This week, sports stars play in stilettos in one artist's collages and another artist paints hippie scenes in which houses, flora and fauna blend together.
Ball players in pumps
Remember those effortlessly sexist Easy Spirit pumps commercials from the early 1990s? Female basketball players dribbled across the court in heels, then swooshed off to the locker room to pull on pencil skirts without showering first — ladies don’t sweat! Michael Jordan appears with shaved legs and other sports stars wear heels in Kalen Hollomon’s collages, included in "Tailgate," the current show by nomadic, artist-run BBQLA. The show also includes older work by L.A. painter Jonas Wood, imperfect portraits of baseball big shots (Roger Clemens staring blankly with arms akimbo) and sculptural collages by Julie Henson. In one work by Henson, film noir images overlay the smooth, wood cutout of a basketball player. A woman’s surprised face appears on the ball he's holding over his head. 2315 Jesse St., downtown; through Oct. 15. bbqla.net.
Funny Western woman
L.A. artist Kyla Hansen's current show at Emma Gray’s Five Car Garage is titled “Rib Mountain,” named after a Wisconsin bluff that is Paul Bunyan’s mythical burial site. Hansen’s whole show has a folksy vibe. You can almost imagine a tough but eccentric lady spending evenings in a porch rocking chair, with a handcrafted, comical-looking weapon in her lap instead of a gun. Hansen’s show includes a few large quilts; one says “Cave Bacon” in blocky, almost illegible letters. Another, made up of corduroy pants and other found fabrics, has a vaginal void at its center. Fake geodes made of resins, plastics, sinks and discarded headlights are scattered around the garage, on the floor and on shelves. They’re sparkly and attractive but also hackneyed, products of a twisted ingenuity that makes fun of natural wonders. Santa Monica, exact location available upon request; open by appointment. (310) 497-6895, emmagrayhq.com.
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The two figures in New York–based icon Rosemarie Trockel's paintings, hanging one above the other in Ibid’s newly opened Boyle Heights space, look like they’re pretending to sleep. Their eyes are closed, but they have mischievous grins on their faces. One is called Small Devil and the other Small Angel, but it’s difficult to tell the difference; “devilish” and “angelic” appear to be matters of interpretation. Trockel’s paintings are part of a show called "Sleep," organized by Italian artist/curator Paolo Colombo. Nearby hang seascapes by the chimerical Paul Thek, simple, dumb paintings of a blue sky above a blue sea that’s too peaceful to believe. 670 S. Anderson St., downtown; through Dec. 31. (323) 395-8914, ibidgallery.com.
Naked in the desert
Domestic scenes dissolve into loose landscapes and clusters or cascades of leaves and pebbles in Sarita Dougherty’s paintings in “the love in our belly,” her current show at Visitor Welcome Center. In Naked Grasses on Our Naked Bodies (2016), two figures, male and female, appear conjoined in an orange pool while cacti and grasses float above them. It’s Adam and Eve meets flower children, and the scene — like others in the show — celebrates off-the-grid living in a way that's holistic and compellingly nuanced. 3006 W. Seventh St., Suite 200A, Koreatown; through Oct. 29. (213) 703-1914, visitorwelcomecenter.org.
Cartoon creatures fight back
In one of Kathy Rose's early animations, made back in the 1970s, her characters revolt. The artist is shown drawing one quirky creature after another. And one, in a squeaky, whining voice, protests, “We don’t want to be in your film!” Another says, “I don’t like my voice!” The artist is at a loss, but eventually she and her animated characters reach a compromise: If they can name the film, wresting some control of the narrative from her, they will agree to appear onscreen. Rose's more recent films bear only passing resemblance to her early experiments. They are psychedelic collages that mix animations with live-action. Figures (often Rose herself, with a collaged-on still photograph of her face in place of her head) split open, or double, as if they’re inside a kaleidoscope. If you suspend judgment and submit to their awkward, fluid aesthetic, these newer films can be hypnotic. A number of Rose’s past and present shorts will screen at Velaslavasay Panorama this weekend. 1122 W. 24th St., University Park; Sun., Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m. 213-746-2166, panoramaonview.org.