Sweet 16


The Phoenix from the flames, by The Twinsies. Park Field, CA

Nothing changes in the New Year; or, at least, nothing goes away and disappears on its own. It’s that time again. Make resolutions. Launch efforts to “better” our lives and fix the failures of the previous year as we enter the new one. Stop drinking. Stop smoking. Stop for the entire year or six months or just the singular month of January. Well, it’s been a hell of a week. It’s been raining, maybe a few days off will do the trick, bottoms up! Find fulfillment in new ways—a job change, a healthier diet, a revamped sex life, a vow of celibacy; or hope nothing changes (gun advocates) and look to the year ahead as a chance to find solid ground, settle down as they say, read a little more and hope this isn’t the year when an earthquake wipes out half the population of Brooklyn, I mean Downtown Los Angeles, I mean DTLA.

It’s the New Year and galleries already have their schedule of exhibitions set; go online and see who is going to be showing when and where. Set your entire calendar for art outings in 2016. This isn’t to say there won’t be any surprises. There’ll be many: new galleries, pop-up shows, impromptu performances, an abundance of writing (I hope). Spaces will close. Some will expand. Certain artists will show the same old thing. So-and-so will pick up a paint brush again, Did you hear that she is working in clay now? She should have stuck to doing those portraits! Oh, the gossip is to die for.

There will be shows where the work doesn’t live up to its press release, and reviews that overcompensate for the artist. Work will be impacted by the market, and there’ll be whispers, ever since she got that grant, her work really has taken on a different meaning, c’mon you wouldn’t take the money? Well, yeah but her work is all about, like not taking the money.  We will wonder why some artists get so much attention and how others get none at all. There’ll be retrospectives for artists that are not that old, and farewells to artists that actually are. There will be confusing curatorial decisions, too many appearances by you-know-who, Oh and did you hear she is getting a studio visit from ‘psst-psst’ she got a visit last year from ‘psst-psst-psst’ and said it was terrible, but I could see why they wouldn’t have bought her work. Did you hear who is in Made in LA this year? Well she did get a Times review, even if it was terrible. It doesn’t matter, it’s the LA Times. There’ll be hundreds of new art students graduating from local schools, and hundreds (thousands?) more coming with the hopes of getting a foot in the door; some of these galleries are literally so packed during openings that they can only hope to fit one of their feet inside, let alone get a hand on one of the remaining cans of Tecate or cheap glasses of wine being served.

After reading many art blog and various online publications’ Happy New Year reflections of 2015’s Top Ten Ultimate Editor’s Grammy Show Nomination Picks (One more time, give a round of applause!) posts, I felt a little inadequate; or, simply, I forgot and here we are a week into 2016 and, already, speaking on last year seems as irrelevant as a conversation on zombie abstraction.




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