After doing research of the “best galleries” in LA, I noticed a general geographic theme of media outlet coverage.
From Time Out to CBS Local, the “Best Unique Galleries to See Art in Los Angeles omitted particular areas of LA. These particular, omitted areas of LA are abundant with the arts, but they still seem to fall short of the “Best of…” lists from major publications - which seem to focus on DTLA and the Westside. I’m by no means the authority (or watershed spotlight) on art galleries or the visual arts in Leimert Park, but I would like to highlight a particularly special art gallery: Art + Practice.
Adjacent to the historic Vision Theatre in Leimert Park, Art + Practice features Ruben Ochoa’s SAMPLED Y SURVEYED through January 27, 2018. Formerly a hair and beauty supply brick-and-mortar, Art + Practice not only reflects the gentrification happening to Leimert Park, but SAMPLED Y SURVEYED politically addresses this topic within the contemporary gallery’s exhibition.
Ochoa’s media materials list ranges from concrete to paper for Ochoa’s large and relatively small-scale installations throughout Art + Practice.
Ochoa also literally combines concrete and paper in a single piece, and how many people can say that they’ve seen an artwork made from concrete & paper? Other unique compositions include a rebar room, pallet tower, and detailed paintings of geometrical cuts in concrete (which are eerily reminiscent of two graves). One of the artworks features an elevated concrete structure upheld by rebar, which survived an earthquake of an 8.2 magnitude in Mexico City.
Ochoa engages with spaces that are intentionally structured throughout human life, and Ochoa also employs his artworks to challenge perspectives on various spatial practices.
For example, Ochoa remembers growing up and playing in his uncle’s pallet yard, whereas clientele wouldn’t consider a pallet yard anything other than a house for materials. A large pallet structure greets you at SURVEYED Y SAMPLED greets you, but it’s not until you fully enter the gallery that you realize the structure in the entryway is a stack of pallets.
An additional dialogue Ochoa engages with is that of spatial practice, i.e. spaces navigated in daily life, and spaces which are engaged with by multiple entities in various physical and fiscal degrees. Perhaps the most traditional of the installations, Ochoa presents a series of three pictures framed by imported African wood. These three pictures depict neglected sidewalks. Tree roots push up past weathered pink (once red) no park-zone curbs, and slabs are split on pedestrian walkways. These photos are taken from local LA neighborhoods underrepresented by infrastructure funding, while the sidewalks of other neighborhoods are unmarred by cracks in their facades or foundations.
Exhibition: SAMPLED Y SURVEYED
Artist: Ruben Ochoa
When: September 9, 2017 – January 27, 201
Where: Art + Practice
Address: 3401 W. 43rd Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90008
[Mon - Sat 12pm-6pm]