A Day In Decay: Bicycle District & Aaron Curry

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The other day I ran around to get some food and look at some art. But before I got the art viewing festivities started, I decided to go down to the nonofficial “Bicycle District” to get some food and more importantly some delicious dessert. If you live in LA, you know how quickly this neighborhood has transformed in just a couple of years. Everyone loves this area as evident by the above graffiti.

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Lots of outdoor deocration can be found in the alleyways.

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You can stop by and play some dominos.

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This is LA’s premiere Vegan Pub,  Pure Luck. The sign outside might say “UCK,” but the food and drinks are nothing but yum. I’m really proud of this place as it was a gamble to start a small indie restaurant in a random neighborhood but with it’s mindblowingly delicious food and good prices, Pure Luck along with several other small businesses have transformed this little neighborhood into a DIY heaven.

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Pure Luck is a no frills dining establishment so don’t worry about putting on your sunday’s best. Actually don’t go there on Sunday’s at all…. as they are closed.

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They always have some fun stuff on the wall. Not all of it falls into the “fine art” category, but I thought this exhibit of photographs by Tamal PolJak was great.

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During her childhood, Tamala rarely ate dinner with her family. Tamala’s family worked long hours and as a result she was a kind of a Latch-key-kid. She would spy on her next door neighbors who would eat dinner at the same time every night as a family.She became obsessed with the family’s “leave it to beaver” lifestyle and would watch them for hours. Fast forward 20 years, and Tamala has turned this childhood memory into a series of 225 photos of her conversations and meals with friends. Each photo is shot with the same table setting and background which is identical to the settings of the home she used to spy on. The only things that change are the food, people and conversations. If you get a chance to visit Pure Luck, check out the photos. I really enjoyed them and thought the installation was perfect for a restaurant. If you’d like to read more about Tamala’s work you can do so in this interview on L.A. Record. Now back to the food.

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I present the Jackfruit sandwich. For all you non-veggies you gotta try this. The fries are to die for and the jackfruit has the consistency of Carne asada but better!
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While eating I also found this cool lil zine called Levels Below. They distribute it for free and the covers share common themes of fuck the government, animal rights, new world order, and so on. Super DIY, super fun to read. It reminded me of all that teen angst I had when I first started B/D. In the age of Twitter and smart phones, I’m still glad pissed off punk rockers are making ‘zines on photocopy machines. The dum dum doesn’t come with the zine, but Pure Luck tosses it in with the check. Hell yeah!

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As I was walking out I noticed this bizarre contraption sitting behind the register. I came to find out that there are issues of quality control with the music played at Pure Luck. As a result, some overly crafty tech nerd created this bizarre device to control the tunes that serranade you while you eat. There is an ipod inside that is controlled by the 2 colored buttons. Green means play, and red means stop. The nose controls the volume and the sweet stache is just for kicks. Looks like this audio wave control demon’s name is Cheesoid. I’d love to hear the back story about this funny little guy, so if you got some info on who made this and how, toss the story in the comments.

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No trip to the bike district is complete without going to the world’s best ice cream spot, Scoops. If you remember, Scoops provided the mind blowing ice cream for our Art Works Every Time show at Synchronicity gallery. They make exotic flavored ice cream like black pepper chocolate or  graham cracker peanut butter. They have a ton of new flavors everyday and even have 4 delicious flavors for all my vegan friends.

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They have a sweet ice cream spoon mobile high above.

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You can even suggest flavors that they make. Want elder flower ice cream? Sure! How about lemongrass flavor? No problem!How about Watermelon Kiwi? Coming right up. Seriously folks. If you don’t live in LA, just hop on a plane and come out here and get some of this stuff. I’ll be siting in the corner eating a one scoop+one and waiting for my high five.

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Here I am in the car. I give scoops a giant brown thumbs up!

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Okay, off to look at some art in Culver City. Noticed some new throwups up and down Fairfax by this guy.

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Deep in Culver City you can find David Kordansky gallery. David’s gallery has skyrocketed in a short period of time showing some big names and creating even bigger names. Today I came to see one of my favorite sculptors work, Aaron Curry. You may remember Aaron’s work from his interview in Book 2. I’d only seen Aaron’s work in group shows so I was excited to see what he came up with for this show.

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Wow!

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Double wow! This is one of the best show’s I’ve seen in LA, Ever! Aaron and Kordansky really stepped it up for this exhibition. Every square inch of Kordansky’s massive space if covered with eyeball popping color and texture. The walls of the gallery have been transformed into a silkscreened waterdropped pattern printed on cardboard panels. Largescale steel and aluminimum sculptures are strategically placed through out the show, creating pathways for the viewer to navigate through between works.
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On the walls, various flourescent colored collages and drawings are hung. These two were especially nice in that the abstract piece on the left was in direct dialogue with the collage of the cartoon characters on the right. Aaron reveals his references and influences while creating new work with them all at once.

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The sculptures printed with the wall pattern motif were really great. From a distance you’re not sure what you’re looking at, but as you get closer the shadows and forms of the sculpture start to pop out.

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Welded signatures are always good, especially in kindergarten handwriting.

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The dolley pedestals were all coated with industrial gloss paint, similar to car paint.The reflections of the wallpaper bouncing off them created some great new abstractions themselves.

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the wallpaper mounted inside the frames served as a nice background for the collages.

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The water drop theme continued into smaller works.

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Massive sculptures!

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I’ve heard a few grumbles about this show being full of corporate office lobby sculpture, but I don’t think Curry’s work is that one dimensional. Yes, these are large abstract sculptures made out of industrial materials and coated with beautiful glossy color, but there are a lot of subtle nuances that keep the work from being simple formal structures. I won’t bore you with my two cents but you can read more about the themes in the show on the galleries press release page.  Aaron Curry gets a giant, industrial coated, big brown thumbs up.
  • http://inkstainedhands.com Bill

    i like seeing what you are up too