Five Artsy Things to Do This Week, Including 'Anti-Rock' Band Destroy All Monsters and Charles Garabedian's Pseudo-Biblical Painting
Courtesy of the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and L.A. Louver, Venice Charles Garabedian's 1982 painting, "If You Want Me, I'll Be At The Hairdresser"
With the exception of a panel of artists talking economics, this week's recommendations are all old-school, exhibitions and performances of artists working before Watergate.
5. Highbrow Comedy
Guy de Cointet is one of those stuff-of-myth artists: He grew up in Paris, was friendly with Yves St. Laurent as a child and Warhol muse Viva as a young artist, moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and died too soon of complications from hepatitis. He was interested in the structure of language and comic scenarios, but stills of his performances always look like magazine spreads, usually with chic women navigating pared-down sets. This weekend, the Getty will restage two of his works: Tell Me, in which two women are seduced by minimal art, and IGLU, an extra-esoteric situation comedy. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Sat., Dec. 10, 7 p.m.; free with reservation. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu.
4. Did the Recession Change Art?
When the recession hit, Holland Cotter wrote a piece in The New York Times headlined "The Boom Is Over. Long Live the Art!" Freed from market pressures, he said, artists could pursue wild ideas, push boundaries, make truly exciting work again. That was three years ago. How has the financial situation since then affected art? A panel of artists and curators will attempt to answer that question in a presentation called "Aesthetics of Deficit" at Human Resources L.A. on Saturday. 410 Cottage Home St., Chinatown; Sat., Dec. 10, 1-5 p.m.; free. (213) 290-4752, humanresourcesla.com.
3. Reagan Revenge
I wasn't planning to recommend "Under the Big Black Sun, 1974-1981," a sprawling show at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary that really does seem to include everything under the sun. Then, last week, I saw Llyn Foulkes' painting of a defaced Ronald Reagan again and realized how immaculately angry it is. As if pinning Reagan's photo to a dartboard would have been too easy, Foulkes rendered a perfectly self-confident likeness of the politician before bloodying him by bolting a cyclops eye to his painted face. Foulkes' brutal work hangs in the exhibit's first gallery, so stop in on a Thursday, when MOCA's free, and tackle the rest of the show only if you're feeling brave. 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo; through Feb. 13. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
2. To My Left, on the Easel
Destroy All Monsters, an artists' version of a garage band, formed in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1973. The group, which included artists Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara and Jim Shaw, released just one "anti-rock" cassette. What they made more of were irreverent posters, drawings and comics, and creepy, alien-inspired photographs better than anything Spielberg came up with. Ephemera from the group's run hangs at Prism L.A. 8746 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; through Jan. 7. (310) 289-1301, prismla.com.
1. Naked on Judgment Day
Charles Garabedian, 88 years old and, last I heard, still painting, steals the current show at David Kordansky Gallery, as he steals most shows he's in. His biggest canvas feels like a biblical judgment day, with a womblike hole in the middle and naked women surrounding it in various sorts of vulnerable poses, until you see the title -- If You Want Me, I'll Be at the Hairdresser -- and realize that maybe the judging going down isn't so biblical after all. 3143 S. La Cienega Blvd., Unit A, Gallery 2; through Jan. 21. (310) 558-3030, davidkordanskygallery.com.