LOS ANGELES — The Spring/Break Art Show, a quirky cousin of the more traditional art fairs, returns to Los Angeles this week in a Culver City warehouse filled with 54 booths of ceramic sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and even a life-sized hellmouth-inspired passageway. This year’s theme, Hearsay/Heresy, allowed curators and artists to play with dissent, nonconformity, and truth versus fact. 

Francisco Donoso, an Ecuadorian-American artist, is showing his 2021–2022 series Undocumentedness: An Ecology of Dancing Fences. The paintings depict deconstructed and colorful fences in movement. This playful take on a structure that’s often forbedoing, and even violent, subverts mainstream narratives of undocumented people shown in constant suffering and without joy. Donoso instead rescues a  childlike imagination to allow for a scary object to take on a different life. 

Metal worker Gabrielle Shelton presents sculptures of staircases with candy paint jobs inspired by LA’s lowriders. The artist, interested in the metaphorical meanings of stairs throughout time — as, for example, symbols of growth or reaching higher levels of consciousness — positions her sculptures in nonfunctional ways that don’t lead anywhere. 

Meg Lionel Murphy, an artist based in Wisconsin, created a room of medieval-inspired paintings, but instead of the Eurocentric themes, the narratives center women as larger-than-life heroes with swords, mythical deities, and feminist allegorical figures. At the center of the room lies an altar for these beings. 

Unlike other art fairs, Spring/Break feels more immersive; visitors are on a journey into each artist’s mind as they weave in and out of booths enveloped by the eccentric visions of both artists and curators.

Francisco Donoso, Undocumentedness: An Ecology of Dancing Fences, curated by Erika Hirugami
Gabrielle Shelton’s stair sculptures, curated by Evan Snyderman
Meg Lionel Murphy’s room of medieval-inspired paintings, centering Black women, curated by the Untitled Space
“Silver Rabbit no. 01” by Jerry Gogosian
Hot Spring, curated by Mike Chattem, featuring art by Debbi Kenote, Mike Chattem, and Jared Hoffman
Desert Angels, curated by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori, featuring artists Alia Shawkat and Maria Paz
we will all be well, curated by Zahra Sherzad, featuring work by Monica Canilao and Xara Thustra
Kneel Before Dog, curated by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori, featuring artists Sarah Bereza, Will Bates, and Ken Heitmueller 
Kneel Before Dog, curated by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori, featuring artists Sarah Bereza, Will Bates, and Ken Heitmueller 
Ronan Day Lewis: See Through, curated by Rebecca Bird
BANG! SPIT! SNAG! by Jamie Clyde
Stuart Lantry, “Me Means Meaning,” curated by Shona McAndrews
Berfin Ataman and Christopher Oleary, “Sympathetic Motion Series, ‘Making Room,'” curated by Leila Anna Wahba and Selin Çamli Anjel
Illuminated Body, curated by Katie Hector and Adam Sabolick, featuring artists Larissa De Jesús Negrón, Collin J. Radcliffe and Fred Smith
 Allison Baker, “Cigarette 3,” curated by Abigail Ogilvy Gallery

The Spring/Break Art Show continues at 5880 Adams Boulevard (Culver City) through Sunday, February 20.

Samanta Helou Hernandez is a multimedia journalist and photographer covering culture, identity, and social issues. She's published with Playboy, PRI "The World," and Curbed LA, among others. Her work...