If you give a shit at all about this most commercial, manipulative of holidays, take this (Almost Completely) Free Valentine’s Lovers & Haters Edition of our art parties list as an offering of events where you might meet someone interesting in the run-up to the 14th, where an unconventional, transgressive and/or drunkenly sarcastic date night might unfold. If you couldn’t care less, think of the whole thing as a list of good places to go with your like-minded friends and pretend the whole #romance thing isn’t even happening. The good news is, you have options, because while February may be the shortest month, it’s cramming art-scene events into its 28 days like someone inhaling the contents of the heart-shaped Whitman’s Sampler they bought for themselves.
Thursday, Feb. 5 — Timothy White at Gallery Go.
Timothy White is a marquee name in celebrity portraiture, and like many of his forebears and peers, when he branches out into fine-art concepts, he drafts his most game Hollywood muses into the project. This special exhibition at West Hollywood’s Gallery Go presents a selection of White’s Hollywood Pin-Ups — a colorful, witty, and flirtatious mood-setting series dripping with Golden-Age glamour and timeless sex appeal. Gallery Go, 947 N. La Cienega Blvd., WeHo.; Thurs., Feb. 5, 6-9 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues through March 16 by appointment. (310) 657-7111, gallerygoart.com.
Friday, Feb. 6 — Dark Nights at L.A. Live
The good folks at L.A. Live would like you to know that they care about the locals, and appreciate the gifts of the artists, musicians, and crafty designers that call DTLA home. To prove it, they’ve brought in some down-home resident event producers (Downtown Muse and WeAreDTLA) to do a series of free, nighttime street-festival style parties called Dark Nights, the latest of which features DJ sets, live body-painting, and exhibited and interactive art installations, including Debi Cable’s famous Instagram-breaking magical and psychedelic 3D Art Gallery. Cable is exceptionally excited about this event, proclaiming “Dark Nights supports the hottest artists in L.A. It’s a great night of magic and entertainment.” L.A. LIVE, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., dtla.; Fri., Feb., 6, 6-10 p.m.; free. (213) 763-5483. lalive.com.
Saturday, Feb. 7 — Stitch Fetish 3 at the Hive Gallery
Something like 40 artists from around the world show their needle-and-thread-work at downtown gallery and studio the Hive in this third edition of the insanely popular exhibition series Stitch Fetish. Curator Ellen Schinderman says it’s going to be an “outrageous” show — but it’s not all naughty spice. Okay, yeah a lot of it is. But still — what‘s really happening, what motivates Schinder (a prolific and edgy stitch artist herself), is an appreciation for how this most traditional of art forms (embroidery) manifests in the alt-culture art world. As a personal matter, she loves the delicious surprise and irony that comes from the juxtaposition of the form’s stereotyped domesticity with the expressions of dark humor, political and social satire, and sometimes shockingly sexual content that new generations of stitchers embrace. The Hive Gallery, 729 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Sat., Feb. 7, 8-11:30 p.m.; free/$5 suggested donation. Exhibition continues Wed.-Sat., 1-6 p.m., through Feb. 28. (213) 955-9051, hivegallery.com.
Thursday, Feb. 12 — DILLART at DTLAArt Walk
Commemorating the prolific music producer James Yancey, aka J Dilla, aka the reason why almost every freestyler now fills in beats with the low chant "Dilla. Dilla." During his meteoric but tragically short career, he produced records for De La Soul, Common, D'Angelo, The Roots, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, Janet Jackson and many others. In 2006, at the young age of 32, Dilla passed away from Lupus complications, and a cult following ensued. In that spirit, DILLART invited a wide array of visual artists who were just as influenced by the late, great musical artist as his fellow producers and emcees were. Working alongside the J Dilla Foundation, Fusicology is celebrating his February birthday along with Black History Month with this unique pop-up art show during Downtown L.A. Art Walk. DTLA Art Walk Lounge, 634 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Thurs., Feb. 12, 6-10 p.m.; free. dillart.com.
Friday, Feb. 13
First of all, it’s Friday the 13th, so right there you know shit’s gonna get weird. For the lovers and optimists, progressive urban art emporium New Image Art pops some happy pills and sticks to the mantra of its story. Everything’s Fine and Nothing Sucks features new works by Luke Pelletier, Kristen Liu-Wong, and John F. Malta — three artists whose strategies for dealing with life’s bullshit include gallows humor, aggressive loveliness, exhaustive skateboarding, and very loud music. For haters and cynics, strap it one and head to Silverlake’s Cowboy Gallery for Fuck Your Valentine: Hot Chicks Trashing Dicks, a self-described “Valentine’s Day massacre” starring Lydia Lunch, Pleasant Gehman, Carla Bozulich, and Admiral Grey in a spoken-word, heavy-beat throwdown with its own mantra courtesy of Ms. Lunch: “Every man is the wrong man.” New Image Art Gallery, 7920 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo; Fri., Feb., 13, 7-10 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Tues.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. through March 7. (323) 654-2192, newimageartgallery.com. The Cowboy Gallery, 622 N. Hoover St., Silver Lake; Fri., Feb. 13, 9 p.m.; $7, 21+. (323) 921-5197.
Saturday, Feb. 14 — LACE Valentine's Day Party
If you still need a plan, with no reservations required, where you can impress with your sophistication and save on the bar tab, check out LACE on Hollywood Blvd. Artillery magazine curates a performance-art and spoken-word Valentine's Day Party inside the current exhibition, "The Heart is a Frame." Both the eclectic event lineup and the not-to-be-missed exhibition deal roughly with sentimentality and nostalgia, instead offering an edgier, intimate, and more individualized take on what’s been going wrong lately. The party features love-inspired — or is that love-inspiring? — cocktails by Tito’s Vodka and a mood-enhancing walk back to the car past the best — and suddenly holiday-themed — shop windows in town. LACE, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Feb. 14, 8-11 p.m.; $10. (323) 957-1777, welcometolace.org.
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