January is art month in Los Angeles and coincidentally the beginning of the Hollywood awards season. While I found the Golden Globes to be a bore and at times even uncomfortable to sit through thanks to Ricky Gervais’ harsh put downs, the ceremony was far more exciting than the Art Show. With the conclusion of Photo LA comes the final push with back-to-back art weekends with the LA Art Show hosted at the Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles, which opened last night and Art Los Angeles Contemporary which returns to its original venue at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica opening on the 27.
Thanks to my press pass I had the chance to peruse the aisles of the Art Show yesterday afternoon vendors were organizing their press releases, putting the final touches on their booths, industrial grade vacuum cleaners rolled by, and extension chords dangling from the 100 foot ceiling overhead provided power to the drills to finish construction. Over 100 galleries from around the world are participating in the 2011 Art Show and they were all anxious for the Opening Gala to begin and to kick off sales. I noted an overwhelming amount of work that referenced celebrities chiefly Marilyn Monroe, JFK, and Andy Warhol in the form of silkscreens or large scale photographs. As a whole I didn’t feel that work fit in to a particular category of “taste” rather was a hodge podge of anything and everything- predictable, bizarre, or otherwise. The overall vibe of art in an enormous convention center does not exude a sense of community, culture, or inspire creation instead it felt a burial ground from Miami Basel.
Inflated ticket prices and noxious pseudo intellectuals wasn’t the only thing slated for the gala, but tattoo artist and entrepreneur Kat Von D, popularly known for her show LA INK hosted the event. My hunch is that the LA Art Show committee hoped Von D would pull a younger crowd to the event. Also on the agenda was an after party with Shepard and Amanda Fairey. Perfect timing! I’m sure they would love to discuss the recent settlement with the Associated Press over the Obama “Hope” image. For all you who attended last evening, I hope it was worth your time and cash.