The majority of the contemporary art galleries in the Pacific Design Center have recently moved on to greener (aka more affordable) pastures, but the ones that are left are pretty good. Young Projects Gallery is still showing the best video-art program in the city, and the Art Merge Lab isn't slowing down, either, opening a new group exhibition this week that explores how artists who are not necessarily photographers yet use photography as the foundation of their work. “Reconstruct: Bryan Bankston, Julia Elsas, Joseph Lee, and Liz Steketee” brings together a set of such artists, whose works of portraiture blow straight past likeness and delve deep into the more ambiguous territory of private and collective memory, history and commerce, document and fiction. Though the works in the show deploy digital media, painting, collage and other visual strategies, they all start with photographs – family pictures, fashion spreads, vintage prints, and digital streams. Whether by accentuating or blotting out, exaggerating, inventing, or redacting aspects of the depicted figures, each of these artists finds a unique way to examine how images of identity are literally constructed from an amalgam of experiences. Art Merge Lab, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., B257, W. Hlywd.; Tue.-Fri., noon-5 p.m., through May 16. (310) 913-1133, artmergelab.com.
Tuesdays-Fridays. Starts: March 18. Continues through May 16, 2014
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