Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Overduin and Kite: Joint Dialogue

Soon after Art Los Angeles Contemporary I found myself in agony at CIRCUS Gallery, for their closing party. In parallel with their current show by the title of You Can Heal Your Life, inspired by a self help book of the same title. An art gallery that like many others choose to move on. The last show closed with names to look out for in the current Los Angeles art scene. Those to mention are Jeni Spota and Dawn Kasper. Both young and talented women artists worth taking a closer look at. Dawn Kasper infamous for her raw performance art. She channels intense vibes on to everyone present. And Jeni Spota whose paintings are favored by names like Charles Saatchi, Dean Valentine, and Fran├žois Pinault to name a few. Yes, she’s one of the great one’s that get recognition in their lifetime. Spota’s work should be viewed live and not through a computer screen. Since it’s the equivalent of admiring Rothko technologically. The essence ceases to grow, but dies out just when you think you finally understand the work. You have to be a live spectator of Spota’s work to understand her essence, her uniqueness.

As Ethereal as A Funeral: Dawn Kasper’s Performance Evidence

The Californian sunset was disappearing, but it was a young Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, and I was not about to go home and miss out on a historic opening over at Overduin and Kite. Just off Sunset Boulevard and close enough to CIRCUS Gallery. At first glance I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Not being aware of how it will be a turning point in life.

Hollywood: Fluorescent Lights Can Trick Anyone

The instant I walked in, I was welcomed with the cacophony of our city’s art scene. It might have been the fact that Graham was present since, word did get out fast. However, I’m reluctant by this due to my over hearing of many squeals-- those that immitated excited teenage girls, when they found out Dan Graham was in the room… Including myself of course.

Joint Dialogue was the title for this exhibition which included works by Lee Lozano, Dan Graham, and Stephen Kaltenbach. An exhibition that merged art through the explorations of sexual identity, money, and drugs. Hence, it’s duality-- Joint Dialogue.

DSC09796Money Flows... Identity Struggles...

Green Grass: Anyone?!

In the first room we find pieces by both Graham and Lozano. Documentation, at it’s best. Lozano documents the identity as an artist to others as well as herself. More strikingly money experiments: where she lends money to her circle of artits friends. She documents who borrows and how much has been borrowed. Humorously, Dan Graham frequently borrowed from Lozano’s case study.

In the second and last room Kaltenbach pays homage to conceptualism. With pieces like his infamous time capsules, each with witty remarks.. Or his ads that ran in ARTFORUM.

Lozanos Skull

Kaltenbach: Hard, hard, steel

Kaltenbach’s ARTFORUM Tossin’ Performance #1

The big bang of the night was of course both performances by the artists Dan Graham, and Stephen Kaltenbach. Sadly, when I arrived at Overduin and Kite I had JUST missed Graham’s performance. But Stephen Kaltenbach rose my spirits. Kaltenbach had two performances that night. His first performance consisted of climbing up a ladder that was placed in the second room. At above everyone present in the room Kaltenbach tosses several ARTFORUM Magazines onto the ground. His second performance stole the show... He gathered everyone present and had all of us singing along with him to The Youngblood’s- Get Together. Really made us feel like it was 1969.

C’mon People: Everybody Get Together Try To Love One Another Right Now

Tuesday-Saturday 10 am- 5pm and by appoiment.
6693 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028-7121
(323) 464-3600

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Future of the DCA

As sickening as it sounds. I saw this one coming... Right when I found out that my photography teacher was looking for an art gallery to support her work, since her funding was being cut...

If giving thousands of dollars to “rescue” huge corporations wasn’t enough from our government… Our local government is looking into slashing the Department of Cultural Affairs staff in preposterous numbers. And while they‘re at the point, a motion has already been put into effect to cut the TOT tax which is the organizations vital source of revenue. This means that not only will after school arts programming, and neighborhood arts centers deteriorate faster than they all ready are, but the young minds of Los Angeles communities will have to strive harder, for a better grasp at cultural diversity.

Budget cuts won’t stop there, and I’m afraid of an endless wave of insolvency in the upcoming months. President Obama has proposed to eliminate a 3.7% of The National Endowment for the Arts funding. This means that out of the current $ 167.5 million, in 2011 it will only receive $ 161.3 million. Numbers that slip from the tip of our tongues may not have an impact, rather sadly, capital is needed for such great endeavors.

It’s important to remember that all sectors of commerce will be affected. After all Los Angeles is one of the leading arts cities, as much as it’s reigning diversity. Unfortunately, our local government does not understand the importance of culture. Yes, our tourism will decline, perhaps not at staggering figures, but most notably, many students that enjoy arts programming in their local communities will be highly affected; The Watts Towers is one of the leading grounds and we’re all keeping our eyes open. As well as other organizations from Highland Park to West L.A. I highly encourage all of us to take a closer look, support local organizations, and most significantly participate, let your voice be heard on local affairs.

The Arty Army made it’s way early morning to defend the arts in Los Angeles.

At only past 8:30 am the aisle that connects to the council chamber was already packed with art students, organization representatives, artists, and the likes. The crowd was only expected to get bigger… Most folk dressed in red with stickers that read “ART FUELS LA”. Given out by Arts For LA, a non profit organization. While others, ceaselessly exchanged texts with friends, or updated their Facebook accounts; We all waited patiently.

The bodies were an apparent voicing of the city, as I stood in front of a REDCAT representative, and overheard others discussing year plans, that now hung on the brick of the city council. Pass 9:45 am, the chambers doors finally opened, while a flow of speaker cards were being passed around to be signed. Organizations such as Inner City Arts, Outpost Contemporary, and others made their voices be heard in the crowd of supporters. Many of us did not have a chance to speak due to the sea of speaker cards that were turned in. Nonetheless, our cause was apparent, saving the DCa for the time being. However, our state is in turmoil. Our deficit now seems outrageous to many Angelinos, but the city’s statistics show that in 2013 our deficit will grow to a staggering $1 billion, that’s double of our deficit in 2011. On the contrary it’s an interesting time for the arts. It seems like the mainstream core is driven by kitschy Damien Hirst ( I strive to understand Hirst's work, one day!), and the Post- Pop Art of Jeff Koons (I'am a fan of most of his pop driven sculptures, but his paintings are something else)… An interesting time for the Rauschenberg in us; Work with what you have. In times like these good films, good art is scarce, due to the lack of propaganda that’s needed, not to mention the money of course. However, yes, that’s the interesting part. More collectives will bloom in these times, the floodgates will never close, and it will be the scavengers hunt for the art we all deserve.

I Love L.A.

Sorry to rub it in, but I still can't believe I was in the same room as yes!, the real DAN GRAHAM. That alone was historic!!!!!!

I love L.A.

Now, with Deitch in town I expect better things, guess the weather in New York really is crucial. Or the Broads need an assistant?!

After experiencing the best weekend of my life. I needed time to soak it in. To breathe, and make sure It wasn't all a dream.

A full Review on the show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary will be posted before this weekend.

Here's A Preview!

For now, Please support the local arts!!