Common wisdom has it that the book is an endangered species, but the proliferation of and market for high-end artist books — special, often unique or limited-edition visual art in book form — is more robust than ever. Distinct from an exhibition catalog or even a monographic survey, artist books typically combine images, texts and original works for certain price points, but are conceived as self-contained works of art in themselves. For renowned L.A. painter Salomón Huerta, Let Everything Else Burn is such a work, and he is finally ready to present and sign it this afternoon in the REDCAT lounge. Images from his best-known painting series — impossibly flat, stylized and isolated suburban homes and delicately rendered portraits of people with their heads turned away or else wearing masks — are paired with short pieces of Huerta's writing. LM Projects, which brought the book out, calls these textual nuggets autobiographical, and in a way, the volume functions as a memoir of Huerta's life and career. But his approach to tracing the events that took him from a childhood of urban blight to an A-list gallery career is rife with eye-rolling humor, acute observations of art-world buffoonery, politically incorrect anecdotes and self-effacing realizations. The book's combined effect of smooth beauty, acerbic wit, keen perception and dry delivery adds up to a rich aesthetic counterpart to his gallery shows — except better, because it has a story. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Sun., Jan. 15, 2-5 p.m.; free. (323) 652-0580,

Sun., Jan. 15, 2 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly