By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Sinners & Scenesters
If it’s campy, scary or freaky (but never in a cheap way), chances are Billy Shire has shown it at his La Luz de Jesus gallery, adjacent to his hip gift emporium, Soap Plant/Wacko. The store/gallery has been holding its first-Friday-of-the-month opening parties for 20 years, and back in the day, when the store was on Melrose, the gallery was a separate entity, upstairs with a different entrance. That didn’t stop art tarts from flowing in and out of the store downstairs too, which often had a more festive vibe than the gallery. There’s so much to look at here — toys, books, jewelry and, of course, soaps and oils — that it’s truly hard to leave without buying some utterly useless but totally amusing doodad, sort of a creative li’l consolation prize if ya can’t afford the art. If the artist is a biggie, there’s major merchandising goin’ on too, as when famed retro-mod man Shag showed his stuff last year; everything from books to glassware to stationery emblazoned with his swanky characters was for sale. The openings are consistently packed with multicolored heads of hair and local boho types, and if you live in the area, rest assured you will run into someone you know while perusing the music or pinup-art-book aisle . . . though whether or not you acknowledge them may depend on how much of the free cheap beer you’ve ingested. 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, (323) 663-0122 or www.laluzdejesus.com. Up next: Paintings by Paul Barnes, Scott G. Brooks, Lauren Gardiner, Jason Houchen, Sergio Mora and Lesley Reppeteaux. Opening: Fri., Dec. 1, 8 p.m.
Shiny Happy People
“I’m seduced by color,” says Fiora Boes, the owner of Ghetto Gloss, the side-by-side store and gallery that’s been a hub of edgy exhibits (everything from graffiti stylings to cartoony character-driven stuff) and raging bashes for nearly five years now. “I stay away from dark stuff, lean toward the light.” As an Otis grad, Boes knows a thing or two about art, but she also knows about having a good time, and her place’s huge front parking lot has allowed for some seriously over-the-top shindigs and performances (everything from a Dogtown art show complete with skate ramp to celeb-studded openings for the likes of Benicio del Toro and Tommy Chong). G.G.’s bread-and-butter biz is renting out art pieces for movie and TV sets, but it’s the vibrant store that packs in local hip chicks daily: edgy but beautiful clothing lines Muchacha from Barcelona and Flopi from L.A.; pop-culture-inspired gold and silver jewelry from Tiny Armour; books from Pale House Press and Gloss’ own publishing house; and these adorable dolls from Japan called Pullips. The store holds monthly cupcake parties upon each new doll’s arrival — it all works together for a whimsical shopping experience that Boes promises will be even more jam-packed with goodies come the holiday season. And don’t forget about the in-store Pabst Blue Ribbon drink-machine “installation,” which gives new meaning to the phrase “shop till ya drop.” 2380 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 912-0008 or www.ghettogloss.com. Up next: James Quinlan’s “Abstracts.” Opening: Sat., Dec. 2, 7 p.m.?
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