Art of the City: The Connectors
Call them what you will, but their best work may be how they bring other artists together
Former punk roadie for Kris Kristofferson and in-house photographer for Frank Gehry, Josh White made his name as the go-to lensman for most of L.A.’s heavyweight art institutions and many artists. While working on projects for Tom Sachs, Jasper Johns, and others, White is publishing a history of Slash Records.
Former Milanese gallerist Emi Fontana created the nonprofit West of Rome Public Art as a space without a space. Specializing in large-scale projects, it has shepherded such crowd-pleasers as Jennifer Bolande’s citywide storefront plywood curtains and Marnie Weber’s musical theater at Mountain View Cemetery.
Founder of the quirky pop band Mad Gregs, Devin McNulty lends his musical genius to a wide range of artists and filmmakers. As a codirector of the Chinatown space Human Resources, he’s helped revitalize performance art in the city. Look for his upcoming documentary on the large-scale artworks by Marnie Weber and others.
The brainchild of Sara Velas, the Velaslavasay Panorama near USC celebrates the paintings in the round that predated cinema. Home to séances, puppet shows, and ice cream socials, the Pano-rama has become a magnet for connoisseurs and practitioners of the enigmatic and eccentric.
The vision of Mark Allen, Machine Project is in many ways the new model for artist-run centers, with its public function as much an artwork as the many cutting-edge performances, exhibitions, and workshops it hosts. Allen’s taste for the absurd has imprinted itself on the DIY tsunami that has swept up the city’s emerging artists.
Illustrations by Joel Kimmel