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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

LA Art Show 2019 Let's Explore and Have A Huge Dose of Pop Culture

By Jonathan Bilski

The LA Art Show returned last week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Art galleries from all over SoCal and the world were presented to attendees. Row after row of galleries had both modern pieces to ponder while there were classics to still be stunned by. What stood out to me was some anime and video game influence. I wandered through wonderful Littetopia showing off modern pop punk. On the outside of that area, much of it the show was intertwined  with some good pieces and some bad. There were many lazy artists taking modern pop culture images and combining them with another pop culture image until you get what some might say are mutants of art. Like two pieces of pop culture got trapped in a nuclear reactor and came out fused together, not quite the same, some might call it monster art or just really tacky. An example would be the bizarre meme of golden age movie star Audrey Hepburn sporting the brand Supreme. Though there was nothing supremely there were pieces that left me stunned and staring.

Entering the art show I was greeted by a piece that looks like it came from the influence of watching anime. A few rows down the work of Hiroshi Mori caught my eye. His work, influenced by video game games and anime took many classics paintings and updated them. Taken from Lichtenstein's In the Car, we have the new manga version keeping the same name from Mori.

Then you have Gustav Klimt's The Kiss re-titled simply Kiss from Mori. Now, this one is blurry by nature. Stranger still, Mori did the piece by taking the sprites from Super Mario Bros 1 or 2 ( a friend debated me over what game they were from) for NES and layering them together to recreate the image and made it like a broken image too.

 The one on the right is blurry on purpose from the artist

Mori's View in and Around the City of Tokyo #1 and #2 from a quick search online don't seem to be taken from existing art. They do look like great backgrounds from a never played video game level from the 90's.

Then there's Mori's piece Jean D'Arc #1 that reminds me of a few recent animes with Centaur girls.

Camille Rose Garcia
Littleopia was a fun highlight. The archway was from the same artist duo Dosshaus that made that cardboard house exhibition that was here in LA last year. Everything in their exhibit was made out of cardboard and the brought some of their pieces to Littletopia.

The modern pop culture art in this section was more in the style I enjoyed featuring working from magazines like Juxtapoz and High Fructose magazine. It seemed just a bit more fun than the mixed media images of celebrities alive and dead repackaged over and over again. Sure, Litteopia had some of those dead celebrities too, but with the other pieces surrounding them made up for it.

Camille Rose Garcia's work looked like out of a story book updated for adults with maybe a little tattoo artists thrown in. Then just other eye-catching work like this rolling chair made of bones and plants.

Weep Now Or Nevermore by Brandy Milne

Once out of Littletopia there were galleries with some times original work and some times sticking Audrey Hepburn with a Supreme handbag. Some of the work seemed like real commentary on the world today and the rest looked like it was copying that commentary. Other pieces just look liked they added cool effects to Star Wars merch.

The show was a mix and that's the art world today. For every piece that might be going over a controversy or just trying to be it's own lovely little moment, you have have an image of Mickey Mouse next Homer Simpsons' head or Nike shoes made out of broken clay. It's always nice to get to see what's going and reflect on it and maybe even tell Audrey Hepburn's estate to get involved.

 Some comic book art for the the comic book fan was available.

 Skyspace LA was reminding people to check it out.