Inside a large art fair there’s a geographical slippage that you feel at some point, you could be in Miami, New York, Basel, or any number of large cities where these fairs which cull galleries from all over the world happen. Sort of like being in a casino, indoor mall or a sprawling space with skeletons who have their gaze on their phones as in this gorgeous Laurie Lipton drawing at the Ace booth.
(Photo above: “Happy 2015”, charcoal & pencil on paper, 6foot x 9foot by Laurie Lipton)
Laurie does these entirely out of her head and they have lots of little treasures that reward the viewer’s close attention. As viewers we respond to work we can tell has been cared about and Laurie’s deep investment in her work is immediately evident and the work and focus become a part of the subject matter. Here are the two of us in front of her work.
John Brosio had a successful opening night at the Arcadia booth at the fair, two of his paintings went into the collection of director J.J. Abrams. Here’s his giant iguana piece called Edge of Town 13. It is 39 x 62 inches, oil on canvas, 2015. About which John says ‘All of my other ‘edge of town’ paintings (so titled) use tornadoes but I wanted to do something which really illustrates that it is not about the choice of monster. It is an arrangement. The whole thing approaches allegory for me and ends up on the fence among several different “takes.” It is as much informed by painter Jacob van Ruisdael (1600’s, Netherlands) as it is by Fiji Tsuburaya (creator of Japanese monster films).
John and I share a lot of painterly strategies and influences and I’m happy that his work is being well placed; here he is with Dave Grohl who purchased the painting behind them at the fair in a previous year.
The LA Art Fair is not as blue chip as Miami Basel, the Armory Show in NY or the ADAA show, also in NY, but that also gives a fuller crosscut than the art world insider usual suspects you see at those fairs. Younger and emerging artists get a chance to be seen like Delfin Finley at the Smash Art booth. (I’m proud that Delfin is a former student of mine). Here’s his painting So Many Days Apart (24×36 inches, oil on panel), about which he says:
This painting is about the ache of waiting for love. We spend most of our lives yearning for love to knock on our door. When it finally does, the visit can be so fleeting.
There’s a strong Tom Lieber painting at the FP Contemporary booth. Tom’s surfaces are lush and sensual with a hard won sensitivity to and awareness of what oil paint can do.
Tom Lieber ‘Long Blue Shift’ 25×72 inches oil on canvas.
Marc Trujillo is a painter who depicts places common to North American urban and suburban landscapes such as big chain and warehouse stores, gas stations, shopping malls, and chain restaurants. He has been awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches at Santa Monica College and has covered art fairs in past for us. More about Mark.