Saturday, April 24, 2010

David Choe, Nothing To Declare, Lazarides Beverly Hills



David Choe is street, Los Angeles street and back, back again. It's been six years and his life on film, Dirty Hands, is showing here April 30 to May 6.  Lazarides has 8000 square feet, the vacant Anthropologie store, in Beverly Hills through the summer. Choe's exhibition, Nothing To Declare, runs April 23 - May 23. Juxtapoz printed  five different May '10 Choe covers with a poster inside. Street art is all kaching, nothing louche left.

The line of valets and security for the preview party Thursday evening was impressive, slightly intimidating; my camera couldn't frame them all. This was a big deal, guest check-in, reservations required and a VIP back room. The girls in black stilettos didn't really show up for opening night; but it wouldn't have been surprising if they had. 

Diana Vreeland red walls and ceiling floodlights aiming at the paintings combined for difficult lighting and ISO settings to 1600 or more; frustrated photographers headed for the bar. Crates painted yellow, over sized plastic blowups, garish throws strewn about, some hung haphazardly: pristine white gallery walls a couple of blocks away at Larry Gagosian, not here. Steve Lazarides does this well; the big event from across the pond that sells out. Conor Harrington and Antony Micallef will be part of the group show coming after Choe. Victoria's Secret on one side and Levi's on the other, camera bearing shorts wearing tourists heading to Nate 'n Al in a city that doesn't have graffiti (maybe there is a squad of anti-taggers sent out daily: even the allies are clean here.)

A weak dollar and Lehman's doing well surely helped Antony Micallef pull a crowd of English people flying in to buy, buying quickly and hard; the Impure Idols exhibition sold out within the first twenty minutes, lines around the block for several days. Sotheby's and Christie's are selling art again and the good things going for more than the estimates. Choe is priced at 8,000. to 100,000. (Nikki: Destroy All Men: sold 100,000. before the preview.)

"I will take all my love all my hate all my pain all my
rage, all my suffering and all my skills and experience ive collected over the years everything I’ve
learned in every medium from watercolors to oils to spraypaint I’m gonna express everything I feel
about this city and what it is to live and die and be born again in the city of angels…. los angeles
I’m coming home and when I come this time, I’m gonna come harder than I ever have before."
----david choe koreatown, los angeles MARCH 2010

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