I Went To Los Angeles And

I went to Los Angeles and saw a lot of things and it was good and slightly strange. This is what life looks like in Venice, California, if you ever wondered.

Lo and behold, there’s wildlife. There’s also a plethora of contemporary art galleries, which is what drew me in the first place, though sighting an egret (that is what this is, right?) counts as a plus.

From LA Louver, works by Tony Bevan, Matt Wedel, and Shirazeh Houshiary.

Installation view of Tony Bevan’s work at LA Louver, from their website

Flower Tree, Matt Wedel, from ArtNet

String Quintet (detail), Shirazeh Houshiary

From L & M Arts, a range of Jenny Holzer.

From Redaction Paintings, altered images of classified documents released by the US Government

From Marine Contemporary, new pieces by Christopher Michlig.

From White Noise, Christopher Michlig, from MC’s site.

Going to a city is both heartening and saddening.

There is comfort in being with art. In sinking into some one else’s mind and vision, in letting yourself become obsessed with some one else’s obsession. Every work, every artist has their own flavor. The sinewy human-ness of Tony Bevan’s line courses through trees, architectural images, and portraits alike. Matt Wedel’s organic sculptures speak of the birth of form from abstraction, of the joyful, messy processes of coming to life. Shirazeh Houshiary gives music form and and form aspiration. Jenny Holzer takes on human foibles and failings with wrathful compassion, simultaneously mocking and memorializing our species. Christopher Michlig reformulates the detritus of city life into abstracted, playful new iterations of itself.

Seeing – feeling – all these stories come to life through other hands is knowing good company. And suddenly, I am struck by how very much I am missing. To be in good company is to become aware of its absence at other times.

Cities have a tendency to fill me with a gripping loneliness. Could there ever be enough art to fill this gap? But loneliness, I feel, is a self-made sadness. We must undo it as much from within as without. I must make my own art as well as melt into the makings of others. There lies solace, if it is to be found.

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