ArtRx LA

The worst parent ever makes for a great camp movie in Mommie Dearest (via
The worst parent ever makes for a great camp movie: ‘Mommie Dearest’ (via

This week, there’s never enough camp in LA, Morton Bartlett’s bizarre dolls go on display, and it’s your last chance to see shows at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA) and Jack Rutberg Gallery (plus almost your last chance to see one at Christopher Grimes Gallery). It’s also the last week of August, so make sure to get some rest for next month.

 LGBT Screening of Mommie Dearest

When: Friday, August 29, doors at 7pm, show at 8:30pm ($15–$250)
Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

You know what the problem is with very young LGBT people nowadays? They don’t know their camp! Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Young Professionals Council (YPC) is screening Mommie Dearest, which — let’s just say that if camp were a tricycle, this film would be the training wheels. And it’s in a cemetery! How camp is that? Bring a picnic and a sense of humor while you learn about real parenting.

 Playthings: The Uncanny Art of Morton Bartlett

mage: Morton Bartlett, Untitled (Girl in Yellow Sunsuit), 1955, printed 2006, dye coupler print, 28 1/4 x 20 in., LACMA, gift of Barry Sloan, ©The Bartlett Project, LLC.  (via LACMA)
Morton Bartlett, “Untitled (Girl in Yellow Sunsuit)” (detail) (1955, printed 2006), dye coupler print, 28 1/4 x 20 in (LACMA, gift of Barry Sloan) (© The Bartlett Project, LLC, via LACMA)

When: Saturday, August 30–Thursday, January 31, 2015
Where: LACMA (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

Morton Bartlett spent almost 30 years of his life fashioning lifelike dolls, painstakingly carving, painting, and stitching them by hand. He then photographed them in studio sets, and the images were only discovered posthumously. In addition to that series of color photographs, this exhibition presents never-before-shown works from the artist’s archive. Some people may find the dolls disturbing, but you’ll have to see the show and judge for yourself. Barlett was also included in last year’s Venice Biennale as part of the massive Encyclopedic Palace exhibition. —CV

 Unbound: Six Women Artists

When: Closes Saturday, August 30
Where: LACDA (104 East 4th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Ending this weekend, Unbound: Six Women Artists features video works by three Iranian artists and three solo exhibitions. Deborah Cornell’s In the Space We Left Vacant explores our interactions with time and space; Jane Szabo’s Sense of Self engages with self-portraiture; and Linda Alterwitz creates haunting medical imagery in her show While I Am Still. —CV

Works by Jerome Joel (left) and Peter Witkin (via
Works by Jerome Joel (left) and Peter Witkin (via

 Twin Visions: Jerome Witkin & Joel-Peter Witkin

When: Closes Saturday, August 30
Where: Jack Rutberg Gallery (357 North La Brea Avenue, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

Identical twins Jerome and Joel-Peter Witkin spent 50 years apart and estranged, but both developed highly successful careers as artists. Featuring over 40 works that date across three decades, Twin Visions pulls together the brothers’ works for the first time, creating a new context to examine Jerome’s paintings and Joel-Peter’s photographs. —CV

 Allan Sekula’s Ship of Fools

When: Continues through September 6
Where: Christopher Grimes Gallery (916 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, Los Angeles)

The politically minded photographer, writer, and professor Allan Sekula was hardly impressed by the art world — he once called it “the most complicit fabrication workshop for the compensatory dreams of financial elites who have nothing else to dream about but a ‘subjectivity’ they have successfully killed within themselves.” Yet the art world has continued to embrace him since his death last year: he was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and now Christopher Grimes Gallery is showing selections from his last major project, Ship of Fools (1999–2010). The photo series follows a cargo vessel transformed by the International Transport Workers Federation into a mobile art exhibition. The “agit-ship,” as well as Sekula’s pictures of it, give a face to contemporary maritime workers and highlight the exploitative conditions under which they labor. —JS


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With contributions by Zach Alan, Jillian Steinhauer, and Claire Voon

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