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5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including MOCA's Controversial Loan

"Untitled" by Naotaka Hiro, Paul McCarthy and Benjamin Weissman

Image courtesy of the artists and The Box, LA."Untitled" by Naotaka Hiro, Paul McCarthy and Benjamin Weissman

There's dancing about kissing at the Hammer and drawing about manliness in Little Tokyo. 

5. Small bar
The current show at Richard Telles, which includes artist Alex Hubbard's well-crafted, stocked bar the size of a phone booth, is worth seeing mostly because it's funny how much effort the artists put into making objects nearly functional but not. The chair Oscar Tuazon placed on top of an oil drum instead of legs, which looks as if it would topple if you sat on it, is the same: frustratingly close to functionality. 7380 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; through July 5. (323) 965-5578, tellesfineart.com

4. Precarious situation
L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight just scolded MOCA for lending a massive, multicolored, shaped painting by iconic Frank Stella to Honor Fraser Gallery in Culver City, for its historical show on color field painting. He was right that the museum wasn't necessarily doing its part as a steward, making choices that would keep the painting as secure as possible. But the gallery is behaving entirely like a gallery, angling to get the best objects with the most cachet on its walls and keeping them there for just a fleeting moment. The Stella painting, called Ctesiphon I and made up of lots of linked half circles, looks different on walls that so often feature brand new, unmarred work than it looks in the museum space. It's a little raggedy but still majestic. 622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Aug. 2. (310) 837-0191, honorfraser.com.

3. The new New Direction
A boy band is going to save the world in the new performance by Alex Segade, the artist who's done great work with performance troupe My Barbarian and who moved from L.A. to New York a few years ago. Or, at least, that's what pop producer Ace BoiFrenzy and DJ RainBro, his bodyguard/sidekick, hope. The two characters audition boys for their perfect band in Segade's performance, which is supposed to feel sort of like an electro-pop dance party and involve a fair amount of audience participation. 410 Cottage Home St., Chinatown; Tuesday, June 24, 8:30 p.m. (213) 290-4752; humanresourcesla.com.

2. Make-out do-over
Ryan Kelly and Brennan Gerard made the initial score for Reusable Parts/Endless Love after seeing British artist Tino Seghal's Kiss performance during his much-praised Guggenheim show, where kissing performers were always a man and a woman and always doing more or less the same moves. Kelly and Gerard recorded themselves describing what they saw, and those recordings made up the initial score for the performance they'll stage at the Hammer this weekend as part of the museum's recently opened "Made in L.A." biennial. Four performers will interpret Kelly and Gerard's score, changing it as it goes - the portrayals of kissing and embracing and caressing should get weirder as it goes along. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Friday-Saturday, June 20-21, 5 p.m. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.

See also: Our preview of "Made in L.A." at the Hammer Museum

1. Man energy
It's not that the individual works in "Men in L.A." at the Box are necessarily that good, though many of them are: gritty, funny, arresting. It's more that the compulsiveness of these three artists - Paul McCarthy in his late 60s, Benjamin Weissman in his late 40s and Naotaka Hiro in his 30s - propels you through the multiple rooms of many drawings of body parts, orgies and lonely figures. They're figuring out on paper, over and over again, what it means to be sexual, hopeful, cynical and to have crude senses of humor. 805 Traction Ave., dwntwn.; through July 5. (213) 625-1747, theboxla.com.


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