Brothel. Dive bar. Murder site. Flophouse. The Rendon Hotel has been all of those, and because it’s Los Angeles, the four-story brick building eventually became a filming location. Now with Los Angeles blooming as a major art city, the Rendon Hotel has been reborn as an installation location called Art at the Rendon.
The Rendon, like many of the resident hotels near downtown, featured common-use restrooms and showers on each floor and had a saloon on the ground floor, plus a dancehall. At one point, the Rendon was also a brothel whose proprietor was murdered in an upstairs room. As the economy and population shifted, these temporary homes for seasonal railway and warehouse workers transitioned to long-term homes for residents, primarily men, on small pensions and Social Security. The Rendon became, unglamorously, a flophouse, until the Arts District began to boom in the early 20-teens. The brick building on the corner of Santa Fe and 7th caught the eyes of developers who wanted to tear it down and incorporate it into a huge mixed-use development, but its owner saw something more in its three stories.
The owner realized the potential and history beyond the Rendon being a filming location and middle finger to developers who are building huge complex surrounding it. Over the next two years, as plans are put into place to turn the building into a combination artist residency and functioning hotel with a neighborhood spot for drinks and light meals, the Rendon has launched the innovative and expansive program Art at the Rendon.
Hidden Rooms, Art at the Rendon’s inaugural event, curated by Cartwheel Art’s Cindy Schwarzstein features 80+ artists and 45 site-specific installations, open June 1 through June 3. Tickets benefit the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles’ learning program with Metropolitan High School and Art Share L.A. Says Schwarzstein:
What many people didn’t realize about the Rendon was that it was one the first places Retna painted a mural, fifteen years ago.
The still-visible mural was one of the inspirations for Hidden Rooms, and Retna selected Room 33 to create as he chooses.
Other artists, ranging from museum level to emerging, were also each given a room of hotel to create site-specific installations. The California Locos have a huge downstairs space and will be bringing in an art car, while Guerin Swing will be in Room 2, where the madame met her unfortunate end. The artist list reads like a who’s who in street art, with the social satire of Plastic Jesus and Shrine’s complex spiritual temples of found objects, neon from Lisa Schulte, plus Shephard Fairey, Sticky Shaw, Able Alejandro, Prime, and dozens of other names…Hidden Rooms is a crazy beautiful series love letters for Los Angeles art lovers that is only up for three days.
Ambitious, challenging, full of surprises, Hidden Rooms shows not only the wide range of artistic talent but also what is possible in our evolving city when care is shown to its history and to those who create its vibrant vistas.
Tickets for the event are $20, available here.
The complete list of artists after photos
All proceeds will benefit Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) and Art Share L.A. The donation to ICA LA will benefit the museum’s learning program with Metropolitan High School.
Special Event Dates: June 1-3, 2018
Friday, June 1st
VIP Party, 6 – 11 pm – (invitation only with limited ticket availability)
Saturday, June 2nd
Artist Reception, 6 – 11 pm (invitation only with limited ticket availability)
Sunday, June 3rd
COMMUNITY EVENT, 11 am – 8 pm
Suggested donation of $20 (RSVP online here)
2055 E. 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
First and last photos: Lisa Derrick. All others, Fred Hoerr
Gary Wong of CALIFORNIA LOCOS (with Bisco Smith)
HIDDEN ROOM ARTISTS // ABCNT / ABEL ALEJANDRE / AUGUSTINE KOFIE / AISEBORN / BAKER’S SON / BEAU STANTON / BISCO SMITH / BOOH / CALDER GREENWOOD / CALIFORNIA LOCOS / CASSIE ZHANG / CHASE / CHAZ BOJÓRQUEZ / CHRISTINA ANGELINA (AKA STARFIGHTER) / CLINTON BOPP / DARCY YATES / DAVE TOURJÉ / DAVIA KING / DAVID LOVEJOY / DYTCH66 / EDDIE DONALDSON / EMMERIC KONRAD / ESTEVAN ORIOL / FRANCESCA QUINTANO / FRED HOERR / GABRIELLA FASH / GARY WONG / GUERILLAONE / GUERIN SWING / INDECLINE / IVAN HOSOI / JACQUELINE PALAFOX / JAMES P. SCOTT / JEFF HO / JIM EVANS (AKA TAZ) / JOHN VAN HAMERSVELD / JOHNNY CUBERT WHITE / JOSE “PRIME” REZA (K2S) / JOSEPH “NUKE” MONTALVO / JOSH EVERHORN / JOSH WEBB (AKA JOEX2) / KELCEY FISHER (AKA KFISH) / KELLY “RISK” GRAVEL / KENTON PARKER / KEYA TAMA / LISA SHULTE / MARCEL “SEL” BLANCO / MAN ONE / MARIA GREENSHIELDS-ZIMAN / MARK DEAN VECA / MARK DEKTOR / MICHAEL TORQUATO DENICOLA / MYMO (AKA MIMO MALI) / MONCHO 1929 / MR. TRIXTER / MYSTIC / NATASA PROSENC STEARNS / NICHOLAS BONAMY / NORTON WISDOM / PATRICK HOEICK / PLASTIC JESUS / RALPH ZIMAN (AKA AFRIKA47) / RESTITUTION PRESS / RETNA / RHOXROSE / ROBERT “STICKY” SHAW / SARAH KELIHER WALSH / SEK / THRASHBIRD / SHEPARD FAIREY / SHRINE / SLICK / SMA LITZSINGER / STEPHEN SEEMAYER / STORMIE MILLS / SUSAN FELDMAN / TANNER GOLDBECK / TEACHR / TEALE HATHEWAY / THE SEVENTH LETTER / VALTD / VANESSA CHOW / WISE
MUSICIANS // DJ DAVID PONAK / JESIKA VON RABBIT / MECOLODIACS / PURPLE MOUNTAINS MAJESTIES / SPINDRIFT / TRULIO DISGRACIAS / TOM FREUND / THE VIGNES ROOFTOP REVIVAL