This Saturday September 14, plan to get hopped up in Chinatown, because it’s the high season on Chung King Road under a waxing moon at the peak of autumn’s balmy nights.
Coagula throws a grand re-opening bash at their new location, 974 Chung King Road, across the walkway from the their old spot which was bought by a Famous Rock Star (and very cool dude). On the walls of the new space: Mark Dutcher, “Transfer.” At Charlie James Gallery, 969 Chung King Road, “Dressed in Grey”, a photographic exhibition curated by LA-based artist Lisa Ohlweiler opens. Jancar, 961 Chung King Road, presents Richard Newton’s new installation installation “La Gruta Azul, The Blue Grotto” which we’ll be previewing later this week.
And for one night only, Red Pipe Gallery, at 978 Chung King Road, presents “City and Self,” a group show curated by Mat Gleason–and full disclosure, I’m in it, along with almost all of the participants in Mat Gleason’s Art World Boot Camp seminar. Two students chose not to participate: Yoram Gil, a gallery owner/artists’ coach, who admitted he was taking class for information he could use in his one-on-one coaching as well as in seminars for larger groups, and another student who said she was more comfortable staying as a collector, not a creator. I took the class because I want to learn as much about the art world as I can and experience as much as I can. I didn’t know we’d, like, have to do art. Ooops. But once I found out I was determined to face my (serious) limitations and participate fully.
The theme of “City and Self” is pretty self-explanatory: We had to create two pieces, a self-portrait and an image of Los Angeles. Which um, was challenging for me, since I don’t really paint, draw, sculpt or do any kind of visual arts (well, okay I am hella capable at writing snotty captions on photos using PowerPoint in order to comply with Fair Use copyright laws for my other, not-so-secret identity as LaFiga, which is carried by firedoglake.com.) As a further challenge, the piece had to be 6 inches wide. No more. No less.
I was stumped. I am sure real artists can do that stuff with one hand tied behind their backs and minimal inspiration (which is how I usually write, since the cat sits on my left arm most of the time, and writing is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration), but considering I have no art skills or technical knowledge on how stuff works (isn’t that why people go to art school?), I threw myself on the mercy of artists friends who patiently explained the pros and cons of various media and methods and made some suggestions (“Have you considered maybe calling yourself an abstract artist? Or primitive?”). Then I toddled over to Blue Rooster on Vermont for supplies. Several friends offered to have me over to “make art” but I just had no ideas on what to do. What gave me a spark of inspiration was seeing Steely Dan play live. Maybe sitting still and being left alone with music–music that had once been beautifully dark and creepy, tales of the mirrored images of heaven and hell, but now was revved up to be like a Jimmy Buffet concert–and my thoughts clicked a switch, who knows?
Along with all that art, at Red Pipe, over 40 pieces, Alex Schaefer, the man behind the burning bank paintings, will be painting portraits living and color. Contact Tracy at Red Pipe Gallery for details and to schedule a slot.
Here’s a little preview of what you can expect. I am honored to be in show with real artists whose skill and dedication are unmatched. See you Saturday in Chinatown, Jake.
All shows, except Red Pipe, open through mid-October. Please consult individual gallery websites for hours and end-dates of shows.