Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fool me once...

Yesterday C. and I hit a few galleries in Santa Monica and Venice beach. The first place we went to was the Rosamund Felsen Gallery in the Bergamot Station Arts Center, which has about 30 galleries. Rosamund Felsen is showing Kaz Oshiro and Dan Douke through December 30 - they're two trompe l’oeil artists whose work appears, respectively, as Toyota tailgates and cardboard boxes. The level of craftsmanship is so suburb that we went into the gallery and then had to march right back out to the snooty receptionist for more info on what we were looking at. Everything is acrylic on canvas, we were informed with a raised eyebrow. This type of work, sure, it's interesting, and you go in and you go, "Yup, that looks just like a cardboard box." And then what? In a way, today, it's practically reprehensible. I mean, in terms of representation, the contemporary painter's got to deal with certain challenges - where is the place of representational painting after photographs (not to mention Foucault - har har har), for example? So, you have Chuck Close, or other artists completely avoiding the representational completely. And then these trompe l'oeil artists essentially just showing off... What do they bring us that's NEW? I ask. (: Well, this is not my area, so there may be some major disagreement with my pov. Oh, btw, there was this big piece of plywood leaning against the wall, and as we were getting ready to leave I was grousing about how it didn't really fit in, but then it hit me, it was tromp l'oeil too. Arg!

Another show we saw was Gajin Fujita at the LA Louver. I thought his work was really fresh and funny. A great mix of traditional Edo-style Japanese art and street graffiti. Really beautiful work.

So, here's a funny story - the other day my sis and I were making cookies and fudge and we realized we were missing an ingredient, so I suggested we walk over to the grocery store, which is a block away from my sister's place. On the way to the gate of my sister's condo complex, she says, "How do we get out?" and I'm like, "What?!?!" She had NEVER WALKED out of the place, only driven. Ah, L.A.

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