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5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including a Miniature Ski Lift

Hiroshi Sugimoto's Queen Victoria (1999)

© Hiroshi SigmateHiroshi Sugimoto's Queen Victoria (1999)

Two artists fill the Santa Monica Museum of Art with paintings and sculptures of snow, while another photographs wax replicas of monarchs. 

5. Healthy distance
The best part of Carlee Fernandez's show at ACME, called "Arranging Family," is the portrait of the artist, her husband and their sons; it hangs in the second room. Nude, they look like an illustration of a nuclear family that you'd find in an introductory biology book, except that their expressions are more defiant and Fernandez isn't actually standing next to her husband and son in the photograph. She's next to life-size, body-shaped pillows with photographs of them printed into the white fabric. They're a unit but also separate from each other, something Fernandez is always good at showing. 6150 Wilshire Blvd.; through March 15. (323) 857-5942, acmelosangeles.com

4. Construction-site chandeliers
The Finley, that first-floor apartment window in Los Feliz that doubles as a walk-by viewing space, has been featuring installations by artist couples. The current one, by artists Jedediah Caesar and Kate Costello, includes two strange, hanging sculptures that look like the offspring of power tools and chandeliers. Part of the fun is perching up on the steps in front of the window and trying to figure out what you're looking at. It's definitely best to go at night, when the work's better lit. 4627 Finley Ave., Los Feliz; through March 29. (617) 794-4530, thefinleygallery.artcodeinc.com.

3. Abandoned on the moon
Scott Reeder's exhibition at 356 is full of three-walled, spaceship-like rooms, sets from a futuristic feature film he made about a failing luxury hotel on the moon. Raw footage from the film, called Moondust, sometimes plays through geometric holes in the walls and the rooms are mostly monochrome, all yellow or all orange. There is a slapdash quality to the construction, which sometimes makes it hard to let go of skepticism and enjoy the show's quirky fantasy. But Moon World's Lobby, where purple canvases are the walls and a triangular door opens onto a ramp that leads nowhere, pulls you in perfectly: You feel like you're in a misbegotten commercial space that was supposed to be the next big thing but never will be. 356 S. Mission Road; through March 16. (323) 609-3162, 356mission.com

2. Snow in Santa Monica
"Each snowflake had its own bib and barbecue tongs and spatula and parachute," reads text written on the wall amidst ruddily romantic paintings of skiers, part of "What Every Snowflake Knows in Its Heart" at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Sculptor Yutaka Sone and writer-artist Benjamin Weissman made all the work in the show together. They first met on Mammoth Mountain and were interested in sports, nature and working together. A mini makeshift ski lift cycles small lift chairs through the space, and all the paintings of snowboards, skis and geared-up, red-cheeked people seem to have sprung from the same rush of inspiration. 2525 Michigan Ave., G1, Santa Monica; through April 5. (310) 586-6488, smmoa.org.

1. More real than the real thing
When Hiroshi Sugimoto decided to photograph wax likenesses of English monarchs, he draped velvety black cloth behind his figures and used a nine-minute exposure. The resulting images, a suite of them on view now at the Getty, are strikingly detailed. Stoic Queen Victoria is so convincingly queenly that you forget you're looking at a replica of an image. It evokes British writer Hilary Mantel's description of seeing Queen Elizabeth up close, looking at Her Majesty like a thing, a figurehead not a person. Then, when the queen turned, and looked back, "as if she had been jabbed in the shoulder," Mantel was jarred and wanted to explain:  "it's nothing personal, it's monarchy I'm staring at." 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; through June 8. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu/art/exhibitions/sugimoto.


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