The first thing you'll see at the L.A. Art Show: Modern & Contemporary,which runs through Sunday at the L.A. Convention Center, is Brian Zheng's 15-foot fiberglass sculpture, buffed to an impressive cherry red shine thanks to that auto-paint finish. At a show where much of the art is abstract, this sculpture is as unmistakeable as last night's dinner. It is a giant fortune cookie.
And a very expensive fortune cookie, judging by the paintings in the artist's booth.
There, you'll find a fantastic fortune cookie-themed painting (photo below) with an undisclosed price tag ($80,000, we asked) as well as several other paintings and small sculptures. And yes, they're all fortune cookie themed.
Why the cookie obsession? According to the gallery representative at his booth, the artist chooses a different theme each year "that incorporates both China and the U.S. into his work."
As for that crumpled up newspaper depicted in the corner of the $80,000 painting that references the L.A. Times rather than, say, the New York Times, as one might expect from an international artist, Zheng's gallery representative said he divides his time between China and Walnut, California and is an American citizen (his namesake gallery, BZ Gallery, is in Guang Zhou).
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Ah, and so the fortune cookie obsession all makes sense. But how does one accumulate the fortune to construct 15-foot fiberglass sculptures? We later learned that Zheng also happens to be a very successful toy maker in China. One who happens to like fortune cookies, we can only presume.
More from Jenn Garbee @eathistory + eathistory.com