Umar Rashid's work at New Image Art

Umar Rashid's work at New Image Art

M + B = Free Booze

M+B; New Image Art

As the West Hollywood clubs began to bump, we marched to our first destination of Saturday evening, M+B gallery. Tonight this minimalist gallery featured the digital, Albers-inspired work of Jessica Eaton. Each piece is a headache of colors and circles interrupted by fine, parallel lines which pop off the canvas and leave you with a bad case of vertigo.

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Dizzy Albers-ish paintings at M+B

Despite M+B’s prestige, it had the atmosphere of a college party, complete with a crowded driveway and awkward, bearded men in fedoras and red oxfords who guzzled Tecate while hedging around the tipsy women in skimpy black dresses shouting about how white boys suck (homegirl, it’s not even 8 o’clock). One of such creatures drawled, “My roommate is from Azerbaijan!” She’s been dying to drop that all night. After sifting through the murky cliché of black garb, the best dressed of the evening goes to the blonde woman rocking the two-piece silver suit! It’s a sorry opening when the guests are unabashedly more excited about the free booze than the art—probably because the art was so headache-inducing. Pomegranate juice, clementine gin, with a splash of champagne? M+B knows how to throw a kickback.

 

Children and palm fronds at New Image Art

Children and palm fronds at New Image Art

 After the tasty cocktails, we hopped a Lyft down Santa Monica Blvd to New Image Art gallery. This opening had way more hype, energy and overall interest in the art by Umar Rashid. His cowhide paintings and wooden sculptures are immersive and politically charged, definitely a conversation starter about western colonization, particularly in California. The teeny tiny space was packed, and oxygen was depleted early in the night. Children played with enormous palm fronds splayed in the middle of the space, and the white wine tasted suspiciously like apple juice.