Jake Sheiner, "Self Portrait in Mrs. Claus Lingerie " (2021), acrylic on panel, 14 × 11 × 1 inches (all images courtesy the Lodge unless otherwise noted)

LOS ANGELES — Now in its fifth edition, the annual Sexy Xmas exhibition at the Lodge has become a reliable part of the Los Angeles holiday season with its cheeky interpretation of Christmas cheer. Most artworks present are on the small, portable side, which lends the space a kind of White Elephant feel, as if one could stop here to pick up a last-minute gift for a lover missed on the Christmas shopping list.

Started in response to the lull of gallery activity that happens around the turn of the year, this year’s edition sees gallerist Alice Lodge gathering artworks that range from the sexy to Xmas-y. There is a decidedly on-point painting by Jake Sheiner, “Self Portrait in Mrs. Claus Lingerie” (2021), in which the bearded artist looks directly at the viewer while donning a babydoll lingerie dress. A lovely Nick Taggart colored pencil drawing, “1978” (also from 1978), shows the torso of a woman in a bikini enjoying a more classically warm Angeleno Christmas than the one we are experiencing this year. Hanging in a window installation curated by Dry Clean Only, an abstract painting by Ricardo Harris-Fuentes, “Recovery 3” (2021), offers a different kind of seasonal feel — its interwoven layers of purple, blue, and gold reminiscent of a beautifully wrapped gift.

The casual atmosphere of Sexy Xmas V offers a respite from the oft-uptight white box feel of the standard gallery. From the front gallery’s wall-papered walls to a set of mirrored artworks by Johnny Smith arranged in filing drawers in the back room, one of the sexiest aspects of the exhibition is its lack of self-consciousness and pretense.

Nick Taggart, “1978” (1978), colored pencil on board, 18 × 22 1/2 × 1 inches
Johnny Smith, “Simon in Denim” (2021), photograph on mirror, 12 x 12 x 1 inches, installation view (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)
Kieran Wright, “Tiki Theater Xymposium” (2021), foam, bass wood, styrene, 13 x 12 x 8 inches, installation view (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)
Gideon Rubin, “White Socks (After Araki)” (2021), oil on linen

Sexy Xmas V continues at the Lodge (1024 Western Ave, East Hollywood, Los Angeles) through December 24. By appointment only, proof of vaccination required. The exhibition is curated by Alice Lodge, with a window installation curated by Dry Clean Only.

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Jennifer Remenchik

Jennifer Remenchik is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles.