2712 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034
There are some works of art that seem to uncannily capture what it is to live, work or simply spend time here in Southern California. I am thinking about the Beach Boys’s Pet Sounds, Joan Didion’s early essays especially from The White Album and Slouching Toward Bethlehem, and many of Stephen Shore's photographs of California’s diners and gas stations. Maybe it is just that the June sunshine is perfect in California, but walking into Noah Shelton’s exhibition at Cherry and Martin in Santa Monica made me feel that his works certainly embody something of this world - a world steeped in obliterating sunshine and sporting that notorious, laid-back attitude.
As you enter the space you are immediately met by a large, motorized wind chime (Fence Post Wind Chimes) that Sheldon constructed out of some four dozen steel fence post caps that are suspended from a black plywood disk, which is connected to a disco ball motor. The motion of the motor creates a surprisingly bold and melodic chiming. Hanging on the wall in the gallery are two framed C-prints, both titled Untitled (Making Grey) and having an overall magenta cast to them. On your way to the back gallery, there is an untitled series of 5 headshot-sized photographs of a beautiful woman. In the first, she has no makeup. Then, progressively, she has more makeup until the final photograph where she is again shown with no makeup. The series is apparently part of a much larger film project that is still in the works.
In the back gallery there is a single sculpture, Glass Fountain, in which three LED candles are set atop small river stones. Water runs between the candles creating a nice, kitschy sound of moving water. The fountain is housed inside of a black glass box that has been treated with a two-way mirror;. One can see through it from the outside, but when looking from the inside, one can only see the fountain reflected. This truly strange object might be the perfect crystal ball for some unknowing wizard somewhere in a Century City office tower.