Friday, January 10, 2014

Art Pick of the Month: "Two Johns and a Whore"

Let me tell you a story. I first met Lisa Derrick outside Copro Gallery. She was coming out, I was heading in. Lisa was standing with a couple friends of mine. She was very animated and railing about a particular painting in the show that she found utterly abhorrent. Lisa was clearly very angry about it, and sure enough, when I went in to investigate, there was this large painting of a big-eyed (natch) pre-teen girl apparently suffocating on a pair of panties that had been wrapped around her face. It was truly odious. It was the kind of art that has only one play; agitation. I ended up seeing some decent art elsewhere that night at Bergamot Station, but what remains memorable for me is that first impression of  Lisa Derrick. She was/is fervent, boisterous, agitated, and staunchly passionate about art.  I liked her right away.

Lisa has been my editor at Cartwheel for over a year now (and gawd knows I need one). We've argued about punk rock timelines. She's scolded me on my incorrect use of, and penchant for ellipsis (it's a Lester Bangs thing). She's been a great sounding board. More than anything, she's been a friend. She's always come through whenever I asked her for anything. She's even stopped me from taking a job that would have placed me within the jaws of Scientology. She's true.

So...(wink) while I've ranted here recently about how stagnant art in L.A. seemed to be last year, 2014 is kicking off with all sorts of bloody promise! Saturday night at Coagula, "Two Johns and a Whore" opens in Chinatown. The jumping off point thematically will be the world's oldest profession and it features the work of John Fleck, John Roecker (get it?), Anthony Ausgang, Orianna Small, Stacy Lande, Jane Cantillon, Anthony Ausgang, Louie Metz and Mimi Universe, just to name a few. I could tell you another story about how drop dead gorgeous the work of Stacy Lande is, and how fucking cool she was when I reached out to her for advice over a decade ago, but I'll restrain myself. The biggest catalyst for you to get up off your ass and see this show is that it has been curated by, yep, Lisa Derrick. Beyond Firedoglake, Huffington Post, Larry Flynt, Sacred History, and all of her other accomplishments, Lisa is a fierce advocate for the arts. More than that, she doesn't fuck around, she doesn't mince words and you can bet if she put this together, it's gonna be something special. So I urge you...GO!

"Two Johns and a Whore" opens January 11, 2014 - 7pm
runs through January 25, 2014
Coagula Curatorial
974 Chung King Road, Los Angeles CA 90012

John Roecker work mid-installation

John Roecker work on paper

John Roecker piece awaiting the hang.

"DSL" by Orianna Small (don't act like you don't know)

John Roecker work on canvas

Top photo: "Three Figure Study" by Louie Metz
All photos courtesy of Lisa Derrick