This week, pigs take a beating in a downtown show, and two artists use a video game to explore daddy issues.
Awol Erizku gave the paintings in “Menace II Society,” his current show at Night Gallery, unambiguous titles. A painting of a pig in a cop’s uniform, blood dripping from his lips, is called THIS IS A PIG. HE TRIES TO CONTROL BLACK PEOPLE. (2017). In THE PIG IS RUNNING AWAY FROM BLACK PEOPLE, 'RUN PIG RUN.’ (2017), a woman in a strapless red dress stands on her front stoop, training a pistol at the pig/cop who’s sweating and sprinting. The most intense scene shows three shirtless men surrounding a pig-as-cop. One straddles the pig; another holds an ax; the third holds a dagger and torch. Most of Erizku’s paintings are done on found materials, including wooden panels with uneven edges. But nothing in this show feels spontaneous or accidental. The walls are painted bold colors (green, blue, yellow) and the lighting is dim. It's a perfectly staged drama, in which the pig loses power. 2276 E. 16th St., downtown; through Oct. 7. nightgallery.ca.
Don't tell daddy
“Daddy” berates you in the video game made by Elliot Reed and Archie Prakash. You wear headphones and play a keyboard, listening to house music, as words fall from the sky and “Daddy” doles out belittling messages. Reed, Prakash and artist-filmmaker Lior Shamriz will be at PAM talking about daddy issues, mind games and video games this week. 5810½ N. Figueroa St., Highland Park; Thu., Sept. 28, 8 p.m. pamresidencies.com.
When Anita Brenner wrote her book Idols Behind Altars, she hired artists Edward Weston and Tina Modotti to travel around Mexico, photographing folk art, architecture and statuary. In a letter Weston wrote to her, included in the Skirball Center’s current show “Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner,” he marvels at how impressed he is: He hadn’t expected to find so many remarkable artworks on his trek. Brenner, a Jewish American who was born in Mexico but raised in the United States, made it her business to promote Mexican culture. From 1955 to 1971, Brenner published a magazine, Mexico This Month, clearly written for outsiders who had yet to discover all the glories of the country she’d made home. The colorful, hand-drawn issues hang in the show, their exuberance still strong despite their age. (The many wall labels in this text-heavy show can be a bit overwhelming, but the individual gems make it worth a visit.) 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; through Feb. 25. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org.
The Getty Museum painted walls pink in celebration of British-born, L.A.-loving artist David Hockney’s 80th birthday, and hung decades worth of the artist's self-portraits. In one, he wears red suspenders and leans over a canvas with a paintbrush in hand. In one of the more recent works, created on an iPad, he has a cigarette hanging from his lips and he’s slightly pixelated. It’s no different, he has said about his newfound love for the screen, than what cavemen did: “Him scratching away on his cave wall, me dragging my thumb over this iPhone screen. All part of the same passion.” One floor down is an exhibit of Hockney’s fragmented photo collages, some of which look a lot like time lapses. A 1982 collage of Polaroids shows Hockney's friend Jerry diving into a SoCal pool. The images move backward: First Jerry’s hitting water, then he’s moving through air, then he’s on the diving board. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; through Nov. 26. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu.
“Radical Women” at the Hammer features work by generations of Latino and Latin American women; “Anna Maria Maiolino” at MOCA features the work of an experimental Brazilian, who performed by walking on eggs, drew scenes from her life as a mother, and sculpted with concrete and clay. This weekend, Hammer curator Connie Butler and MOCA curator Helen Molesworth will join L.A. artists Barbara T. Smith and Lita Albuquerque to talk about what to do about the ongoing marginalization of women in art history. How do we make sure women like those in these shows get their due? 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sun., Sept. 24, 3 p.m.; free with admission. (213) 621-1741, moca.org.