"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]
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]
A startling discovery has been made concerning one of contemporary art’s most polarizing artists.
A new narrative has come to light concerning the Painter of Light™, Thomas Kinkade, after the artist’s private notes, previously hidden, have been made public for the first time. Kinkade’s illegitimate status in the contemporary art world had always vexed him, but, apparently, he intended to have the last laugh after all. Judging from his recently uncovered notes, which will be put on p... [more]
Living in Los Angeles as an active member of the art scene involves making many choices on a weekly or even nightly basis. In other cities, where art spaces are packed tightly together in close proximity, it’s usually possible to hop around to visit a number of events on a given night, using public transportation or grabbing an Uber, no big deal. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is not one city: it is many. It is unimaginably spread out, and the vast distances between the different art enclav... [more]
The exhibitor list for this year’s LA Art Book Fair is very very long. So while I’d like to be able to say that this is a definitive top 10 list of booths to see, I can’t quite boast that. This is not a comprehensive list, rather, this is a highly subjective list, and as such, is skewed towards photography publications, publishers that I’m already familiar with (full disclosure: I’m married to an artist who has been featured in publications from Lodret Vandret and Conv... [more]
Art Weekend LA kicked off yesterday with the promise of a Los Angeles art calendar packed with attractions: from the dynamic program of museum exhibitions and gallery openings to the city’s growing number of art fairs. The latter set a quick pace from the outset and this January boasts a busy schedule, beginning with the LA Art Show and Photo LA, two of the city’s longest-running fairs, and closing with the comparatively new yet highly influential Art Los Angeles Contemporary. In antici... [more]
A funny image accompanied by a one-liner caption—it’s a form we know all too well. The internet meme is infinitely reproducible, mutable, and sharable: they're digital artifacts symptomatic of our current cut-and-paste culture.
But we’re not the first generation to cut and paste with wild abandon: in Europe in the 20s and 30s, photomontage became surreal art in the hands of practitioners like Hannah Höch, John Heartfield, and Raoul Hausmann; British artists took to colla... [more]
By way of introduction, Cameron Crone's first solo-show at Jancar Jones, Reflow the Logic Board, is a testament to just how strange and surprising photography can get. The artist presents color photographs of to-scale beach towels, their terrycloth weaves intervened with kitty litter dripped-sand-castle-y patterns, all laid out on some mysterious concrete ground. Crone has also fabricated a series of urban-aqueduct-cum-skate-ramp sculptures, with terrazzo beveled curves and arcs. The work is ver... [more]
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 af... [more]
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 care... [more]
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 catalo... [more]