“The people I visited on this short walk are only seven among thousands of artists now living in Los Angeles. Their lives make me believe that despite L.A.’s famed “isolation”, people here are creating not just the artifacts known as artworks but something much more elusive: a community of shared references, jokes and indiscriminately wasted time that past centuries referred to as “culture.” Yet each walk yields something new, and perhaps you’ll take one of your own.”
Chris Kraus, Social Practices, 2018, from an essay “A walk around the neihgbourhood” from 2005
Reading of Chris Kraus while I ride from one studio visit to another, seeing the artists that currently live and work in Los Angeles, adds a parallel, in time, narrative to my trips and meetings, and some context to the place, history of which I am slowly learning.
Patricia Fernandez was born in Burgos, Spain and is currently living in Los Angeles. We talked about her research in migrant communities here in Los Angeles, as well as her research into the Spanish exile community in Paris, caused by Franco’ s dictatorship.
At the studio of Patricia Fernandez.
Latvian artist Raimonds Staprans was born in Riga in 1926, fled Latvia during the WWII and moved to the US in 1947. Part of the Bay Area figurative movement, he now lives and works in San Francisco.
At the studio of Raimonds Staprans.
Another artist that I am visiting on my trip outside Los Angeles is Latvian-born Bay area funk artist Maija Peeples-Bright. I am enchanted by the world of animals, “beasties” how she calls her combinations of manifold colorful human and animal figures, as well as playful titles such as “buffalo ballerina” or “sheep sheikhs”.
At the house and studio of Maija Peeples-Bright.
Back in Los Angeles, I visit the Colombian-born artist Gala Porras-Kim. She researches museum collections and, mostly, taking a detour from art historical or formal questions, moves towards questioning the reasons and structures behind the museum, asking how certain artefacts have ended up in the collections in the past.
From the studio of Gala Porras-Kim.
Located in the same area is the studio of the artist, originally from Texas, Diedrick Brackens. He is a weaver and thus literally weaves into his work contemporary stories of African Americans in the US, myths and different traditions of the craft.
At the studio of Diedrick Brackens.
Candice Lin is an artist whose work I already knew from her exhibition at Betonsalon in Paris, I saw earlier this year. Handmade paper from plants, ink from oak galls, silhouettes patched together from tobacco leaves, all converge to express her interest in the history of migration, trade and materials that have been at the core of those processes.
At the studio of Candice Lin.
The artist Eddie Aparicio takes imprints of trees from the neighbourhoods of where the Central American communities live, researches the history of those neighbourhoods and the resistance of the people living there both in their countries back home, as well as here in Los Angeles, among other things, questioning the perceived notions of native and foreign.
At the studio of Eddie Aparicio.
Theses are just a few of the studio visits I have done during almost a month long journey of getting to know the local art scene I have taken since arriving in Los Angeles.