Hugo Crosthwaite has spent much of his adult life working on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border, observing and documenting the extraordinary ebb and flow of humanity that makes this region one of the most existentially dynamic places on the North American continent. In Tijuas!, Crosthwaite will present selections from several bodies of work that continue his exploration of this ever-evolving culture, among them the Tijuana Bibles, a new series of animated videos and books, recent graphite-and-ink on canvas and panel paintings, new Tijuanerias ink drawings, and Death March, a phenomenal and monumental work that preceded his celebrated performative murals. This will be the first time this work will be presented since it was commissioned in 2010 for Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection at the Chicago Cultural Center.
The Game of Patience features new figurative paintings by artist Laura Krifka that depict female and male subjects in intimate moments within carefully constructed interiors. Krifka deftly paints her bare-skinned protagonists reading, drawing, daydreaming, watching, and waiting. The peep of a phallus and the highlight of a thigh gap allude to the pleasure of stillness, supplemented by the visual tension meticulously sculpted throughout the domestic spaces. A notable development in Krifka’s content is the genesis of idiosyncratic wallpapers that appear to direct the viewer’s gaze rather than lay flat. These imagined patterns create parallel planes of space, shift color and shape inexplicably, and build psychological tension, functioning like maps for the dream logic of each painting.
At the heart of Krifka’s practice are post-modern and contemporary critiques of canonical Painting. Krifka treats the false dichotomies of subject and object, male and female, observer and observed as comedic jumping off points before bending or breaking the rules and moving on to more nuanced and poetic concerns. Sensually charged in the pinks, purples, pea-greens, and ochers of afternoon reveries, all the protagonists are depicted in vulnerable situations, and Krifka wanders through paintings with surprising detail and care, in search of consent and a deeper understanding of the nature of desire.
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (10/10-10/14/19)-
Artist Sadie Barnette and her father Rodney Barnette will be celebrating their shared birthday at ICA LA, with an art talk, DJ, and a performance by Global Street Dance Masquerade- taking place along with her newest project The New Eagle Creek Saloon, a tribute to her father’s bar, Eagle Creek Saloon, the first black-owned gay bar in San Francisco
Mega Bog, L.A. Takedown and Spookey Ruben are performing free at Zebulon with Dent May DJ’ing
ArtNight Pasadena returns for its biannual event with a free evening of live music, performances, and free admission to museums and galleries in Pasadena. There will also be free shuttles to take you around to the various locations.
Hassan Hajjaj: My Rockstars Experimental- Live has the Moroccan phototographer, designer and filmmaker, creating sets and clothes from his portraits and videos- this time for the stage of The Ford and including live performances by musicians Afrikan Boy, Bumi, Simo Lagnawi, Marques Toliver, Gail Ann Dorsey and Omar Offendum at The Ford. My Rockstars Experimental, Volume I was shown at LACMA in 2013.
At Fowler Museum on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, to accompany its exhibition Through Positive Eyes, seven HIV-positive Angelenos known as the Los Angeles Through Positive Eyes Collective will share their photographs and personal narratives (today beginning at 1pm)
The Dead End Kids Club is having its 1st Fall Ball at The Echo with performances by Z Berg, Ryan Ross, Palm Springsteen and Dan Keyes
Highland Park is having its first Oktoberfest at The Hi Hat with music by West Coast Prost, Oktoberfest inspired food and of course, German Bier
Andrew Combs is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Harrison Whitford and Austin Manuel
Temples are playing at the Echoplex with Trupa Trupa
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (6/20-6/23/19)-
Summer Cannibals are playing at The Satellite with Broken Baby and Blushh
James Supercave is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Bay Ledges and MACK opening
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is hosting Return from Exile II- an evening of readings of poems by jazz vocalist and songwriter Abbey Lincoln; poet, vocalist, and dancer Jeanne Lee; and Harlem Renaissance poet Helene Johnson. Organized by poet and writer Harmony Holiday, the second program in the series “highlights how women play an indispensable role in the tradition of archives and collective improvisation in the African diaspora”.
Hollywood Night Market at Yamashiro is a lovely way to have some food and drinks while enjoying beautiful views of the city- free shuttles leave from the Mosaic parking lot
Bloomingdale’s Beverly Center and ONE Archives Foundation are hosting an evening celebrating the launch of WE ARE EVERYWHERE, by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown, the creators of the popular Instagram account @lgbt_history. There will be a book talk, signing and Q&A with the authors hosted by activist Ashlee Marie Preston.
Editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue and Project Runway judge Elaine Welteroth will be at the California African American Museum to discuss her memoir More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
Thursday through Sunday
The LA Design Festival features talks, installations, exhibitions, and more- all celebrating design throughout the city
The Aero Theatre is having a whole weekend of Coen Brothers double features. Tonight it’s No Country For Old Men and Blood Simple with an introduction by author Adam Nayman, who will also sign his new book, The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, in the lobby at 6:30 PM.
Heart Attack Man are playing at The Echo with Sincere Engineer and Rome Hero Foxes
Zebulon is hosting a free screening of Alain Resnais’ film Je T’aime, Je T’aime and later there is a free party to celebrate TT (of Warpaint)’s birthday with music by Spring Summer, Wolf Woodcock, and VS Colour
yOya are playing at Moroccan Lounge with Austin Weber, J.E. Sunde, and Scott Bartenhagen
Taking and viewing photos has increasingly become an important part of people’s lives, especially with the introduction of Instagram and the ability to use your phone as a camera. We are looking at more and more images than ever before. But when you are looking at a photo, how much of what you are seeing is real?
Chris Engman’s show Refraction at Luis de Jesus Gallery challenges these perceptions through his creation of photographic environments. When you enter the gallery you walk into the site-specific work Containment, which took over 300 individual prints to create. It’s an immersive piece that gives the viewer the chance to see how Engman’s final images are created.
The second room of the gallery houses several photos of different recreated natural environments, including sand dunes and a cloudy sky. On one wall there is a book shelf (pictured above) where the center is a photograph of a bookshelf and to the left and right are actual objects, furthering the challenge to question everything you are looking at. Looking at a photo of books on a shelf, next to real books on a shelf, what makes more of an impression to your eye? What is the difference between looking at a photo of the sky and a photo of a construction made of photos of the sky?
Refraction explores the relationship between illusion and reality by exposing the deceit inherent in photographic image-making while engaging in philosophical and material play around slips in translation. Refraction refers to the change in matter or information as it passes through one medium to another. Refraction occurs when our experience of the world is mediated through photographic images. Engman states: “We see more than we would have, and there is value in that. But the thing, person, or place that is imaged is also irrevocably changed. Photographs resemble and seem somehow in proximity to places and moments we cannot access in ways we wish we could. This produces a continuous and oblique kind of yearning for what we wish could be present or more fully understood,” resulting in a mental projection through which we fill in the gaps, adding detail or meaning.
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (3/1- 3/3/19)-
First Fridays is back at the Natural History Museum with a panel discussion of the fires in California, performances by Shannon Shaw (of Shannon & The Clams) and Pinky Pinky, DJs, food trucks, cocktails and more
Director Ondi Timoner will be in person for a Q&A after the 7pm screening of his film Mapplethorpe at the Nuart Theatre (also on Saturday)
There’s a free screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film Lolita at Zebulon
Dirty Laundry TV is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with Spring Fling Fest– an afternoon/ evening of bands including Jurassic Shark, Sister Mantos, Healing Gems, and more
Hammer Museum is hosting the forum- Gerrymandering at Its Worst: A North Carolina Case Study- with Representative Pricey Harrison of the North Carolina House of Representatives, Saumya Narechania, director of census and community engagement at National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and moderator Shaniqua McClendon, political director for Crooked Media, discussing the controversial practice
CicLAvia is back- this time shutting down streets to cars in Culver City, Mar Vista and Palms
Sundressed and awakebutstillinbed are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Alien Boy and Sunsleeper opening
The title “Ground” resonates with the descriptive photography of western landscapes. In the painting context, the ground is the active place on which painting occurs. Hyde uses a home brewed paint for these works, consisting of pigment dispersed in acrylic mediums, and in most cases that pigment is a form of ground earth. In turn, Hyde’s photographs follow a “light-room” process developed in the computer, distorting and adjusting it and challenging the notion of any factual naturalism.
Resisting genres and traversing mediums, Hyde investigates the abstract gesture in relationship to photography. His opposition to the “realism” of digital photography, placed against the colors of abstracted shapes, snaps photography into place, making it a site, a location, and naturalizing it as a pictorial fact while reframing the question of the truthfulness of photography.
The drawings in Hugo Crosthwaite’s exhibition at Luis de Jesus Los Angeles for Tijuana Radiant Shine have an interesting mix of comic elements combined with melancholic ones, while those that make up Shattered Mural are more somber as they focus on the toll of the horrible violence in Mexico.
Taking inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “The Hymn”, Tijuana Radiant Shine is composed of a puzzle-like installation of fourteen mixed media drawings on panel. The works are visual poems that depict the hopeful possibilities for a better future and the dichotomy of the reality that exists in this border city’s daily life.
Shattered Mural is a floor installation of forty-three sculptural wall fragments that reference the recent abduction and murder of the 43 college students in the Mexican State of Guerrero. This tragic event has become a national, and perhaps international, symbol for victims of institutional corruption and repressive regimes around the world. Unlike the Tijuana Radiant Shine panels, the sculpture fragments of Shattered Mural were created by deconstructing a mural into forty-three shards that when put back together would contribute to the whole.
Also make sure to look at the backs of the mural pieces which have different colors and patterns. This show closes 6/20/15.
At MOCA Grand Ave, Bruce Hainley, author of Under the Sign of [sic]: Sturtevant’s Volte-Face (Semiotext(e), 2013), joins MOCA’s Chief Curator Helen Molesworth for a discussion on Sturtevant: Double Trouble or you could go to MOCA Geffen for a performance of Migrant (2015) made for the William Pope L. exhibition- http://edu.moca.org/calendar/2015-04-30
If you missed Coachella but still want to go to a festival out in the desert, this weekend is Desert Daze where $55 gets you a lineup that includes Dan Deacon, Warpaint, DIIV, RJD2, Fever the Ghost, Mini Mansions, and more- http://desertdaze.org/lineup/
From a distance the paintings in Nicolas Grenier’sOne Day Mismatched Anthems Will Be Shouted in Tune, his exhibition at Luis de Jesus gallery, look like patterns and gradients. On closer inspection though, words materialize to comment on the societal structures currently controlling us.
In the first image above, Middle Ground II, anger in the darker colors moves to the “whatever” placed in gray. The center text reads “toward a bipartisan middle ground”. In the second, One Day Mismatched Anthems Will Be Shouted in Tune, the top text line fading in the pinkish gray reads “mass of folks that are left out and slowly sink to the bottom”, and further lines describe increasing ways that “folks” deal with their lot in life until the bright yellow center which reads “few folks that actually make things what they are”.
From the press release-
For Grenier, color functions as a kind of ecosystem to house the social, political, and cultural systems that serve as points of departure within the work. Gradation is used as a scalable, mutable device for organizing the paintings into large, concentric forms, as well as the interface through which we experience smaller letterforms and vectors. Thus, color plays a double agent: working to both solidify meaning (produce readability) and obscure signs as they become recognizable.
Grenier will be speaking at the gallery Saturday, December 13th at 3pm. This show closes December 20th.