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Celebrating the Afterlife With Ed Moses Amid Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins

On January 6 in Los Angeles, Ernie Wolfe Gallery opened a show titled “Eddie M and the FAVs,” featuring Ed Moses’ paintings alongside elaborate Ghanaian coffins which the proprietor calls “fantastic afterlife vehicles (FAVs).” Eleven days later, Moses died of natural causes. It seems eerily opportune that this show’s opening was the last public outing […]


“Prometheus 2017: Four Artists from Mexico Revisit Orozco” Fails to Fire

Inside Frary Dining Hall at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, beyond extensive rows of tables and chairs, one encounters a singular sight atop the arched central panel of the back wall: a large 1930 fresco by José Clemente Orozco. Designated Prometheus, this mural depicts its titular Greek titan painted in Orozco’s signature El Greco-esque style. […]

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Narcoculture’s Intertwined Beauty and Horror: Eduardo Sarabia’s “Drifting on a Dream” at The Mistake Room, Los Angeles

Are there any media that Eduardo Sarabia doesn’t employ? The Guadalajara-based, Los Angeles-born artist’s current show features ceramics, sculptures, drawings, paintings, murals, photos, performance documentation, and a video, which together add up to an engrossing installation addressing the fantasies, violence, and symbolism of narco-culture. Sarabia’s first hometown solo show in almost 10 years and part […]

Read | Comments Off on Narcoculture’s Intertwined Beauty and Horror: Eduardo Sarabia’s “Drifting on a Dream” at The Mistake Room, Los Angeles | Tags: October 2017

Latin America Colonizes Los Angeles Via Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

Despite Southern California’s large Hispanic population, Latin American art is seldom shown. Aside from some museums’ pre-Columbian sections and paintings by well-known artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the Americas south of ours might as well be unconnected to our landmass, perhaps on the opposite hemisphere. As of this month, all this has changed, […]


Jonathan Monk’s “Perfectly Concocted Context” at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

Paradoxically, Jonathan Monk’s show at Cherry and Martin exists simultaneously as a well-curated group show and Monk’s single-authored conceptual installation. Surprisingly, instead of leeching all significance from its constituents, the show embodies its title, “Perfectly Concocted Context.” Individual artworks are shown to advantage while uniting to form a more meaningful whole that resounds their spirit […]

Read | Comments Off on Jonathan Monk’s “Perfectly Concocted Context” at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles | Tags: July/August 2017

Orca Endgame: SeaWorld’s Survival Mission

Truly, SeaWorld seems like a world in itself. That the aquarium-amusement park hybrid offers an experience unlike any other explains its success since 1964. Surrounded by ambient piped-in music, bubbles, and sundry other artifices, visitors can watch shows, ride roller coasters, play with animals, and immerse themselves in huge aquariums, all in the same day. […]

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The Enigmatic Visions of a Former Wine Merchant: Jean Dubuffet

What makes Jean Dubuffet’s art so captivating? Dubuffet Drawings, 1935-1962, which closed April 30 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, offered insight into elusive qualities that vivify his work. The rawness characterizing Dubuffet’s oeuvre is especially palpable in his drawings. This medium’s immediacy seems ideal for embodying his characteristic roughhewn aesthetic. “I must learn […]

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Inside the Judgment Zone

People can be so truculent, never missing an opportunity to censure others. That’s what makes Planet Fitness’ storied promise of a “Judgement [sic] Free Zone” so appealing. Yet behind the appeal is a shadowy void; the very act of establishing such a zone involves judgment. In his current show at And/Or Gallery in Pasadena, Jacob […]

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Ruins in Drinking Glasses: Michael Dopp’s “Capriccio” at Roberts & Tilton

“Capriccio,” Michael Dopp’s show in Roberts & Tilton’s small secondary gallery, features 18 ink drawings brimming with symbolism. From afar, their washy Old Masterish monochromaticity suggests pictures one would find hanging in a musty museum or library display case rather than on the walls of a contemporary gallery. Closer observation reveals that the venerable academic […]

Read | Comments Off on Ruins in Drinking Glasses: Michael Dopp’s “Capriccio” at Roberts & Tilton | Tags: January/February 2017

Implosions of Significance

As I reflect on my experience of this year, two dates stand out: June 14 and August 16. On those days, Riviera hotel and casino buildings exploded on the Las Vegas Strip, disappearing in seconds before the eyes of hordes of onlookers including me. All pales in comparison to those events crystallized ablaze in my […]

Read | Comments Off on Implosions of Significance | Tags: December 2016

Double Vision: “Made In L.A.” and “Maiden LA”

This summer, Los Angeles hosted two biennials: the inaugural iteration of a city-sponsored public art biennial called “Current: L.A.,” and the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A.,” the third iteration of Los Angeles’ original biennial. In response to these exclusive exhibitions, two artists, aided by the sponsorship of various organizations, created a broadly inclusive, do-it-yourself exposition […]

Read | Comments Off on Double Vision: “Made In L.A.” and “Maiden LA” | Tags: * · Early Fall 2016

Man Cave as Museum Piece

“Man cave” is a term used by both Guillermo del Toro[1] and press materials for his exhibition, “Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters” to describe the celebrated film director’s atelier. More formally styled “Bleak House,” it is a suburban abode filled with panoplies of objects that inspire del Toro and some artists and designers […]

Read | Comments Off on Man Cave as Museum Piece | Tags: Summer 2016