INSTANT LA SUMMER
Southern California is one of the brightest places on the planet. With each day filled with sunlight, fresh breezes and delight, some people have come to call this big place Paradise. What the casual visitor to Los Angeles doesn’t perceive is the notorious darkness that falls on the city and its inhabitants – that noir that so famously paints the city black. The brighter the light, the darker the shadows. I entitled this exhibition Instant LA Summer because in Los Angeles every moment feels like it is on the verge of summer. From the bikini clad beaches of Venice to the Bohemian enclaves of Highland Park, the people of LA are free people, both in sun and moon. Art made in LA has captured the contemporary art world particularly in the past twenty years because the artists here have all the room in the world to do what they want. At this moment in time, the most interesting art in the US is being made in LA. Artists have the freedom here to become stranger and stranger. This perpetual summer of LA is a time of perpetual freedom, leisure, and creation. But with every sunrise there is a sunset. From the mystic shadows of the shamanistic counter culture of the deserts to the great shadows cast by the lights of Hollywood, artists here live and work in the dark. Great art is made in secret. The artists in this exhibition are all very young, yet many have already claimed a large area of the contemporary artworld. Some are shining stars in a dark room. For others, this is their first show in a major exhibition space. Many are close friends and all are artists that I seriously admire and respect. They are artists who have a deep sensitivity to their environments and the worlds they imagine and create. These artists are all part of a new generation. They are the pioneers of today. They all know one thing: The West is not fully defined. They know that the Western Expanse keeps growing, that the edge of the continent keeps going further out to sea. The deserts keep flowing with water. Themes of love and destruction, political agitation and crime, weirdness, beauty, hippy dippy culture, anger, fire, summer, are everywhere in the works showcased in Instant LA Summer. I want to say one last thing; I hope you really enjoy yourself! Most Sincerely, Esteban Schimpf
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