It is no wonder that so many people from so many walks of life made their way to the L.A. Art Show this week. Where else can you see so much at one time. There has been an explosion of artists moving here. Collectors, galleries are moving downtown. Everyone is excited about what is happening to art in the Los Angeles area.
After five hours of walking through the convention center floor, I felt like I had more to see and discuss with the artists, gallerists, and curators. When I review my notes, I can tell that there came a time when I was feeling over-stimulated. As one would expect, I met interestingly down to earth artists and the expected snobby galleries. I don’t like to talk much about what I do at a show like this. I think I get more pure response if I keep them focused on what they do with art while not knowing my interest.
Overall, the art at the show was technically and asthetically pleasing. The prices were affordable in most cases, particularly on the contemporary side of the floor where the art took more risks than the traditional fine art spaces. The more interactive art drew crowds although I don’t pretend to understand all of it well to give it the respect that it probably deserves. I write about what I understand and enjoy. Since I am not an art critic or get paid by anyone, I can have any opinion I want, right? With that said don’t beat me up too bad if I don’t sound like I know what I am talking about.
I tend to like metallic anything and found it enjoyable to see so many traditionally approached oil paintings were adorned with gold and silver leafing. It must come from my love of Klimt. I love him so much that I taught my granddaughter and one of her friends about the interesting life and the art of Gustav Klimt this summer. One of the artists that stood out to me incorporated the look of silver leaf with traditional figurative oil painting. I was further validated when I read another review that specifically pointed out this work as exceptional.
I am going to break this post into two parts. There are more things that I would like to memorialize and discuss about the show.
I fell hard for “Pollination”, 30×40 inches, Oil and silver leaf on linen on wood by Brad Kunkle. This artist is from Brooklyn New York and was represented by Arcadia Contemporary.
I met an Orange County based artist named Joshua Smith. He is a graduate from Laguna College of Art + Design and shows in La Jolla. His work is etherial and calming. The color contrasts take you to a place of indulgent richness.
You truly wanted to linger in display space to take it all in. I was drawn to the use of solvents to create washes and dilution of pigments.
To make things even more enjoyable, he was probably the most approachable and thoughtful artist I met at the show.
Polish painter based in Antwerp, Belgium.
I am not sure I can express the effect of Michael Lukasiewicz’s work better than he articulates himself.
“My paintings are of the human form, the soft tenderness that it can transfer to the viewer; never the anger of the world but the peace and harmony that humans are capable of. I have been influenced by living in Belgium and painters of the Benelux countries and I try to show the placid side of the subject using light, the reflection of light and the shadows to emphasise the subjects form and curves. I never use colour but the subtleness of tone to achieve these effects. I try to achieve the smoothness of skin and the body so no brush strokes are visible to the viewer. I have developed this technique for painting the human body and have works in many collections.”
The works remind me of how one starts with an underpainting. When he adds the soft pastel colors on top, you feel the subject breath life. I took the second photo from the internet. I am not sure it was on display. There were a good number of works.
Red Truck Gallery
New Orleans-based gallery wins the “Most Fun” award from me. The space was busy and whimsical. An Adam Wallacavage chandelier welcomes the viewer into the space. The mediums were diverse and bridged the gap between craft and art. I liked the mixed media works of Bryan Cunningham, especially the one with the tattooed pin-up girl. You get the idea that these are fun people to hang around.