We’d been reading about the the opening of Mat Gleason’s Coagula Gallery in Chung King Road for some time and didn’t know what to expect nor did we think we’d actually have a chance to check out the show. This past weekend after the slightly very silly Grilled Cheese Invitational, we found ourselves wanting to do something but didn’t know what to do. We were driving back on the 110 and decided to hop off on Hill Street and check out Chinatown. It ended up being a remarkable day of exploration, most notably our happening upon Coagula and not even knowing it.
We could see at the end of Chung King a door open with a giant decal on it, something that was eye catching despite it being confusing. Sure enough, it was their Coca-Cola inspired logo. We would have just gone, “Oh. Okay.” and just walked away but the artwork inside drew us in: Tim Youd‘s insane moving sculptures and giant drawings and paintings and tons of other stuff.
Now, as you can see, we were unable to get photos there as we were a little intimidated by the size of these moving wooden boxes with words like “CUNT” written on them repeatedly. Gleason was also there speaking with a few other guests who had two dogs, both of whom had one eye each. It was an experience. Nevertheless, we took a look around, not interrupting with photography, and were really entertained. Youd’s work are these scrawls of giant naked women with beautifully repugnant genitalia, these mixed media sculptures with hyper-vulgar words scrawled onto them, and these meta paintings that had the gallery name and logo–Coagula–branded on them.
It was an incredibly immersive show that we believe is all based off of Youd’s obsession with author Philip Roth and Henry Miller, their works as reference points. His work also expresses a brutal attraction and obsession with vaginas, too. It’s kind of like you let an artistically inclined, sex crazed teenage boy go crazy in a shed full of white and off-white paints, cardboard, wood, gears, wheels, and boxes: that is what Youd’s work at Coagula represents. Some people will see it as crude and gross and irreverent but we found it to be hysterical: one cannot make giant drawings focused on genitalia without a sense of irony or at least awareness that the work is a bit over the top.
The show, obviously, will not be for everyone but it’s definitely a big way for Coagula to kick things off. The show is open through June 3 and definitely proves that there’s some great art happening in Chinatown. Then again, that is a larger article for another time.