We’ve decided to showcase many of the people whose work you may not know about yet, but should. And we’re also going to show you where the perfect places are to check out the best art.
Gagosian Gallery (456 N. Camden Drive): 90210 isn’t just the zip code of the rich and the vapid. It’s actually the home of fine art. Artist Taryn Simon’s An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar is a mind-blowing exploration of waste and toxic substances. Yeah, that’s right. Waste. Hey, it doesn’t have to be paint-by-numbers to make sense, right?
DeVorzon Gallery (2720 Ellison Drive) For a more grown-up experience, try DeVorzon. This gallery prides itself on showing paintings, sculpture and works on print from established and emerging artists. Those who show here certainly display the kind of creativity and maturity seen only at the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay. But don’t be fooled; while traditional paintings in the style of Renoir and Van Gogh hang here, you’ll also find contemporary works from the likes of Iva Hladis and Victor Yepez.
Wonderful World Art Gallery (9517 Culver Blvd.): Hell yeah! Culver City came to play! Wonderful World is quite nearly Disneyland for the art lover in you. Don’t wait for Comic-Con to find your favorite animated film and TV stills. Get them here. You’ll find animation cells from all the classic Hanna Barbera shows, as well as from Chuck Schultz’s Peanuts gang. Still not convinced? Well, try this on for size: Wonderful World also houses a great collection of surrealist art that’ll leave you breathless.
d.e.n. Contemporary (6023 Washington Blvd.): Los Angeles-based artist Kristi Lippire has been graced with a thrilling exhibition here (through Oct. 11). They’ve also displayed the work of Carlos Estrada-Vega. This gallery promises something exciting and fierce if you’re dynamic enough to handle it. Why not kick it in the downtown C.C., then truck on over for a little culture. You’ll be glad you did.
Western Project (3830 Main St.): Think you have to drive to the Eastside to get that certain kind of flavor? Not true! For all you cool kids living in Culver, you simply have to make a beeline through downtown to get your fix. Nearly everything on the walls here is ballsy, fresh and in your face. Bring an extra pair of pants – just in case you get a bit excited by what’s on display.
Cirrus Art Gallery (542 S. Alameda St.): According to its Web site, Cirrus is proud to announce its exhibition of new prints by Matthew Brannon. But that’s not the only cool thing this gallery has going for it. Writer Mat Gleason contributes to the space as its resident astrologer, its bookstore is stocked with prints and other goodies and it currently houses work curated by Brad Eberhard. Chic art freaks will fall in love with Cirrus and everything hanging within.
FIDM Galleries at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (919 S. Grand Ave.): To the soulless heathens who don’t believe that fashion is art, I flip you the bird, whilst standing proud in my pink patent leather Prada Mary Janes. See the third-annual installment of FIDM’s Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design installment. This exhibition showcases all of the most incredible costumes and gowns from TV’s yesteryear. Or, go high-tech with the gallery’s online exhibitions of such cool collections as the costumes from Star Wars or French Dressing (a collection of fab frocks that’ll make you say, “Oooh la la!”).
Gallery 1988 (7020 Melrose Ave.): Welcome to the must-stop for cool Angelenos who love all things kitsch, camp and pop culture-related. This diminutive space sits on famed Melrose Avenue. Attractions here have ranged from the highly successful and much talked about I am 8-Bit exhibit to the Crazy 4 Cult 2 show, with an opening was hosted by filmmaker Kevin Smith. G88 – as it’s known on the streets – is so centrally located that it’s the perfect place to stop and hang after lunch at nearby Pink’s Hot Dogs or shopping ’til you drop at the wildest boutiques in town.
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (6522 Hollywood Blvd.): Situated in the middle of Hollywood, LACE (as its known in art circles) packs a powerful punch on the local scene. In its 30th year, this gallery has collaborated with artist/curator Christopher Russell on renowned exhibits and has featured the clever work of talent like Natalie Shriver and Carly Steward. LACE is that seasoned elder statesman of artistic wonder that shows that you can maintain success with a little help (and charitable donations) from your friends.
Icaro Gallery (4260 Atlantic Ave.): Big ups to the L.B.C.! With rents going through the roof everywhere in Southern California, Long Beach has become the latest hotspot for gentrification. To keep the new population of yuppies happy, while paying homage to the local color, Icaro Gallery features wonderful Latino artists on its walls. You’ll find killer photography and sculpture here that’ll have you declaring, “Viva Long Beach!”
NoHo Gallery L.A. (5108 Lankershim Blvd.): I know. I know. The Valley is home to meth labs and last year’s fashions. And true ... it is about 1,000-degrees warmer there than anywhere else on any given day. And, OK, granted, a lot of people who live there think Nickelback and Daughtry are as important to music as the Beatles or Radiohead. But aside from those abominations of human existence, North Hollywood is fast becoming a hub of artistic cred. NoHo Gallery L.A. is open to the public and displays a true feeling of community. Through Oct. 5, it’s even displaying the third installment of the Art Unites series. This annual exhibition promises to showcase the members’ personal works.
SANTA MONICA Gallery of Functional Art
(Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. #E3): True, Santa Monica has its fair share of Teva sandals, Patagonia performance fleece and beach bums. But thankfully, there’s also a stylish at all costs side to this coastal town. Its current exhibit of Gordon Chandler’s The Game Show is a stunning display of sculpture, color and composition. Bold and brash, this space is just as inspiring as the art it houses.
Christopher Grimes Gallery (916 Colorado Ave.): Works on canvas? Check. Works done in oils and acrylics? Check. Beauty every time you blink your eyes? Check. That covers the shortlist of things that the Grimes Gallery has to offer. Veronika Kellndorfer had an exhibit at this space. So did Josh Podoll. If you’re not hip to painters and photographers and sculptors – oh, my! – then brush up at this gallery.
SILVER LAKE/LOS FELIZ/ECHO PARK
Thinkspace (4210 Santa Monica Blvd.): With all of the musicians, actors, filmmakers, models and reluctant hipsters living on the trendy East Side, it’s so fitting that this part of town is home to one of the best spaces for viewing artistic works. Thinkspace has been going strong for years now. On any given night, fashionable locals, rich and poor, converge to celebrate native talent, as well as the brilliance of those just passing through. Featured here have been the wonderful projects by Paul Barnes, Kris Chau and Dennis Brown, respectively.
Monkeyhouse Toys & Art Gallery (1618 1/2 Silver Lake Blvd.): If you’ve got a love of procurable work that’ll speak to both your inner child as well as your actual progeny, then hit up this funky gallery-toy shop. Art meets function at Monkey House; your heart will sing as friendly staffers help you and yours to the coolest and most whimsical dolls, supply kits and puppets. And the best thing is that they take plastic, so you can go crazy now and worry about it later.
Black Maria (3137 Glendale Blvd.): Black Maria is making a name for itself as the home of the most badass and jaw-dropping art on the left coast. Artists Billy Reynolds and Brooks Salzwedel have both shown here, as have Jane Gotts and Ron Velasco. Unlike many other spaces in Los Angeles, Black Maria is chic like a New York City gallery while catering to the peculiar palates of L.A.’s art worshippers.
NOHO Modern Gallery (750 N. La Cienega Blvd.; warehouse by appointment, 5537 Satsuma Ave., North Hollywood): Furniture as art? Why not? At NOHO Modern, common objects (as well as traditional paintings and lithographs) get the star treatment. Metal wall sculpture by Marcello Fantoni or Imbuia wood screens by Joaquim Tenreiro mingle alongside biomorphic redwood mirrors and stoneware constructed by Victoria Littlejohn. Target and IKEA are great while you’re young, but one day, you’ll grow up and these are the four walls that will turn you into the adult you’ve always wanted to be.
Michael Kohn Gallery (8071 Beverly Blvd.): Many art lovers weren’t around for Warhol’s first hurrah. Luckily many spaces across the county have refused to let this amazing artist’s point of view die. The Kohn Gallery has showcased many works from the late New Yorker’s collection. They’ve also put on display clever contemporary exhibitions like the current one from David Korty (opening reception Sept. 18, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.). Instead of dinner and a movie, might I suggest Swingers and some art?
CALIFORNIA ARTISTS SPLASHING COLOR THROUGHOUT THE CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPE
He just might be the most exciting artist of his generation. Philippe Jestin arrived in the United States at the dawn of the 1990s after having studied at the Sarbonne in his native France. Jestin struggled in his new country for a while, working odd jobs while creating what he calls “transitional” works. After acclimating to the American way of life, he has now found his voice. Jestin’s main medium of choice is resin. He pairs the substance with wire, wood and sometimes paper to create urban sculptural pieces that are both in-your-face and awe-inspiring. philippejestin.com
27-year-old Lefty Joe Torres is an innovative Beverly Hills-based artist. Torres combines an immense love of color with detail to create truly outrageous and lively drawings and caricatures. His work has been shown throughout Los Angeles and Long Beach and can be enjoyed regularly in animated shorts at LiquidGeneration.com.
If Martha Stewart mated with designer Todd Oldham, their tall, delicious, master of DIY lovechild would be Jon Rolston. This New Hampshire-born, San Francisco-dwelling virtuoso is the artistic equivalent to lemon sorbet (smooth + fresh + gratifying). His quirky and unexpectedly captivating work ranges from drawings to graphic design to filmmaking. Rolston remains on the cutting-edge of cool without selling his soul to the local scene. His love of ephemera and found objects has even led him to showings at places like the Budget Gallery in SF.
Regie Miller divines a wealth of experience from his upbringing in idyllic Port Townsend, Wash. This avid surfer-skater-snowboarder picks up where graphic artist Mike Mills left off with his bold and edgy style. Miller uses imagination to create sustainable works. His last main undertaking involved painting miniature figures of Jesus in oil paintings purchased at garage sales (think: Where’s Waldo? for the 21st century). His art is witty, sarcastic and snarky – characteristics that have served him well on his day job as an advertising wunderkind.
Ryan Faulkner is an artist in every sense of the word. Many people may know him as the searing-hot, skinny tie-clad dancer who shook his money maker onstage while touring with Beck. But what a lot of folks don’t know is that this native Californian is also a highly in-demand artist. He has “storyboarded” some of the top films within the last decade including Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Scooby Doo starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Geller.