The LA Art Show impressed last week with gorgeous galleries featuring artists’ work from around the world. The West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center created an isolated bubble for art lovers to peruse thousands of works over the course of five days. The floor was divided into galleries of different genres, each with its own unique theme and collection.
While the show was grand in scale, it felt far from overwhelming. Attendees could take their time to walk through the maze of different artists’ works without feeling a need to rush — a refreshing change from many shows and conventions that emphasize size over quality and curation.
LA Art Show featured artworks in a number of categories, including traditional themes such as modern and contemporary works, but also more creative themes like “DIVERSEartLA” and “Littletopia.” Perhaps the most intriguing category is Featured Programming, a group of thought-provoking artwork and performances spread throughout the floor.
One of the show’s most prominent features was the vast amount of international artwork on display — most notably from Asian artists such as Amano Yoshitaka, Kato Ai, Ohata Shintaro and Chuni Park. Yoshitaka’s works contained a vast, eye-catching blend of anime artwork and ’70s American pop art. Meanwhile, Ai’s work explores new anime fetishes with classic Asian art, and Shintaro combines 3-D sculptures of young girls with beautiful two-dimensional backgrounds to create eye-grabbing pieces. Park’s work is inspired by his own memories of life and nature, and the results are vast black landscapes that simultaneously evoke awe and terror.
Another enticing display was the latest of Mike Stilkey’s book cover paintings: a stunning female portrait made up of countless hardcover spines. Also an attention-grabber was the latest from WhIsBe, the New York-based street artist, which displayed yet another of his juxtapositional pieces: a giant gummy bear posing for a mug shot.
From the local art scene, the Beverly Hills art gallery Winn Slavin Fine Art was one of the show’s most well-curated sections. One of the exhibitions showcased the imaginative works of sculptor Boban. His metal sculptures, which are entirely comprised of spoons, depict heroic mythological figures rising out of the ground. Boban demonstrates through the statues how humanity can look to mythology to rise from failure.
In another Winn Slavin exhibition, neo-expressionist artist Michael Desroches’ work took inspiration from therapy sessions with his patients. He uses his art to display the different emotions and colors of human therapy through abstract thinking.
Also on display were some of the lost sketches of Salvador Dali from “Dali: The Argillet Collection,” the private collection of Dali’s publisher’s daughter. Ever since the closure of the French Dali museum, these sketches have not been available for view to the public.
Winn Slavin’s last exhibition displayed the existential surrealism works of Vietnam refugee Sir Daniel K. Winn, whose sculptures reconstructs faces and hands with the use of masks. His early work as a medical face reconstructionist inspires most of the masks and works he creates.
Additionally, artist Robert Vargas painted a posed model in front of a live crowd at the show. There were also the provocative sculptures from graffiti artist RISK, which exposed police predation in our modern culture. His presentation included two pieces, a shark composed entirely of machine parts and a police car cruiser sliced in half. Zack Nation’s art gallery revealed a pop culture odyssey through a collection of original comic book and movie cover sketches. The curated collection included some original Spider-Man covers to the original sketches for the movie poster of the 1981 classic, “Clash of the Titans.”
With its vast and curated collection of art, LA Art Show excelled in providing plenty of opportunities for high-end consumers and gazing attendees alike. The annual art show ran from Jan. 23 to 27.