Christina Fernandez | Notes on Looking

ALAC, Callejón Herrón, Saving our Murals in LA, and Remembering Ronald Lopez

After a couple of weeks of some really great moments and some not so great moments in the LA art scene, I’ve finally decided to take this opportunity to stop “looking” and start “telling”. Upon walking into Art Los Angeles Contemporary a couple of weeks ago, I luckily found Mark Verabioff performing his version of Little Boxes.  This song, originally written by Malvina Reynolds in the 60s about suburban tract housing, was a perfect way to describe the spectacle of the art fair “all made of ticky-tacky” and which “all look just the same”.  Verabioff walked on speakers attached to his shoes, while he performed in front of the Night Gallery’s “little box”.  As he chanted, he snorted and dropped his pages of lyrics to the floor.  The tone was perfectly set for me, as this was the beginning of my weekend of art fairs.  I have to thank Verabioff for this as my intention for coming was to discover new Latino galleries or Latino artists…Unfortunately I found too many white (literally) “little boxes” which “all look just the same”. HOWEVER, I did find one gallery from Mexico City, Yautepec Gallery, showing young, emerging Mexican and international artists, such as Ryan Perez, Ciler, Anibal Catalan, Misael Torres, Txema Novelo and Morgan Manduley. While at the fair, I was fortunately able to meet and talk to Morgan Manduley, who had driven up from San Diego.  Manduley’s father is Cuban and his mother is the daughter of a cowboy from Oklahoma.  In his work you can definitely see how his mixed background plays a role.  His paintings seem to have a...