Art Deco Walking Tour
Every Saturday @ Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., Downtown; laconservancy.org
The next best thing to having Joseph Gordon-Levitt take you through Downtown’s architectural gems is to have a just-as-helpful guide open your eyes to the Art Deco structures of Los Angeles. Forget that you may get some patronizing looks from tourist-snobs (really, who cares?) and dress comfortably for the mile-and-a-half walk. Meeting point: center of Pershing Square. 10 a.m. $10.
Downtown Art Walk
Jan. 12 @ 411 S. Main St., Downtown; downtownartwalk.org
Every second Thursday of the month, Spring and Main streets (between 2nd and 9th) transform into one huge block party where you can feast your eyes, ears and appetite with Los Angeles’ ever-thriving local culture. Fun can be had in and around the galleries in the area as those oh-so-trendy food trucks provide you sustenance for the art and music-filled night. Free.
Esao Andrews: Nowhere
Jan. 7-28 @ Thinkspace Gallery, 6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City; thinkspacegallery.com
Esao Andrews makes really good oil paintings that blend gothic, erotic and surrealist influences. He’s also designed skateboards and made the cover art for two of alternative band Circa Survive’s albums. Join the artist at the reception on Jan. 7 from 5 p.m.-8p.m. Free.
Hedi Slimane: California Song
Now-Jan. 22 @ Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; moca.org
A favorite amongst the fashion crowd, French fashion designer turned photographer Hedi Slimane has shot everyone from Lady Gaga to Robert de Niro and has designed album covers from Phoenix to Daft Punk. This is his first West Coast solo museum exhibit, and the featured works will span his explorations of urban youth culture and artistic communities. MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch says, “Slimane has created a new and fresh visual language for youth today … [capturing] the emerging art, fashion and music scenes around the world.” Free.
Glenn Ligon: AMERICA
Now-Jan. 22 @ LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; lacma.org
Glenn Ligon is a widely known conceptual artist from Bronx, NY whose works explore race, sexuality, representation and language. More recently, his 1992 Black Like Me No. 2 was installed in President Barack Obama’s private living quarters. This exhibit will include unknown early material and reconstruction of some of his works. $15/$10 (w/student ID).
Pooh…and Other Sh*t: hijacked art by Robert Branderburg
Now-Feb. 4 @ Gallery1988 Venice, 214 Pier Ave., Santa Monica; nineteeneightyeight.com
Robert Brandenburg takes pre-existing artwork and alters it to produce an entirely different effect, which, can be generally described as pop surrealism’s take on dark humor. The artist promises “laughs, booze, prints for sale and possibly a midget or Naomi Campbell look-alike” at the opening on Jan. 7 from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Free.
Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981
Now-Feb. 13 @ The Geffen Contemporary, 152 N Central Ave., Downtown; moca.org
The exhibit, borrowing its title from the 1982 album by the Los Angeles punk band X, is a celebration of California as “a turbulent, often anarchic center for artistic freedom and experimentation during the 1970s.” The bright and sunny disposition of 1960’s hippies stoned inebriated with the promise of California dreaming was suddenly daunted by the tumultuous post-Watergate, post-Vietnam years. Expect some dark and deeply affecting pieces from the artists of the era. $10/$5 (w/student ID).
Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles
Now-Feb. 27 @ MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., Downtown; moca.org.
Tabloid photographer Wegee moved from New York City to Los Angeles in 1947 to take pictures of Hollywood stars, strippers, costume shops and naked mannequins. See his work of roughly 200 photographs as he documented the “lurid, irresistible undersides of stardom, fandom, commerce and publicity in mid-century Los Angeles.” Sure beats looking at another Kardashian cover of US Weekly at the drug store checkout line. $10/$5 (w/student ID).
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Now-March 25 @ The Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown; grammymuseum.org.
If George Harrison is your favorite Beatle, then the Grammy Museum is sure out to please you. They put together a collection of artifacts, rare photographs and footage, and items from the Harrison Estate including handwritten song lyrics, stage costumes, instruments, personal sketchbooks, notebooks and journals, and if you’re so inclined, even his original passport on display for your personal enjoyment. $12.95/$11.95 (w/student ID).
Women Hold Up Half the Sky
Now-March 11 @ Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda, Los Angeles; skirball.org
A groundbreaking exhibition inspired by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. See documentary photographs, visual art, sound installations and interactive works that address gender equality as the human rights cause of our time. $10/$7 (w/student ID).