Have Art Will Travel
Art + Practice; UTA; Los Super Elegantes
Saturday really was a lot. Shoutout to the Metro, Uber and my strong legs for getting me from South LA to Boyle Heights to East LA, then over to Hollywood; I’m still recovering.
As you know, Pacific Standard Time LA/LA kicked off in earnest this past Saturday, with openings and events all over the county. I began with Ruben Ochoa’s sculptures and installations at Art + Practice.
I remember thinking to myself that “Sampled y Surveyed” is the most succinct, appropriate title for an exhibition like this. The show read as an artistic interpretation of what our environment really is in Los Angeles. For many, it’s a concrete jungle, even though we’re not known for it. This was my first ever visit to Art + Practice, and I’m in love with the space and how Ochoa used it for his exhibition.
From there, I journeyed to UTA Artist Space in Boyle Heights. I call it a journey for a reason. Bus + rail + bus + Uber. I don’t drive, so everyday is a fantastic voyage. This was another first for me, as I’ve not been to this section of Boyle Heights in some years. It became clear to me, upon my arrival, that this must be the section that’s being heavily protested by the existing community. It also became clear that this is the section where I used to dance and sweat at illegal underground parties. I love this city.
UTA Artist Space is another fantastic site: huge, with a backyard of sorts where free tacos and fixings abounded. The Haas Brother’s opening was a little too well attended—one could hardly turn around. It became clear after a few minutes that 75% of the people there were scenesters. Gag, and eyeroll. The art? Well… men of all ages sure are obsessed with dicks, aren’t they? At least they’re shiny? As for the vagina door into the different realm, I didn’t bother, I’ve got my own to deal with.
In keeping with this day of firsts, I decided to have a stroll across the 4th street bridge into the remnants of what’s left of the “Artist’s District” downtown. That’s right, I’ve lived here 16 years and never walked across any of our bridges. I’m going to do it more often. It was a wonderful stroll, Boyle Heights to Little Tokyo, to the Red Line Civic Center station. Calories were burned, drinking in the city at sunset. Again, I love it here.
Last stop: Gavlak Gallery, more toward my neck of the woods, to meet some friends and see Los Super Elegantes, an art group that tours their conceptual performances and music internationally. Kudos to Gavlak for having a bar sponsored by Gem and Bolt, it was so fitting (and like a true x-enniel, I love their branding!).
By this time in the evening my phone battery was hanging on by a thread (I had long ago exhausted my Mophie), so I was only able to capture the beginning of Los Super Elegantes’ performance.
I like what they did. Having been a member of a performance art group in the past that didn’t really last, I appreciate the kind of work you have to do to be able to stay together, stick with the vision, and convey messages that resonate in a world that would like everything packaged and easily replicable. There was lip-syncing, costume changes, and live painting—they really put on a show. They’ve got fans too; the kind that make you think you’re at a Grace Jones concert. I think I’m one of them now.
Photos by Alexia Lewis
This Last Night column is a follow up companion piece to Artillery’s Instagram Story #ArtilleryTonight. Make sure you’re following @artillery_mag on Instagram so you don’t miss the next one.