Monday, March 9, 2009
Nine Lives At The Hammer by Cole Case/Los Angeles
3.9.08......Saturday night was the opening of Nine Lives, a show at the Hammer featuring 9 Los Angeles artists. As always, Annie Philbin throws a totally sick party. Endless breadsticks and free drinks, yum! Not to mention DJs. Turnout was sparser than usual for a Hammer opening, they are usually like a madhouse, probably due to the fairs in New York. That was fine, more breadsticks and Heineken for me and my fellow painter and party crasher Lester Monzon.
This being LA, all the A-listers were quite well dressed (Lester and I looked like we'd been shopping at Ross) and started leaving only half an hour into the event, including LA art god Ed Ruscha. SO LA. Everybody wants to be home by 9, what's up with that? I can hear the laughter from the LES 3,000 miles away :-)
Anyway, there was some really great stuff in this show. I've always been a big fan of Llyn Foulkes and I've never seen so much of his work in one place before. He fucking rocks. Jeffrey Vallance, another personal fave, had a trophy wall that was awesome. Victoria Reynolds paints like a motherfucker, her room was gorgeous. Lisa Ann Auerbach displayed a bunch of hand knitted sweaters featuring a wide range of sociopolitical statements that were sharp, sassy and funny ("Knock knock. Who's there? 9/11. 9/11 who? I thought you said you'd never forget!" I mean that kicks ass!). And really well knitted! Plus she's totally cute!
The big surprise for me was Charlie White. His work has always been wonderfully creepy, photographs of cocktail parties with aliens mingling awkwardly with humans, etc., but these photos just killed in the creep AND beauty departments. Each photo features a pair of subjects. One is a teenage girl, the other is a transgendered man right before the final operation that will seal the deal. Both subjects are on the cusp of becoming women. What creates the creep/beauty factor is that both subjects in each photo look like identical twins separated by a decade or two. I attached an image, this is really moving work - beautiful, thought provoking and super powerful. I'm still thinking about it.
Who was there? Lots of painters: Oliver Arms, Phil Argent, Jane Callister, Lisa Adams, Kristin Calabrese, photo girl extraordinaire Soo Kim, Lara Schnitger with baby in tow, Ed Schad, gallerist John Kinkead and a host of other funseekers.
Here's the link, SOOTYCK! http://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/detail/exhibition_id/151