Saw a couple of art shows recently. This first one is at La Cienega Projects. It’s an installation entitled Noa Noa, Yes Yes by Tami Demaree. It’s about Gauguin’s experiences in Tahiti and according to the press release,“ Demaree attempts to re-mythologize the “myth” of the artist using her own unique visual vernacular.” I don’t know about that but I will say that making art about the condescending attitude that Gauguin had towards the “savages” has always felt a little played out to me. Yes, he was an embarrassing blowhard who was rewarded for being a dick. WE KNOW. But the installation was way more than that. It was funny for one thing. Art hardly is ever funny. And the work was very homemade and sweet even when it was being biting and sarcastic. She basically built this huge jungle-y installation that you had to maneuver through in order to discover the artifacts she had made (including a replica of Gauguin’s grave. During the opening they had hula dancers and the mood was fun and festive. These are qualities that I never see in art. It felt really fresh.
Last weekend we went to Sea and Space Explorations to a sculpture show that Alice Clements curated called Mostly Sculpture Show. I particularly like this piece of a cop with a head made out of flowers. He was posed in such a lifelike way that seemed sad (because his flower head was disintegrating?) and at the same time full of masculine power. Also he was life size and when you approached the sculpture from the back, he seemed real. It was pretty unexpected and cool.