Last Saturday night, May 14th to be exact, I was invited by a good friend, Stephanie Sherwood, to an art show she and partner Noel Madrid put together in Downtown Los Angeles called “Somewhere in L.A.”. The show was the first one held in some time at the very top of the Little Tokyo Arts Complex and I was privileged to capture some of the ambiance and art of the event.
The show was held on the third floor of the building. Because the first and second floor are used for personal artist studios, art pieces hung in the stair way leading up to the event which in a way was foreshadowing some of the contemporary art to come. Once at the third floor great music from the band and a large group of people bobbing to the tunes greeted me at the top.
I looked around to see if I knew anybody and when I didn’t recognize anyone right away I walked over to the better lit rooms to start gazing upon some of the beautiful art from various up and coming artists, many of whom where Cal State Long Beach Alumni! As I entered the first room I was presented with Katie Shanks’ monumental installation titled, “Nobody Lives Here”.
The large mixed media installation immediately brought to mind Marilyn Minter’s work in that the installation was somewhat seductive in a very intricate and disorganized fashion but with clear evidences of pattern, line, and composition. Getting up and personal to Katie’s large installation was the only way to take it all in and to remember all of its intricacies.
I got a chance to talk to Katie for a bit and she mentioned that in the past she has even collaborated with Stephanie Sherwood in other installations. Katie went on to say that they work well with each other and that because of the aesthetic nature of their work, it is easy to marry their subjects together. Once done taking in the installation I found Stephanie and went on to browse at some of her work.
I’ve known Stephanie for about 5 years and always see her posts about shows she’s participating or collaborating in but due to distance never quite get to see or attend. This time would be different and I knew I had to capture some of the hard work that she and these amazing emerging artists were producing.
We walked over to some of her worked and stopped at this piece titled, “Touch Toes”. From having worked with Stephanie in the past and on this artists’ first major retrospective specifically speaking, I know Richard Diebenkorn is one of her favorite artists and its hard for me not to correlate his reserved pastel work with some of the muted colors and abstract paintings she produces.
The intricate line work and composition of the paintings she tells me, are from quick sketches she gets to do from actual meat. I feel the structure and patterns of meat are captured quite accurately by her work and almost express a new type of impressionist form.
As I moved on about the show I spotted one of the most outstanding series of works there, the ceramic pieces by Lorren Lowry. Her works titled, “Sultry Poultry”, essentially demonstrated butchered chickens performing various sexual poses.
There were a myriad of ways to interpret her her work so for the most part I succumbed to my lowest art connoisseur senses and purely enjoyed the works for their visual aesthetic execution.
I loved how you could clearly distinguish that the poultry was different with the soft pink and beige color scheme and that the poses truly depicted the contortions that us humans actually perform during this natural and satisfying ritual. I also enjoyed the crackling within the ceramic paint in some of the pieces as it created a beautiful effect.
Before I made my way out of the show I quickly thanked Stephanie, Katie, and some of the other artists for allowing me to capture this genesis of an event and grilled them for a few minutes on where I should have gone to eat before I drove back to Orange County.
I truly can’t wait for their next show and hope I cover it again. Make sure to check back as I’ll be posting a gallery of more of the event below, enjoy.