The Best Free L.A. Art Parties This Week (and One for $5)

Broken Fingaz Crew: detail of an Amsterdam muralEXPAND
Broken Fingaz Crew: detail of an Amsterdam mural
Courtesy of the artists and Howard Griffin Gallery

This weeks best free (or super crazy cheap, like $5) art parties celebrate the fun to be had in art-packed hotel rooms and at indie-culture anniversary parties, plus the joy of working in like-minded crews and welcoming long-awaited arrivals to LA’s art-loving arms. Street Art stars from the Berlin-based Low Bros to and Israel’s Broken Fingaz and hometown hero Bumblebeelovesyou each make anticipated solo-show appearances; a pair of spruced-up old-timey neighborhood hotels are overrun with affordable art; plus — what is it about June? It seems like everyone launches their crazy ideas in summer! — C.A.V.E. Gallery, iam8bit, and the Container Yard all throw themselves big fat birthday parties. Cheers everyone, and mazel tov!

Bob Dob's Barrels of Fun, at iam8bitEXPAND
Bob Dob's Barrels of Fun, at iam8bit
Courtesy of the artist

Thursday June 18 

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Cheap Art Show at Fairfax’s Farmer’s Daughter Hotel. It was an open-call submission process, so who knows, but man, those old One Night Stand artist takeover events, back when it was still a no-tell motel, were pretty sweet. These days the work is outside on the patio, all art ranges in price from $1 to $75 (cash only). But the new civilized version also offers live music, a complimentary cocktail upon arrival, and its affiliated cafe Tart serving $5 cocktails and $10 appetizers all night. A handful of their newly renovated rooms will be open as well, showcasing their permanent "art box" installations.
Farmer’s Daughter Hotel, 115 S. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood; Thur., June 18, 6:30-10 p.m.; free. (323) 937-3930, facebook.com/FarmersDaughterHotel.

The quarterly Venice Art Crawl is a self-organized open gallery and studio event, whose laudable peace-and-love goal is "to share, inspire and promote collaboration, and to foster and reinvigorate the creativity that historically and currently makes Venice such a vibrant and dynamic community." In other words, #KeepVeniceWeird. Highlights of the always-interesting night include indie-art champions Create:Fixate curating the public and semi-private spaces of the world-famous Cadillac Hotel; and urban-art emporium C.A.V.E. Gallery’s 7th Anniversary show, a group exhibition featuring 40 artists from their local and international roster.
Cadillac Hotel, 9 Dudley Ave., Venice; Thur, June 18, 6-10 p.m.; free. (310) 399-8876, veniceartcrawl.com.
C.A.V.E. Gallery, 1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; Thur, June 18, 6:30-10 p.m.; free. (310) 450-6960, cavegallery.net.

Upcoming Events

And back on the East Side, it's the iam8bit 10th Anniversary Show. More than 100 contemporary artists from all over the planet “remix” their favorite retro-gaming memories, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iam8bit lifestyle. The iam8bit crew's self-described situation of "precious, video-game retro-ness" over at the production, design, and gallery-show HQ of iam8bit is a sort of prodigal, the-kids-are-alright tale in which old-fashioned squaresville values of patience, hard work, creative problem solving and savvy branding peacefully coexist with slacker irony, tight jeans and joysticks. 
iam8bit, 2147 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Thur., June 18, 7-11 p.m.; free. (213) 908-6154, iam8bit.com.

Friday June 19

It's the Container Yard One-Year Anniversary Party. The Container Yard is a creative space born out of the evolution of the DTLA arts district, and is all about its culture of innovative ideas to become a destination festooned with an evolving backdrop of some of the most impressive street art in the world. You'll remember the cavalcade of artistic experiences from this year's Artopia — but now the crew is throwing themselves a party. Check out the new permanent and temporary installations, the latest offerings from resident crafters, and of course, music and food trucks.
The Container Yard, 800 E. 4th St., downtown; Fri., June 19, 6:30-10:30 p.m., $5. (310) 720-1759, facebook.com/thecontaineryardla.

The Low Bros "Wasted Youth" exhibit at Thinkspace GalleryEXPAND
The Low Bros "Wasted Youth" exhibit at Thinkspace Gallery
Courtesy of the artists

Saturday June 20

Thinkspace Gallery presents "Wasted Youth" — the first L.A. solo exhibition of works by sibling duo Low Bros. Based in Berlin, the Low Bros are brothers Christoph and Florin Schmidt, formerly known by their aliases Qbrk and Nerd. Their murals and street art collaborations have transformed urban landscapes around the world, punctuating streets and accenting structures with hyper-stylized characters populating an urban mythology of their own invention. Drawing from 80’s and 90’s skateboard, graffiti and hip-hop, the brothers re-imagine the images that defined their youth, and transform nostalgia into something fresh and new.

And in the Project Gallery, a new installation by Bumblebeelovesyou, "#WhereWeBeelong," features new works by this L.A.-based artist known for iconic street pieces animated by nostalgia for childhood's simplicity. Hopeful and reminiscent, though at times unsettling, his depictions of youth are set in stark contrast to the urban contexts in which they appear. Of the new work created for the show, Bumblebee says via email, "This is a show I've always wanted to do #562 #stencilart #streetart. There will #bee a special giveaway for collectors and fans who show up early. It's not as good as Jurassic Park, but I swear you'll feel like a kid again. If you like pizza parties & and jumping castles, you'll understand. It's BYOPizza, though."

Thinkspace Gallery, 6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sat., June 20, 6-9 p.m.; free. 310.558.3375. thinkspacegallery.com.

From Bumblebeelovesyou's "#WhereWeBeelong" exhibit at Thinkspace GalleryEXPAND
From Bumblebeelovesyou's "#WhereWeBeelong" exhibit at Thinkspace Gallery
Courtesy of the artist

And last but not least, Israel’s oldest graffiti collective, the Broken Fingaz Crew, joins forces with one of downtown L.A.’s newest galleries, London-based Howard Griffin, to present Journey Galactiko — a multimedia escapade that is every bit as tripped-out as it sounds. For its first show in the United States, the crew is partnering with Ghostown and DJ The Gaslamp Killer to put its wildest foot forward. Formed in 2001 in Haifa, the Broken Fingaz Crew (Deso, Kip, Tant and Unga) has always been straight-up fearless in its willingness to confront authority and oppression. Often using extremely explicit images of sex and violence, but rendered in a unique style merging Asian illustration and American comic books, they were not favorites of their homeland’s conservative government — but the art world took notice. For this show, the crew is constructing a sculptural installation in the form of a temple inspired by their recent trip to India and the rough re-entry into the capitalistic West, as the centerpiece of a narration of their journey to Los Angeles.

Howard Griffin Gallery, 410 S.Spring St., downtown; Sat., June 20, 7-10:30 p.m.; free. 213-478-1202. howardgriffingallery.com.

Broken Fingaz Crew's "Journey Galactiko" at Howard Griffin Gallery
Broken Fingaz Crew's "Journey Galactiko" at Howard Griffin Gallery
Courtesy of the artists

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