Apr 3, 2008

Eastside Art Smart

Ø Subliminal Projects on Sunset in Echo Park has the first US solo exhibit by French graffiti artist Blek le Rat, opening on Saturday night.

How do I put this... hmm-- oh yeah, I know: This Is Huge.
A pioneer of graffiti writers in Europe, Blek le Rat was one of the first people to use stencils to make public art on the street using icons instead of writing his name.
So when you saw that iconic Rambo 12 ad on the side of every friggin' bus in SoCal a few months ago-- and you did, didn't you?-- know of the trail between Blek and Sly. He's the Warhol of graffiti.

Before this exhibit, the best way to see his work, aside from flying to Paris and a handful of other international cities, was on the exhaustively comprehensive Wooster Collective site, which has been documenting graffiti art from around the globe for several years.

Ø The Brewery Art Walk is this Saturday and Sunday. Not to be missed, bring your favorite LA naysayers, pour a few beers down their throats at the central cafe/water hole and then push them toward that '80s punk art street-trash/dress gallery, just past that really good used bookstore.

Ø Black Maria Gallery in Atwater Village, the little gallery that could, is all of a sudden busting out all over. Owner Zara Zeitountsian is passionate about her artists and her hard work over the past three years is finally coming to fruition with the Hollywood Apocalypse exhibit currently on display. It is a juried show of works based upon a prophetic painting that has only existed in the imagination of readers of the Nathaniel West novella, The Day of the Locust.

Yeah, there's the 1975 film version's Boschean-by-way-of-Munch rendering of the painting, but it's only the starting point for what's on view. Curated by writer and 3D artist Ray Zone, who came up with the concept for the exhibit, actress Patricia Arquette, La Luz de Jesus Gallery owner Billy Shire and actor and comic book publisher Thomas Jane will comprise the panel of judges.

The LA Times' "The Guide" section seemed positively giddy over the fact that it took a rather disdainful view of our savage town. But hey, the mirror has two faces, ya know what I mean?