ST buddy LANCE ARMSTRONG at LA’s PRISM GALLERY to visit the twins while they put the finishing touches on thier upcoming show, “Miss You,” opening on Saturday, February 25th. The environment they’re creating within the space is incredible, and must be experienced in person. Read More
Possibly SUPREME‘s best collab to date…
Billboard by Kerry Tribe
If you live in Los Angeles, you’re well aware of the increasing visual pollution caused by the endless propagation of billboards and supergraphics vying for every open inch of Southland skyline. A welcome break to the aesthetic ad-driven monotony comes in the form of the “HOW MANY BILLBOARDS” project, presented by the MAK CENTER, featuring the artwork of 20+ artists plastered (legally) on billboards at key locations in and around the Hollywood area. While the artist roster doesn’t exactly blow our minds or, likely, the minds of many young people in the area(WTF, no Skullphone, Ron English, Allison Schulnik, Barry McGee, Barbra Kruger, Raymond Pettibon, Catherine Opie, or Chaz Bojorquez?!), the project itself is a great follow-up to the precedent-setting and more visually stunning ARTBOARD FESTIVAL that took place in LA in 1977 and featured artists like Rick Griffin and Ed Ruscha, a project that has been kept alive in recent years by UNDFTD who have maintained their eye-popping art billboard for several years now.
The philosophical proposition of the exhibition is simple: art should occupy a visible position in the cacophony of mediated images in the city, and it should do so without merely adding to the visual noise. How Many Billboards? Art In Stead proposes that art periodically displace advertisement in the urban environment.
Billboards are a dominant feature of the landscape in Los Angeles. Thousands line the city’s thoroughfares, delivering high-end commercial messages to a repeat audience. Given outdoor advertising’s strong presence in public space, it seems reasonable and exciting to set up the possibility for art to be present in this field. The sudden existence of artistic speech mixed in with commercial speech provides a refreshing change of pace. Commercial messaging tells you to buy; artistic messaging encourages you to look and to think.
Time and space allotted for artworks in commercial space is limited, and the sea of signs is vast. How can a billboard exhibition make a strong enough impact? Most importantly, the art cannot be passive. It must take a strategic approach, be critically oriented, and explore the billboard as a site.
Artistically and culturally, Los Angeles is an aggregate of dynamic histories. Experimental architecture has been active here since the early twentieth century, radical art since the 1950s. An acute awareness of urban space has always influenced both avant-garde architectural and art practices in Los Angeles. Southern California’s overlaps and interweaves of architectural adventurism, pop, and Conceptual Art have generated rich environments for artistic production and yielded influential bodies of art. My co-curators and I felt that these So-Cal syntheses are relevant for the dynamics of pop-public space in Los Angeles today.
It’s a win-win situation.
Los Angeles public space begs for smart art to break up the monotony of everyday media fare, and the billboard provides a fertile position for artists who work critically and site-responsively to test their ideas in urban media space. Contemporary art gains a momentarily broad audience, and city dwellers are extended a daily invitation to reflect and contemplate. Channels are opened for experimentation, innovation, and cultural exchange.
The MAK Center, the project partners, and I invite you to explore, enjoy, and tell us what you think.
*Read more about the project HERE…
Billboard by Yvonne Rainer
Billboard by David Lamelas
Billboard by Kenneth Anger
Our friends in THE DOORS camp have finally put together a proper cinematic tribute to LA’s most important rock band. The film, narrated by JOHNNY DEPP, is a time capsule, composed entirely of footage shot between the group’s formation in 1965 and frontman Jim Morrison’s death in 1971. Director TOM DiCILLO‘s revealing documentary is a treasure trove of live performances, TV appearances, home movies, studio footage, and a never-before-seen independent film made called “HWY” by and starring Morrison. The movie will make its US theatrical debut at this summer’s LA FILM FEST, June 18–28.
**Watch RAY MANZEREK’s history of The Doors mini-film series HERE
Shepard Fairey took a break from the turntables to hang with Weezer’s Brian Bell, while beauty echoed beauty elsewhere in the gallery…
SHEPARD FAIREY‘s Echo Park hotspot, SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS played host to the opening of a show of new works by comrades-in-arms ANDREAS GUERRERO and ALBERT REYES on Saturday nite, proving to be the undisputed bright spot of an otherwise gloomy weekend in the Southland. Showcasing his typical demented teenage Hessian detention room drawing style, Reyes produced an unfailingly funny array of new offerings and prints featuring subjects as diverse as Obama, Ghandi, Woody Allen, and Iron Maiden muse Eddie. Guerrero, conversely, consturcted much of his skull-centric imagery from layers of collaged currency which appeared to be angular homages to Damien Hirst’s Calavera spin paintings. Above all, the show proved that Subliminal’s dedication to presenting good emerging art at great prices will make it one of the last galleries standing when this bleak economic crisis finally runs its long, dark, demonic course. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Our friends at SOUR HARVEST have provided this weekend’s lineup of must-see shows in the Southland:
Sat, Feb. 6th 8-11PM
Merry Karnowsky Gallery
170 South La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles / 323.933.4408
‘She Wolves’ featuring new works from Miss Van + ‘Strange Fruit’ featuring new works from Victor Castillo
(On view through March 6th)
Sat, Feb. 6th 8-11PM
1331 W. Sunset Blvd in the EchoPark region of Los Angeles
New works from Albert Reyes & Andres Guerrero at Shepard Fairey’s personal gallery
(On view through March 6th)
Sat, Feb. 6th 6-10PM
2525 Michigan Ave, Space T5 in Bergamot Station in Santa Monica
Closing reception for ‘Desensitized’ featuring new works from Brian Viveros and Dan Quintana with a live performance from The Billy Bones
Sat, Feb. 6th 7-11PM (with a special Zombie walk at 6:20PM)
210 E. Main St., Alhambra / 626.458.7482
‘Zombies In Love’ group show featuring works from Yoko d’Holbachie, Junko Mizuno, Jonathan Wayshak, Scott C., Mindy Lee, Kevin Dart, Ippei Gyoubu, Edith Abeyata, Anna Chambers, and many more + tons of Zombie goodness going off throughout the evening including a Zombie walk near the gallery before the event kicks off, signings, contests, and more – check their site for full details and lineup
(On view through Feb. 22nd)
Sat, Feb. 6th 8PM-12:30AM ($8 at the door)
729 S. Spring St in downtown Los Angeles
Monthly group show with featured artists Eric Vasquez, Michael Pukac, Andrea Shear, Jessica Ward and Mikolaj Wyszynski with performances from live acts and resident DJs and more
ST buddy SHEPARD FAIREY has teamed up with his STUDIO NUMBER ONE (creaters of the “Hope For Haiti” CD cover) designers CLEON PETERSON and CASEY RYDER to create a new poster for HAITI relief based on a photo by TAO RUSPOLI. The $50 signed and numbered edition goes on sale at an unannounced time on Friday, February 5th at Obeygiant.com, with all proceeds from the sales going to ARTISTS FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE:
“Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ), established in early 2009, is a fundraising effort founded by Paul Haggis and friends that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty and enfranchisement in communities around the world. Over the past year, APJ has directed its efforts to raising enough funds to fully sponsor three schools in Haiti in support of the initiatives of Father Rick Frechette and his team. These schools aren’t just a place to learn but provide for a hot meal, clean water and a chance at the future to children who desperately need it. Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, APJ has focused its efforts on raising much needed dollars for emergency aid in the ravaged country that is only a few hours from our shores.”
Despite MOCA's financial woes of late and near collapse last year amid the chaos of the economic holocaust, the veritable Southland institution seems on to a bright future now, having secured ST buddy JEFFREY DEITCH as its new director (starting June 1) and financial security (for the moment). If ever there was a time to celebrate, it is now. HAVE A LOOK:Read More
By now it's no secret that JEFFREY DEITCH is closing shop in downtown NYC to head West for the sunnier confines of the MoCA Director's office, starting June 1st. That leaves SHEPARD FAIREY's upcoming portrait show as the farewell exhibition at one of the city's most legendary and influential commercial art institutions in the city's history.Read More