Cartwheel Art Presents VALTD’s “The Sereal Killers” at Fabrik Expo Art Fair – Friday, October 5, to Sunday, October 7
Fabrik Expo Art Fair returns to The Reef in Downtown Los Angeles next weekend, kicking off with an opening night party on Friday, October 5. Cartwheel Art will present a new art activation at the event. Join us in The Experience Lounge for “The Sereal Killers” by art duo VALTD. While Cartwheel is well known for providing immersive art and historical tours in Downtown Los Angeles, Cindy Schwarzstein and her team also regularly do art activation, programming, and curatorial work, and we’re excited to share that with the public at Fabrik Expo.
The artists behind VALTD, Brian and Jacquelyn, have a studio in Pasadena. They started making art together in 2015, and much of their current work was inspired by the two years they spent living in Europe. Jacquelyn says, “One of the cities that just kind of blew us away was Florence. We were staying out in the countryside, and we took a train in, and we noticed the closer we got to the city, the more urban art we saw on the walls. Once we were in the city, we found this huge dichotomy between the classicism artwork in the museums—and then you walk outside, and just a few steps away, there’s a completely different world of art.”
As they traveled, they had similar experiences in other European cities. Brian says, “We’d go to see the Mona Lisa or the Musée d’Orsay and then go outside, and all of a sudden there’s graffiti, street art, and paste-up art, and it was really eye-opening and inspiring.” Back in America, street art hadn’t really resonated with them, but in Europe, the art form had a different vibe. Brian says, “It wasn’t gang related—it was urban art, people expressing themselves.” Instead of feeling territorial, it was collaborative and community based. Artists would cover each other’s work, and it wasn’t a big deal. As they added layers upon layers, they all seemed to be having fun with it.
VALTD brought that collaborative community feel to Art at the Rendon’s Hidden Rooms event—also curated by Cartwheel Art—earlier this year. If you were there, you probably recall the art activation on the first floor in which a woman dressed like Marie Antoinette handed out markers, urging visitors to contribute to the graffiti-covered walls.
The duo’s time in Europe also inspired the project that would later become The Sereal Killers. It all started when Brian saw a magazine on the floor in the hallway of their flat and momentarily thought he saw a skull covering the face of the model in the ad. It wasn’t really there, but the image kept flashing, and he knew he had to do something with it. All of the Sereal Killer images have come this way. “To be honest with you, they sort of pop into the ether,” he says.
Brian and Jacquelyn returned to Southern California about nine months ago—and the Sereal Killers came with them. Brian says, “Since we moved back, they’ve been popping in left and right. It’s actually kind of a blessing as an artist to just receive and not have to really think about it. It’s like, they come in from the ether and they really want to be made.”
At first VALTD was just playing around with the Sereal Killers idea. Jacquelyn says, “I don’t think either of us took them seriously. We were like, ‘These are easy, these are fun, we’re just playing around,’ and then we slowly began to realize, ‘Wait, there’s something here.’ And we started developing them and making more and more.“
They’ve been fine-tuning the Sereal Killers idea to bring to Fabrik Expo. The walls of the Experience Lounge will feature a few large Sereal Killers images, along with about fifty pieces the size of magazine covers. Jacquelyn explains, “We’re subverting the idea of what magazines are saying about women, what these women that are posing for magazines are saying about themselves, and what we as the audience are putting on these covers of magazines with our own judgments and our own thoughts.” They chose the name “The Sereal Killers” because it also spells “These Real Killers,” playing on the idea that nothing is ever what it seems, and that appearances are often deceiving.
When visitors step into The Experience Lounge, VALTD will give them the opportunity to become a Sereal Killer, and see what it feels like to be the one posing for the camera and putting yourself out there to be judged on a magazine cover. Jacquelyn says, “When a guest walks in, if they want to become a Sereal Killer, we’ll take a picture of them. They can go, see the rest of the expo, and come back a little bit later and see if their Sereal Killer magazine print is up on the sticker wall.” The prints will be miniature 2”x3” magazine covers. Want to take your sticker home? You can buy one for $5.
Fabrik Expo Art Fair:
Saturday, October 6, 2018 (11 am – 7 pm)
Sunday, October 7, 2018 (11 am – 6 pm)
Opening Night Party:
Featuring craft vodka from Infuse Spirits
Friday, October 5, 2018 (7 – 10 pm)
1933 South Broadway
Los Angeles, California 90007