One book launch party for artsy icons of fashion and style, another for an anti-hero of punk-fueled feminism; screenings of new international queer cinema and modern art documentary; a hands-on cardboard art show and clothes-off abstract nostalgia painting show; art of the grounded present and disembodied future, the great outdoors and the metaverse, esoteric matters of sound and concrete matters of truth, the richness of a generational cultural archive, and the guilty pleasure of gossiping with strangers.
Thursday, July 20
Bijou Karman: Style Legends, Rebels, and Visionaries Book Launch at MOCA. Style Legends, Rebels, and Visionaries (Chronicle Books) is an inclusive and eclectic collection of 50 illustrated portraits by artist Bijou Karman. Karman’s colorful and detailed style evokes the distinct sensibility of each influential cultural figure—Harry Styles, Tilda Swinton, Timothée Chalamet, Rihanna, Iris Apfel, David Bowie, Yayoi Kusama—celebrating the distinct fashion sensibility of each of these unique and beloved icons from the fields of music, fashion, art, and cinema. Karman is joined in conversation by Women’s Wear Daily’s Booth Moore. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thursday, July 20, 6pm; free w/rsvp; moca.org.
Womxn in Windows presents Joyland screening and conversation at Oxy Arts. An Urdu and Punjabi-language Pakistani drama film written and directed by Saim Sadiq in his feature film directorial debut, Joyland (2022) explores the many sides of love and desire in a patriarchal society. Following a long spell of unemployment, the film’s protagonist lands a job at a Bollywood-style burlesque, telling his family he is a theater manager, when in actuality, he is a backup dancer. The unusual position shakes up the steadfast traditional dynamics of his household and enables Haider to break out of his shell. 4757 York Blvd., Eagle Rock; Thursday, July 20, 6pm; free; oxyarts.oxy.edu.
Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV at the Benton Museum of Art (Outdoor). The father of video art and coiner of the term “electronic superhighway,” Nam June Paik was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A member of the influential experimental art movement Fluxus, after moving to the U.S., he became fully engaged with television and video art in a way that would revolutionize how the world thinks of image-making in the electronic age. Director Amanda Kim tells the remarkable story of Paik as a citizen of the world and trailblazing artist, who both saw the present and predicted the future with astonishing clairvoyance. Featuring Steven Yeun reading Paik’s own written words showcasing the artist’s strategic playfulness and immense creativity. 120 W. Bonita Ave.; Claremont; Thursday, July 20, 8pm; free; courtyard event, BYO blankets, chairs & snacks; pomona.edu.
Friday, July 21
Cardboard City Pop-Up Art Center at Westfield Century City. Now in its third year, Cardboard City is an annual pop-up art center produced by reDiscover and featuring 12-foot sculptures, massive collaborative art installations, cardboard costuming, skills building classes, and community connections. Local artists-in-residence create new works each week throughout the summer, alongside creativity and skills workshops for all ages. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City; July 21 – September 3; free; rediscovercenter.org.
Joshua AM Ross: Streakin’ at Wonzimer. In a rejoinder to adolescent fears and liberating memories, intricate colored pencil works on paper examine how things de- and re-materialize, contemplating the nature of transformation. Ross creates an alternate world which takes as its central point a garment configuration that mobilizes nearly impossible arrangements of clothing and bodies. In this particular series, the setting retains a dimension of living spaces in which abstract limbic forms are placed. These dimensions enchant, enhance and estrange mundane domestic experiences. 341-B S Avenue 17, downtown; Opening reception: Friday, July 21, 5-10pm; On view through August 11; free; wonzimer.com.
Saturday, July 22
No Song Unsung at Brea Gallery. A constellation of new and in-progress works by sixteen artists from the SUPERCOLLIDER community, spanning multiple mediums and approaches, including historical and emergent imaging techniques, queer tactics of co-creation, AI collaborations, game engines, textile, painting, sculpture, and wearable technologies. These projects are united by their shared engagement in world-building practices across the collaborative development of possible worlds merging multi-species, ecological, and machine intelligence. Curated by Isabel Beavers and Naomi Stewart, text by Alice Bucknell. 1 Civic Center Cir, Brea; Opening Reception: Saturday, July 22, 5-7pm; On view through September 15; free; supercollider.la.
Liz Flores: Remedios, Francisco Díaz Scotto: Where Dreams Touch Ground at Hashimoto Contemporary. Chicago-based Liz Flores amplifies a personal experience to the macro level, finding how seemingly individual experiences create webs through which people connect. Reminiscent of the Cubist interest in moving bodies but with a feminist twist, her new works emphasize the dynamism of the human body and how we relate through movement. Argentinian artist Francisco Díaz Scotto merges worlds real and imagined in a series of chromatically pungent works highlighting his talent for imbuing still life and floral paintings with passion and tenderness. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Opening reception: Saturday, July 22, 6-8pm; On view through August 12; free; hashimotocontemporary.com.
Brian Cooper: Things Thinking at Rory Devine Fine Art. Cooper’s work generally focuses on the relationship between consciousness and the material world. He has always been fascinated with the ethereal effects of highly illusionistic painting like his favorites, the Flemish Primitives, and strangeness of Surrealism, the Chicago Imagists, West Coast psychedelia, and underground comics. These interests form an oscillating rhythm between a quiet place of “grace” and a louder frenzy of humor and imagination. Cooper’s equally robust musical practice (see: Earth Like Planets) is also on display, as several music events in the gallery are scheduled throughout the length of the show. 3209 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; On view through August 24; Performances: Saturdays, July 22 & 29, August 5, 6-9pm; free; rorydevinefineart.com.
Sunday, July 23
Plein Air at the Armory Center for the Arts. A group exhibition exploring shifting ideas of western landscape, painting, and fieldwork. Traditional plein air painting, which typically involves painting outdoors in a single sitting to capture a vista in a certain quality of light, is taken as a point of departure to consider the ways in which humans use, observe, record, and commune with the land. In this exhibition, the practice of plein air painting is considered in the context of land surveying and settling, public and private space, multidisciplinary onsite research, art history, and the embodied experience of being there. Outdoor painting from observation is approached as ground truth, as bearing witness. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Opening reception: July 23, 1-3pm; On view through December 10; free; armoryarts.org.
Chukes: Truth Matters at Matter Studio Gallery. Chukes’ 40-year career encompasses works in clay, oil, bronze and mixed media. In his own words, “This exhibit has a selection of works from my ongoing exhibit, Identity Theft. Nothing is sugar-coated in these pieces. These works dig deep into the causes and effects of racial injustice, human ignorance, police brutality, and the misrepresentation of historical facts and its dire effects on the past and present world. Why has this happened? Most importantly, why does history not tell us of the true meaning and greatness of humanity? If they won’t, I will!” 5080 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-city; Opening reception: Sunday, July 23, 4-8pm; Talk/Book signing/Closing reception: Sunday, August 203-6pm; free; matterstudiogallery.com.
Larry Clark’s As Above, So Below screening & The Ark and The Archive exhibition at 2220 Arts + Archives. To celebrate the opening of The Ark and The Archive: Exploring the Legacy of the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra through Ephemera—a week-long exhibition documenting the 60-year history of the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra—see a screening of Larry Clark’s classic L.A. Rebellion film, in its 50th anniversary year, As Above, So Below. After the screening, guests are invited to visit the on-site Archives, to view ephemera from the cultural collective’s many lives and iterations, and listen to music inspired by the exhibition. 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Sunday, July 23, 1pm; free; 2220arts.org.
Wednesday, July 26
Normal Gossip Live at the Theater at the Ace Hotel. Got a secret you’ve been dying to share? Divulge and indulge in Normal Gossip Live, an evening of juicy, strange, funny, and utterly banal gossip about people you’ll never know and never meet, coming to the stage straight from the stream of the hit podcast. This entertaining evening with host Kelsey McKinney, producer Alex Sujong Laughlin, and special surprise guests dives into the lives and decisions of complete strangers. Bring your secrets and your mess. 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Wednesday, July 26; 7:30pm; $39-$50; acehotel.com.
Jack Skelley: The Complete Fear of Kathy Acker at Poetic Research Bureau. Semiotext(e) recently published Jack Skelley’s The Complete Fear of Kathy Acker—notable in part because the novel was written more than 35 years ago and is only now appearing in its entirety. The remarkable book is at once an homage to the inventive spirit of Kathy Acker’s cut-up novels and a memoir of L.A.’s underground culture of the mid-1980s. This week, Skelley will perform a reading from the “new” work, augmented by Stephen Spera‘s ambient music and Lydia Sviatoslavsky’s fractured video collage. Special guest readers include literary legends like Amy Gerstler, John Tottenham, Benjamin Weissman, and Jackie Wang. Poet and filmmaker Lily Lady will emcee the event. 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Wednesday, July 26, 7:30pm; free; poeticresearch.com.
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