Hollywood, Downtown, LBC, that place you can never get in and don't really know why you keep on trying...I'm no expert, so a single question stays on repeat: Where to find what to do? On a freezing, black night with a full tank of gas and a dress that lied WARM on the hanger, I could have gone anywhere. I could have done anything. I opted for a local Art Show.
Some of you are thinking "cool." Some are thinking "snooze." As I'm no where-the-hell-to-go expert, I'm no art expert either. But, I do know a warm and welcoming atmosphere built on bonds within a community. I do know when I'm looking at brilliant beauty that comes from somewhere deep within. I do know when it's never been easier to make a friend. There's a message here: This is how a Saturday evening is supposed to look. And you really don't want to miss the next one.
The show, 2nd Saturday Truck Showcase, introduced itself on Saturday, January the 12th (where were you?) at the beautiful Rose Rock Gallery in Highland Park.
Two jacks-of-all-things-local, gallery owner Rosamaria and Art Curator Manny Z. Rodriguez gathered local artists and coalesced the creative contradistinction into a profound presentation of paint, texture, color and sculpture that defined the word "moving".
Split into two large rooms, DJ M took his corner and set some serious atmosphere as the Joe and Jane crowd perused the gallery's exhibit with ease and zero discomfort - other than a little (A LOT) of awe for the exceptionally talented artists present and keeping up with the introductions. The sculptures stood at some well deserved attention on tables in the center of and around the rooms, leaving large blocks of walk space with white wall backdrops for viewing paintings suspended by fish wire from the ceiling. Themes depicting violence, femininity, rebellion and religion challenged the heart and mind in vivid shades of every color or sometimes, no color at all. I learned that a powerful statement can be made in simple black and white. The best pieces were the artists themselves.
Michael Avena, a tattoo artist known for his surgical precision and attention to detail, breathed life into paintings of classic horror and religious figures. Employing chalk and oil, his depiction of a woman on the altar was hard to look away from and his smirking Freddy Kruger looked real enough to draw more than a few haunted side-glances.
Large, contrasting pieces in juxtaposition. Michael Rascon gave us minimalism, geometrical shaping and culturally inspired depictions of the female form. His talent resists confinement and seemingly, limits.
Outside, Fernando Barragan rocked the sidewalk crowd with live sculpting demonstrations and fantastic conversation. The man's gotta have a photographic memory ‘«Ű his wooden caricatures of the human race managed to look both whole and broken and‘«™. beautifully complicated. Much like us.
And‘«™the bike. It just wouldn't be right if I didn't mention Jimmy Centeno's version of the bicycle. Sewn together by wood and metal, when your bike has round concrete slabs for tires, with the Aztec calendar chiseled out on either side ‘«Ű is there anymore to say, or did you just take the cake?
Joining the above spaghetti bowl of artistic inclinations were additional painters, sculptures and a crowd who just wanted to get the party started, keep it rolling, and talk shop about the fantastic art birthed from the heart of the local population.
Artist, collector, IKEA art shopper or none of the above - there is something here for everyone; even if all you're looking for is a little wine, a few hors d'oeuvres and a big hello at the door.
By the way - I hear DJ M is showing Frankenstein on a projector at the next one (February 9th) also at Rock Rose Gallery. I know. I'll see you there.