20th Annual Los Angeles Art Show
I had never heard of the Los Angeles Art Show until its 20th Anniversary Edition this year. I was even more shocked to hear it was being held at the Convention Center. This year more than a third of the galleries came from around the globe; exhibitions featured China, Cuba, Korea, Japan, Mexico, UAE and more. The exhibitions featured pieces ranging from vintage, contemporary and modern art styles along with sculptures and castings. This year, the LA Art Show became the first major show to recognize the “Pop Surrealist” art movement with the Littletopia gallery.
There was plenty of traditional, vintage fine artworks on display.
But of course, these digital photos can’t hold a candle to the detail of the original paintings. These vintage pieces deserve to be seen in person to truly appreciate the amount of work and detail. These three pieces can be seen at the M.S. Rau Antiques gallery.
Being completely honest, I was enamored by all the contemporary pieces – some were inspired by traditional techniques, such as the Chinese ink paintings done by Zhuang Yujun.
This striking canvas found at the Primo Oro Gallery was created using 24k gold.
I was lucky enough to get a look at the creative process of Robert Vargas, who painted a portrait live! It was mesmerizing watching him carefully add paint and watch the work come to life.
The UAE Exhibit also featured a unique sculpture with Arabic script.
To be completely honest, I was most intrigued by two galleries: the Dark Progressivism gallery and the Littletopia exhibit.
“Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising” was curated by Cartwheel Art. The aesthetic relies heavily on Southern California culture – drawing inspiration from graffiti, tattoo and street culture. The pieces are dark and gritty more akin to German expressionism, as opposed to Littletopia’s bright and poppy surrealism.
I found Littletopia to be the most refreshing and eye-catching exhibit. For instance, take this painting of Michael Jackson, made up of stencils of smaller bodies.
The picture below is a riff on Catholic imagery infused with anime-styled characters by Hiroshi Mori.
Damien Hirst also debuted his Cathedral Collection, a collaboration between the artist and Californian jewelers Hoorsenbuhs. The pieces combine precious stones with medical symbolism to create two pieces, a Pill Ring and a Pill Rosary. “You can pray to your pills. They are like a cure,” says Hirst.
Littletopia showed off a plethora of interesting sculptures. Check them out below!
There were also these startling sculptures of the father of pop art Andy Warhol, and possibly the most famous surrealist artists, Salvador Dali. These sculptures were done by Kazuhiro Tsuji and stand almost 7 feet tall!
These works by Greg Auerbach combined paint and bullet casings to create unique pieces.
And what’s pop art without making jabs at some celebrities? These following pieces are by David MacDowell
Finally, who knew that Kim Jong Il would actually make a guest appearance?
The Los Angeles Art Show runs until January 18th. Tickets are $20 at the door, but $15 if you buy them online here.