This week, a flashing sign turns a basement into a danger zone, a veteran paparazzo exhibits his best shots and an exhibition at the MOCA Pacific Design Center outpost makes you feel you've swallowed Alice's shrinking potion.
5. Lazy Sunday music
Critic and professor Jan Tumlir has written about art rock, anti-bands and The Beatles. He also DJs at the Mandrake Bar on the first Wednesday of every month. He'll be DJing Sunday at Atwater Crossing, too, along with a group of other music-savvy writers and artists, like painter Bobbi Woods and sculptor-performer Emily Steinfeld. It'll be a low-key listening party run by people who think too much, but feel too much too. The theme is summer lethargy and boredom. The Platform @ ATX Kitchen, 3245 Casitas Ave.; Sun., July 8, 1-6 p.m. atwatercrossing.com.
4. Rock stars in Speedos
Brad Elterman, who owns the paparazzi agency Buzz Foto, took his first published photo when he was 16. It showed Bob Dylan during a 1974 concert, his mouth open as if crying out in agony. That photo wasn't illicit, but after that, many of Elterman's candid shots involved sneaking around. In 1978, he caught musician Robert Plant playing soccer in Encino, wearing a Speedo. Plant yelled and pointed at the camera as Elterman shot. Most of the work Elterman has on view at Kana Manglapus in Venice is like that, raw and skillful — it gives paparazzi a good name. 1346 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; through Sept. 10. (646) 732-9309; kanamanglapus.com.
3. Attack of the neon sign
Steve Lambert's flashing Private Property sign is the only light source in the basement of Charlie James Gallery right now. The sign's bulbs, controlled by a unit Lambert built, flash aggressively and unevenly. It's hard to stay down there too long, because it feels like you're being assaulted by this sign that's claiming its space. 975 Chung King Road, Chinatown; through July 14. (213) 687-0844, cjamesgallery.com.
2. Tween art
The Urban Dictionary defines “tweens” as girls ages 9-14, “too old for toys, too young for boys.” OHWOW gallery's current show takes that phrase — Too Old for Toys, Too Young for Boys — as its title. The work isn't really about tweens, and it doesn't look like it was made by tweens. But it riffs on a visual sensibility that wouldn't exist if Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen didn't have a girls clothing line, or if Kotex hadn't started putting tampons in glittery packages. Artist Debo Eilers' plastic-encased floor piece, a squashed container of orange and pink fabrics with cheaply made girls' belts along its edges, feels brand new and store-bought. Donald Moffett's cadmium-red painting is plush and dense like a bedside rug. 937 N. La Cienega Blvd., W. Hlywd.; through Sept. 1. (305) 571-9494, oh-wow.com.
1. Art that makes you feel small
Amanda Ross-Ho's new show at MOCA's Pacific Design Center space is called “TEENY TINY WOMAN,” and her work does make you feel painfully small. In the smaller, downstairs gallery, huge rectangles of drywall lean against the actual walls, crowding in on you. Streaks of dirt, blown-up photographs and notes to self scuff up these rectangles. Upstairs, a linen shirt big enough to dwarf a fairytale giant hangs on the far wall. The whole show feels like postmodern Alice in Wonderland, where Wonderland is a confluence of city warehouses, discount groceries and suburban closets. 8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd.; through Sept. 23. (310) 289-5223, moca.org.
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