Thursday, November 19, 2009

ARTRA Feeling Lofty

I shouldn't have given them my email. Now TLofts will be spamming me with ads for Real Estate till the cows come home. I thought it was the curator list. How naive I was. But, it was worth it. I saw some fantastic work at Here and Now, ARTRA at TLofts last weekend.

A fantastic concept, really. Art patrons, prospective renters/buyers, and other interested folks get to check out art from all over Los Angeles at a new loft building during an open house. Reminds me a little of the Phantom Galleries concept as the curators capitalized on this temporary space, though the focus here is more comercial. ARTRA is a curatorial group formed "in answer to the restrictions in exhibiting opportunities for artists following the economic meltdown". Hopefully the economy will continue to be crap so ARTRA can set up more fun events like this. It's a little less stuffy than a gallery show and more fun to explore.

As far as TLofts go, it's nice I suppose. If you're looking for a 2 level concrete box with 3 toilets (is that really necessary?) TLofts in west LA is the place for you. Features fantastic industrial views and geometric artificial turf in the courtyard. 3 toilets, really? Do people really pee that much?

There were dozens of artists represented here featuring a lot of interesting 2D and 3D work, all different styles and techniques. My favorites were Macha Suzuki's flowery conceptual self portrait, Jaime Scholnick's styrofoam monoliths, and Justin Bower's bold oil paintings. It wasn't all top notch though. There were a few units that were really sparse where the work really didn't fill the space. The 1st floor seemed to have the stronger work for the most part.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

East Energy

I started out in Culver City last Saturday hoping to find something to write about but was disappointed in the galleries new selections. George Billis had some interesting work but, it didn't really kick me in the solar plexus so I headed east.

I eventually ended up downtown at the Hive Gallery on Spring st. I have a long association with the Hive having been a resident artist there for it's first 2 years. I usually go to their openings but have been so busy I haven't been able to in the last few months. I was pleasantly reminded of what an alive place it is.

The Hive's selection of Lo Brow, Visionary, Illustration, Pop Surrealism, and Outsider work may or may not be your thing. But, what the Hive has that no other gallery in Los Angeles can compete with is ENERGY. It bursts from every saturated cranny in that long and narrow space. There is always lots to see and hear. A swirling din of performers, live painting, working resident artists, costumed freaks, and young hipsters greets you as you step inside for a first Saturday of the month opening. This month was a rare sculpture show for the Hive which usually features painting. Insanely meticulous work is a constant for the Hive and this show was no exception.

One of the highlights for me was Randy Horton's bizarre miniature conceptual pieces. They feature landscapes and pastoral scenes set next to proportionally gigantic fast food. I'm not even sure how to describe this but, they are fantastic. With titles like "The Tragedy of Latin American Monoculture" you can tell there is something going on here. I'm not sure what but, I want to know more.

Another of my favorites was Akihito. The sculptures feature flowing, ornamental shapes and are semi figurative. There are lots of metallics and embellishments. Victorian Futurism? Who knows. Just look at the pictures!

"MASTER BLASTERS OF SCULPTURE" show up through the end of the month.
The Hive Gallery
729 S. Spring st.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Heavy Spraypainter

While crawling last week Deryke and I came upon some great artwork down at Whole 9 gallery in Culver City. Greg Boudreau's spray paintings of industrial cityscapes are bold and complex. The artist has a really unique way of using stencils.

We met the artist and had a very nice time discussing technique. Greg uses dozens of colors in his pieces starting with the lightest shades. All of them on wooden slats arranged together. And they are heavy! If you buy one of these make sure you find the stud or expect your new acquisition to bounce off your couch and smash your glass coffee table into little bits. There are several more of Greg's pieces currently at Peter Schulberg's Eco-Logical art gallery in Culver City.

He wouldn't give me his business card apparently fearing a reprisal from the character actor guarding the door. Is it a cult? Maybe it's a Scientology thing. I didn't notice any unusual handshakes but you never know. Anyway, check out Greg's work. The show runs until November 21st.

Unique Techniques
The Whole 9 Gallery
6101 Washington Blvd.
Culver City 90232

Eco-Logical Art Gallery
4829 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019