This week’s edition of our favorite art-friendly party-time recommendations features experimental videos in Hollywood, a little bit of a scavenger hunt in the Arts District, an afternoon garage-in-the-alley gathering in Santa Monica, a pop surrealist freak show in Culver City, a celebration of endangered languages at the Hammer, avant-garde sex toys at Hustler, a Little Tokyo museum annex filled with art books, and, of course, one… last… fair.
Thursday, January 22 you have your choice of adventures in time and space. From 6-9 p.m. at ACE Gallery’s labyrinthian Beverly Hills location, there’s a bustling, stylish reception for sculptor Gisela Colon’s new PODS series — a sexy, glowing, and opulent modernist update of Light & Space movement-style magic.
Across town in Hollywood, at 8 p.m., LAST Projects offers a program of experimental short films and videos from half a dozen avant-garde visual artists in Time Travelers Redux considering “the implications of temporality, travel, revisionist childhoods, mortality, lost worlds, the supernatural, and the brief rubbing together of disparate dimensions.” Sounds like someone found a TARDIS at the swap meet!
Friday, January 23 you have two chances to explore new cultures: contemporary Chinese photography and a boisterous and vibrant but largely unknown chapter of America’s LGBTQ cultural history.
From 7-9 p.m., the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC hosts a party celebrating its recent acquisition of photographer and documentarian Leon Mostovoy’s Market Street Cinema archive. This series offers an up close and personal look at the private lives of queer female sex workers at an infamous San Francisco club at the end of the 1980s. “This series is particularly dear to my heart as these women were friends and we shared love and life together. Hard, dirty, brilliant, punk rock, fierce!" the artist says. "These women forged new ground and turned patriarchy on its ear.”
The same night, the Arts District Alliance, in tandem with Art Share L.A. and the L.A. Art Show, presents the multi-venue installation Uniting the World through Art. Four artists from China’s 798 Arts District and four from L.A.’s Downtown Arts District exchange cultural perspectives through two gallery openings and related public events, including tours and receptions. Part One is on view at Lot 613 in Imperial Street, and Part Two is installed at Art Share on 4th Place — both through Sunday the 25th. There’s a free party Friday night from 7-10 p.m. at open-air street-art venue the Container Yards celebrating all the fun they’ve been having this week — but the only way for you to score entry (and the address) is by visiting at least one of the two exhibition spaces during gallery hours on Thursday and Friday, January 22-23, 1-6 p.m.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, 909 West Adams Blvd.; 7-9 p.m. one.usc.edu.
Art Share L.A., 801 E. 4th Pl., dwntwn. (213) 687-4278, artsharela.org.
Lot 613, 613 Imperial St., dwntwn. artsdistrictalliance.org.
Saturday, January 24, start your day in an alley, swing through a big top circus freak show, and end up in a parking lot. From 4-6 p.m., everyone’s favorite gallery in a back alley, 5 Car Garage, shows new work from artist April Street, whose distressed nylon hosiery and rope paintings are extremely venue-appropriate. It’s just the tiniest bit on the DL, so you’ve got to RSVP for address and parking information.
Follow that up with Corey Helford Gallery’s "Freaks And Americana: An Exploration of Big Top Culture" exhibition, bringing 30+ artists from the avant-brow and pop surrealism worlds together for a freak show that is certain to migrate off the walls and into the pressing crowds. Bumblebeelovesyou, Eric Joyner, Hueman, Ron English, SHAG, and Luke Chueh are just some of the freaks starring in this particular circus revival.
And there’s maybe no better gallery when it comes to turning an opening into a party than Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Projects. Tonight from 8-11 p.m., they celebrate 20 years of brand domination with Agents Provocateurs, an exhibition dedicated to the pervasive influence of skate culture on generations of American youth — in a good way. In a written statement about the show, Fairey waxes smiley, saying, “This is the kind of exhibit that Subliminal Projects was founded to showcase! The vibrant, creative, fearless, culture of rebellion that is the distilled essence of skateboarding, and what drew me to it in the first place, is what Agents Provocateurs is all about.”
5 Car Garage, Santa Monica; 4-6 p.m. emmagrayhq.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for address.
CHG Circa 8530-A Washington Blvd., Culver City; 7-10 p.m.; free. (310) 287-2340, coreyhelfordgallery.com.
Subliminal Projects. 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; 8-11 p.m.; free. (213) 213-0078, subliminalprojects.com.
Thursday, January 29, witness on final January weekend of dueling art-fair preview parties, as both the Art Los Angeles Contemporary fair and Printed Matter’s Art Book Fair go head to head — or, er, eye to eye? ALAC revisits the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, while the Art Book Fair returns to MOCA’s Little Tokyo Geffen annex. Both fairs continue through the weekend; both feature talks and special programs, and promise an engaging round-up of stuff you love and other stuff you will love once you see it. The book fair opening party also has No Age playing, and your ticket stub is actually a limited edition screenprint of “Black Lives Matter” by the artist Edie Fake.
ALAC, Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; 7-9 p.m.; $60. artlosangelesfair.com.
LA Art Book Fair, MOCA Geffen Contemporary, 152 North Central Ave., dwntwn.; 6-9 p.m.; $10. (213) 626-6222, laartbookfair.net.
And finally, on Saturday, January 31, close out the month with some stylish and slightly filthy gold and leather. Innovative contemporary art space Gold Haus Gallery opens NONEXTANT by Cody Bayne from 7-10 p.m., launching an examination of the glorious dissonance of urban centers undergoing simultaneous decay and renewal through painting, collage, and basically everything the artist could get his hands on.
For leather, you really can’t find a more chic line of sex toys than Joanna Angel’s new line from Stockroom. As Stockroom's creative director Johnny Blanco says, "Artistry is a huge part of what we do here — and the Joanna Angel line proves that good design gets kinky, too." The launch party at the Hustler Store on Sunset (8:30pm) proves that when it comes to couture accessories, what’s in a girl’s night stand naughty drawer is at least as important as what’s in her shoe closet.
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