This weekend’s Pop Art Photo Show intends to stake out some new territory within the crowded field of art fairs and public-engagement art environments. Along the lines of the “Museum of…” cultural phenomenon, but with the weekend-only structure of an art fair, an opening-night benefit party gives way to three days of bright, bold photography and mixed-media exhibitions and special installations, with a schedule of talks and programs along the way. And because it’s L.A., expect to find a slate of celebrity, film, fashion and music homages and appearances, too.
Exhibitions range from classic pop culture artifacts such as impressive movie poster and cinema art collections focusing on Hollywood’s Golden Age, 50 years of James Bond, and the entirety of the Star Wars franchise universe; plus eclectic music icons like Dennis Morris’ Bob Marley photo archive, legends of jazz and rock, and a whole suite dedicated to the 1977 Sex Pistols.
The chic and stylish exhibition “Mad to Mod” chronicles the fashion world of the 1950s and ’60s; celebrity portraitists and editorial photographers from Milton H. Greene to Glen Wexler and Stephen Stickler (whose new book is being released at the fair as well) all get their due as the gods they are in the pantheon of pop culture; and photographer Connie Conway gives the city of Los Angeles itself center stage, in a series of urban landscapes taking in the particular beauty of “L.A. After Sunset.”
The show also debuts some intriguing new mixed-media art, such as the raw, emotional, boldly hued paintings by Mike Shinoda, best known for his work in the band Linkin Park. Aside from an installation of his original work, Shinoda will create a site-specific work on-site, which viewers are invited to complete throughout the run of the show. The weekend also unveils a striking new series in a fresh collaboration between TAZ and RISK, two of L.A.’s most exciting street-art champions.
Pop Art Photo Show, Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; opening-night benefit party: Thu., Sept. 27, 6-10 p.m.; $125. Fair hours: Fri., Sept. 28, 3-9 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $30 per day; $50 three-day pass; $175 for opening night and all weekend.