The LA Art Show took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center for it’s 24th year as the West Coast’s largest art fair. Spanning four days from January 23rd - 27th, the exhibit showcased the most diverse range of artists and institutions from all around the Pacific Rim. This 200,000-plus-square-foot space was filled with pop favorites, classical works, and other specialized art scenes that often command their own dedicated shows.
Some themes throughout the show were pop cultural references, neon and reflective surfaces, multi-dimensional works, and work to be enjoyed at difference scales. Below are some of our favorite works from the show:
When Sleeping Beauty Wakes, 2018
Automotive paint and acrylic on aluminum panel
94 1/2 x 126 x 4 inches
MIZUMA ART GALLERY, Singapore
Artist: Amano Yoshitaka
As soon as one entered the show, your eyes landed on a beautiful yet trippy mural of bright colors, almost psychedelic in a way, with a cosmic flare. It was When Sleeping Beauty Wakes by Yoshitaka Amano, a contemporary Japanese illustrator and painter, whose work you may have seen in the Final Fantasy video games. Amano incorporates a breadth of influences into his illustrative mixed-media paintings, fusing fine arts with pop culture and design, while integrating European Art Nouveau style and traditional Japanese brushwork. His fantasy scenes are detailed and delicate illustrations of imaginative narratives, often including villains, armored heroes and monsters. Their energetic poses and saturated colors are akin to the comic book aesthetic of anime, revealing the lingering influence of his early work as an animator. For more information on Amano Yoshitaka and Mizuma Art Gallery, visit mizuma.sg/
Flightless wings, 2017
In the sea, 2017
MIZUMA ART GALLERY, Tokyo Japan
Artist: Shintaro Ohata
At first glance, the work of Japanese artist Shintaro Ohata might look like textural oil paintings, but a closer look reveals that his subjects are not confined to the flat surface of his canvases. Depending on the viewer’s perspective, his colorful, childlike sculptural characters seem to live halfway between their painterly worlds and the gallery showroom. To create his mixed media work, Ohata places three-dimensional, figurative sculptures made from polystyrene in front of his canvases. Painted using matching colors and textures, the two mediums merge together to create a single, 3-D painting. Ohata captures moments of everyday life, often applying a single color in various tones to capture the mood. In the sepia-colored piece titled Flightless Wings, a figure of a girl is captured leaping across a sun-lit beach. Another piece titled In the Sea featured a girl sinking to the bottom of the ocean, where the somber mood is captured with an assortment of blue hues. For more information on Shintaro Ohata and Mizuma Art Gallery, mizuma.sg/.
MELISSA MORGAN FINE ART, Palm Desert, CA
Artist: Anthony James
One of the most photographed and talked about highlights of the fair was Anthony James’ large Portal Icosahedrons light and mirror sculptures shown by Melissa Morgan Fine Art. The steel icosahedrons — a polyhedron with 20 faces — were lit with bars of LED light, illuminating the transparent mirrors within. Looking inside reveals seemingly endless mazes within the space. For more information on Anthony James and Melissa Morgan Fine Art, visit melissamorganfineart.com/.
TIMOTHY YARGER FINE ART, Beverly Hills, CA
Artist: Olivia Steele
There is a new generation of artists who are reinventing and reconfiguring neon to speak of a new time in modern art. One artist leading the way is Olivia Steele — a conceptual artist whose work in neon has been gaining widespread attention across the world. The Berlin-based American artist delves into the spiritual and philosophical elements of modern life by experimenting with neon statements and the surrounding world. Her neon works are short, punctuated truths that mirror the ingenuity of the digital age. For more information on Olivia Steele and Timothy Yarger Fine Art, visit yargerfinearts.com/.
Various Works, 2018
Hand blown and coloured neon, vintage birdcage, plexi glass
76 x 102.2 inches
Everything You Need Is Inside You
Hand blown and coloured neon, Chain-link Fence
MODERN & CONTEMPORARY
COPRO GALLERY, Santa Monica, CA
Artist: Kazuhiro Tsuji
Kazuhiro Tsuji is a contemporary hyper-realist sculptor living and working in Los Angeles. After working 25 years as a special effects makeup artist in Hollywood, Kazu decisively shifted focus in 2012, dedicating himself full time to fine art sculpture. Using resin, platinum silicone, and many other materials, Kazu constructs three-dimensional portraits in a scale two times life size. For more information on Kazuhiro Tsuji and Copro Gallery, visit copronason.com/.
HOFA GALLERY, Los Angeles, CA
Artist: Joseph Klibanksy
Joseph Klibansky is a Dutch artist known for his idealistic paintings and bronze sculptures. The Thinker is an homage to Auguste Rodin’s sculpture Le Penseur often used as a symbol for philosophy. Klibanksy created a modern version of this concept to symbolize the change of people’s thoughts in the 21st century versus the thoughts in 1880 when the original sculpture was commissioned, since we are now in a time where technology and social media reign supreme. For more information on Joseph Klibanksy and HOFA Gallery, visit thehouseoffineart.com/.
The Thinker, 2018
Solid Bronze, Polished and Sprayed
24 x 15 x 12 inches
HOFA GALLERY, Los Angeles, CA
Artist: Ilhwa Kim
South Korean artist Ilhwa Kim has a series of large-scale artworks made of tens of thousands of rolls of paper, prepared based on a ancient South Korean tradition. Kim uses Korean mulberry paper known as ‘hanji,' which she hand-dyes in various vivid colors to create what she describes as separate worlds. "Each piece represents a world of its own, and when thousands of worlds come together it becomes another universe." For more information on Ilhwa Kim and HOFA Gallery, visit thehouseoffineart.com/.
Space Sample 4, 2018
Hand Dyed Hanji Paper
BRUCE LURIE GALLERY, Los Angeles, CA
Artist: Josh Mayhem
Josh Mayhem’s lifelong habit of collecting children’s toys has fueled his passion for transforming said toys into art. Among his best-known pieces are those constituting his “Blown Away” series, in which mass-produced forms are covered in strands of resin and layers of acrylic paint to create gravity-defying drips that give the impression of the work being deconstructed by a strong wind. For more information on Josh Mayhem and Bruce Lurie Gallery, visit luriegallery.com/.
REDERIC GOT GALLERY, Paris, France
Artist: Gil Bruvel
Gil Bruvel’s pixelated wood sculptures show a peaceful face on one side and a colorful burst of abstract color on the other. The Australian-born, French-raised artist uses simple materials to express complex metaphors. These pixelated sculptures, made from sticks of painted wood, were conceived to show “topographical depth.” On one side a face emerges; on the other, an explosion of abstract color bursts forth. This duality is a key component of the series, as viewers are encouraged to explore every crevice and shadow of the sculptures. Upon close examination, it becomes clear that Bruvel’s dynamic use of wood mirrors the dynamism and complexity of the human spirit. For more information on Gil Bruvel and Frederic Got Gallery, visit fredericgot.com/index.php/en/gallery.
Wooden Stick 7 Paint
22 dia x 22 inches
FREDERIC GOT GALLERY, Paris, France
Artist: Stallman Studio
Stallman Studio as created a new technique that combines painting and sculpture called “canvas on edge.” The technique involves cutting large sheets of canvas into strips, which are then hand-painted on the side and ends to stand on its edge in an open 3-D boxed frame. From there, the strips are molded into patterns based on biology and gradients in nature, almost like a kaleidoscope. The end result is a maze of curves and color, changing with each step the viewer takes. The light catches each curve in a different way, showing different sides and shadows throughout the day. For more information on Stallman Studio and Frederic Got Gallery, visit fredericgot.com/index.php/en/gallery.
YOU SEXY THING
ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
CONNECT CONTEMPORARY, Atlanta, GA
Artist: Craig Alan
Craig Alan is an American artist known for his paintings which align groups of people seen from an aerial perspective, to create re-imagined versions of iconic works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Piet Mondrian, and others. Similar to pixels, gatherings of people create these intricately composted portraits. For more information on Craig Alan and Connect Contemporary, visit connectcontemporary.com/index.php.
Mixed Media Acrylic on Board with Resin
60 x 60 x 2 inches
MUSEUM OF LATIN AMERICAN ART, MOLAA
Artist: Cristian Castro
Returning to the LA Art Show for the third year, DIVERSEartLA is a special programming space within the fair dedicated to exhibiting diverse and international institutions from around the Pacific Rim and beyond. One of the featured artists was Cristian Castro, who expresses his artistic talent by repurposing discarded vintage household appliances and old mechanical tools with contemporary designs of his own. In the 27 Fish installation, the artist used 1950s Johnson brand outboard motors for the main body, stainless steel cat bowls, kitchen hinges, nails for the teeth, electrical conduits, fiber glass, custom laser cut aluminum parts molded with a hydraulic press for the fins, and automotive paint with chromed and polished parts to create these hybrid creatures that appear to come from a 19th-century vision of the future. The deep-sea fish in 27 Fish were created in a retro-futuristic style, incorporating kinetic movement and light. For more information on DIVERSEartLA, and Cristian Castro, visit laartshow.com/diverseartla/.
27 Peces/27 Fish, 2018
To find out more about the exhibits, galleries and artists, contact the LA Art Show at laartshow.com.
All Photography by Grace Lennon; taken with permission of LA Art Show