The Los Angeles Art show is always an exciting event. Happening a month and change after many of the galleries and their artists have just shown in Miami for Art Basel, it’s a fairly fast reunion for the art world. Held annually at the LA Convention Center, the show’s massive space becomes a maze of pop-up galleries and installations at every turn. There is more art than one could take in in just one night. The best part being that this year there the show has added more splashes of art quenching live performance art for anyone thirsty enough to take it all in.
Carlos Martiel places his body in extreme circumstances, employing his own flesh as a canvas and testing the limits of the human body to address topics of repression, discrimination and immigration. With Cauce/Riverbed, which will be presented on-site at the Show, the Cuban artist who once allowed the public to beat his burlap-sack clad figure with batons, exposes the nature of undocumented immigration and shows how it impacts the lives of some eleven million individuals and their families.
FRAGMENTS FROM HOME
Fragments from Home, a special on-site exhibition by American octogenarian artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz organized by LACMA, will comprise three performance/installation pieces involving the planned ruin of innocent household items with Piano Destruction Ritual: Cowboy and Indian, Part Two and Couch Destruction: Angel Release (Pennies from Heaven). Visitors will be invited to participate in the artists’ interactive performance work, Shred Your Worries.
HIGH FASHION CRIME SCENE
Expectations for LA-based artist Melanie Pullen’s staged performance piece are high, following the artist’s bloody, yes-that-really-happened, High Fashion Crime Scene installation at last year’s Show. In Violent Times, which includes several large-scale artworks from Pullen’s Violent Times series, Pullen explores the ceremonial aspect of violence and how we dress for war in this new work. For the first time, Pullen will work with stills produced during the performance to create unique, entirely new limited edition works that will be available at the LA Art Show to the public.
NORTAN MAZA’S DEEP IMPACT
Another aspect of the LA Art Show that makes it an enjoyable visit for both serious collectors and casual art lovers is its large-scale installations. This year several common socio-political themes have emerged, among them Norton Maza’s Deep Impact, a world map highlighting the planet’s immigration borders that are currently subject to the toughest surveillance controls and regulations. The installation will be closely guarded to reflect the impenetrable borders confronting millions of refugees, and will highlight Maza’s method of placing the viewer in an inconvenient position that forces immersion in his scenes and evokes inward reflection rather than reaction.
NANNIES & GARDNERS
Born to working-class Mexican immigrants in East LA, artist Ramiro Gomez’s subjects are the nannies, gardeners, housekeepers: the people behind our images of luxury. The expansive cardboard mural installation, presented at the Show by LACMA, and its life-sized cardboard figures in Cutouts bring the predominantly Latino workforce serving the affluent areas of Los Angeles, into focus.
8FT TALL CARDBOARD WALL
Louis Hock’s A Wall is a cardboard brick barrier meant to trip up visitors, and the snaking, 8-foot tall installation will be placed in an area that forces confrontation to incite viewers to think in some small way about what happens when a wall runs through a community. Since the late 1970s Hock has made videos documenting the daily struggles of the Mexican immigrants who were his neighbours where he grew top in San Diego.
EVEN MORE CARDBOARD
Part installation, part performance, Dosshaus creates and inhabits a life-sized fantasy live/work space where everything, including clothing is made of recycled cardboard in The Artist’s Room. The sculptural environment enables Dosshaus to engage with cultural questions with whimsy and insouciance.
LASERS & LIGHTS
Submerge is a laser installation by Marc Brickman, world-renowned visual light artist and the artist-in residence for Empire State Building since 2012. He has worked with Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Cirque du Soleil (Viva Elvis), David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Bruce Springsteen, and on the films, Running Man, Minority Report, and A-I. The installation, presented by the gallery Art All Ways will feature a radiating line drawing that becomes weightless architecture for viewers to travel within.
Lindsay Scoggins’ large-scale, site-specific video installation Dichotomy Bifuracation will be on view at the front entrance of the fair. Scoggin’s most political artwork to date is an unbiased take on the Democratic and Republican parties presented just days before the upcoming U.S. presidential inauguration. The artist, whose work has appeared at the Guggenheim museums in New York, Bilbao, Berlin and Venice, seeks to illustrate the facade of two opposite parts of a political system and its “endless iconic cycle, which is self-reflexive of the video loop medium in which they are constructed.”
The LA art Show runs from January 12th to January 15th at the LA Convention Center. www.laartshow.com