There are artists far more fearless and tolerant than I. This was made harshly apparent to me on Saturday at the 7th annual Santa Monica Airport Artwalk. It’s one thing to share close studio quarters with other (potentially more talented) artists in converted airplane hangars. I imagine that can breed fruitful inspiration, and healthy competition, but to open those studios up to a gawking public, to be observed like zoo animals, well that’s just crazy courageous! A band played, a theatre group performed, food trucks fed, and there were all-day childrens events. Making everything kid-friendly lent the proceedings a certain circus atmosphere. Now I’m not a child-basher, but watching mommy’s little monsters tear through artists’ personal studios, grabbing brushes out of of jars, and placing grubby paws on toiled over paintings and sculptures was a bit cringe-inducing. I have much empathy for the artists who offered themselves up to that. Kudos to you all.
Most of the studios are small, and many are shared between two artists. The range of work on display pretty much ran the gamut of artistic genres, but honestly, it was refreshing to find nothing resembling lowbrow pop surrealism. Perhaps art is trending back toward the realm of the intellectual again. I certainly hope so. I mean, I like comedy as much as the next guy, but give me something to chew on. The big thinkers here were Hugo Anderson, Lisa Segal, Yossi Govrin, and Diane Silver, any one of whom would be worthy of inclusion at MOMA.
Ongoing through March 23rd (at Arena 1) is “Decade of Dissent: Democracy in Action 1965-1975”, a riveting exhibit of iconic political poster prints from a particularly tumultuous period of global upheaval. This show is curated by the Center For The Study Of Political Graphics, and is a MUST-SEE for every art student, or any person who still doubts the cultural impact art has on our lives.
Santa Monica Airport Artwalk was a one-day, annual event.
“Decade of Dissent: Democracy in Action 1965-1975” runs February 23-March 23, 2013
Santa Monica, CA 90405 310/ 397-7456 gallery hours: wed-sat 12-6pm