LA’s art scene is contemporary and diverse. This years LA Art show featured over 60,000 square feet of creative inspiration.
I excitedly attended the LA Art Show after drooling over the Instagram account for days. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who waited until (Sunday) the last day of the exhibit to cram in this extensive show. After attending I totally get why people purchased the multi-day pass. There was so much to see. It was visual stimulation overload.
After waiting in an ultra long line, security finally opened up the VIP line to allow the rest of us to enter through a secondary entrance. I arrived inside the enormous space and had no idea which way to go first. Normally in a convention like this I would pick a direction and go up and down each row. But the galleries were laid out in a more amorphous way. I would attempt to go down one row, then something would catch my eye and I would wander off in a different direction for a while. Then oops, back on the path.
A large portion of the exhibit hall was dedicated to today’s most prominent domestic and international galleries at the forefront of contemporary art. Many of the booths had the actual artists on hand to discuss their pieces. Others had extremely informative gallery representatives. One even had the daughter of the artist, who was an artist in her own right. It was a totally immersive and inclusive experience. The crowd of attendees was as diverse as the art on display.
I was really blown away by the vast amount of international galleries displaying artists from around the world. Some of my favorites featured art from China and Japan. Artists playing with traditional applications and taking a modern twist. Others using modern moving visual and lighting techniques.
I saw tons of sculptures. Everything from hyper-realism to other-worldly assemblages. The Design LA Art section featured the cross section of functional design and art in the form of architecture, modern furniture and accent decor.
One of my favorite booths was by Pandemonia. If you are unfamiliar with this Brit beauty’s performance art, think of a Lichtenstein still come to life. Wearing full latex she created one of a kind Polaroids for purchase. While, the rest of us just basked in the creativity of her work. I also couldn’t help but think how hot is it inside all that latex. Her gloves, stockings and even her face mask were made of latex!
The bibliophile in me couldn’t help but stare and giggle at Phil Shaw’s paintings of book spines. The realism was so impressive it looked like a series of photographs. Click on the photos below to zoom on the the book spines. Each is painted with a hilarious made-up book title.
I noticed a few themes at this year’s show. Politics (obviously) and Bowie (be still my broken heart.) The last couple years have been increasingly politically charged so it’s no surprise that it manifested in so many pieces. What I did find surprising was all the different ways it played out on the canvas or even in neon.
My heart is still heavy with the loss of Bowie (and Prince if I’m being totally honest.) It was wonderful to see so many beautiful tributes to Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke and The Goblin King. It’s a beautiful cycle to see artists inspiring art in other mediums.
By this point in the afternoon the convention was getting really crowded. Plus, with all the walking and viewing and talking about art my mouth was getting pretty dry. Thankfully there were a few bars scattered throughout the space to quench your thirst. Wine, beer, cocktails (Tito’s and soda for me please) along with juice and water were all available for purchase. They had a few cafes offering simple bites as well. With cocktail in hand the journey continued on ward.
I love all the characters the art scene attracts. I saw a man wearing a naked man vest. Yes, he was fully clothed, but the flesh colored vest was entirely naked. A woman wearing a full length baby blue kimono and crazy tall black heels. In fact I saw a lot of crazy tall platform shoes. Which I highly discourage. With all the walking I was doing, I’m glad I chose my go-to comfy black ankle boots. Apparently the artists accessory of the day was a bright printed scarf. Those babies were draped around plenty of necks.
The photography on display was full of bright colors and playful themes. It was refreshing to see in contrast with all the heavy fine art on display. Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly impressed, and a bit jealous of the fine artists that can capture the grimace or disdainful facial expressions of their models in downtrodden or depressed states. But after a while, you need a little brain candy. Something light and bright with a touch of humor. Plenty of the photographers provided just that.
The LA Art Show is over for another year. But fret not. There are plenty of local galleries displaying the best LA has to offer.
Here is a list of some of my favorite LA based participating galleries in no particular order.
- CoproGallery – Santa Monica They currently have a 3D Sculpture Group Art exhibition on display from now until February 10th.
- GBA Gallery – Los Angeles Greg Auerbach & Co.
- LA Tribal Diamondstein Tribal Arts – Los Angeles African Antiques
- AC Gallery – Los Angeles Current Exhibition David Krovblit: Delicate and Destructive now through February 19th.
- Art Unified – Venice – Cutting edge artists in LA.
- Maxwell Alexander Gallery – Pasadena Contemporary American Southwest & Landscapes.
For a full list of participating galleries check out https://www.laartshow.com/Participating-galleries/
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