Friday, June 14, 2013

LA's Downtown Art Walk is Insanely Fun

Oh my God you guys, LA's Downtown Art Walk - I went last night and I am beyond BEYOND in my head about how much fun I had. AND I WENT BY MYSELF. First, my husband and I had plans to go together which he forgot and instead went with our friend Carlos to Post Tenebros Lux at Cinefamily (which he loved). I texted a few of my lady friends to see if any of them wanted to join me. Nope. None were available. And to top it off I had worked that day - it wasn't terribly hard - but I felt a little tired and was thinking that evil, horrible, I-wish-I-never-had-this-thought-but-I-have-it-all-the-time: I should just stay in.  And then, as the sunny day was dying down (and I took a vital shower) it dawned on me WHAT THE HELL? As my Aunt Betsey says, "I can sleep when I'm dead." In other words...

I went downtown.

What a brilliant BRILLIANT move on my part, if I do say so myself. Here's the thing, which you may already know, I'm doing this blog SO THAT I LEAVE THE HOUSE!

LA can be a lonely, myopic place. Either you're working like a dog or freelancing where the work comes in drips and drabs like a runny nose on a summer day. So you're isolating with a group of people and working your ass off or you're not working your ass off but you're still sort of working and more often than not, you're isolating at home.

Right now I'm in the latter category. Which is why I created Opine LA. It makes it so while I'm in the freelance mode I am required to leave my home NO MATTER WHAT. The result is you get to learn about all the cool, rich, amazing and interesting stuff going on in LA and I get to be around PEOPLE!

Yet the real result of this whole enterprise has been that I've fallen in love with this town all over again. In fact, last night was just another shot in the I Love LA arm.

What a scene the art walk is. An amazing scene. There are all these super cool, hip, people walking around and there are also the usual downtowners. That includes tourists, people working, cops, store owners and homeless people. It makes for quite a mix:

I love the mix. And the art, well, some of it was horrible and I will not post what I did not like here because the life of an artist is hard enough - no one needs discouragement. But some of it was kind of downright fantastic.

At MIA Gallery
At The Lounge
And I'm not only obsessed with yellow, I swear. I went into Arty where I found the work of Stephen Rowe. Have you heard of this guy? Wonderful big, grand pieces. Some reminiscent of Jackson Pollock (one of my all-time favorite artists) some that evoked nature and the layers underneath the evolution of self. That's right. That's my interpretation. Screw it!

Beautiful, right? Stephen Rowe's art at Arty on Main
Stephen Rowe, the artist
The one behind him is about the first snow. There are words underneath many of his images and you can kind of see writing poking through like leaves under water.

Wherever I was, whatever I was looking at, I had fun. Hive Gallery was an all out party.

Hive Gallery on 7th & Spring
And of course some of the places I went into were a little like a Woody Allen movie where there'd be a lone musician and some strange art and high-falutin talk and you know what, I didn't feel snobby about those spaces either. I kind of appreciated them! Ever since I moved here that Woody line about LA's big contribution to culture being the legalization of right on red bugged me. But that was the 70's. Today when we open up our galleries everything seems so wild and imperfect and sort of left-turn-y (not right turn-y) whereas in NYC it's so normal to see the best and the this and the that. Here it's more of an event, it's certainly more accessible and the REALLY great work has a chance to breathe, be appreciated and stand out.


Olivia Barratier, the artist
This little Lady here, Olivia Barratier, what a freakin cutie. She was showing her wares for the first time at Robert Reynolds Gallery on Spring. Both those links will give you a good idea of what  Barratier does. But here's a teeny taste:

In terms of atmosphere I must say my favorite gallery was probably MIA.

Entering Machine Inspired Art (or MIA) on Main
They had awesome music playing, a mix by a guy from the band Una which was about to perform.

Inside Machine Inspired Art (MIA)
The party was just getting started
But I was tapping out so I skiddadled before the going really got going.

So long MIA!
Never underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee. Nothing will help you with the last leg of anything like that High Octane.  I opted to try Spring for Coffee. On, that's right, Spring.

I'm not a big "Pour" girl. I think you know, give me a cup of joe, let's just not talk about it. Well, let's talk about Spring for Coffee in that, go if you like good coffee. And maybe you'll see this guy with the curly mop top. I liked his hair. I felt it was a part of the Art Walk. I dubbed it Hair Art.

But coffee, while magical, still wasn't something I could actually BITE into.

I just want to go on record and say I did wait until I got home to devour - with my husband - this little mother fu...

Sweet Big Man Bakes it was good. I got a Mounds one for later. Today in fact. It's to be my reward for when I finish this post. FYI Big Man Bakes is, no lie, maybe one of THE BEST CUPCAKES I've ever had in my life.

I'm just going to cap this off with a few more images from my expedition. I want my cupcake.

Last Bookstore
At Machine Inspired Art
From The Last Bookstore
No idea what was happening here
At The Hive
From The Last Bookstore
From The Last Bookstore

From the new store Kinetescape on 7th. They just opened this week.
Somebody's watching me

•Big Man Bakes is at 413 South Main between 4th & 5th. It's closed Sundays. There's a parking lot attached. Just say BIGMANBAKES. Free parking with validation for 15 minutes.
•Spring for Coffee is at 548 Spring near the corner of 6th.
•LA's Downtown Art Walk takes place the 2nd Saturday of every month. The next Art Walk is scheduled for July 13th. 

Have a great weekend and ENJOY!

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