This past Thursday, I packed up work early so I could hit the Downtown Art Walk. It had been a while for us, I think the last time we did was a few months ago when Huell Howser was hanging out in front of BGFA. We tried to ride the Artwalk DASH, but one was never around or going in the right direction when we needed one, so we just walked. I videotaped part of the walk and I'll post that shortly.
We started at the gallery around the corner, Art Murmur for Austin Young's "God Save the Queen", a solo exhibition of contemporary photography and film exploring androgyny and tranvestitism. Save for a few images, his work didn't really speak to me, but instead I kept wondering, "Is that Alexis Arquette?". Jim really liked the frames.
Next stop was Bert Green Fine Art at 5th and Main. I highly recommend you check out Elizabeth Tobias' work at BGFA. It is stunning and I found myself wishing I had an extra $24,000 handy to buy the piece titled, "Wall Wave 1/Gate Gate Paragate" (Cibachrome on Wood Panel
78 x 192”). Jim really liked Joel Hoyer's "The Yasawas" (Gold Leaf, Gesso, Fijian Masi on Wood, 61 x 42 x 2”), but he didn't have an extra $6,000. I really need to finish my screenplay so I can use my bonus to buy artwork and a Hello Kitty bike.
There was a band playing on the sidewalk outside Pharmaka, which really added to the street circus atmosphere. We didn't go inside since we've already seen that show. We walked up Main Street to the DLANC Outreach Center (next to the Regent Theater) to check out Benjamin Pezzillo's photography exhibit titled, "Close to Home: 31 Photographs of Downtown LA", and I am so glad we did. My favorites were #11 and #19, and they were very reasonably priced. Jim and I are currently painting our front entry, but we'll probably revisit his photography when we're done painting and ready to put up some artwork.
Alas, Niche L.A. was closed, so we turned away sadly from the Spring Arts Tower and went kitty-corner to Red Dot so I could use the facilities. That's when I ran into Jayson, someone I knew from way back when I was working for Chanel and he was working for Paula Dorf. I didn't recognize him at first (it was years ago), but thankfully he recognized me and stopped me to chat. Jayson moved into City Lofts earlier this year and loves living downtown. I'm so glad I'm getting even more fun, cool neighbors.
Out on 5th, we ran into Kitty and friends and our downstairs neighbors Sam and Winston. Sam and Winston just downed a couple of the free Grolsch beers from Pharmaka, Kitty & Co. just left Pete's, and they were all on their way to Gary Leonard's studio, then Seven Grand. We were on our way to Crewest to check out "Italian Masters", a group show featuring 22 graffiti artists from Milan with live painting in the alley behind the gallery, then dinner at LiliYa, but we made plans to meet up later. Yeah, I can't believe that Jim and I have yet to make it over to Seven Grand. Anyway, there was one piece at Crewest that both Jim and I were enamored of, but we didn't have $2,000 to spare. My production bonus is going to be earmarked in full by the time I get my grubby hands on it. We watched some of the graffiti artists painting for a while, but we left because we were hungry.
On the way to LiliYa, we stopped at MJ Higgins and fell in love again, this time with Dick Heimbold's "Hop Louie" (16x12, oil) and "Gin Ling Way". We dragged ourselves away, knowing we'd be returning later.
Part of why I like having dinner at LiliYa China Bistro is because of its location. We sit in a booth enjoying the awesome sesame chicken and watch the circus of clubgoers alighting their vehicles at valet and heading to Edison. It's a steady stream of hoochies, hipsters and trying-too-hard scenesters preening in the car one last time, adjusting their push-up bra/skinny jeans/retro duds, and doing one last "cool check" before they turn the corner and into the alley. It's perfect - dinner and a show.
After dinner, we were walking past The Lofty Dog on our way to 2nd Street Cigars & Art Gallery when Jim suggested we check out the pet store. I don't know how it happened, but next thing I know, we're checking out the three adorable Shih Tzu puppies upstairs. We left sans puppy, but Jim suggested that we purchase two puppies. I was actually the voice of reason for once.
We stopped at 2nd Street Cigars just long enough to check out their exhibit, "Cuba", featuring photography by Anthony Martin and Jason Zakrzewski. Just like the previous galleries, Jim and I found plenty that we liked. A quick look at the time meant we had to hotfoot it over to Seven Grand, but en route we received a twitter from Shannon - she was already on her way to my favorite supersecretlatenighthangout.
We said "screw it" to Seven Grand, changed direction, and walked over to find my supersecretlatenighthangout gearing up for another, um, late night. Shannon and Dave were already at the bar. I texted Kitty, she was on her way. Nic Cha Kim strolled in - it was so nice to catch up and hang out. Penelope got off work and made it over, and we had a nice little group of friends enjoying a chill night in a hot space. Old friend and new friends stopped by, the dance floor was packed, and it looked like Dave was drinking a Big Gulp Maker's Mark. Good times.
Finally, it was time to go home. We all said our goodnights, then Jim and I walked home down Main Street. There were still stragglers out on the streets and at Banquette, refusing to let the fun/night end. We waved goodnight to Monica, then continued down Main, enjoying the quiet walk home and our wonderful neighborhood.