The anticipated reopening of a beloved institution, a party for the anniversary of our favorite bridge, an art show dedicated to Taylor Swift’s cats, stylish BTS film-set photography, queer performance art, multiple exhibitions featuring radical, philosophical, and spiritual textile-based art, a focus on women painters and sculptors in Inglewood, poetry about the mortal body, women who survive, boys who get lost, sign language in painting.
Thursday, August 3
Eddy Chen: Idol Moments and Valentin Goppel: Between the Years, at Leica Gallery. Eddy Chen’s photography showcases a captivating visual narrative that offers a unique glimpse into the world of filmmaking. Departing from traditional unit photography, Chen adopts an editorial approach to shooting stills on set, resulting in an experience that goes beyond the ordinary to create an inviting atmosphere that allows audiences to immerse themselves in the world of The Idol. Valentin Goppel offers a personal portrayal of his generation’s emotions during the COVID-19 era. His pictures oscillate between staging and observation, serving as a platform to articulate his inner thoughts and anxieties. 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; Opening reception: Thursday, August 3, 6-8pm; On view through September 11; free; leicagalleryla.com.
Friday, August 4
Reopening Celebration & New Exhibitions at CAAM. Celebrate CAAM’s post-renovation reopening with DJs, food trucks, a beer garden, and an early look at a suite of five new exhibitions. Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (of the iconic Stop Telling Women to Smile public art campaign) considers Black image making as a site of protest, contestation, affirmation, and possibility. We Are Not Strangers Here: African American Histories in Rural California tells the histories of Black Californians who contributed to rural areas, working the land, building homesteads, fighting school segregation, training teachers, establishing independent settlements, and protecting equal rights.
The short film Keeping Time by Darol Olu Kae ruminates on the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (the Ark), an avant-garde jazz group from South Central, active since 1961, defined by its malleability and allegiance to the pure and nuanced jazz forms. Black California Dreamin’: Claiming Space at America’s Leisure Frontier illuminates Californians who worked to make leisure here an open, inclusive reality in the first half of the twentieth century. A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration explores the profound social and cultural impact of the Great Migration from historical and personal perspectives. 600 State Dr., Expo Park; Friday, August 4, 7-11pm; Exhibitions on view through January/March; free; caamuseum.org.
Asher Hartman: It’s Better to Start Out Ugly at JOAN. Asher Hartman and Gawdafful National Theater present a “no time for oblivion” thirst trap for queer psychosis, aging and dementia, fascistic white gay nuttery, near ventriloquism, fake theater and untranslatable gut goo of buried antipathies neatly played out on a hairy stage. Starring red hot actors and aesthetes José Luis Blondet, Michael Bonnabel, and Philip Littell, and written and directed by miniature puppeteer Asher Hartman, this 90-minute slippery ghost town of a play promises to leave you shaking your head at the nearest wine bar and taqueria. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave, downtown; Friday-Sunday, August 4-6, 7:30pm; $10; joanlosangeles.org.
Saturday, August 5
Bridgefest 2023 at 6th Street Viaduct. A free weekend-long festival celebrating the arts and local businesses on both ends of the 6th Street Bridge. August 4-6 sees happy hour specials and live entertainment at participating businesses in the Arts District and Boyle Heights; Saturday, August 5, 1-9pm celebrate the arts, creativity, diversity, sustainability, and local businesses at an all-day festival on and across the ribbony concrete expanse. 650 Clarence St. / 600 S. Santa Fe, Boyle Heights / Downtown; free; bridgefestla.com.
Thania Petersen: Zamunda Forever at Nicodim Gallery. A South African multidisciplinary artist who uses embroidery, photography, performance, and installation to address the intricacies and complexities of identity in contemporary South Africa, Petersen’s first solo exhibition in the States is divided into three bodies of intricately embroidered narrative textiles, covering her family’s history, their present-day life as seen from the outside, then finally portrayals of their familial dynamic in more personal settings. 1700 S. Santa Fe., downtown; Opens: Saturday, August 5; On view through September 9; free; nicodimgallery.com.
Golden Bird at Edward Cella Art + Architecture. A golden bird is said to possess magical powers and a radiant brilliance. It serves as a symbol of transformation, resilience, and the boundless possibilities that come from embracing one’s true self. The exhibition amplifies and directly supports the ongoing efforts of Inglewood Open Studios (IOS), and features work by Aura Kuperberg, Emily Silver, Kelly Brumfield-Woods, Megan Riera, Minna Philips, and Zeal Harris. In the words of the curator Carmen Acosta, “Our intention is to create an inclusive and dynamic event that encourages women in our community.” 1109 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood; Opening reception: Saturday, August 5, 12-6pm, talk at 3pm; On view through September 2; free; edwardcella.com.
Wiley Wallace: Woven Trails at Thinkspace Projects. Through a harmonious fusion of yarn, threads, transparent shapes, translucent glass, hiking trails, and metaphysical elements, Wallace creates compositions that transcend the boundaries of the tangible world. Symbolizing the invisible threads that bind us and the universe together, the incorporation of string highlights the connected nature of all things. With translucent glass, the artwork takes on an ethereal quality, inviting contemplation of the seen and unseen. Central to the exhibition are the motifs of hiking trails, serving as metaphors for the journeys we undertake in life and the narratives that shape our experiences. 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception: Saturday, August 5, 6-10pm; On view through August 26; free; thinkspaceprojects.com.
Katie Farris with Ilya Kaminsky at Beyond Baroque. A reading in celebration of Standing in the Forest of Being Alive (Alice James Books) by Katie Farris. She will be reading from her new poetry collection—described as, “an enchanting book of poems that question and praise the body even as it deteriorates. You are holding in your hands words that come across as chants, as spells, as prayer.” by Jericho Brown—and joined in conversation by author Ilya Kaminsky. A book signing will follow after the reading. 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Saturday, August 5, 7pm; free; beyondbaroque.org.
Karma is a Cat Art Show at CatCon. CatCon—the world’s largest event dedicated to cat lovers and pop culture—announces the return of the beloved Cat Art Show, with this year’s theme paying homage to multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter, and cat lover, Taylor Swift. Inspired by Taylor’s affection for her cats—who have become celebri-cats themselves—the all-new pop-up exhibit titled, Karma is a Cat Art Show will bring a fresh display of original works exclusively to CatCon at the Pasadena Convention Center. 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Saturday-Sunday, August 5-6, 10am-5pm; free w/ CatCon passes, $40; catartshow.com.
Sunday, August 6
Monica Rodriguez: The Land of Promise at Winslow Garage. In drawings that reconsider the Spanish conquest of what would become California, the artist mixes cartographic land surveys and botanic plant studies to tease out the ruling abstractions at work within the 16th and 17th centuries’ “civilizing” projects to map land, plants and people. In the juxtaposition between the cartographic and the taxonomical, a narrower definition of mapping is destabilized, while the colonial and imperial legacies are made legible in the ongoing language of neutral scientific objectivity. 3540 Winslow Dr., Silver Lake; Opening reception: Sunday, August 6, 5-8pm; On view through September 10; free; winslowgarage.com.
Tuesday, August 8
Angela Lomenzo: Wisdom of Wildly Creative Women: Real Stories from Inspirational, Artistic, and Empowered Women at Book Soup. Women from all walks of life—artists, musicians, authors, fashion designers, entrepreneurs, and others from a multitude of creative careers—share their experiences with depression, bullying, infertility, cancer, assault, loss of loved ones, drug addiction, and many other issues women often do not have a safe space to talk about. These stories show just how real life is, even as powerful affirmations and true-life stories empower. 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tuesday, August 8, 7pm; free, book/$39.99; booksoup.com.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Ahmanson Theater. In Peter Pan Goes Wrong, the team behind the Tony-winning global hit, The Play That Goes Wrong, bring their trademark comic mayhem to the J.M. Barrie classic Peter Pan. The much-loved members of The Cornley Drama Society once again battle against technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes on their way to Neverland with hilarious and disastrous results. For the Los Angeles production, special guest stars Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, A Handmaid’s Tale) and Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii 5-0, Lost, The Good Doctor) join the company in succession in the role of Francis, a member of the ‘Cornley Drama Society’ who portrays The Narrator in Peter Pan. 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Performances August 8-September 10; $79-$819; centertheatregroup.org.
Wednesday, August 9
Screening and Discussion: Art21 and Christine Sun Kim at ICA LA. In her Bounce Back mural on view at ICA LA, Christine Sun Kim’s practice considers how sound operates in society, deconstructing the politics of sound and exploring how oral languages operate as social currency. In partnership with Art21, ICA LA presents a sneak peek of the latest episode of Art in the Twenty-First Century, “Friends & Strangers.” Premiering on PBS later this year, “Friends and Strangers” celebrates artists, including Christine Sun Kim, whose work facilitates collective responses to hardship, builds and sustains communities, and works to bring us closer to one another. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown; Wednesday, August 9, 7-9pm; free; theicala.org.
Yasmine K. Kasem: The Philosophers are Incoherent at Coaxial. San Diego-based sculpture artist Yasmine K. Kasem is Coaxial’s August 2023 Artist in Residence. The Philosophers are Incoherent is site-specific installation and collaborative activation featuring recent and new textile and fiber series which investigate intersections of identity, religion, love and conflict from the perspective of a Queer Egyptian and Muslim artist from the Midwest. 1815 S. Main St., downtown; Drop-in collaborative felting sessions: Wednesday-Thursday, August 9-10, 2-6pm; Opening Reception: Saturday August 12, 5-9pm; On view through Sunday, August 13, 1-6pm; free; withfriends.co/coaxial/events.
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