Like any other 2nd Thursday of the month, Sam and I met up for the Art Walk downtown. After walking through the new “Art Mart” at 501 5th ave. we met up with Garen.
The “other” art market was open without an admission fee again and had food vendors. We decided to eat philly cheese steak “fries.” Basically the cheese-steak put over fries instead of in a bun (although sans green peppers for some reason).
There wasn’t a lot of great art on this Art Walk except for The Hive and Temple of Visions (which has really stepped up their already good game – but more on that later…).
We kept running into these guys. They were out pushing something for some organization. We were too scared to ask.
Bang Gallery was one of the more popular galleries on the walk. Probably because of its singular focus on “pop-art.” A lot of galleries (and just random street corners as well) had DJs spinning and Bang was no different.
Note the Jarritos shirt on the portly DJ. Jarritos (a Latino soda-pop maker) set up shop at Bang and had young women passing out free drinks to everybody and a giant blow-up bottle outside on the street. This is nothing new for Jarritos though – they’ve passed out entire bottles to everyone on the street at past Art Walks. They were demoing several new flavors this time though like grapefruit (which was okay) and tamarind (yuck!).
The below shot is a practice shot for our fictitious album cover (photography credit=Sam). Note the graffiti (which covers all of Bang Gallery) showing Powdered Toast Man with Cookie Monster in a headlock in between Beetle-juice and Orko.
At the next intersection we saw a homeless man carrying his own portrait. The artist was Robert Vargas, who is always doing great charcoal portraits on the art walk. This time he signed his name as if the man was saying it. The homeless man, who obviously couldn’t read, was pointing at it, smiling and chanting “Arg!” like a pirate. Clever?
As night fell the crowds grew larger and larger. Rumor has it that the 4square web site was trying to do a 250 person flash mob for the event. Most of the major corners were so packed that it was hard to tell when the crosswalk was active or not as too many people were just mulling about talking.
The Los Angeles Performing Arts building (or something like that) had an anemic display of “latino art.” There were more food sample vendors than pieces of art inside the building. Outside was this boring pop band.
We passed a punk rock (ish) band on Spring street that reminded me a little of Tokyo Police Club. As we walked by they mentioned that they were playing this weekend somewhere in Little Tokyo.
Down at the end of Spring we came to the Temple of Visions gallery. I believe I read recently that Alex Gray had something to do with setting up the gallery, which makes perfect sense. Unlike last month, a lot of the art was new this time. One that stood out to me was this $35,000 piece by Victor Safonkin:
The Temple had several (at least three each) pieces by James Zar and his son Chet.
There was also a really intricate pen drawing by Ben Tolman:
More samples from the Temple here.
Next door was the Hive of course. There were a few stand-out pieces. I have to say the art there the last two months eclipses May’s show by far. Here are some samples…
I hate steampunk, but this piece by Jessica Van Hulle was nice.
Jun Alvarado had a lot of pieces – of which this was one, but not one of my favorites. The ones I liked were very well drawn ink drawings (?) of octopuses, sharks, etc.
Van Saro was featured at the front of the gallery and had several great pieces. The technique on display was pretty crazy. The best graffiti artists easily transfer their skills to traditional art. Here Van Saro mixes both of them on canvas in oil. The lighting on this piece was especially captivating. He puts a lot of rocks in his pieces and the level of detail adds to the dramatic nature. On the other side of the entrance was this tarot card reader.
Below is a photo of my work at the Hive. The Hive usually requests work under 11×14 – of which I have nearly nothing – so it is always interesting figuring out what I can fit in there.
We actually had a good parking spot this time, east of 5th on Spring – basically in the heart of the “action.” As we walked back down the north side of Spring towards 5th we saw more bands and …stuff…
People in Los Angeles have a reputation for terrible parking. Here is a sample. This idiot was trying to use the extra three feet in front of this meter parked Jeep. He actually smashed his bumper against the Jeep and just left like that. From the looks of his bumper this probably isn’t the first time he’s done it. Wish I had enough money to treat a Mercedes like that….
There was a police escorted parade of bikes (with a lot of the ridiculous tall ones) that went by quickly. I wasn’t able to get a good shot, but here is the tail end turning right up 6th (?).
yes, that is a stuffed dear head….