Where Love Finds a Place to Roam
by Dawn Garcia
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – Art really is an expansive platform to which someone, anyone, is able to find a piece of themselves reflected in what they see. Sometimes it takes the darkest parts of who we are and turns it into something beautiful and once in a while, if we are lucky enough, we find a piece of art so exquisitely revealing, we can’t help but find ourselves lost in it. Art is unlike any other medium in that it is, outside of books, the most tangible form of visual inspiration.
This year, the art that was available for viewing – and experiencing – at the LA Art Show was, in my opinion, some of the most influential to date. I was moved by the openness, the power of psychological torment and triumph, the ingenuity of design, the mesmerizing use of mediums, and above all recognizing the striking cord that dug deep, revealing emotion fueled. Upon entry, the set up was immediately drowning you in beautiful shades of garnet, rich reds, gorgeous florals, and a room that housed nothing but hung coats and shoes. On display of course. Once you walk in, three rather happy and animated sculptures are there to greet you. (That is the cover photo.)
As I arrived on Friday, I knew this was going to be a memorable experience. I could go on and on about the musicality, the vivid textures, the welcomed pain, the harnessed love, the provoked passion, but I won’t – because that would be a novel and well, that may come later but for now, this will have to do.
So briefly, I will give my Highlights and a very quick breakdown of the Pros and Cons of this year’s Show:
Galerie Wolfsen: I was utterly impressed by the colors, the stories, the breadth of artistic merit emerging in Denmark. There is a very vibrant quality to the work the gallery carries. The Artists they featured are very introspective and brightly invigorating. My two favorites were actually by Peter Max-Jakobsen and Kirsa Andreasen. Jakobsen’s painting begs you to look closer and what you find is an essence of soul. Andreasen’s work makes you question the value of emotion and through remarkably colorful strokes and story that is emitted through each face, gesture, color scheme, and setting, well, she is brilliant.
Bruce Lurie Gallery: Meeting the brothers, Scot, Bruce, and Craig is an experience. Each has their own vision, strengths, and passions and it shows in their gallery. I sat and spoke to each of them and the story behind the gallery is definitely one you can look forward to seeing in ATOD Magazine down the line. The Artists they showcased were playful, enlivening, character-driven which allowed for a rather interesting self-awareness and introverted reflection, social statements coyly shadowed in the work, and true sense of nostalgia of childhood whimsy. All among my favorites – especially the entire comic book series by Michael Suchta. The other is the photography by Ann Mansolino. Her work is truly prolific and the emotions each image evokes is something that make me want to sit and write. It is internal screaming, beautiful stillness, eery bliss, awkward thought, and sounding wonder.
Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles: By some beautiful twist of fate, I hear, “DAWN!” and I turn to see Artist, Tanner Golbeck. He tells me he has a piece displayed at the MCLA booth and I nearly run to it. How to classify his work (almost impossible): Contemporary art that bridges the gap with an undertone of line art that is reminiscent of illustration and comic-styling; commercial street art appeal and elemental structure deriving from art history, particularly drawing inspirations from Alphonse Muca; the mixed mediums between acrylic, ink, oil, and spray can that also allow it to infiltrate the pop art realm. In essence, Golbeck’s art cannot be pigeon-holed or easily defined. Perhaps he is creating a new modality of art. The painting, “Citizen Kane” is literary, poetic, colorful yet dark, and taking a rather seemingly twisted blend of imagery and creates this memorable and vivid piece of art that you find yourself deeply curious about.
Simard Bilodeau: Now while not all art is for everyone, I found myself drawn to a gallery booth housing fine art. Pieces made of bronzes, paintings eerily intriguing and, as I later found out, were to exemplify societal confinements and humanity’s flaws (by RENZO), sculptures made of varying materials, however it was the work by Boban that drew me in. Made entirely of what look like spoons, forks, and knives welded together, BOBAN’s, “Icarus” made of Electroless Nickel Plated Bronze is whimsical, lyrical, and genuinely uplifting. Gallery Co-Owner and Art Collector, Guy Simard and Art Liaison Danielle Tiano were sheer delights and as they spoke of the artists they work with, their eyes lit up and the enthusiasm was apparent. That is what any art savant, collector, and avid lover hopes to see.
Blue Rain Gallery: Per chance as my daughter and I scurried through the rows in the final hour of the show, I look up and she says, “Look! A painting with a horse. Look at how cool that is.” And it was. “Looking For My Hero” is sublime. Artist Rimi Yang is truly gifted in transforming the innocence of children into this remarkable dream-like painting that is bleeding with story and abundant with grace. The complex stroke and use of geometric undertones are a huge draw and at closer glance what you find is a true spirit of something seldom seen and often sought.
The LA Art Show Space (not the galleries)
The layout this year seemed to walk you through actual feeling; creating ambiance without thought, telling a story that was easily expressed with each booth. The layout was a fluid maze of art that will appeal to anyone willing to take a closer look. I also loved the new VIP lounge designed by James Magni. It added warmth and a sense of calm after hours on your feet and the service staff was incredible!
The VIP Lounge was beautiful but last year, they had snacks and quick bites. It was lacking this year with NO food options, not even for purchase within the lounge. I do hope next year they continue to have a Designer Lounge but I hope they find a sponsor to bring in some easy snacks for us that look forward to utilizing the VIP status. That said, I also think the food selection was lacking on the main showroom floor. Our only options were a $26 per person buffet or fruit, chips, and maybe, if they had any, a few cold refrigerated sandwiches. Why not bring in a few food trucks or contract a few vendors to come in a make something fresh? With such high end appeal that really lessened the quality this year for me. In addition, it seems that there was far fewer seating options available for those who did not buy VIP lounge tix. Thinking as a mother and having seen some more mature folks that were tired and looking for a place to pause, I’d suggest contracting a few companies to come in and provide some more seating.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the art this year. While I never made my way over to the jewelry and accessories show on the other side, I was all too happy to stay put and feast my soul on some truly wonderful art.
2014 Participating Galleries
Historic & Traditional Contemporary
Modern & Contemporary
LA IFPDA Fine Print Fair Exhibitors
This Article Inspired by the latest Solo Release by Shana Halligan: