Monday, January 11, 2010

Crawling in a Fresh New Decade

So glad the ghost town that is LA in the xmas season has repopulated. People have come back to sweep away the cobwebs and corral the tumbleweeds that have blown through the streets in their absence. It was nice being able to get across town in a half hour but, I'll take that inconvenience in exchange for boredom any day. So, I'm back and crawling anew in a fresh decade. I saw some good work at a few openings last Saturday.

There were some fantastic large portraits painted on transparent drafting film at Koplin Del Rio Gallery done by Shay Bredimus that I saw. I'm a sucker for this sort of dramatic work if it's done well, and that is definitely the case here. Beautifully rendered pieces done in sort of a distressed, romantic style. Somewhat nostalgic and spooky. All in greys and blacks. Painted on both sides, very nice. Sorry for the sentence fragments but, it's a blog so deal.

Lenticulars are those double image thingys that go back and forth between 2 or more scenes when you change your point of view. It's the kind of thing you used to get in cracker jack boxes or would see simulate Jesus crying tears for all of our sins. Barbara Strasen has employed this method in her work to good effect. She seemed to choose images in her lenticulars that were unalike in content but similar in feel. Maybe I'm wrong here but, that's what I saw in them. On top of the lenticulars she painted elaborate line drawings. Certainly a very clever and fascinating effect. I love clever effects. Clever is good. But, don't get me wrong, I'm not a "Cleverist." The show was at George Billis in Culver City.

At Charlie James gallery in Chinatown was a bizarre show by conceptualist Lizabeth Eva Rossof. The gallery was filled with many works which had all been made by artisans in China through commissions by Lizabeth. The paintings depict various subject matter such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Falun Gong spiritual movement, and porn sites. This sort of subject matter is basically illegal in China and the paintings were smuggled out in a roll disguised by a Mona Lisa reproduction. In the center of the Gallery was a sculptural representation of China's famous Terra Cotta army in miniature, except the heads were famous pop culture icons from the US: Bart Simpson, Mickey Mouse, etc. Great show.

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