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LOS ANGELES — The stretch of Imperial Street which leads to Lot 613 is prefaced by a series of murals by street artist ROA. Feathered and furry creatures drawn in spray paint serve as handy guideposts to the warehouse venue, where, over the past weekend, the Fountain Art Fair hosted works by emerging artists.
The art fair arrived in Los Angeles in time for the opening weekend of the much publicized Pacific Standard Time, a series of collaborative exhibitions celebrating the region’s artistic output from 1945 to 1980. While the latter attempts to write (or rewrite) art history, the Fountain Art Fair showcased works that demonstrate the political and cultural anxieties of today’s active artists.
Upon entering the venue, I caught sight of a carnivalesque display by Stash Gallery’s Evo Love. The Miami-based artist converts antique furniture and wine boxes into nostalgic shrines composed of plastic toys, book covers and other ephemera. Combining childhood kitsch and poignant reflections, the display included tributes to William S. Burroughs, Bettie Page and Dash Snow.
Nearby, street artist GILF! presented her politically conscious take-downs of corporate greed and militarism. While I appreciated her willingness to engage with the iconography of protest, too much of her style borrowed from the stenciled imagery of Banksy or Blek Le Rat without surpassing or matching their visual wit.
One of my favorite series at the fair was Danni Rash’s Gang Banging. Represented by the Christina Ray Gallery, whose mission is concerned with the psychology of places, the series featured marker and spray paint drawings depicting Los Angeles: busy freeways, ethnic markets and ubiquitous automobiles. Snarky and irreverent, the drawings look like rough travel sketches and commentaries of American life by Basquiat.
Upstairs in the mezzanine, the Murder Lounge laid claim to the fair’s most explicit content with Sergio Coyote’s acid trip paintings and Dave Tree’s “Nazi UFOs.” What the collection sometimes lacked in subtlety it made up for in sheer attitude and outrage. Meanwhile, the outdoor street art installation, co-curated by artist Carly Ivan Garcia, had a strong lineup in Cryptik’s Arabic calligraphy and Shark Toof’s comic-style pop mural. Also notable were the intricate abstractions of Bay Area artists Ian Ross and Chor Boogie.
The adjacent warehouse featured additional artists and projects, including Chalk Los Angeles’ CANLOVE graffiti recycling program. Based in Venice Beach, the collective gathers discarded spray cans and uses all portions of the waste toward creating paintings and sculptures. Leftover paint, empty canisters and disjointed nozzles became colorful works of art instead of ending up in a landfill. In a similar vein, Alevé Mei Loh’s crushed linen and acrylic works evoked the crushed and refurbished metals of industrial waste.
Leaning toward the cheeky and playful, Ever Gold Gallery’s booth featured Adam Parker Smith’s trompe-l’œil print of “Untitled (pizza),” in which a fake sausage protrudes from an image of a pizza, and Guy Overfelt’s “This Is Not a Pipe,” part of his series of repurposed everyday objects (in this case, a Four Loko can made into a smoking pipe). Mark Benson’s “Clown Car” similarly balances humor and everyday objects with its balancing act of dishes and utensils.
As the arts establishment of Southern California develops its canons and hagiographies, the emerging artists at the Fountain Art Fair sought out their own slice of art history over the weekend. Whether or not these artists hit it big, those of us who attended the fair can say we knew them when they were still relatively unknown and affordable.
The 2011 Fountain Art Fair in Los Angeles took place from September 30 to October 2 at Lot 613 (613 Imperial Street, Los Angeles).
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…