Yesterday I attended the Art Los Angeles Contemporary featuring contemporary galleries within Los Angeles, the U.S.A and a few from other parts of the world. I dread these art fairs most of the time as they are usually loaded with commercial galleries showing their crappy commercial art for an audience that is mainly interested in buying something for their wall to match the sofa. But this art fair completely thrilled me! Lots of non-profits and a great quality of commercial galleries within a small setting of an airplane hanger and only in it's second year running. I may be biased, as you all know I heart L.A, but I have been to many of these fairs around the world and have never been so excited!
So of course I scouted around to find a pink work to include in my blog and came across this artist. The Company is a gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles that represents Alexa Gerrity, a recent MFA graduate of Cal Arts. The work below caught my eye, not only because it was printed on pink paper but because it captures the 'self-help' vibe that Southern California is famous for. Many 'self-help' gurus come to L.A or get their lucky break here. Maybe it is something in the water, or maybe the weird fact L.A is on the famous fault line and could potentially fall into the ocean at any given moment, creating a sense of 'being in the now' attitude amongst those both that come here and live here. For crying out loud, even I have entered this world reading books such as Flow by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and Louise Hays' You Can Heal Your Life during my time here so far!
The main picture above was a site specific work at The Company last year, in the gallery's bathroom. Gerrity created a small and intimate, yet public, space for the viewer to enter into a personal conversation with oneself. I was told by a person who attended the show that the bathroom had fake candles all along it's edges, vanilla fragrance wafting through the space and a pink globe spreading the love. The affirmations on the mirror invite the viewer to participate in repetitive thought which is believed to potentially change ones old thought patterns and beliefs about themselves. Louise Hays is a huge advocate for this type of therapy. The participants are encouraged to take a poster which acts as a reminder, to put on ones wall on their return home, to keep up this affirmation process.
The question needs to asked, is Gerrity being facetious about what happens here in Southern California or is she somehow advocating this type of therapy? She is not native to L.A and my feeling is that she too, may have been caught up in the 'self-help' world that exists here when she first arrived and is now working out how it fits into her life through her work as an artist. Whatever her reason is for creating this installation, I found this work to be intriguing, very L.A with it's 'self-help'ness, covered in pink and sparkles. Gotta love L.A!!!!!