Is alt-culture entering a “gnome phase”? In the past 15 years, Post-Gen-Xers rehabilitated zombies, wizards, vampires and — for a short, annoying while — even pirates. But if anyone tells you unicorns or mummies might be next, you might want to just say gnome. In the span of a week we've received news that amazing, eccentric Californian vocalist Sea of Bees is expanding her track “Gnomes” into a whole themed EP, and that crafter-of-folk-art-miniatures Lauren Gardiner is showing her sculpture series Misfits of the Forest (aka, gnaughty gnomes) at La Luz de Jesus. Gardiner's riff on the silvan supernatural — a mainstay of kitsch tchotchke culture around the world — also involves other whimsical beings, as alliteratively conceptualized works such as “Fairy Feces” and “Pixie Poop” attest. Gardiner's work implies a massive conspiracy by the nefarious makers of more conventional figurines: the show is conceived as an “expose,” depicting “the ones THEY don't want US to see: their deformed, their mentally ill, the fringes of their society who are not so magically perfect.” Score some 'shrooms, then, put the new Sea of Bees EP, Bowie's “The Laughing Gnome” and the complete works of Klaus Gnomi on shuffle, and head for Wacko's School of Eco Gnomics. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; opening reception Fri., Sept. 2, 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 3; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com.

Mondays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 2. Continues through Oct. 3, 2011

LA Weekly