Common wisdom has it that the book is an endangered species, but the proliferation of and market for high-end artist books special, often unique or limited-edition visual art in book form is more robust than ever. Distinct from an exhibition catalog or even a monographic survey, artist books typically combine images, texts and original works for certain price points, but are conceived as self-contained works of art in themselves. For renowned L.A. painter Salomón Huerta, Let Everything Else Burn is such a work, and he is finally ready to present and sign it this afternoon in the REDCAT lounge. Images from his best-known painting series impossibly flat, stylized and isolated suburban homes and delicately rendered portraits of people with their heads turned away or else wearing masks are paired with short pieces of Huerta's writing. LM Projects, which brought the book out, calls these textual nuggets autobiographical, and in a way, the volume functions as a memoir of Huerta's life and career. But his approach to tracing the events that took him from a childhood of urban blight to an A-list gallery career is rife with eye-rolling humor, acute observations of art-world buffoonery, politically incorrect anecdotes and self-effacing realizations. The book's combined effect of smooth beauty, acerbic wit, keen perception and dry delivery adds up to a rich aesthetic counterpart to his gallery shows except better, because it has a story. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Sun., Jan. 15, 2-5 p.m.; free. (323) 652-0580, lmprojects.net.
Sun., Jan. 15, 2 p.m., 2012