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February 26, 2007

LA Art Fair.. A Pleasant Surprise..from the Wrong Coast!


LA Art.. The biggest positive surprise of the week..


While it was possibly one of the smallest fairs.this week, it was very manageable..

We found several high quality booths..showing both new and vintage works.

A great blend.

Generally the Metropolitan Pavilion manages to make any art fair seem like a Shiners Convention.. But, I'm not totally sure why I liked this fair..

  • Maybe it was the smaller crowd..
  • Maybe it was the free hot scones and muffins they had at the VIP brunch..
  • Maybe it was the dealers willingness to talk to visitors without saying go away "Its already Sold!!" first..

I'm not sure..but we liked this fair.

Particularly strong booths were put together by....
- RoseGallery.. from Santa Monica, showing new work from both photographers Todd Hido, and I guess they now represent Tomoko Sawada.

- Marc Selwyn Fine Art from LA, had several new work from NYC painter Chris Dorland.

- Paul Kopeikin Gallery had new work from Photographer Chris Jordan and Digital Artist/Photographer Lukas Roth.  FYI.. We had looked at this new Chris Jordan "Running The numbers - an American Self Portrait" series on line.. We initially HATED it.. but the work looks much better in person. (See Photo #1) It's worth at least checking out.. But what was more shocking was the new price tags, starting at $25k.. this one was almost already sold out, so now the price is up to $45k for this George Seurat photo-mosaic. It depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds. Hmm.. is this Cheese? or Art?

- Roberts & Tilton had new work by both Barry McGee and Kehinde Wiley. Kehinde was actually at the gallery booth Friday morning just hanging out with us (see photo #2).. He's such a nice and down to earth guy...so unusual  friendly for such a super star artist.  It just made us love his work even more! If that was possible. (Photo #3.. new triptych by Kehinde Wiley)

And if you noticed the sign.. downstairs were 2 very enjoyable booths..
Wayne_white_too_long_at_the_fair- Western Project from Culver City, with work by painter Wayne White, and photographer Joe Schmelzer. (Photo, Painting by Wayne White, "Too Long at The Fair")

- Brancolini Grimaldi Arte Contemporanea, Italy. Showing work by photographers Valerie Belin, and Massimo Vitali.

Well.. that's 3 fairs down.. and so much more to go!


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I can't get Chris Jordan's work. I tried for a little while. But to me he's trying too hard and the concept's are weak. I agree with this guy over at Gallery Hopper. Am I just totally missing it or what's the connection between the amount of American Soda cans used every thirty seconds and French Pointilism? It reminds me too much of these cheap photomosaic books you see at barnes and noble. Or he photoshops 30 thousand handguns on an overpriced er oversized c-print "equal to the number of hand gun deaths every year." Ooooh, what a statement!!! The "Paper Bags" print almost worked. In that the stacks of bags "almost" look like trees but it's just not that eloquently or beautifully photoshopped. It makes you think for maybe a second and is all boring to look at once you get the joke. I'll keep my 35k, thanks.

And another thing, do artists ever take into account all of the work they produce, the size of it, the cost of preserving, or the waste of fuel in transporting these oversized works of "art?" He's just as much a part of the problem that he is criticizing. Now this oversized piece of paper is going to have to be carefully preserved for eternity. Just adding to the already overloaded mass of stuff on this earth. For his next series he should do a photo of all the wasted canvas, photopaper, marble, resin, photo chemicals etc. etc. used by artists every year. Now that might be more interesting. Questioning the value of art ...in a way. And is it worth it, or is it becoming just another arm of the overpolluted commercialism rampant in the world.


...anyway, most of the other stuff you mentioned isn't bad. Love Barry Mcgee, Todd Hido, Chris dorland, all good stuff. Westerrn project — cool stuff too.

Art Brute is too brutal on Chris Jordan. I like his work. By the way MAO, how much were the other works in your pics, especially that cool Kehinde Wiley triptych? Also, there's some good stuff at that Christie's First Open auction on Wednesday...check it out.

The Kehinde Wiley was already sold... but I think it was $80K for the set...was told it was going to a corp collection.

The smaller Kehinde Painting was $9k.

I think the Wayne White painting was $7 or 10k.. I don't remember.

I checked out Christies today! You're right..some cool stuff!

I agree, Chris Jordan's new work is weak and shall I say "easy". How many times have you seen a photo made of hundreds other objects/photos on the cover of Time magazine or Newsweek. So, that is not even original, especially he is pickin some over used iconic image. all I see is $$$ when I see the work, it is for the new-money without taste. Totally belong to that Paul Kopeikin Gallery.

A little inside info - The Kehinde Wiley triptych was sold for $75,000 to the Rubell Family Collection....

I like insider info, nice #'s too. Is that you in the photo mao?

MAO, thanks for such a great site. I check it out on a daily basis and now have an amazing Sarah Pickering photo waiting to be framed thanks to you. Anyways, do you remember how much the Todd Hido photos were going for? I love his work.

Hey Jenny...
Thanks for reading the blog!

I think the Todd Hido prints were going for $2,500 to $4,000 depending on edition size and how many from the edition had been sold.
FYI.. the gallery people at Rose are super nice too!

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