With Shepard Fairey nearly a household name, and Banksy's expectedly-controversial return to L.A. with the release of the street art doc Exit Through the Gift Shop, street art has been having its time in the spotlight lately. And it's only getting brighter, as the fantastic Lazarides Gallery opens up a huge exhibition today in Beverly Hills.
The London gallery, which specializes in 'outsider (read: graphical and street) art,' is set to present the effervescent works of street artist and L.A. native David Choe in "Nothing to Declare." Choe is a highly prolific artist who's become well-known for manic-depressive behavior, which has gotten him into some legal troubles in the past and which were well-documented in the film Dirty Hands: The Art and Life of David Choe (sorry, shameless plug). And his art is similarly disturbing, but also strangely beautiful, with fantastical and dramatic flourishes in his strange depictions of the world. It's nothing short of artistic genius, and the scale on which Choe works is something only to be seen in person (hint: this is street art after all; don't expect small, simplistic canvases).
I attended Choe's last exhibition with Lazarides, in London, and the pieces on display are absolutely thrilling. Imaginative, passionate, troubled--everything a good artist needs to be, for better or worse. If you're a fan of any type of contemporary art, this is not to be missed. Here's Choe's take on the exhibit:
“I will take all my love all my hate all my pain all my rage, all my suffering and all my skills and experience I’ve collected over the years everything I’ve learned in every medium from watercolors to oils to spray paint I’m gonna express everything I feel about this city and what it is to live and die and be born again in the city of angels….”
David Choe's "Nothing to Declare" will be shown at 320 N. Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills. The exhibit opens today and will run until May 23 (to be followed up by further Lazarides exhibitions), open everyday from 12pm-8pm.
Also, Dirty Hands will be showing at the Laemmle Sunset 5 for a special one-week engagement beginning April 30th.
-- Chau Tu
Photo credit: Lazarides Gallery