The audience is listening...gallerygoer watching London video; Cole Case on left.

The audience is listening...gallerygoer watching London video; Cole Case on left.

Girl Power at Chimento Contemporary

Laura London, Cole Case at Chimento Contemporary

Last night found us in Downtown LA at Chimento Contemporary for Laura London’s show. We’ve been following London’s “girls” for quite some time, so we were anxious to see the newest crop of female adolescents usually featured in her work.

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It was a beautiful day once again in Southern California, and as the night wore on we found ourselves sipping wine on the gallery’s lovely rear deck where a waft of tobacco and pot smoke perfumed the balmy evening breeze. Holding court was dapper black-leather clad performance artist Skip Arnold—most likely responsible for both aromas!

Skip Arnold

Skip Arnold

Inside, London’s work was beautifully hung within the main gallery’s luminous white walls. Eva Chimento, the owner, somehow has cleverly made where the gallery walls and floor meet seamless, presenting an illusion not unlike being in a James Turrell white-light installation. From a distance the hung photos seemed to float in space. A combination of black-and-white photographs, color photographs and a new enticing girl-standing-with-disappearing-tattoo video rounded out the show. London’s subjects, with their Lolita-like innocence—and the artist’s detailed direction right down to the teen-fashionable tennis shoes—confronted us with all their pubescent might. Milling among the girl portraits were grownup females Phyllis Green, Maura Bendett and ex-gallerist Patricia Correia. Looking sharp and lively was “Make ’Em All Mexican” Linda Vallejo. We even spied actress LeMaire—talk about Girl Power!

 

Jeff Ho, LIsa Rosel, Laura London

Jeff Ho, LIsa Rosel, Laura London

LeMeirda

LeMeirda

We couldn’t help but see from afar Michael Shaw, so we politely approached him and interrupted his Conversation with another gallerygoer. The LA-based art podcast host seemed none too happy to change the subject. On our way for a second round of wine, we stopped in the project room to view Cole Case’s excellent ink-and-gouache drawings of Los Angeles. Our too-happy bartender filled our plastic wine cups to the brim, as artist Dani Tull made sure we were taken care of.

Subject Shauna Watts with her portrait by Laura London

Subject Shauna Watts with her portrait by Laura London

Too-happy bartendar Alex Sanchez on left.

Too-happy bartendar Alex Sanchez on left.

On the other side of town attending the Christopher Russell show at Mark Moore Gallery was Artillery staff-writer Ezrha Jean Black. Russell’s (now a Portland-based artist) newest photographs are drawn from nature resembling Japanese-influenced textiles, all etched and scratched into the photographs—a highly recommended show. Ezrha said she was heading over to Charlie James Gallery in Chinatown for the Ramiro Gomez opening. It seems we missed a not-to-be-missed opening. And word on the street says it was a sold-out show! And on the heels of another highly successful exhibition with New Yorker artist Guy Richards Smit, it seems Charlie James is on a roll. Unfortunately we missed it, but that’s what those Southern California balmy nights and full glasses of wine can do to you—they just wanna make you go home early and call it a night.