It’s that time of year: the time when everyone is dropping their two cents on what they liked and didn’t like this year. Of course, we have some opinions–especially when it comes to what’s happening in the art world. Today through Wednesday (our last working day of the year!) we will be sharing our thoughts on “bests.” Today: our thoughts on art happening in Los Angeles for 2011 (in no particular order).
PULSE Art Fair
PULSE was 100% the most surprising entry into Los Angeles art this year. Truth be told, before this year we had not even heard of PULSE and we went into the fair expecting something very OK. We were pleasantly shocked with what we were greeted with: a selection of local and not-local artists and galleries on display, together, in a rare assemblage that doesn’t really come through Los Angeles that often. We were introduced to artists like Kris Lewis, Zacakry Drucker, Kiel Johnson, 3(three), and many, many others. When the PULSE train rolls into town next year, you have to go–no excuses!!
Pacific Standard Time
I mean, duh: of course this is on our list. This is revolutionizing people’s perception of Los Angeles art and is changing how people view the idea of a retrospective. We love it so much, we’ve even been writing for them. If that’s not unadulterated love, then we don’t know what is.
The West Hollywood Library Murals
The buzz of the West Hollywood library had been building for years. If you had been to West Hollywood between 2008-ish (if not before!) to this past summer, the gaping hole across from the Pacific Design Center was very apparent and the state of disarray on San Vicente was so painful. Thankfully, the library opened months ago, welcoming giant new murals by Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, and Retna. These pieces you can see from far and wide and it just warms your heart.
Geoff McFetridge At Heath
This show/retail experience is super fun because the pairing of Geoff and Heath is absolutely perfect and, unlike a lot of shows, there are ample ways to take home the work exhibited (since there is so much at so many different price points). This show is actually up through the end of December and we highly recommend you stopping by.
Ray Ceasar At Corey Helford
Corey Helford has had really amazing shows this year. One of our favorites was the Ray Ceasar show. His work has come so far and his new pieces were fantastic. Keep your eye on Helford in the new year as they are sure to outdo shows like this great one.
Tim Biskup’s Former State
Tim Biskup’s work is always the best and Former State only reiterated this fact. The show showcased many large scale works with sculptures that served as inspiration. The buzz around this show was terrific, as we literally received tons of e-mails from readers saying “Hey! Cover this show!!” Former State–essentially–feels like it was everyone’s favorite thing to hit Los Angeles this year. Well, with the exception of…
Art In The Streets
This changed the game. This–and PST–are what we live for at Los Angeles, I’m Yours. This show was the most exciting, the most fun, and the most revolutionary for the city. It is, truly, one of a kind and we are honored to have been able to have seen it and to live in the city that housed such an amazing show. If you did not see this show, you really missed out. Like, you missed out big time. (And, a note: any other local institution who does not include this show on their list is just trying to be too cool/may have intellectual disabilities.)
Larry Fink At LACMA
Hollywood and “the industry” are not things we typically post about on LAIY; however, Larry Fink’s show at LACMA was amazing. His photos took out the celebrity from celebrities and showed a little bit of the rawness and reality that are these events. His photography and subjects are beautiful while being quite ugly. This was likely our favorite show to happen at LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion this year.
I Am Los Angeles
We feel like I Am Los Angeles is our visual counterparts in showcasing what is going on in Los Angeles. The videos produced from the site are sooooooo well made and shine light on tons of things we had no idea even existed. If you don’t have this site bookmarked, you are doing it wrong.
Olly Moss’ Cameos At Gallery 1988
Aside from Art In The Streets, this was the most insane show as in people were literally going insane to get into the show and get a piece of the artwork. It was absurd! However, Olly’s pieces were brilliant: funny, smart, well crafted, and accessible to everyone. Shows like this don’t happen very often.
Suprasensorial At MOCA
Personally, this was my favorite show. Coming right before Art In The Streets, Suprasensorial was a celebration of color and sensory overload that–at points–made you feel like your eyes were bleeding. It was also a rare moment in art where you are asked to participate quite a lot. This is not in the sense of just viewing or interacting with a performance artist: you were asked to interact and experience–to use your senses–to get these pieces. I mean, they had a mother effing pool for swimming in this exhibit. Like, are you serious? This was so awesome.
Whitewash At Known Gallery
This recently closed show was a big favorite of ours. Pairing POSE and KC Ortiz, you had the best of everything: crazy good graffiti work and beautiful photography. Also, we had never been to Known Gallery before and fell in love with their space. This is another gallery to watch in the new year!
A few ending notes (honorable mentions, if you will): Afterzine No. 2, which focused on LA, was great; Carl E. Smith and Yuri Psinakis’ curated SLASH was one of the best looks at modern collage; Zackary Drucker and Amos Lee’s Distance Is Where The Heart Is, Home Is Where You Hang Your Heart is still up at Luis de Jesus and demands you stop by; and Roland Reiss’ Personal Politics was fantastic and fun and experiential.
All in all, this was a great year and the first really solid year that everyone pulled together to show off LA’s goods. What were your favorites? Did we leave any of your favorites out? Let us know what you think!