Ink on paper normally gets us in a subtle and surreal mood… a brisk night with a cape, walking under the moonlight kind of mood. Spanish artist Pablo S. Herrero, normally known for large-scale street murals, has translated his branches into versions that quite possibly should be available for one’s latest design-porn-art-crush for a live work situation. Yeah, we know, they’d look damn good hung. Search the walls when you’re in Spain, you won’t miss his mysterious and gravitating art — otherwise, muse on this gallery for now. We
M+B EMBRACES A NEW CHAPTER IN
THEIR CONTEMPORARY ART PROGRAM
It should come as no surprise that LAC shares a breath of the same artists as M+B. The gallery has remained a steady fixture on our radar, nurturing some of the most enticing new artists right here in our very own backyard. From our past features like Matthew Brandt, Hannah Whitaker, and Mona Kuhn, we’ve been pillaging (or rather, graciously and inspiringly appropriating) the M+B arsenal for a cool minute now. Can you blame us?
We were first introduced to M+B long ago when a collection of Andrew Bush’s “Vector Portraits” surfaced for what became one of our favorite exhibitions yet. Bush’s voyeuristic, large-scale photographs of man and his automobile were beautiful, humorous, and poignant, and fueled our curiosity about M+B as a whole. So when the opportunity arose to get up close and personal with the team behind the magic, we pounced.
M+B sits between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, in what appears to be a quaint and picturesque bungalow home. Beyond the front cottage with charming French doors, in a second (and equally inviting) space, lies the nucleus of the gallery, its traditional white walls and track lighting nestled within the ivy-coated driveway.
We sneak a walk-through of the property before Alexandra Wetzel, M+B’s Assistant Director, greets us. “It’s the perfect example of an indoor/outdoor California space,” she smiles. Indeed, the space is relaxing and comfortable, with a grateful lack of somber stuffiness or pretension. Through a mutual love for photography and general aversion for Pilates Plus (can you slow it down just a little?), Alexandra takes us through the gallery’s inception, its artists, and its evolution.
We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before.
At the helm of the gallery is Benjamin Trigano, who founded M+B in 2008 out of a deep passion for photography. Together with his team, M+B has spent its formidable years cultivating a roster of artistic mastery, not to mention developing a reputation for signing on undiscovered talent. “We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before,” Wetzel tells us. “LA is blessed with three of the country’s best MFA programs: USC, UCLA and CalArts. The number of artists moving to LA is greater than it ever has been.”
Recently, the M+B program, which has maintained a long-standing foundation in photography, has broken its own mold, transitioning into a wider understanding of the medium. The gallery announced its two-program split—with M+B, their newer, contemporary focus, and M+B Photo, their existing program that remains true to their photographic roots. “Almost all of the artists that we’ve shown in the past few years are contemporary artists. They don’t see themselves as photographers or particularly tied to that medium,” Wetzel explains. The need for the two programs became an obvious trajectory, with its former approach transcending its own limits of photo-based practices.
“This result was really about the artists and the work,” Wetzel imparts. “By always riding the edge and constantly pushing boundaries, the program reached a point where there were two different focuses and it was time to make that distinction.”
Now, with both M+B and M+B Photo under their belt, the programming is really taking off, shedding their more established ties to the lens in favor of prompting a new dialogue on the consumption of art in the digital age. So what’s on deck for the gallery? Soft Target, an ambitious group show curated by M+B artists Phil Chang and Matthew Porter and featuring a parade of artistic talent will be taking over the gallery until the end of August. Additionally, a stunning new body of work from Jessica Eaton is set to take shape (“It’s her first time working with
carbon printing,” Wetzel declares), and Mariah Robertson, one of the latest additions to the M+B roster, will have her west coast debut solo show in the spring of 2015.
We want to do something different and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.
Evidently, this new chapter is slowly and steadily growing, filling the page with freshly innovative processes of artistic production—one that lies beyond the bounds of a once “traditional” medium. “We want to do something different,” Wetzel affirms, “and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.”
Summer’s not just about day drinking and rooftop access. This month, why not branch out and explore your refined right brain a little? From film and illustration to insects and Mexican highways—we’ve got your guide to air-conditioned sophistication, cause no one really cares about your pool selfies.[infobox maintitle=”ALLAN SEKULA | SHIP OF FOOLS” subtitle=”Christopher Grimes Gallery
Opening Reception: July 3rd-September 6th ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.cgrimes.com”]
Allan Sekula’s work spans the mediums of photography, film, and writing, producing incisive documents about labor, nationality, and the history and uses of photography. Deeply skeptical of the mythologies promoted by a society shaped by capitalism, Sekula’s work addresses the concerns of an engaged citizen investigating the networks of political and economic power and their intersection with individual lives and landscapes.
[infobox maintitle=”DAVID HOCKNEY | ARRIVAL OF SPRING” subtitle=”L.A LOUVER
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10th, 6 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.lalouver.com”]
Considered one of the most innovative artists of the postwar era, British-born Hockney adopts various new media in order to investigate the idea of perception throughout his career in los Angeles and England. Embracing cutting-edge technology including Photoshop, Polaroids, iPad, and iPhone drawings, Hockney explores new ways to depict the seasons.[infobox maintitle=”GENEVIEVE CHUA | CICADAS CICADAS” subtitle=”GUSFORD | LOS ANGELES
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10th, 6- 9 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.gusfordgallery.com”]
In Chua’s first north American solo exhibition, she continues to develop her interest in the relationship between controlled situations and the element of chance and the unknown. Through mixed-media installations depicting insects and their environment, Cicadas Cicadas charts the fearsome terrain of psychological horror from a Southeast Asian point of view.
[infobox maintitle=”PIA CAMIL” subtitle=”BLUM & POE
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 12th, 7 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”https://www.blumandpoe.com”]
Camil’s work engages with the Mexican urban landscape in which she grew up in. Through mixed-media installations that include photographs of halted projects along Mexico’s highways and abandoned, decaying billboards, she explores the idea of urban ruin and the traces of art history that exist within it.[infobox maintitle=”DEEP END | YALE MFA PHOTO 2014″ subtitle=”DIANE ROSENSTEIN FINE ART
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 19th, 6-8 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.dianerosenstein.com”]
Diane Rosenstein fine Art plays host to Yale’s MFA thesis exhibition featuring works from new budding artists Erin Desmond, Awol Erizku, Genevieve Gaignard, Hannah Hummel, Fumi Ishino, Casey Mcgonagle, Tyler Moore, Hannah price, Billie Stultz and Evan Whale.[infobox maintitle=”AUDREY KAWASAKI, TARA MCPHERSON, DEEDEE CHERIEL” subtitle=”MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 2nd 19th, 7 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.mkgallery.com”]
Merry Karnowsky presents the unique styles and mediums of three female artists and their exploration of parallel themes. Through work in paint, illustration, and photography, Kawasaki, Mcpherson, and Cheriel invoke meditative and breathtaking narratives that explore the female form.[infobox maintitle=”LUCY + JORGE ORTA | FOOD-WATER-LIFE” subtitle=”BEN MALTZ GALLERY, OTIS
August 16th – December 6th” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.otis.edu/ben-maltz-gallery”]
Food – Water – Life marks the inaugural premiere of the Orta’s work in the US. The French duo appropriate sculptures, drawings, installations, and video in order to shed light on major concerns such as environmental conditions and climate change that define the 21st century. Their humorous, jerrybuilt contraptions gain power as works of art created to move us to awareness and action.
[infobox maintitle=”VARIATIONS: ABSTRACT PAINTING TODAY” subtitle=”LACMA
August 24th – September 22nd” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.lacma.org”]
In an attention-compromised age when images are instant and prevalent, abstract painting serves as a contradiction, acting as a conduit for the mark of the original, individual artist. Variations: Abstract Painting Today presents 29 artists whose work reflects the language and style of abstraction. The exhibition looks closely at the claim of an abstraction that is timely and comments on a studio practice, paying homage to art history’s past while creating a vision for the present.
Ah, a new year. Here’s to new adventures, ambitious resolutions, and, of course, new music. We’ve compiled a preview of some great new—and not-so-new—musical acts / tracks you should have on your radar for 2014.
FRIENDS: “Van Fan Gor Du”
Friends has been incubating in the indie buzzosphere since 2011 and are slowly garnering some well-deserved attention. Headed by Samantha Urbani, Friends is self-described “weird pop,” swapping genres for an infectious, funky album that’s filled to the brim with cutesy female appeal. The band is sure to kill it during festival season, the proto-funk beats providing the ultimate soundtrack when you and your besties are glazed and that dude keeps dancing on you, no, next to you, no, on you.
JAMES BLAKE FEAT. CHANCE THE RAPPER: “Life Round Here”
One of the best things to happen to hip-hop and R&B these past few years has been their head-on collision with electronic music, producing some incredibly catchy beats and reshaping their respective forms in a substantial way. James Blake and Chance The Rapper join forces for a hypnotic, tingly, remix of Blake’s own Overgrown track “Life Round Here.” It’s been one of our favorite remixes to come out of 2013, only made better by celebrated director Nabil’s music video.
(via Lindsay Zoladz | Pitchfork)
“Probably won’t make no money off this, oh well,” Beyoncé shrugs on her new album’s moody, amorphous second track, “Haunted.” And I say this with the requisite curtsy to the Queen, but: bullshit. True, in both content and form, Beyoncé is a risk—an emotionally candid, unconventionally structured experimental pop record that was released digital-only with absolutely no promotion—but we know now that she is going to make a little bit of money off this. Still, how could you not know all along that you’ve got a blockbuster on your hands, when there is a song on your record like “XO”?
“XO” is one of those big, boundary-obliterating pop songs that demands to be projected onto the sky, like the aural equivalent of a firework. There will be a supercut of people all over the world lip-syncing and doing cute hand motions to “XO” by the end of this week. It’s the Beyoncé cut that Ed McMahon would ride for. One of the guys from Skeleton Crew is going to propose to his girlfriend while “XO” is playing and she will say yes. “XO” is the reason why anyone you know who has said, “Yeah, but where are the hooks on Beyoncé?” did not listen to the entire album. Chris Martin is listening to “XO” right now, crying. And, because perfection is overrated, all of the flawlessness here is brilliantly undercut by that gravelly croak in her lower register when she growls, “Baby love me, lights out.” You kill us, Bey.
IMMIGRÉ: “Madeline Remix”
We have a confession. We like to believe it was the LAC crew that “discovered” DJ duo Immigré so we can cling to the backbone of their success when they blow up. Liberian/Iranian/American/European/Creatures-of-the-World, Jasmine & Val Fleury prove the amazing output of collaboration when cultures and music styling’s blend (If only the rest of the world would take their lead). The gals have been curating some fresh mix tapes since 2012, and will be making their rounds on the festival circuit this coming spring. Do yourself a favor and watch them spin live and with love.
WILD CUB: “Thunder Clatter”
This song isn’t particularly new, but it’s finally making its rounds this year, and we have a sneaking suspicion this is destined to be some kind of summer sleeper hit. The Nashville quintet just signed to Mom+Pop Music, and “Thunder Clatter” is a youthful, jubilant, celebratory tune that lends itself to an afternoon of drinking with friends.
KELELA: “Guns & Synths”
If you had to guess whose style Beyoncé might bite for her latest studio album, your guess would probably not have been a no-name LA R&B singer who hangs around with underground electronic producers. And yet that would not have been such a bad answer. Kelela’s blend of hard drum and bass and warm ’90s-style diva vocals made her mix tape Cut 4 Me one of the most talked-about of 2013. She’ll be performing here and there through 2014, including an appearance at SXSW. If you get a chance to see her, do yourself a favor and take it.
BLOOD ORANGE: “”You’re Not Good Enough” [ft. Samantha Urbani]”
Whether writing/producing wispy pop cuts for Solange and Sky Ferreira or releasing misty, meditative R&B (“Chamakay”), Dev Hynes is crushing it…in glossy black dancing shoes. Hynes, aka Blood Orange, sounds like Prince if Prince had been raised entirely at nighttime under Miami’s neon lights. “You’re Not Good Enough” is solid enough to be a massive hit but dude has stayed (largely) under the radar until the release of this album.
EARL SWEATSHIRT: “Chum”
A member of LA’s Odd Future hip-hop collective, the 19-year-old released the sleeper album of the year with Doris—an album light years beyond his peers. “Chum” is 4 minutes of intensely personal yet insanely catchy headphone rap.
TINY HEARTS: “Stay”
Comprised of singer DeDe Reynolds, jazz trained composer Tim K and producer Waajeed of Platinum Pied Pipers fame, Tiny Hearts came together on a fateful night in a bar in Brooklyn in 2011. Since then, the trio has relocated to LA, and wowed us with their debut Stay EP. Waajeed and Tim K create a gritty cocktail of melodic and lyrical potency, while Dede Reynold’s ephemeral vocals bring the whole thing home with an affect that combines a bit of enigmatic gypsy mysticism with a healthy serving of old Hollywood charm.
Just for this Vine:
While we’re a little biased (peep our Jan/Feb cover), Malaysian-born beauty Yuna has been keeping us above water and smiling while we wade through our most gloomy breakup moments, our career pitfalls, or simply, our Wednesday hump day. Yuna is audible euphoria, and just the ray of sunshine we need to kick ass and take names in 2014.