best not-for-profit and community conscious art spaces in the most commercial cities on the global art circuit. As part of our mission to give art a social slant, the first s... [more]
Los Angeles’ latest contemporary art access point, The Broad Museum, will officially open its doors to the public on September 20. This is exciting news for Angelenos, as the 120,000-square-foot structure will house more than 2,000 works from the Broad Art Foundation and the personal collections of long-time philanthropists and art enthusiasts, Eli and Edythe Broad.
According to Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad and chief curator of The Broad Art Foundation, this means access to more t... [more]
The Arts District farmers' market in Los Angeles is a recent addition to a small but growing community wedged between Little Tokyo and west of the L.A. River. Since June of last year, local sellers, artisans and patrons gather at what is known as the Triangle, or Joel Bloom Square—within sight of what was once legendary West Coast punk venue Al’s Bar.
Al’s opened its doors in 1979 to a sparse population of artists who had been working, and often living illegally, in the decayi... [more]
Video is an exceedingly difficult medium to wrangle into a gallery space: Do you serve it up movie theater-style, with chairs and set screening times? Do you play it on a loop and allow people to walk in and out? Headphones or no headphones?
Video demands long looking, but it rarely gets it. How many times have you watched mere seconds of a work of video art before turning to something else? Actually maybe a better question, how many times have you actually watched a work of video art from beginni... [more]
The LA Film Festival (June 10–18) kicks off tomorrow, and social justice will be central to one of the week's diverse film programming events.
On June 11, the festival hosts the short film program #BlackLifeBlackProtest, curated by Jai Tiggett (who also presents her satirical short film Protect & Serve). This free event will screen seven short films made in 2014 and 2015 by filmmakers who have been inspired to tackle the issues of police brutality, black identity, and inequality in Americ... [more]
"Oh God, it's coming up now, I recognize the sound... I mean, I don't need to see this when I'm at work!" We looked on fearfully as a large-scale penis enters stage left, in profile, and decants a trickle of urine onto an unsuspecting potted plant.
This was Dark Threat of Absence (2002) a two channel projection at the center (physically and thematically) of the only comprehensive institutional presentation of Elaine Sturtevant's work in America since the '70s (the show has traveled to L.A. after it's New York de... [more]
Walking through UCLA's graduate studios in Culver City one Saturday evening is a like walking through a giant sprawling work in process, something artists rarely make in public, because it's messy, untuned, revealing in its imperfection, and of course, just incomplete. All the shabby studentness of the event contributed to the rawness of the works: half names scrawled on doors, crates of beers, some cheese and crackers warming on the floor of an installation. Compared to the professional patina... [more]
“Video killed the radio star,” The Buggles sang in 1979. The song brims with nostalgic longing for a simpler, low-tech era that was more authentic and wholesome. Two years later MTV was launched, the first television network to non-stop broadcast music videos. With a self-congratulating sense of irony the programmers selected “Video Killed the Radio Star” as the first clip to be shown. The event may not have marked the actual death of the radio star but it did introduce a... [more]
Just off a street full of piñatas in DTLA is Superchief Gallery—the younger (but larger) sister of Superchief New York. I was here to see the Booty Worship exhibition, alone, because I couldn’t persuade any of my friends to come down and see a "butt" show with me. My friends have far more taste than I’d realized.
I was greeted on arrival by pink curtain flaps resembling a lady’s spread legs. I got out of the taxi, and, conscious that the driver was watching me, sa... [more]
“I’m not walking down there, there’s a body on the floor,” my friend Shai said. We were coming out of a pizza place that had a gunshot mark in the TV. “Come on, it’s fine. She’s not dead.” As we walked past the disputed human being lying face down in the middle of the stenching sidewalk, she turned on her side and smiled vaguely into the distance with her elderly, meth-lined face.
No Title (There are beds), 2015, Collage and ink on paper
Los Angeles County Art Museum has been serving as a fortress of non-Western Contemporary art in California. With previous exhibitions concentrating on the Far and the Middle East, LACMA has made promising attempts to alter the Western hegemony in Western institutions by showcasing non-Western art. With its current exhibition Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East, LACMA presents a cross section of Middle Eastern and Islamic Art (for want of better terms). However, when we look closer at th... [more]
The last two months have seen two great celebrity-become-artist scandals. Björk’s retrospective and Kanye’s doctorate. Two years prior, Abramovic's The Artist is Present paired with a performance by Jay-Z stoked the same flame that threatens to consume our conceptions of aesthetics and Artist—with a capital A. Because that exists, still.
Art, it seems, may need a new definition. One that fits with current conceptions and usage.
$$$$$$$$$$ @zoeschlanger Can't stop watc... [more]
Revok received a hero’s welcome upon his return to his hometown of Los Angeles, marked by the April 10th vernissage of his first L.A. solo exhibition, organized by Library Street Collective and held at MAMA Gallery in the Downtown Arts District. In a gallery packed with friends, fellow writers, and fans, he spent most of the night enveloped by a patient congregation of adherents, blackbooks in hand, waiting for a coveted autograph from the famed graffiti writer. The mood that night was celeb... [more]