The 2011 Los Angeles Art Show introduced me to a couple of artists whose careers I look forward to following. One of these artists was Cecilia Paredes who was represented by Salt Fine Art, a gallery in Laguna Beach specializing in Latin American Contemporary Art. The owner, Carla Tesak Arzente travels the world to carefully curate her gallery with contemporary artists whose lives are as compelling and provocative as the art they produce.
Cecilia Paredes is an artist from Peru whose work is reminiscent of Cindy Sherman in that she is frequently the subject in her art; she literally paints herself into the background of her paintings. Her work is an interesting commentary on assimilation; while she attempts to blend into her surroundings, she still stands out as somewhat of an oddity. The works are quite beautiful.
From Peru we went to Argentina and Galeria Moro where I was haunted by Francisco Bugallo’s “Benoist As a Pre-Text”, a stunning portrait of a faceless woman, who is actually not faceless at all. The longer you stare into this painting, the woman’s features begin to slowly emerge. It was a beautifully compelling piece that I couldn’t look away from. I have to apologize for the quality of this pic, it has some fingerprints on it.
Our trip around the world ended right on the streets of Los Angeles, where art was created right before our eyes curated by Bryson Strauss and the L.A. Art Machine. “Vox Humana” was a large-scale live art installation that featured 2 muralists and 2 street artists creating works in the convention center. The featured artists included Andrew Hem, Edward Walton Wilcox, Shark Toof, and Chor Boogie and it was a fascinating look into the creative process of artists.
The project incepted during the premiere night Wednesday and culminated in an unveiling on Sunday January 23rd. Many noted street artists including Shepard Fairey were on hand to observe the artists at work. I think that it is great that the Art Show has embraced street art as a legitimate medium, but with it comes on the heels of the brouhaha among Jeffrey Deitch, Blu, MOCA and the mural that never came to be. It seems like controversy and street art are two great things that go great together. It will be interesting to see how the medium is embraced or maligned during the Geffen Contemporary’s Street Art retrospective in April 2011.