An artist as American as apple pie. Read about him at Galerie.
Currently showing posts tagged Los Angeles
An artist as American as apple pie. Read about him at Galerie.
The architects build a little slice of New York nightlife in the middle of Hollywood. Kiiiiiinda. Read about it at Metropolis.
I like to do one fashion piece a year. I don't like being caught mouth-agape in them. Read about it at T.
So my editor says to me "How's about a piece on the Museum of Ice Cream?"
Museum of Ice Cream says "Nah, we good."
I says to my editor, "Okay how about the Yayoi Kusama show at The Broad?"
He says, "Yeah if you can make it about selfies."
And here we are. Read about it at The Guardian.
When we write about Henry Taylor’s paintings, we all use the word empathy. You actually can’t help it. The guy sees right into you. Meeting him was like a palate cleanser directly after meeting Shepard Fairey—he smoked and screamed with laughter the entire interview, and he said he’s so over reading about the lateness of his higher education or how he’s “loud.” He told me, “When you’re pressed for time, sometimes pressure makes diamonds, sometimes you just do the best you can. If I only have two eggs I’m gonna make sure I’m not gonna burn them motherfuckers,” and that’s a little scrap of treasure i’m going to reclaim from the cutting room floor.
I don't think I did the best I could for him on this one. I agonized for a while over one edit of three little words—i wrote that Henry Taylor is "a star player in the art world," and my editor wrote back "a star player in the art world for TK, TK, and TK," the standard placeholder for journalistic fill-in-the-blank situations. Sometimes you fail to come up with the right answer before deadline, but I think what it is, is the bluntness; bluntness of brushstroke, which reduces his subjects into these blocks of dense, saturated colors, and bluntness of his portrayal of vernacular black life both visually and in his titles. See: “The Times They Ain't A Changing, Fast Enough!.” Obvs, I went with "empathetic." Read about it at T.
Just about the greatest human being there ever was. Read about him at Galerie.
The glorious thing about being a white man in America is never having to undergo any kind of reevaluation of your sense of self; you can live your entire life without reflecting on the privileges you possess and how it effects the people around you who do not. Honestly though, what is the point of advocating for groups with whom you do not directly engage? No matter how well-meaning you are and how valorous your intentions, it comes down to self-glorification.
Passion makes for great art, and unlike the perfection of "Hope" in 2008, you won't find any of that here. "Damaged" lacks the necessary introspection of the complexity and contradictions of our time, and what was effective during that period of optimism and complacency is just totally unpalatable, even naive, now. Plus, these days street art is another corporate sales tactic, and our political art of choice is the meme. But his simplistic art of reduction has a sweeping populist appeal that trumps that of Barbara Kruger, an artist infinitely more incisive, intellectual, assertive, and clever.
There's a line of his that I cut that I wish I hadn't: “There are plenty of things that have gone from being seen as very transgressive to very valuable; Impressionism was heretical when it started.” Totally, and its place in history is firmly cemented in the 19th-century. So how silly would you look trying to present impressionist painting to the world right now? Stale stale stale. Read about it at The Guardian.
Cultural appropriation. Frank Lloyd Wright. Indigenous peoples. This piece has got it all.
My original pitch:
HED The Mayan Temples Frank Lloyd Wright Gave Over to Hollywood Villains
DEK A few L.A. exhibitions are unpacking The Mayans’ complicated relationship with the movies.
I've written about Frank Lloyd Wright before and gave the influence of Mayan architecture in his work the space of a single sentence. BUT. One of my PST ~ realizations ~ is the need to dismantle the horizontal dialogue between Europe and the United States as the central narrative of art history. Wright thought so too. He just went about it in such a naive way. Read about it at Artsy.
This PST, Guatemala, you got my attention. I love these two. Read about 'em at The Guardian.
Next in line in the art world migration for New York to Los Angeles, two Southern California brothers come home. Read about it at Wallpaper*.
An inaugural exhibition with no Ellsworth Kelly or Frank Stella? GTFO. A few words from an exciting young curator for Artnet, and another example of how for Los Angeles, PST: LA/LA was an opportunity to stop doing, in the words of Basquiat, the same old shit.
I took a closer look at LACMA's new Instagram residency and found an extremely special artist engaged in an extremely important project. The work is less the capitalization of social media than a recourse against exclusion and misrepresentation in the art world—or even the wide world of media in general. It turns out that social media can be an effective platform for the preservation and transmission of a cultural history. Good for you LACMA, for treading into two types of uncharted waters. Read about it on Artsy.
David Hockney is the king of perspective, but Ramiro Gomez reads his L.A. paintings for how much they've left out. Read about it at The Guardian.
I was kind of blown away by Aaron Moulton's audacious and esoteric style of curating. I wrote it for Cultured's summer issue, and you can read it below.
DEK Venus LA creative director Aaron Moulton casts art in a more cosmic light.
Recently, a few angry art enthusiasts have been sending Los Angeles gallerist Mihai Nicodim hate mail.
“People want to be removed from my mailing list for our audacity to show a Thomas Kinkade painting on a Mungo Thomson mural,” says the owner of Nicodim Gallery, describing a stroke of subversive genius by curator Aaron Moulton. In May, given Nicodim’s full, albeit blind, support, Moulton presented “The Basilisk,” a group show focused on the aesthetics of spiritual enlightenment. There were works by Lita Albuquerque and Diana Thater, both of whom regularly depict celestial bodies, plus pieces by a few generally less celebrated artists: one painter who depicts biblical stories for what they truly are—a series of alien abductions—or Unarium, a Southern California institution devoted to channeling past lives. “Perseverance,” the 2000 Thomas Kinkade painting in question, was mounted on a galactic Mungo Thomson mural as if it were wallpaper.
Moulton remains unfazed by the backlash.
“I think in our art world culture, there’s a mediocrity contest happening,” he says one afternoon at VENUS Los Angeles, Nicodim’s neighbor across the street, where he’s been creative director since January. “It’s neutering risk and really going towards satisfying everyone. Like warm porridge.”
At VENUS, Porridge is certainly not what Moulton plans to serve. His curatorial practice has long involved occult references and outer-art-world phenomena, from his time as curator in the Mormon capital of Salt Lake City to his three years at Gagosian Beverly Hills (which brought the start of his career as a Gagosian Chelsea receptionist full circle).
“I do a lot of shows that are about psychological or psychiatric pursuits of energy, and I work in a cult, essentially: the art world,” he says. He describes his first L.A. show, 2014’s “Clear,” as “an effort to secretly do a show about Scientology.” The artists ranged from James Turrell and De Wain Valentine to the late self-proclaimed psychic Ingo Swann, who was also level OT 7 Scientologist. Moulton effectively recast the Light and Space movement as a form of science fiction, emphasizing Turrell’s aesthetic links to astral projection.
Moulton’s goals for VENUS are decidedly more grounded; he’s going to continue the gallery’s current program of playing “lost and found with art history,” which this summer includes a show of six late-career female artists who depict the vagina in their studio practice. Appropriately—or rather, inappropriately—it’s going to be called “Cunt.” Moulton claims that his interest in esoterica has started to wane as its profile becomes more mainstream. “Once Frieze and Artforum start showing what’s happening on the esoteric calendar, the game is up,” he says. But mysticism is already on the horizon for 2018; he’s currently planning a show of pascALEjandro Jodorowsky, the collaborative art practice between acclaimed director and iconic mystic Alejandro Jodorowsky and his wife, the visual artist and designer Pascale Montandon Jodorowsky.
VENUS owner Adam Lindemann describes Moulton as “artist and a curator wrapped in one,” a sentiment echoed by Nicodim.
“He had these great ideas looking for a stage, and just like with my artists I felt compelled to offer him the gallery as a blank canvas,” he says. “What’s surprising about Aaron’s shows is the intensity at which they’re experienced. There are those coming back again and again, leaving with the feeling that there’s so much more they ‘didn’t get.’”
Johnny Smith's Instagram-based practice is amazing. I just wish his name possessed a greater SEO. Read about him in the inaugural issue of LALA.
Amid Los Angeles' growing homelessness epidemic, a few young USC students design a solution. Read about it at Architectural Record.
An account of chilin' on the floor of Regen Projects with Theaster Gates for a while. (He's repped by the West Coast, now.) Read about it at T.
Score one more for the L.A. transplant team. See what Hamza has to say at Artnews.
I know you're wondering. Yes we are real-life best friends and yes her butt is just as extraordinary in real life. Haters, I don't get you. Read all about it at W.
I don't know why Doug Aitken never smiles in pictures. He's such a chill guy. Read about his studio, his xylophonic stairs, and his MOCA survey, "Electric Earth" in the October issue of Architectural Digest.
Following decades of exploring his artistic practice on his own terms, Los Angeles legend Larry Bell is back in the spotlight. Spoiler alert: The whole last paragraph was mysteriously chopped off, so take a look at it below, read the rest that was published in Cultured.
This sudden, overdue attention on Bell’s art, however, is irrelevant to his making it. “Studio practice in a way has a weird life of its own,” he says. “Each example teaches me something about what to do next, and that’s what I call following the work. The work is the teacher, essentially, and I’m the student.”
(btw I stole this photo from Hedi Slimane.)
Was not bad to look at. Have a look for yourself at Wallpaper*.
Some breaking news that was swiftly cut down by some strange PR intervention. The original text is below. The updated version is on Artnews.
A new phenomenon in the world of architecture: the early career retrospective. I'll explain everything at Metropolis.
What happens when you let your real estate broker take care of the architecture, too. Read about it at Architectural Record.
Lita Albuquerque explains her extraordinary, extraterrestrial body of work at Artforum. Really, 500 words isn't at all enough.
A succint illustration of the best and worst of life in L.A. for Wallpaper.
I'm runnin' around this town all day chasin' after older gentlemen. The payoff is online now at T Magazine. And it's a hoot.
The brings the black reclining Venus into the foreground. Read about it at Artsy.
Michele Maccarone is the latest New York gallerist to open big in Los Angeles. Read about it at W.
Alex Hubbard's new toxic pieces inaugurate Michele Maccarone's West Coast outpost, and they are absolutely divine. Read about them at T.
David Hockney revisited and more at Architectural Record.
Artist Katherine Bernhardt gives Venus Over Los Angeles gallery a tropical punch. (Honestly, who doesn't love a good pun and a fruit salad?) Watch the process at W.
Alongside a series of canvases depicting friends playing cards in his L.A. studio, David Hockney presents a new type of work that he’s dubbed “photographic drawings”—digital collages he describes as having a “3-D effect without the glasses.” Read about it at Architectural Digest.
"The Group V, 6-11 May," 2014, David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt/© David Hockney/Courtesy of L.A. Louver
AIN'T NO PARTY LIKE A PHILIPPE VERGNE PARTY. My evening at the MOCA Gala, as told at Artnet.
Artist whitewashes neighborhood, and not in any kind of ironic way. Check it out on Architectural Digest.
Under the saccharine-sweet sheen of Tom LaDuke's paintings, there are layers of existentialism on top of blurry Old Masters reproductions. Huh? Let me explain at T Magazine.
One of Frank Lloyd Wright's most groundbreaking works is oddly not one of his most famous. Let me take you on a little tour over at Artforum.