Art Platform Raises the Art Bar at Barker Hangar

Posted by

Say Los Angeles, and people think traffic and celebrities.  This weekend screw Carmageddon with its closure of the 405 Freeway–Art Platform is here bringing in stars and ingenues of the art world. Some of the biggest, established  names in art along with exciting newer artists, emerging artists, alternative artists, and up-and-comers are on exhibit at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar.

If one gallery at Art Platform had to sum up the trajectory of avant-garde art over the past century, that would be Denis Bloch where Rene Magritte, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauchenberg and Andy Warhol  share space with Mr. Brainwash and Speedy Graphito. Plus Bloch’ s got some Keith Haring and Damien Hirst thrown up for good measure. Very all star.

Frank Lloyd hung a large, pale pink sparkling luminescent acrylic dome from the late Cool School artist Craig Kauffman, whose last shows were at that gallery, with a posthumous exhibition on the way,  juxtaposing Cindy Kolodziejski‘s mixed media installation of dozens of small pieces which included ceramic breasts, drawings on velum, hand-painted children’s games, clowns, devils, insects and chickens.

Chickens  are gaining momentum in high art. While they aren’t quite the equivalent of the octopus seen in pop culture–so ubiquitous are the cephaelopods they on coffee mugs and tee shirts as well as in galleries–poultry is making its place in portraiture.  Kolodziejski, who keeps chickens, featured five pieces focusing on our feathered friends/food, while at  Amstel Gallery, Belgian conceptual artist  Koen Vanmechelen‘s Fame Portraits, part of his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, gave fowl a gravitas long overdue. Vanmechelen breeds chickens as part of his conceptual project and has over 1,200 birds at home.

Based in Amsterdam, Amstel focused on Dutch and Belgian artists for their foray at Art Platform. Agniet Snoep’s photography clearly carries on the tradition of Dutch still lifes and vanitas paintings, while Micky Hoogendijk clearly  lays out the Dutch embrace of  mortality in her portrait of Austin Chronicle’s fashion and society editor Stephen MacMillan Moser, Death Becomes Her.

There was an international contingent throughout Art Platform. Artra Curatorial Co/LabFair  in conjunction with Los Angeles Art Resources and Art Platform created an art fair within an art fair for alternative spaces, non-profit art institutions and independent art initiatives with close to twenty alternative artists from all over the world, while Australia, China and Turkey delivered solid artists in their own spaces.

A major standout:  Rachel Lee Hovnanian‘s  Cafe 2012 and Gates of Narcissus Metal Panels  2012 two interrelated installations.  Cafe is simply that: A Texas cafe called Mud Pie, an installation with a coffee shop counter, two waitresses, and menu. On the counter sits a plaster mud pie surrounded with with cast metal narcissus flowers. The waitresses, with name tags @Cafewaitress, interact with Southern charm, serving edible bits from the menu; the pastoral scene in the windows never changes. A video loop shows a young man staring into cafe.  On one wall hangs a piece from Gates of Narcissus Metal Panels, with the same metal flowers found on the pie plate. Mud pies are fake, we cannot eat them. The food in the cafe is real, but unlike any food we know.  Are we real when we are online? More of Hovnanian Gates of Narcissus hang at Leila Heller Gallery, huge shimmering textured, metal flakes fluttering over jagged edges and the blooms of narcissus.

Marc Trujillo‘s  newest work hangs across  Cafe 2012 unwittingly and  fittingly because Trujillo, who received a Guggenheim and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, deals with spaces that are familiar yet put us off center; we know that location, yet in his renderings the locations–a fast food restaurant, a theater, a mega-mart, an airport lounge become disconnected through deja-vu.

CARTWHEEL will be having more coverage later today and throughout the week.


Dennis Bloch Fine Arts

Mr. Brainwash at Denis Bloch

Speedy Graphito at Denis Bloch

Craig Kauffman


Cindy Kolodziejski installation

Kolodziejski’s chickens

Kolodziejski’s chicken

Koen Vanmechelen, Fame Portraits


Koen Vanmechelen, Fame Portraits

Snoep’s photographic take on vanitas

Agniet Snoep

Death Becomes Her: The model, portrait and artist

Rachel Hovnanian, Cafe

Mud pie is not served at the Mud Pie Cafe, it can only be viewed.

Marc Trujillo

One of Trujillo’s newer works hangs in the VIP lounge

Leave a Reply