The popular Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk is back this Thursday, July 11. As a self-guided tour of galleries from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., it's a great way to experience the city -- both as a pedestrian and art lover. If you're like us and all about the art, sneaking in earlier than later is the one good way to plan your experience before the crowds grow. Here are our hand-picked recommendations for this month.
At the official event lounge, Matthew Weinberg wants to give his art value, so he doodles on paper currency, and it also becomes a form of social protest. With his tagging of currency, Weinberg feels he's asking, "Is it legal, is it vandalism, is it unpatriotic and after all that has been done to it?" It's also a reflex: "Growing up I drew on almost all things before they got thrown away. It was disposable art."
Art Walk Lounge I 634 S. Spring Street
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Those moments when an artist faces a blank canvas, dancers about to commit to a combination of steps, or writers stall before putting an idea on paper, is the source material for Allison "Hueman" Torneros' solo project, RITUAL. Hueman tracked what habits Los Angeles artists use tap into their inner creative. After those observations, she lightly sequestered herself at Think Tank Gallery for two weeks to interpret rituals by painting the space into a free-style mural installation. "Los Angeles has a bad rep for being a vast city with no center. It's easy to feel lost and alone here, but this show is something I could only do in L.A.," she said. "It explores the unique and diverse spectrum of spirituality, ritual, superstition that can only be concentrated in a city like this." Opening night reception will be held during Downtown Art Walk.
Think Tank Gallery I 939 Maple Ave. Ste. 200 (Fashion District)
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Fashion District-based Carol Cirillo Stanley Studio Gallery's current exhibit is "The Metropolitain," which is contemporary fine art photography that captures "the grit, vivid color, and rich design found in the Paris metro." The gallery will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. during Downtown Art Walk.
Carol Cirillo Stanley Studio Gallery 112 W. Ninth Street (Fashion District)
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The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art shares their venue with Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival to showcase experimental one-minute shorts in "Fast Film: Here and Gone in 60 Seconds," and looping video art with "Meaning in Motion." A reception for the artists will be held during Downtown Art Walk, 7 to 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Center For Digital Art I 107 W. Fifth Street (Gallery Row)
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Known for urban portraits, photographer Rick Mendoza showcases a series of abstract aesthetic in "The Botanicals," a selection of work at Gallery 1927. A reception for the artist (with live jazz) will be held during Downtown Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m.
Gallery 1927 (Fine Arts Building) I 811 W. Seventh Street
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"Dream A Dream" is up at PYO GALLERY LA , off the Art Walk path but worth considering. Two contemporary L.A.-based photographers, Ann Mitchell and Aline Smithson, join Seung-won Won from Seoul. "The photographs work with dream states to address issues of identity, trauma, and transcendence such as in psychoanalytic literature," writes PYO.
PYO Gallery LA I 1100 S. Hope Street, Suite 105 (South Park)
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Continuing: "Highland Avenue" by Bill Barminski, a member of Walter Robot, continues at District Gallery (730 E. Third Street) in the Arts District; "Painting in Place" by Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) in the Farmers & Merchants Bank (401 S. Main Street); Angel Wings by Colette Miller at FigAt7th (Figueroa and 7th Street ).
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Norbertellen Gallery brings in "Sakura Exhibition: 5th Anniversary" featuring Japanese comic artists. During Art Walk, Kimono Days Mini-Fashion Show will be held at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., another collaboration with Team LA JAPAN.
Norbertellen Gallery I 215 W. 6th Street, Unit 110 (Gallery Row)
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"Villains" is The Hive's collective of artists responding to Comic-Con being held July 18 - 21 in San Diego. Curated by Trek Lewis, a gaggle of artists made original artworks based off of DC and Marvel Comics' Villains.
The Hive Gallery I 729 S. Spring St., Los Angeles (Gallery Row)
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"Ancient Future" is Osvaldo Trujillo's second solo exhibition with CB1 Gallery. Inspired by a trip to Peru, Trujillo explores relationships between civilizations that span time. "Everything falls apart. Our presence is defined only by what we know of the past and what we don't know of the future. Regardless of how we've advanced, every civilization faces decay. It's the one constant." Mandalic visuals are emblematic of the life and death force of cultures, something the ancients knew better than us contemporaries. Trujillo's paintings come with references to "Pre-Columbian cultures, mid-century utopian architecture, and the rise and demise of civilizations."
Plus, CB1 offers "A Few of My Favorite Things," a scrapbook of sorts for gallery director Clyde Beswick. "For this group exhibition, I wanted to gather work by a selection of some favorite artists, several we represent and others we don't." The works on paper are from the late 1980s to "several recent discoveries," said Beswick, who is careful to say it's not a complete list of favorites. Through August 18, 2013 CB1 Gallery keeps their regular hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
CB1 Gallery I 207 W. 5th Street (Gallery Row)
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Robert Reynolds Gallery hosts the U.S. premiere of "OA," an animated short by Reno Armanet, which itself is an introduction to Tigobo, a French animation school/workshop founded by Armanet and Flavie Darchen. The founders will be on hand with information for budding animators on how to submit portfolios.
Robert Reynolds Gallery and Art Studio I 408 S. Spring Street (Gallery Row)
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Also off the Art Walk path in Chinatown is Gallery Row alum DRKRM Gallery with "Common Ground: New American Street Photography." As we are bombarded with trick-filter snapshots from camera phones, there is a new kind of purity in images that are not altered except by the natural light and movement that make a moment. Forty years after photographers like Garry Winogrand set the pace for street photography, we have arrived in an era of visual manipulation. Being authentic is a worthy art concept.
DRKRM I 933 Chung King Road
If you want to use the afternoon to roam downtown's major venues, here's what you can find on the day of Downtown Art Walk, Thursday, July 11. Admission charges, if any, still apply. Hours vary.
- From the rails at the beginning of the 20th century through the romantic period of flight in the 1960s, traveling used to be done in style. FIDM looks at that period in "Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Travel & Fashion" and examines how various modes of transportation affected 20th century fashion. FIDM Gallery (919 S. Grand Ave).
- "360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story," "Good Vibrations: 50 Years of the Beach Boys," "Ringo: Peace & Love" at The GRAMMY Museum (800 W Olympic Blvd)
- "Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese History" at the Japanese American National Museum (100 N Central Ave)
- "URS FISCHER" at the Museum of Contemporary Art (250 S Grand Ave)
- "Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture From Southern California" at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 N Central Ave). Also on July 11, MOCA hosts a Los Angeles Filmforum screening of recent films documenting 21st century changes in the city's landscape.
- "The Otolith Group: Medium Earth" at REDCAT (631 W. 2nd Street).
LATE ADD: Working all week, Robert Vargas is adding a mural to the Gallery Row portfolio at Sixth and Spring.