The show—the L.A. Art Show, that is—must go on. The annual outing will be held at LA Convention Center South Hall, January 19 through 23.
This year features the usual exhibitor list from around the world, plus exciting new additions and a growing emphasis on NFTs. Specializing in the new market is Vellum LA. The Melrose gallery’s contribution to the art show is “Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror,” an exhibition curated by writer/entrepreneur Jesse Damiani and the gallery’s Sinziana Velicescu. It includes 10 artists exploring place and architectural imagery in digital realities.
Conjuring structures bound only by the limits of imagination are artists Saks Afridi, Kirk Finkel (aka untitled, xyz), Petecia Le Fawnhawk x Deep Light Labs, Vince Fraser, Mari.K (aka MadMaraca), Nicolas Sassoon, Kristen Roos, Nate Mohler, Sabrina Ratté, and Thato Tatai. Their works will feature buildings and cityscapes uninhibited by pesky building codes.
“I was fascinated with how digital artists see architecture, and how digital art explores it in ways that traditional architecture cannot because it must follow the laws of physics and functionality,” says Velicescu. “The show explores imaginative spaces that escape reality, and the tools they’re using to create these spaces and how things like the metaverse and the digital world inform the imagination.”
The L.A. Art Show was one of the first to put NFT’s front and center with its 2021 exhibition, originally slated for last January but ultimately held in July. The tradition-bound artworld was slow to accept the new format until Christie’s auctioned off a collage of images by digital artist Beeple for a record-setting $69.3 million in March 2021. The first NFT art ever sold at auction, Beeple’s work helped usher in a cutting-edge market driven not by old but new money.
“It’s a lot of people who made it big in tech early on, or have experience with tech. But at the same time you see people from all age ranges,” notes Velicescu of the typical NFT collector. She opened her gallery just last year. “A lot of these artworks and artists have not really been appreciated or taken seriously in the artworld. Obviously the auction houses are jumping on everything, but we’ve seen artists that have never been considered legitimate gallery artists, now showing in a gallery. And I think it’s great.”
L.A. Art Show, Jan. 19 to 23 at the L.A. Convention Center South Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., DTLA, tickets at laartshow.com.
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