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Though Luis De Jesus and Tarrah Von Lintel technically share an address in the Culver City gallery district, their operations are independent of each other. However, this month these neighboring exhibitions are very much in conversation. Unintended as this confluence is, in each of the three artists having solo shows at 2685 S. La Cienega we see a version of the same dynamic — a totally unexpected, materially subversive and exceptionally analog, labor-intensive take on what would otherwise be traditional mediums of photography and drawing.

Klea McKenna, Manton de Manila (3) 2018.; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

Klea McKenna, Manton de Manila (3) 2018.; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

At Luis De Jesus, Paul Anthony Smith demonstrates the “picotage” method, by which photo-based mixed-media works are textured, augmented and disrupted by a blizzard of impossibly tiny pinpricks, which ruffle but do not pierce the surface of the paper. The effect is akin to digital pixelation, but because it is also dimensional, as you move around, the image, though still, seems to shift and change, in a kind of analog lenticular, made with paper and a tiny ceramic implement.

Paul Anthony Smith, Customs and Clearance 2018; Credit: Courtesy Luis de Jesus

Paul Anthony Smith, Customs and Clearance 2018; Credit: Courtesy Luis de Jesus

Smith uses this arcane technique not only for the patterns’ considerable optical effects but also because the obscuring and splicing of imagery it produces serves his deeply personal, cultural narrative of immigration, invention and embracing a multicultural identity. The images he uses includes both found his own photographs of family and friends in the Afro-Caribbean diasporic communities of Jamaica, Brooklyn and Puerto Rico. By first capturing and composing, then deconstructing and abstracting these portraits, Smith is enacting a physical metaphor for their experiences.

At Von Lintel, Michael Waugh makes large-scale ink drawings of pastoral scenes with woods and horses and dogs, in a rough yet finessed black-and-white mark-making style reminiscent of 19th-century etchings. These scenes are impressively nuanced and detailed landscapes — but those are not just pen strokes. Lean in close and you soon realize every single ink mark is, in fact, writing. And not just any writing.

Michael Waugh, The Unraveling, FCIR, part 8 2015; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

Michael Waugh, The Unraveling, FCIR, part 8 2015; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

Waugh meticulously transcribes bureaucratic documents and philosophical texts, such as might be issued by academic or governmental institutions, the Federal Economic Impact Report, or studies on election tampering. These dense, chewy texts would be challenging enough to read through on a page, much less subjected to Waugh’s expressive, nuanced, calligraphic onslaught. But you can make out just enough to both marvel at his patience and skill and taste the irony of the content compared with the gentility of the pictures he creates using this eccentric content.

Michael Waugh, Control of Interest (A Program for Monetary Stability, part 2) 2018; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

Michael Waugh, Control of Interest (A Program for Monetary Stability, part 2) 2018; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

Also at Von Lintel, Klea McKenna makes lyrical and surreal high-resolution photographs of well-worn ceremonial garments — using no camera at all. She has perfected variations on a method she calls “photographic rubbings” in which surfaces and objects are embossed and debossed directly onto light-sensitive paper. It’s sort of like the charcoal gravestone rubbings we made in grade school — but with photo paper and pressure rather than any pigment.

She has made nocturnal tree rubbings in this way, as she needs to work in darkness before exposing the textured paper to light sources.

Klea McKenna, Anonymous (1) 2018.; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

Klea McKenna, Anonymous (1) 2018.; Credit: Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery

But for her current show, she used this technique on handmade garments, some as old as 150 years. Her resulting photograms — remember, no camera is introduced at any point — are minutely detailed, and also singular unique editions, whose imagery and physical texture reflect the very threads of the fabrics she depicts. In this way she reanimates the intimate and touch-based experience of special clothes as personal artifacts, worn for special occasions — but she also furthers her overall goal of moving the conversation about what photography can be.

Klea McKenna installation view at Von Lintel Gallery; Credit: Shana Nys Dambrot

Klea McKenna installation view at Von Lintel Gallery; Credit: Shana Nys Dambrot

Installation view of Paul Anthony Smith at Luis de Jesus; Credit: Courtesy Luis de Jesus

Installation view of Paul Anthony Smith at Luis de Jesus; Credit: Courtesy Luis de Jesus

Luis De Jesus, 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., though Oct. 13; free. luisdejesus.com.

Von Lintel Gallery, 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., though Oct. 20; free. vonlintel.com.

Michael Waugh, The Unraveling (detail) at Von Lintel Gallery; Credit: Shana Nys Dambrot

Michael Waugh, The Unraveling (detail) at Von Lintel Gallery; Credit: Shana Nys Dambrot