Gusford Gallery. 7016 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd. Thu., Nov. 6, 6-9 p.m.; continues Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., through Dec. 20; free. (323) 452-9563, gusfordgallery.com.
“Adam Mars: Once Upon a Time, We Weren’t Stalkers” opens this week at Gusford Gallery, but at least one of its key text-based images (“I Loved You, Then I Googled You”) is already up on a billboard — which is kind of perfect, since the work is about how much we relentlessly chronicle every moment of our lives in public. The emotional highs and lows, triumphs, epic fails and misapprehensions that once were private affairs have become 140-character public confessions, one-way broadcasts in which we hurl our bullshit into the public sphere without filter. OK, so maybe social media–fueled narcissism isn’t a sign of the apocalypse, but the confluence of word, image, technology and bottomless need for attention is certainly a phenomenon worth addressing — and Mars’ visual art, which both celebrates and impugns the practice, is the perfect way to do it. By painting his texts on a tactile, expressive, brick-backed abstract patterning, he both evokes the “real world” in a literal brick-and-mortar sense, and addresses the outside voice represented by truncated, decontextualized online pronouncements. Also, they are hilarious. Please try to remain aware of the irony when you repost them on Instagram, OK?