Many of this week’s best online arts offerings come from the worlds of drama, comedy, video and conversation. As an alternative to the screen life we have come to love and hate, a growing number of outdoor presentations include not only the promise of actual IRL art objects but also performative elements that, like the visual art on view, are designed to be viewed from a safe distance.
In addition to the several art galleries we learned last week that are starting to welcome visitors again, more are reopening at a slow but steady rate. This week I heard from Wilding Cran, Steve Turner, Avenue des Arts, Tierra del Sol and others; so at this point, while it’s far from a majority, it seems there are enough galleries offering by-appointment, in-person viewing, that it’s now worth it to check on your favorites and see what their deal is. Hopefully if they are opening, they have a streamlined online reservation process at least. I still think it’s too soon, but I get it. Just make sure you wear those masks, friends. And for the outdoor art adventures, sunscreen.
Thursday, May 28
Behind the Lens streams a live interview with fashion, rock, and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko. Klinko has created iconic images of every A-lister you can think of, but for event host Morrison Hotel Gallery, of special note are his portraits of superstars like David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Kanye West. The legendary photographer shares stories, favorite images and answers your questions live on the gallery’s Instagram. Thursday, May 28, 2 p.m.; instagram.com/morrisonhotelgallery.
Paul McCarthy’s Painter Screening and Q&A via Hammer Museum. This special live streaming of the subversive visual, video, and performance artist Paul McCarthy’s infamous 1995 video performance Painter is followed by a Q&A between McCarthy and artist Kaari Upson, presented as part of the recent exhibition Paul McCarthy: Head Space, Drawings 1963–2019. Thursday, May 28, 5 p.m.; hammer.ucla.edu.
Oxy Arts: Streetview Video Series outdoor video program is a nightly loop showcasing work by local artists. Walk or drive by to see the videos through their street-facing window on York Boulevard, which includes work from recent MFA grads, established video artists, and work curated from Oxy’s L.A. media arts partners. Oxy Arts, 4757 York Blvd., Highland Park; Thursday, May 28-Thursday, June 25, 8 p.m.-midnight, nightly; oxy.edu.
Friday, May 29
Queer Poetics: A Reading & Conversation featuring Francisco Aragón and Roy G. Guzmán, moderated by Dan Vera. Two poets from the Central American diaspora read from their recent books and engage in conversation that touches upon the aspects, role, language and significance of queerness in their poetry. Friday, May 29, 4 p.m. facebook.com/events.
FILM at LACMA, The Autry and Los Angeles Nomadic Division co-present a screening of maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore. The first full-length feature film by director Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk / Pechanga) is a poetic exploration of two characters’ wanderings through the afterlife, rebirth and the places in-between. Spoken mostly in chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Columbia River Basin, their stories are variations on the Chinookan origin of death myth, with its distant beginning and circular shape. Friday, May 29, 6-8:30 p.m.; lacma.org.
Dan Guerrero Happy Hour with Richard Montoya. Guerrero brings his “gift of gab” to En Casa con LA Plaza in a bi-weekly series of live-streamed interviews with prominent Latinx performing and visual artists, authors, educators, politicians and activists — such as tonight’s very special guest, Richard Montoya, Chicano actor, director, producer, screenwriter, playwright, comedian, and co-founding member of performance troupe Culture Clash. Friday, May 29, 7 p.m.; lapca.org.
WE Improv Digital Comedy Festival. WE Improv was founded in 2018 by Jake Jabbour (Upright Citizens Brigade) as a hub of performance and tradecraft, and this weekend they host over 60 comedy acts via Zoom over two days of musical acts, characters, and seasoned improvisers from UCB, Kickstand Comedy and other theaters from around the country. The WE Improv Facebook page will share the full schedule and live links so audiences can join at their leisure. From Friday-Saturday, May 29-30, everything will broadcast at twitch.tv/weimprov.
Saturday, May 30
DE-FENCE ART (Art in the Time of Isolation), curated by artist Luigia Gio Martelloni, is an outdoor exhibition at the Santa Monica Airport Art Studios. Painting, sculpture and site-specific installation will be available for drive-by or socially-distanced viewing. Martelloni writes: “Since March, we have been…experiencing paradigm shifts that have never before happened in modern history on this scale. As artists, we are fortunate to hold on to our art, something that is part of our existence. So we offer [it] to anyone who might drive or stroll by.” 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. Opening day: Saturday, May 30, noon-sunset; Exhibition dates: May 30-June 30, sunrise to sunset daily; 18thstreet.org.
Drive-By Art’s Weekend Two takes the show on the road to its west side locations — well, West of Western Avenue. The map of outdoor art installations includes stops in Crenshaw, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, West Adams, Culver City, Inglewood, Mid City, Mid-Wilshire, Venice, Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, Palms, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Beverly Glen, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Beverly Wood and Century City. Separate/Together by Nicole Rademacher was inspired by the quarantined birthday party the artist planned for her 6-year-old son. She invites everyone to make art on the sidewalk sharing their lived experiences of the quarantine, asking only that you sign up for a time slot in order to make this quarantine compliant. All materials will be provided in specially created and sanitized art-packs. Saturday and Sunday, May 29-20, noon-6 p.m.; plus night viewings at select locations Saturday, May 30, 8 p.m.-midnight; drive-by-art.org.
Women at Work is a transformative works-in-progress experience produced by the Roots and Wings Project that introduces new work from powerhouse female-identifying writers. Supported by the California Arts Council Cultural, the evening “shines a light on matters of women’s oppression and the urgent need for justice, as we consistently overcome extreme obstacles in a misogynistic society.” With this in mind, the evening is constructed as a safe creative space for writers to nurture and grow their work and request feedback from the audience and each other. Facebook Live, Saturday, May 30, 8 p.m.; facebook.com/TheRootsandWingsProject.
EPOCH Gallery’s second exhibition, AFTERLIFE, opens on May 30. This iteration of the experimental, tech-forward artist-run project features local and international artists including Nancy Baker Cahill, Beatriz Cortez, Mark Verabioff, Alice Wang and like-minded fellows from Europe and beyond…all bound by a comfort level with existing and creating within the digital multiverse. Begins May 30; epoch.gallery.
Sunday, May 31
Cartwheel Art’s L.A.’s Graffiti Scene with Steve Grody has moved to Zoom for the time being, promising all the insight and wit of his walking tours, with none of the sunburn. Grody, Cartwheel Art tour guide, graffiti documentarian, historian and author of the book Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art, has been exploring Los Angeles’ back alleys, washes, and abandoned lots to document graffiti art since 1990. Zoom in to hear about the relationship between graffiti, gang and street art culture, the evolution of graffiti from old school to new, and see highlights from Grody’s vast archive of images — including many incredible works of art that no longer exist. Sunday, May 31, 3 p.m.; link provided with registration; cartwheelart.com.