THE SCOOP: GALLERY OPENINGS, FALL 2014

The amount of art intake us Angeleno’s absorb and appreciate (and tout through our smartphone’s social addiction) seem to be never ending. This is a good thing. We always love an opening night, a closing reception, an up-close look at some orgasmic photography now don’t we. In our latest arts and culture homage, The Opulence Issue, we’ve compiled our September / October 2014 list of must-sees. Take a look at some of our picks below and digitally flip through for more in our e-issue.

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ROYA FALAHI — HOY SPACE
Vincent Price Art Museum September 23rd – December 6th
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 23rd, 6 – 8pm
The Los Angeles/Islam Arts Initiative (LA/IAI) and Vincent Price Art Museum host a solo exhibition of works by Los Angeles-based artist, Roya Falahi. Falahi, who is known for her large-format photography,combines portraiture with narrative “tableaux” compositions, depicting the conscious interplay between obscurity and disclosure.

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FREDERICK HAMMERSLEY — ORGANICS AND CUT-UPS
L.A. Louver September 12th – October 11th
Opening Reception: Friday, September 12th, 6 – 8pm Hammersley’s geometric curves and cut up organic compositions
showcase the methodology of “hunch” and intuition to select colors and shapes. Organics and Cut-Ups span the years Hammmersley employed this psychological format of construction. In a short amount of time, Hammersley produced a series of vibrantly colored works that stand as a testament to his vitality.

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 KEHINDE WILEY — THE WORLD STAGE: HAITI 
Roberts & Tilton
September 13th – October 25th
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 13th, 6 – 8pm
This latest chapter in Kehinde Wiley’s global survey of countries examines a nation’s socioeconomic conditions through the everyday lives of its people. For this series, Wiley disseminated posters and open calls on the radio, culminating in a beauty pageant where winners were chosen randomly for the project. Contestants are painted in the vain of European masters, deepening the connection between both place and era.

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CAMERON — SONGS OF THE WITCH WOMAN 
MOCA Pacific Design Center
October 11th – January 11, 2015
Songs for the Witch Woman explores Cameron’s role as a pivotal figure in the development of postwar Los Angeles art. A seminal
figure within LA’s mid-century counterculture, Cameron’s work contains echoes of an important time that is also our time. A younger generation will be fascinated by her unique melding of surrealism and mysticism, and by her commitment to live her life
as art.

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TANSAEKHWA ON ABSTRACTION FROM ALL SIDES
Blum & Poe Gallery
September 13th – November 8th
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 13th, 7pm Comprised of about 40 formative paintings, From All Sides is a survey focusing on Korean monochromatic paintings from the 1960s to the 1980s. Considered one of the first Korean artistic movements, Tansaekwa operated within a stylistic color palette of muted hues and neutrals. The show focuses on five of the key
players during the time: Ha Chonghyun, Kwon Young-woo, Lee Ufan, Park Seobo, and Yun Hyongkeun.

AURELIA FRIEDLAND TALKS ‘CHILLED AIR’ AT THINK TANK GALLERY

I feel lucky. Not only did I get to enjoy CHILLED AIR, I was there for the build out. I’m a Resident Designer at Think Tank Gallery, so I had an up close and personal view as the curators, Luke Pelletier and Austin England, transformed the space in preparation for the big night. It’s worth mentioning that the air, thanks to our newly installed air conditioner, was indeed chilled. Throughout the install, I watched a growing crowd of happy loiterers build and test the skate line in the cool gallery air.

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When opening night came around, my best friend from high school happened to visit LA. She brought with her a few blasts from the past – a small pack of our guy friends from school. There we were, as if twenty years hadn’t passed. We watched as outsiders, all in our early 30s, weaving through blurs of bodies as they rushed past. Joining the outer edge of the crowd, we stood with our free PBRs in hand and carefully positioned ourselves between the sea of colored caps pushed up against the chain-linked fence. We spoke about what an “older crowd” might at a show like this: about the “anxiety-inducing” roar as the wheels geared up towards the ramp and our need to look away in that sliver of silence, not wanting to see if someone got hurt. No one did, thankfully. We found this incredible, observing as they skated skillfully between one another, catching air on one ramp, and then another, skirting with one edge across the china bank flickering with geometric light.

Enchanting.

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One by one, skaters would leave the pack lining the fenced edge of the far stage (thanks Guitar Center), nod mutual appreciation to the band behind them, drop their way in through the maze and return to begin again. After watching several rounds, my friend and I turned to each other to discuss. She being a Linguist and me an Interaction Designer, we talked “pattern recognition” – the systematic placement of obstacles framing the path, the carefully curated pastel renderings skinning them.

We further discussed all the variables and how no two paths were the same – the route they took, the skill level, the choice of risk. We were suddenly armchair anthropologists (or, more appropriately, chain link fence anthropologists), noting how nothing was spoken, yet somehow self-governance was understood. “You know what, it’s your turn-go for it… This one’s for you… Not sure I’m going to make this but I’m sure as hell going for it anyways… No doubt”.

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After a long while, we ripped ourselves away and toured the walls lining the gallery. Bright geometric prints, paintings and installations from a range of talented artists including Pelletier himself confirmed my suspicions that LA will be a hub in the new era of digital aesthetics. Of course, there was tons more to notice. Here’s a quick letter from the director:

‘Think Tank is a uniquely flexible and collaborative educational event space, entirely defined by what types of culture we export, and unequivocally developed by the creative talent that we import. Chilled Air’s success is in debt to its curatorial team, Luke Pelletier and Austin England, who dedicated themselves to harness the purity of skate culture. Chilled Air is set up to celebrate and educate around all skate culture has to offer. The Opening Night was a huge success, with over a thousand skaters and art fans came out. chilled PBRs in hand, the crowd enjoyed bands like the BODEGAS, Yarrow Slaps and the Go Gettas, and an acoustic set by Luke Pelletier. Partnering with key brands such as éS Skateboarding, Keen Ramps, Stance Socks, and GoPro meant Chilled Air had surround sound entertainment with extras like the Es/Stance Sticker slap and #trashcandollyshot. Skate arts means art that is not just on the walls, but on the floors and everywhere in between. Take, for instance, our skinned skate ramps co-created by a handful of hosted illustrators, or Bryan Peterson’s remixed skate videos. We’ve watched the work develop over the two years since our previous skate show success with Dude Monsters – from OGs like Michael Sieben (who inspired our curators to become artists themselves), to young guns like RISD student Dillon Froelich.

Truth be told, the park will continue to be shredded long after the doors have been closed. Chilled Air has made for one hell of a party, and has left behind a bit more understanding of the chaotic organization thatis skate culture. Of course, there’s also that big puddle in the VIP room left behind – from the dude that front-flipped into the PBR kiddie pool.

If you didn’t catch the opening, don’t sweat it. Come by for a quick skate during gallery hours, 6:30-9:30pm Monday-Saturday. I swear, once the roar quiets down, you’ll get to spend time with some of the best art around.

text AURELIA FRIEDLAND

Think Tank Resident Designer
Interactive Designer/Consultant

BRINGING BEACH VIBES TO A CONCRETE JUNGLE: ALCHEMY WORKS

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Raan Parton, founder and creative director of Apolis, along with his wife Lindsay Parton, recently opened Alchemy Works – a stylish multipurpose garage-like retail store, art gallery, and event space. The large, bright, open studio with its high ceiling and burnish concrete floor was designed to reflect Raan’s hometown of breezy Santa Barbara. He wanted to bring cool beach vibes to the industrial-chic area known as the Art District, asserting that even downtown L.A. will have endless summers.

For it’s launch, Alchemy Works is selling its centerpiece, a neatly polished dark blue 1959 Fiat Abarth Spyder convertible, the only one in the U.S. yet somehow perfectly designed for a sunset drive down PCH. And fret not ladies, although the shop may look like a man’s dream garage, not everything in the store is for guys, there are some well-selected items for women as well.

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Almost all of the items in the store, including the art pieces, are made in California. Much like the art, everything in the store will be rotated in an effort to continue to provide a platform to showcase as many designers, photographers, and all around creatives that live in our city. Stop by frequently – there’ll always be something new to check out.