I’m not used to this. Despite living and walking amidst crowds in New York, I grew accustomed to significantly emptier streets during my summer here in L.A. Places where my personal space isn't intruded upon seem rather unpopulated.
However, I was suddenly reminded of the “City That Never Sleeps” this past Thursday at the Downtown LA Art Walk—it was people everywhere and art at all hours.
With this onslaught of art, I took my pick of galleries along 5th Street, sampling here and there of contemporary art.
First, I hit Todd/Browning Gallery & Polyester Books. It was the opening of “Beneath the Valley of the Dolls,” a photography exhibit by Jessica Robertson, Kelly Smith, Tiffany Trenda, and other artists. Aside from the dark, sexually suggestive compositions of actual dolls, I liked flipping through the gallery/book seller’s eclectic books, like Part Asian, 100% Hapa, a photography book on half-asians.
Next, I was swept away from the busyness of the outside to the serenity of “Les Grandes Vacances” at Deborah Martin Gallery. French artist Valerie Daval created calm paintings of beach leisure. Her blues and aqua hues enveloped the gallery space, seeming to reflect the quiet of the viewers.
This breath of tranquility was sweated out once I stepped into Phyllis Stein Art. It was “Glass and Graff,” a collaboration of glass artist Adam Mostow and graffiti artist Andy Midzt Rios. The gallery space was bright and animated. A giant pink head floated from the back wall. Three-dimensional glass works from the show were taped off—I was once scolded for stepping over the orange tape.
In the center of the room, gallery-goers gathered to see the glass master at work. Flames engulfed Mostow as he sweat through the process, moisture glistened on his skin—making Mostow look like a glass statue himself.
After absorbing all this art, I had to create some art myself!
Maybe not in my own gallery exhibition. Simply put, my canvas was an outdoor chalkboard. It was just a small doodle within words and images of the other Los Angeles art lovers.