Traffic was worse than normal for this month’s Art Walk. This made parking worse – and delayed our start of the walk by at least an hour. The only possible explanation I can come up with is the E3 convention going on not too far away at the convention center.
As usual – the actual amount of art on the walk shrank a little again from last month. The epicenter of the walk seems to be moving west along spring, as many galleries on the other end are closed, and the “art park” was this month moved to the parking lot across from The Hive.
As usual there were plenty of buskers and “other events” happening.
We came across a strange amateur art parking lot exhibit and something in conjunction with Sobe.
Sobe was giving out a lot of free drinks and had a customized truck.
There was a line of people that almost extended out of the parking lot waiting for… something. We never figured out what they were waiting on; certainly not the drinks, which I wandered up and took three of without consequence.
Across the street was a gallery with a live sax player and artwork by Yarek Godfrey.
There are a few things I don’t like about Yarek’s work – but a lot I do. His work is always with the figure, most frequently the female (and who doesn’t like that?). I often wonder what my work would be like if I operated more loosely and removed all the sci-fi/fantasy elements. Perhaps more like this:
Down the street at the Spring Art’s “complex” (I always just refer to it as the “upstairs gallery”) as soon as we ascended the stairs we smelled something really weird. Turns out it was a giant sheet that people were encouraged to paint on because “everyone is an artist” (or something) – take a look for yourself to judge whether everyone is an artist:
The “real” art in the gallery wasn’t much better…
Yes, that is an ambulance light on the floor – and yes, that is a plastic frame hanging in front of the art. These accessories were in front of most of this woman’s work, and were taped off so you couldn’t get too close. Clearly these were meant to be some kind of infantile (“oh, how brilliant!”) commentary on how we “frame” our views of the world and/or her work, etc. etc. Sorry, it still looks like something from a 5th grade art class… I don’t care what you hang in front of it. At the front of the gallery the artist was confidently preparing for an impending videotaped interview. I would have loved to stick around and hear what hackneyed tripe she’d spout off for “inspiration.”
Downstairs in the space that is sometimes filled with the best art (BlueCanvas) and sometimes empty, there now appeared a bookstore called The Last Bookstore. I appreciate the effort, but if Borders couldn’t sell enough of Sarah Palin’s ghostwritten books to a country that Rush Limbaugh claims is “60% . . . very conservative or somewhat conservative” to stay in business I’m not sure how a “rare” bookstore is going to pay the rent in downtown Los Angeles.
Old Timey Country 3-piece band outside of the bookstore:
Further on down Spring we looked inside The Temple of Visions to find the same art that was there last month, and possibly the month before.
Next door at (not really next door – there was a gallery full of crap – the same one that was too “high class to even let Art Walkers into their private party last time – in between the Temple and) The Hive there was still a lot of activity. People again donned clown costumes, though not nearly as many as at last weekend’s opening.
Out side Diasuke Okamoto was doing one of his really intricate pen drawings of Godzilla.
Next to a sad clown giving tarot readings
Inside there were interesting pieces. One of the featured artists this month was Ken Dougherty, who usually has pieces up in the back room (literally, the farthest point from the front door in the entire building). Usually his work consists of headshot paintings with very detailed hair, eyes and costumes. This month was no different, but every painting had a clown theme.
In the second “room” or area was a large Cig Neutron sculpture accompanied by lots of smaller ones.
I recognize the work as that of Cig, but it was all labelled as Bizarro Au Go-Go, so I’m guessing this is a collaboration between Cig and a photographer, as many of the sculptures were clearly made to be photoshopped into the images that were framed above them.
Moving further into the gallery the Chiodo Brothers‘ great drawings occupied an entire high wall
Fans (like me) of the 80s cult favorite Killer Klowns from Outer Space will recognize many of these as character studies from/for the film. FYI, I don’t know how long this will last, but you can watch the full movie on Hulu here. It’s surprisingly entertaining because of the clearly overacted parts (this was clearly an intentional choice by the directors like most of the Troma pictures) and alien clowns which are equal parts bizarre, humorous and terrifying. However, if you have a legitimate fear of clowns – do not ever watch this film.
This last piece was clearly a production sketch for the film (note the date). This is one of the last scenes in the film – and if my memory is correct that giant clown is actually at least three times as big as it is depicted here in the actual scene.
Other art that I enjoyed:
This piece by Jinx was life size:
Stephen Williams, who, if not for the nametage, would have been instantly recognized as Chris Ryniak instead. (which I hope Stephen takes as a compliment)
Here is a Ryniak piece for comparison:
There was also a cool piece by Larkin in which he painted a portrait in his signature style of Nathan, the gallery owner/curator as a circus ringmaster. However, I didn’t take a photo and now can’t find the piece on the Hive’s list of pieces.
When I ran into the ringmaster himself he informed me that my piece did sell. In a way I’m kind of sad, because I rather liked this piece. The irony of being a physical artist (not a filmmaker or musician) is that when you sell something you worked hard on – you never see it again. It’s like giving birth to children that never want to speak to you again…over and over again… “yes, but you have photos” – yes, but photos never take the place of a real painting. In this case that is true especially. This piece was done on a piece of thin wood without gesso – so the wood grain can be seen in the final piece, and much of the paint was slowly absorbed into the wood, making the background have a very soft ehterial quality appropriate for a dirty circus tent. The lights shine down as if hazy through a fog. Anyway – here is the piece:
Walking back through I noticed the music was being “performed” by a guy using a Nintendo DS.
Our last stop was the art park, which was now in a much more convenient location on Spring across from the Hive.
We stopped and chatted with Branch of Life, who, again, as usual, had some amazing succulent arrangements on display.
Our car had been safely guarded from vandalism the entire night because Vargas had been working (collaborating?) on this mural the entire time. This photo was taken standing in front of my hood.