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Jeff Soto: Another Art Trip to LA

Written by Jeff Soto   
Thursday, 15 March 2007 16:54
Jeff explores Bergamot Station galleries and Mark Ryden’s Tree Show at Michael Kohn Gallery.
Another art trip to Los Angeles. Went to Bergamot Station which houses around 15 galleries, maybe more. There’s always something to be seen here, everything from “lowbrow” (I still hate that term) to the highly conceptual. I tend to gravitate towards the middle ground, work that is visually stimulating and at the same time gives you something to think about.

Bergamot has a wide variety of art, and an equally wide variety of staff attitude! It’s always nice to walk into a gallery and the receptionist says, “Hi, so and so is our artist for this show, if you have any questions, feel free to ask”. That is awesome and very powerful, it makes you feel welcome. I would spend my money there if I was buying art. But a couple galleries at Bergamot do the whole, ‘I’m not even going to acknowledge this person” when you walk in. They don’t even say hi, or look up from their computer. Is it because I don’t look like an art buyer? I’ve been to Bergamot for years now and know which galleries are the art snob ones, it kinda makes me laugh because I always think, okay, this time someone will say hi, and they always just look down when you come in. What's up with that??...

Robert Berman Gallery always has interesting work. And polite courteous staff. Here’s some of Erika Somogyi’s work. I’ve seen these somewhere, Fecalface maybe? Pretty vibrant in person and they gave me happy feelings...




I don’t recall the artist’s name but these were designs cut out of linoleum. Beautiful colors and shapes.



I don’t remember the artist or the gallery (I know, very informative), but the receptionist was cool. Art was pretty interesting too. I will find the names of these artists and post later; I took postcards from their shows but left them at home.




Track 16 Gallery has put on some good shows over the years, and their staff is always nice. This one is an exhibition of Polish circus posters. There was a lot to look at and I think they sorta frowned upon me taking pictures (I always ask and they said alright, just take them from a distance) so I only took a few shots...




Spotted a broken Space Invader above the bathrooms....


Bergamot is always fun but the real reason I braved the afternoon L.A. traffic was to attend the preshow for Mark Ryden’s Tree Show at Michael Kohn Gallery. After the 1 hour drive from Santa Monica to L.A. (not kidding, L.A. traffic around 5pm sucks!), I saw this in the window...



The show was wonderful, Ryden does not dissapoint. His work is so rich in person, the colors so vibrant. I didn’t get a lot of pictures because for one, it’s never the right time to whip out the camera, and two, I was planning on going back inside for more shots when the gallery closed it’s doors at 9. It was great seeing so many L.A. artists, and I got to finally meet Sam and Tury of Friends With You. The Clayton Brothers were there, Jamie O’Shea, P.Jay Fidler, Baseman, Brad Keech from Pressure Printing, Eric White, Camille Rose Garcia and husband Jeremy, Shag, The Pizz, of course KRK Ryden coming out to give support, Robert Jew, The Biskup, Attaboy and Annie, Mike Moon from Disney, Bob Kato, and tons I’m forgetting, it was crazy.

I don’t know if they wanted images circulated yet, but here’s some of my favorite pieces. They’re on wood rings, and I’ve seen alot of other painters use this idea (Ryan Jacob Smith comes to mind) , but Ryden’s are beautifully rendered and flow very well into the rich woods he used. Amazing as always. Go see the show. More coverage will be up on Jamie O'Shea's Supertouch... Opens Saturday...


Also, 3-9-07! Happy Birthday to my brother Jesse! Photo from 1979, Fullerton, CA. Two Soto boys on the right...



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