Weekend in LA

This past weekend was the opening of Pacific Standard Time in Los Angeles, along with Pulse LA, and Art Platform – Los Angeles. I drove down with Sterling and Nick for the opening reception of Art – Platform on Friday evening. We arrived around 6 pm, valet parked my dirty subaru, and proceeded to bump elbows with the art world. There were a myriad of international artists and galleries represented upstairs, including a special installation of Ai Weiwei’s Snake Bag, but there was a sense of vibrant energy coming from the basement. The Co/Lab segment featured a thorough selection of L.A.’s artist-run and non-profit spaces, like Control Room and Actual Size. These types of spaces are typically underrepresented at art fairs due to the high costs of purchasing a booth ($10k+), so it was a pleasure to see them getting a slice of the pie. Co/Lab brought a regional emphasis to the fair, highlighting one of the main reasons the art scene in Los Angeles is booming; it’s affordable to live/work here whether you’re an emerging artist OR curator. And speaking of booming, my congas were installed across the hall from Co/Lab in the second rendition of BOOM, juried and curated by Ali Subotnick from the Hammer Museum. After the opening we headed to the after party on the roof of The Standard hotel where we met up with Tim and a few other’s from Okay Mountain.

Okay Mountain was recently picked up by Mark Moore for representation, and they had installed Stationary Machines, essentially a medieval home-gym/torture mechanism, at the main entrance of Pulse LA. Mark Moore is now also representing Stephanie Washburn, and he is featuring Washburn and Mark Mulroney (both UCSB alumni) in the current Ultrasonic VI exhibition. We spent a good chunk of Saturday sitting at the main entrance to Pulse, drinking free beer with the members of Okay Mountain. Additionally, it was good to see the work of Eric Beltz, another UCSB alumn & lecturer in our department, at the Morgan Lehman booth.

On Sunday, Sterling and I did some thrifting around town and went to Venice Beach for some food before we headed to the Co/Lab after party at Angel City Brewing. This is where the art world started shrinking, almost incestuously. First and foremost, I was excited to see my friend Carmen Price, who was in town working with the Carrie Secrest Gallery (Chicago), who had a booth at Pulse. Before too long, Carmen’s friends Kari Reardon and Liz Nurenberg showed up to the party. I met Carmen at Ox-Bow over the summer, and Kari and Liz had both spent time there in previous years. I introduced Sterling to Carmen, and before too long we figured out that everyone at the table knew Lucy Chinen . Carmen went to school with Lucy at SAIC , and Sterling had done a show with her in Brooklyn a while back. Lucy had introduced us to Samia Mirza, who was gracious enough to let us crash at her house over the weekend. Samia had spent time at Ox-Bow in undergrad, and she also went to school with Carmen. Before too long, Valerie Green sat down at the table. Nick and I had met Valerie a few weeks back and had recently attended her performance at ACME, which was part of Martin Kersels’ exhibition Passionista. Sterling knew Valerie because he had liked one of her videos on vimeo. And then I realized that Kari Reardon always showed up in my ‘people you might know’ list on Facebook.

On Monday we headed back to Santa Barbara, and before too long I was sitting next to Martin Kersels at a bar. And I had a fantastic studio visit with him on Tuesday. It’s a pleasure to be a part of it all.

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