At These Curated Pop-Up Dinners, Everything Is a Work of Art

ArtCubed’s boutique pop-ups are mashing up food, art, and music to feed all the senses

Imagine going to a dinner party where the table you’re sitting at has been designed by an up-and-coming local artist. Same goes for the plates, the neon swan sculpture, and the enormous chandelier. It’s all for sale, and maybe you’ll buy a fork or two once you’ve finished the four-course meal made by Top Chef’s Richard Blais, who’s also supplied wine pairings. This is ARTXFOOD, a pop-up run by the new L.A.-based production company ArtCubed, going down May 11 through June 3 at Hollywood’s Goya Studios.

Founded by Ariel Gordon in 2015, ArtCubed aims to unite contemporary art with food, music, film, and nightlife through bespoke events. In effect, Gordon is rethinking the “white cube,” a term that describes most galleries’ display tactics. The idea is to make the art world, which she says has “become hard to penetrate,” more welcoming. “I want people to touch, taste, see, hear, and share.”

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Born and raised in New York City, Gordon, 25, worked at a smattering of East Coast galleries and museums while studying art history at Washington University in St. Louis. But it’s her ongoing gig with Kaaboo—the San Diego behemoth that is to music-art-food festivals what glamping is to camping—that exposed her to high-end experiences and led to ArtCubed. The company is an experiment in what Gordon calls artspitality (a mash-up of art and hospitality, but you probably guessed that), and headquartering the operation in L.A. was a no-brainer. “About five years ago, Los Angeles emerged as the main hub of the contemporary art world,” Gordon says. “L.A. is home for this company.”

Artist Greg Ito’s floor-to-ceiling dining environment is unique to ARTXFOOD, but future cubes—a collab between a visual artist and a band, say, or a weekend of film screenings—are in the works. “This is an opportunity to introduce a new breed of art event to the L.A. landscape,” says Gordon. We’re in.

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